Wild-type Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase is misfolded in cerebrospinal fluid of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:A subset of familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are caused by mutations in the gene coding Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Mutant SOD1 proteins are susceptible to misfolding and abnormally accumulated in spinal cord, which is most severely affected in ALS. It, however, remains quite controversial whether misfolding of wild-type SOD1 is involved in more prevalent sporadic ALS (sALS) cases without SOD1 mutations. METHODS:Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients including sALS as well as several other neurodegenerative diseases and non-neurodegenerative diseases was examined with an immunoprecipitation assay and a sandwich ELISA using antibodies specifically recognizing misfolded SOD1. RESULTS:We found that wild-type SOD1 was misfolded in CSF from all sALS cases examined in this study. The misfolded SOD1 was also detected in CSF from a subset of Parkinson's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy, albeit with smaller amounts than those in sALS. Furthermore, the CSF samples containing the misfolded SOD1 exhibited significant toxicity toward motor neuron-like NSC-34 cells, which was ameliorated by removal of the misfolded wild-type SOD1 with immunoprecipitation. CONCLUSIONS:Taken together, we propose that misfolding of wild-type SOD1 in CSF is a common pathological process of ALS cases regardless of SOD1 mutations.
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:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is predominantly sporadic, but associated with heritable genetic mutations in 5-10% of cases, including those in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). We previously showed that misfolding of SOD1 can be transmitted to endogenous human wild-type SOD1 (HuWtSOD1) in an intracellular compartment. Using NSC-34 motor neuron-like cells, we now demonstrate that misfolded mutant and HuWtSOD1 can traverse between cells via two nonexclusive mechanisms: protein aggregates released from dying cells and taken up by macropinocytosis, and exosomes secreted from living cells. Furthermore, once HuWtSOD1 propagation has been established, misfolding of HuWtSOD1 can be efficiently and repeatedly propagated between HEK293 cell cultures via conditioned media over multiple passages, and to cultured mouse primary spinal cord cells transgenically expressing HuWtSOD1, but not to cells derived from nontransgenic littermates. Conditioned media transmission of HuWtSOD1 misfolding in HEK293 cells is blocked by HuWtSOD1 siRNA knockdown, consistent with human SOD1 being a substrate for conversion, and attenuated by ultracentrifugation or incubation with SOD1 misfolding-specific antibodies, indicating a relatively massive transmission particle which possesses antibody-accessible SOD1. Finally, misfolded and protease-sensitive HuWtSOD1 comprises up to 4% of total SOD1 in spinal cords of patients with sporadic ALS (SALS). Propagation of HuWtSOD1 misfolding, and its subsequent cell-to-cell transmission, is thus a candidate process for the molecular pathogenesis of SALS, which may provide novel treatment and biomarker targets for this devastating disease.
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:Misfolding and aggregation of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (Sod1) are observed in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutations in Sod1 lead to familial ALS (FALS), which is a late-onset disease. Since oxidative damage to proteins increases with age, it had been proposed that oxidation of Sod1 mutants may trigger their misfolding and aggregation in FALS. However, over 90% of ALS cases are sporadic (SALS) with no obvious genetic component. We hypothesized that oxidation could also trigger the misfolding and aggregation of wild-type Sod1 and sought to confirm this in a cellular environment. Using quiescent, stationary-phase yeast cells as a model for non-dividing motor neurons, we probed for post-translational modification (PTM) and aggregation of wild-type Sod1 extracted from these cells. By size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), we isolated two populations of Sod1 from yeast: a low-molecular weight (LMW) fraction that is catalytically active and a catalytically inactive, high-molecular weight (HMW) fraction. High-resolution mass spectrometric analysis revealed that LMW Sod1 displays no PTMs but HMW Sod1 is oxidized at Cys146 and His71, two critical residues for the stability and folding of the enzyme. HMW Sod1 is also oxidized at His120, a copper ligand, which will promote loss of this catalytic metal cofactor essential for SOD activity. Monitoring the fluorescence of a Sod1-green-fluorescent-protein fusion (Sod1-GFP) extracted from yeast chromosomally expressing this fusion, we find that HMW Sod1-GFP levels increase up to 40-fold in old cells. Thus, we speculate that increased misfolding and inclusion into soluble aggregates is a consequence of elevated oxidative modifications of wild-type Sod1 as cells age. Our observations argue that oxidative damage to wild-type Sod1 initiates the protein misfolding mechanisms that give rise to 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:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which appears to spread through the neuroaxis in a spatiotemporally restricted manner, is linked to heritable mutations in genes encoding SOD1, TDP-43, FUS, C9ORF72, or can occur sporadically without recognized genetic mutations. Misfolded human wild-type (HuWt) SOD1 has been detected in both familial and sporadic ALS patients, despite mutations in SOD1 accounting for only 2% of total cases. We previously showed that accumulation of pathological TDP-43 or FUS coexist with misfolded HuWtSOD1 in patient motor neurons, and can trigger its misfolding in cultured cells. Here, we used immunocytochemistry and immunoprecipitation to demonstrate that TDP-43 or FUS-induced misfolded HuWtSOD1 can propagate from cell-to-cell via conditioned media, and seed cytotoxic misfolding of endogenous HuWtSOD1 in the recipient cells in a prion-like fashion. Knockdown of SOD1 using siRNA in recipient cells, or incubation of conditioned media with misfolded SOD1-specific antibodies, inhibits intercellular transmission, indicating that HuWtSOD1 is an obligate seed and substrate of propagated misfolding. In this system, intercellular spread of SOD1 misfolding is not accompanied by transmission of TDP-43 or FUS pathology. Our findings argue that pathological TDP-43 and FUS may exert motor neuron pathology in ALS through the initiation of propagated misfolding of SOD1.
Project description:Aggregation of mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is a pathological hallmark of a subset of familial ALS patients. However, the possible role of misfolded wild type SOD1 in human ALS is highly debated. To ascertain whether or not misfolded SOD1 is a common pathological feature in non-SOD1 ALS, we performed a blinded histological and biochemical analysis of post mortem brain and spinal cord tissues from 19 sporadic ALS, compared with a SOD1 A4V patient as well as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and non-neurological controls. Multiple conformation- or misfolded-specific antibodies for human SOD1 were compared. These were generated independently by different research groups and were compared using standardized conditions. Five different misSOD1 staining patterns were found consistently in tissue sections from SALS cases and the SOD1 A4V patient, but were essentially absent in AD and non-neurological controls. We have established clear experimental protocols and provide specific guidelines for working, with conformational/misfolded SOD1-specific antibodies. Adherence to these guidelines will aid in the comparison of the results of future studies and better interpretation of staining patterns. This blinded, standardized and unbiased approach provides further support for a possible pathological role of misSOD1 in SALS.
Project description:A prion-like mechanism has been developed to explain the observed promotion of amyloid aggregation caused by conversion of structurally intact SOD1 to a misfolded form. Superoxide dismutase [Cu-Zn], or SOD1, is a homo-dimeric protein that functions as an antioxidant by scavenging for superoxide. The misfolding and aggregation of SOD1 is linked to inherited, or familial, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease. Aberrant SOD1 folding has also been strongly implicated in disease causation for sporadic ALS, or SALS, which accounts for ~90% of ALS cases. Studies have found that mutant, misfolded SOD1 can convert wtSOD1 in a prion-like fashion, and that misfolded wtSOD1 can be propagated by release and uptake of protein aggregates. Here it is demonstrated that enervating the SOD1 electrostatic loop can lead to an experimentally observed gain of interaction (GOI) responsible for the formation of SOD1 amyloid-like filaments. This enervation is caused in turn by the formation of transient, non-obligate oligomers between pathogenic SOD1 mutants and wt SOD1.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal adult-onset degenerative neuromuscular disorder with a poorly defined etiology, progresses in an orderly spatiotemporal manner from one or more foci within the nervous system, reminiscent of prion disease pathology. We have previously shown that misfolded mutant Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1), mutation of which is associated with a subset of ALS cases, can induce endogenous wild-type SOD1 misfolding in the intracellular environment in a templating fashion similar to that of misfolded prion protein. Our recent observations further extend the prion paradigm of pathological SOD1 to help explain the intercellular transmission of disease along the neuroaxis. It has been shown that both mutant and misfolded wild-type SOD1 can traverse cell-to-cell either as protein aggregates that are released from dying cells and taken up by neighboring cells via macropinocytosis, or released to the extracellular environment on the surface of exosomes secreted from living cells. Furthermore, once propagation of misfolded wild-type SOD1 has been initiated in human cell culture, it continues over multiple passages of transfer and cell growth. Propagation and transmission of misfolded wild-type SOD1 is therefore a potential mechanism in the systematic progression of ALS pathology.
Project description:Human wild-type superoxide dismutase-1 (wtSOD1) is known to coaggregate with mutant SOD1 in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS), in double transgenic models of FALS, and in cell culture systems, but the structural determinants of this process are unclear. Here we molecularly dissect the effects of intracellular and cell-free obligately misfolded SOD1 mutant proteins on natively structured wild-type SOD1. Expression of the enzymatically inactive, natural familial ALS SOD1 mutations G127X and G85R in human mesenchymal and neural cell lines induces misfolding of wild-type natively structured SOD1, as indicated by: acquisition of immunoreactivity with SOD1 misfolding-specific monoclonal antibodies; markedly enhanced protease sensitivity suggestive of structural loosening; and nonnative disulfide-linked oligomer and multimer formation. Expression of G127X and G85R in mouse cell lines did not induce misfolding of murine wtSOD1, and a species restriction element for human wtSOD1 conversion was mapped to a region of sequence divergence in loop II and ?-strand 3 of the SOD1 ?-barrel (residues 24-36), then further refined surprisingly to a single tryptophan residue at codon 32 (W32) in human SOD1. Time course experiments enabled by W32 restriction revealed that G127X and misfolded wtSOD1 can induce misfolding of cell-endogenous wtSOD1. Finally, aggregated recombinant G127X is capable of inducing misfolding and protease sensitivity of recombinant human wtSOD1 in a cell-free system containing reducing and chelating agents; cell-free wtSOD1 conversion was also restricted by W32. These observations demonstrate that misfolded SOD1 can induce misfolding of natively structured wtSOD1 in a physiological intracellular milieu, consistent with a direct protein-protein interaction.