An over-oxidized form of superoxide dismutase found in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with bulbar onset shares a toxic mechanism with mutant SOD1

Weinberg Unit for ALS Research, Department of Neuroscience, Farber Institute for Neurosciences, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 03/2012; 109(13):5074-9. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1115402109
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent studies suggest that Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) could be pathogenic in both familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) through either inheritable or nonheritable modifications. The presence of a misfolded WT SOD1 in patients with sporadic ALS, along with the recently reported evidence that reducing SOD1 levels in astrocytes derived from sporadic patients inhibits astrocyte-mediated toxicity on motor neurons, suggest that WT SOD1 may acquire toxic properties similar to familial ALS-linked mutant SOD1, perhaps through posttranslational modifications. Using patients' lymphoblasts, we show here that indeed WT SOD1 is modified posttranslationally in sporadic ALS and is iper-oxidized (i.e., above baseline oxidation levels) in a subset of patients with bulbar onset. Derivatization analysis of oxidized carbonyl compounds performed on immunoprecipitated SOD1 identified an iper-oxidized SOD1 that recapitulates mutant SOD1-like properties and damages mitochondria by forming a toxic complex with mitochondrial Bcl-2. This study conclusively demonstrates the existence of an iper-oxidized SOD1 with toxic properties in patient-derived cells and identifies a common SOD1-dependent toxicity between mutant SOD1-linked familial ALS and a subset of sporadic ALS, providing an opportunity to develop biomarkers to subclassify ALS and devise SOD1-based therapies that go beyond the small group of patients with mutant SOD1.

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