Common molecular signature in SOD1 for both sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating motor neuron degenerative disease whose etiology and pathogenesis remain poorly understood. Most cases of ALS ( approximately 90%) are sporadic (SALS), occurring in the absence of genetic associations. Approximately 20% of familial ALS (FALS) cases are due to known mutations in the copper, zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene. Molecular evidence for a common pathogenesis of SALS and FALS has remained elusive. Here we use covalent chemical modification to reveal an attribute of spinal cord SOD1 common to both SOD1-linked FALS and SALS, but not present in normal or disease-affected tissues from other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases and spinal muscular atrophy, a non-ALS motor neuron disease. Biotinylation reveals a 32-kDa, covalently cross-linked SOD1-containing protein species produced not only in FALS caused by SOD1 mutation, but also in SALS. These studies use chemical modification as a novel tool for the detection of a disease-associated biomarker. Our results identify a shared molecular event involving a known target gene and suggest a common step in the pathogenesis between SALS and FALS.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disorder of motor neuron degeneration. Most cases of ALS are sporadic (SALS), but about 5 to 10% of ALS cases are familial (FALS). Recent studies have shown that mutations in FUS are causal in approximately 4 to 5% of FALS and some apparent SALS cases. The pathogenic mechanism of the mutant FUS-mediated ALS and potential roles of FUS in non-FUS ALS remain to be investigated.Immunostaining was performed on postmortem spinal cords from 78 ALS cases, including SALS (n = 52), ALS with dementia (ALS/dementia, n = 10), and FALS (n = 16). In addition, postmortem brains or spinal cords from 22 cases with or without frontotemporal lobar degeneration were also studied. In total, 100 cases were studied.FUS-immunoreactive inclusions were observed in spinal anterior horn neurons in all SALS and FALS cases, except for those with SOD1 mutations. The FUS-containing inclusions were also immunoreactive with antibodies to TDP43, p62, and ubiquitin. A fraction of tested FUS antibodies recognized FUS inclusions, and specific antigen retrieval protocol appeared to be important for detection of the skein-like FUS inclusions.Although mutations in FUS account for only a small fraction of FALS and SALS, our data suggest that FUS protein may be a common component of the cellular inclusions in non-SOD1 ALS and some other neurodegenerative conditions, implying a shared pathogenic pathway underlying SALS, non-SOD1 FALS, ALS/dementia, and related disorders. Our data also indicate that SOD1-linked ALS may have a pathogenic pathway distinct from SALS and other types of FALS.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disease, with astrocytes implicated as contributing substantially to motor neuron death in familial (F)ALS. However, the proposed role of astrocytes in the pathology of ALS derives in part from rodent models of FALS based upon dominant mutations within the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene, which account for <2% of all ALS cases. Their role in sporadic (S)ALS, which affects >90% of ALS patients, remains to be established. Using astrocytes generated from postmortem tissue from both FALS and SALS patients, we show that astrocytes derived from both patient groups are similarly toxic to motor neurons. We also demonstrate that SOD1 is a viable target for SALS, as its knockdown significantly attenuates astrocyte-mediated toxicity toward motor neurons. Our data highlight astrocytes as a non-cell autonomous component in SALS and provide an in vitro model system to investigate common disease mechanisms and evaluate potential therapies for SALS and FALS.
Project description:Many mutations confer one or more toxic function(s) on copper/zinc superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) that impair motor neuron viability and cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS). Using a conformation-specific antibody that detects misfolded SOD1 (C4F6), we found that oxidized wild-type SOD1 and mutant SOD1 share a conformational epitope that is not present in normal wild-type SOD1. In a subset of human sporadic ALS (SALS) cases, motor neurons in the lumbosacral spinal cord were markedly C4F6 immunoreactive, indicating that an aberrant wild-type SOD1 species was present. Recombinant, oxidized wild-type SOD1 and wild-type SOD1 immunopurified from SALS tissues inhibited kinesin-based fast axonal transport in a manner similar to that of FALS-linked mutant SOD1. Our findings suggest that wild-type SOD1 can be pathogenic in SALS and identify an SOD1-dependent pathogenic mechanism common to FALS and SALS.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is incurable and characterized by progressive paralysis of the muscles of the limbs, speech and swallowing, and respiration due to the progressive degeneration of voluntary motor neurons. Clinically indistinguishable ALS can be caused by genetic mutations of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1), TAR-DNA binding protein 43 (TDP43), or fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS), or can occur in the absence of known mutation as sporadic disease. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that FUS/TLS and TDP43 gain new pathogenic functions upon aberrant accumulation in the cytosol that directly or indirectly include misfolding of SOD1.Patient spinal cord necropsy immunohistochemistry with SOD1 misfolding-specific antibodies revealed misfolded SOD1 in perikarya and motor axons of SOD1-familial ALS (SOD1-FALS), and in motor axons of R521C-FUS FALS and sporadic ALS (SALS) with cytoplasmic TDP43 inclusions. SOD1 misfolding and oxidation was also detected using immunocytochemistry and quantitative immunoprecipitation of human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells as well as cultured murine spinal neural cells transgenic for human wtSOD1, which were transiently transfected with human cytosolic mutant FUS or TDP43, or wtTDP43.We conclude that cytosolic mislocalization of FUS or TDP43 in vitro and ALS in vivo may kindle wtSOD1 misfolding in non-SOD1 FALS and SALS. The lack of immunohistochemical compartmental co-localization of misfolded SOD1 with cytosolic TDP43 or FUS suggests an indirect induction of SOD1 misfolding followed by propagation through template directed misfolding beyond its site of inception. The identification of a final common pathway in the molecular pathogenesis of ALS provides a treatment target for this devastating disease.
Project description:Most cases of neurodegenerative diseases are sporadic, hindering the use of genetic mouse models to analyze disease mechanisms. Focusing on the motor neuron (MN) disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we therefore devised a fully humanized coculture model composed of human adult primary sporadic ALS (sALS) astrocytes and human embryonic stem-cell-derived MNs. The model reproduces the cardinal features of human ALS: sALS astrocytes, but not those from control patients, trigger selective death of MNs. The mechanisms underlying this non-cell-autonomous toxicity were investigated in both astrocytes and MNs. Although causal in familial ALS (fALS), SOD1 does not contribute to the toxicity of sALS astrocytes. Death of MNs triggered by either sALS or fALS astrocytes occurs through necroptosis, a form of programmed necrosis involving receptor-interacting protein 1 and the mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein. The necroptotic pathway therefore constitutes a potential therapeutic target for this incurable disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common motor neuron disorder in European populations. ALS can be sporadic ALS (SALS) or familial ALS (FALS). Among 20 known ALS genes, mutations in C9orf72 and superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) are the most common genetic causes of the disease. Whereas C9orf72 mutations are more common in Western populations, the contribution of SOD1 to ALS in Iran is more than C9orf72. At present, a clear genotype/phenotype correlation for ALS has not been identified. We aimed to perform mutation screening of SOD1 in a newly identified Iranian FALS patient and to assess whether a genotype/phenotype correlation for the identified mutation exists. METHODS:The five exons of SOD1 and flanking intronic sequences of a FALS proband were screened for mutations by direct sequencing. The clinical features of the proband were assessed by a neuromuscular specialist (SN). The phenotypic presentations were compared to previously reported patients with the same mutation. RESULTS:Heterozygous c.260A > G mutation in SOD1 that causes Asn86Ser was identified in the proband. Age at onset was 34 years and site of the first presentation was in the lower extremities. Comparisons of clinical features of different ALS patients with the same mutation evidenced variable presentations. CONCLUSION:The c.260A > G mutation in SOD1 that causes Asn86Ser appears to cause ALS with variable clinical presentations.
Project description:Evidence of misfolded wild-type superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) has been detected in spinal cords of sporadic ALS (sALS) patients, suggesting an etiological relationship to SOD1-associated familial ALS (fALS). Given that there are currently a number of promising therapies under development that target SOD1, it is of critical importance to better understand the role of misfolded SOD1 in sALS. We previously demonstrated the permissiveness of the G85R-SOD1:YFP mouse model for MND induction following injection with tissue homogenates from paralyzed transgenic mice expressing SOD1 mutations. This prompted us to examine whether WT SOD1 can self-propagate misfolding of the G85R-SOD1:YFP protein akin to what has been observed with mutant SOD1. Using the G85R-SOD1:YFP mice, we demonstrate that misfolded conformers of recombinant WT SOD1, produced in vitro, induce MND with a distinct inclusion pathology. Furthermore, the distinct pathology remains upon successive passages in the G85R-SOD1:YFP mice, strongly supporting the notion for conformation-dependent templated propagation and SOD1 strains. To determine the presence of a similar misfolded WT SOD1 conformer in sALS tissue, we screened homogenates from patients diagnosed with sALS, fALS, and non-ALS disease in an organotypic spinal cord slice culture assay. Slice cultures from G85R-SOD1:YFP mice exposed to spinal homogenates from patients diagnosed with ALS caused by the A4V mutation in SOD1 developed robust inclusion pathology, whereas spinal homogenates from more than 30 sALS cases and various controls failed. These findings suggest that mutant SOD1 has prion-like attributes that do not extend to SOD1 in sALS tissues.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disorder, is the most common motor neuron disease in European populations. Approximately 10% of ALS cases are familial (FALS) and the other patients are considered as sporadic ALS (SALS). Among many ALS causing genes that have been identified, mutations in SOD1 and C9orf72 are the most common genetic causes of the disease. In Iranian patients, it has been shown that SOD1, as compared to C9orf72, plays a much more prominent role. To date, more than 170 mutations have been reported in SOD1. Genotype/phenotype correlation with respect to either different causative genes or different mutations of a specific gene has not been well established. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Five exons of SOD1 and flanking intronic sequences of an Iranian FALS proband were screened for mutations by direct sequencing. Also, the clinical features of the proband were described. RESULTS:Heterozygous p.Val48Phe causing mutation was identified in SOD1. Age at onset was 29 years and site of the first presentation was the lower extremity in the proband. CONCLUSION:The p.Val48Phe causing mutation appears to cause early onset of ALS.
Project description:Although the copper/zinc superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) gene has been identified in both familial ALS (FALS) and sporadic ALS (SALS), it has rarely been studied in Chinese patients with ALS, and there are few studies with large samples. This study sought to assess the prevalence of SOD1 mutations in Chinese ALS patients. We screened a cohort of 499 ALS patients (487 SALS and 12 FALS) from the Department of Neurology at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University and analyzed all coding exons of SOD1 by Sanger sequencing. In addition, we reviewed the mutation frequencies of common ALS causative genes in Chinese populations. Eight missense mutations in SOD1 were found in 8 ALS individuals: two novel mutations (p.G73D and p.V120F) and six previously reported mutations. The frequencies of SOD1 mutations were 1.03% (5/487) in SALS and 25% (3/12) in FALS from Southwest China. A literature review indicated that the mutation rates of major ALS causative genes were 53.55% in FALS and 6.29% in SALS. In Chinese SALS and FALS, the highest mutation frequency was in the SOD1 gene. Our results suggest that SOD1 mutation is the most common cause of ALS in Chinese populations and that the mutation spectrum of ALS varies among different ethnic populations.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal, adult-onset, progressive neurodegenerative disorder with no known cure. Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) was the first identified protein associated with familial ALS (fALS). Recently, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been found to be a principal component of ubiquitinated cytoplasmic inclusions in neurons and glia in ALS. However, it remains unclear whether these ALS-linked proteins partly have a shared pathogenesis. Here, we determine the association between mutant SOD1 and the modification of TDP-43 and the relationship of pathologic TDP-43 to neuronal cytotoxicity in SOD1 ALS. In this work, using animal model, human tissue, and cell models, we provide the evidence that the association between the TDP-43 modification and the pathogenesis of SOD1 fALS. We demonstrated an age-dependent increase in TDP-43 C-terminal fragments and phosphorylation in motor neurons and glia of SOD1 mice and SOD1G85S ALS patient. Cytoplasmic TDP-43 was also observed in iPSC-derived motor neurons from SOD1G17S ALS patient. Moreover, we observed that mutant SOD1 interacts with TDP-43 in co-immunoprecipitation assays with G93A hSOD1-transfected cell lines. Mutant SOD1 overexpression led to an increase in TDP-43 modification in the detergent-insoluble fraction in the spinal cord of SOD1 mice and fALS patient. Additionally, we showed cellular apoptosis in response to the interaction of mutant SOD1 and fragment forms of TDP-43. These findings suggest that mutant SOD1 could affect the solubility/insolubility of TDP-43 through physical interactions and the resulting pathological modifications of TDP-43 may be involved in motor neuron death in SOD1 fALS.