Complete loss of post-translational modifications triggers fibrillar aggregation of SOD1 in the familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
ABSTRACT Dominant mutations in Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) cause a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS), and aggregation of mutant SOD1 has been proposed to play a role in neurodegeneration. A growing body of evidence suggests that fALS-causing mutations destabilize the native structure of SOD1, leading to aberrant protein interactions for aggregation. SOD1 becomes stabilized and enzymatically active after copper and zinc binding and intramolecular disulfide formation, but it remains unknown which step(s) in the SOD1 maturation process is important in the pathological aggregation. In this study we have shown that apoSOD1 without disulfide is the most facile state for formation of amyloid-like fibrillar aggregates. fALS mutations impair either zinc binding, disulfide formation, or both, leading to accumulation of the aggregation-prone, apo, and disulfide-reduced SOD1. Moreover, we have found that the copper chaperone for SOD1 (CCS) facilitates maturation of SOD1 and that CCS overexpression ameliorates intracellular aggregation of mutant SOD1 in vivo. Based on our in vivo and in vitro results, we propose that facilitation of post-translational modifications is a promising strategy to reduce SOD1 aggregation in the cell.
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ABSTRACT: Protein framework alterations in heritable Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) mutants cause misassembly and aggregation in cells affected by the motor neuron disease ALS. However, the mechanistic relationship between superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutations and human disease is controversial, with many hypotheses postulated for the propensity of specific SOD mutants to cause ALS. Here, we experimentally identify distinguishing attributes of ALS mutant SOD proteins that correlate with clinical severity by applying solution biophysical techniques to six ALS mutants at human SOD hotspot glycine 93. A small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) assay and other structural methods assessed aggregation propensity by defining the size and shape of fibrillar SOD aggregates after mild biochemical perturbations. Inductively coupled plasma MS quantified metal ion binding stoichiometry, and pulsed dipolar ESR spectroscopy evaluated the Cu2+ binding site and defined cross-dimer copper–copper distance distributions. Importantly, we find that copper deficiency in these mutants promotes aggregation in a manner strikingly consistent with their clinical severities. G93 mutants seem to properly incorporate metal ions under physiological conditions when assisted by the copper chaperone but release copper under destabilizing conditions more readily than the WT enzyme. Altered intradimer flexibility in ALS mutants may cause differential metal retention and promote distinct aggregation trends observed for mutant proteins in vitro and in ALS patients. Combined biophysical and structural results test and link copper retention to the framework destabilization hypothesis as a unifying general mechanism for both SOD aggregation and ALS disease progression, with implications for disease severity and therapeutic intervention strategies.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2014; 111(43):E4568-76. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene are related to familial cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS). Here we exploit in-cell NMR to characterize the protein folding and maturation of a series of fALS-linked SOD1 mutants in human cells and to obtain insight into their behaviour in the cellular context, at the molecular level. The effect of various mutations on SOD1 maturation are investigated by changing the availability of metal ions in the cells, and by coexpressing the copper chaperone for SOD1, hCCS. We observe for most of the mutants the occurrence of an unstructured SOD1 species, unable to bind zinc. This species may be a common precursor of potentially toxic oligomeric species, that are associated with fALS. Coexpression of hCCS in the presence of copper restores the correct maturation of the SOD1 mutants and prevents the formation of the unstructured species, confirming that hCCS also acts as a molecular chaperone.Nature Communications 11/2014; 5:5502. · 10.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Calcium deregulation is a central feature among neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Calcium accumulates in the spinal and brain stem motor neurons of ALS patients triggering multiple pathophysiological processes which have been recently shown to include direct effects on the aggregation cascade of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). SOD1 is a Cu/Zn enzyme whose demetalated form is implicated in ALS protein deposits, contributing to toxic gain of function phenotypes. Here we undertake a combined experimental and computational study aimed at establishing the molecular details underlying the regulatory effects of Ca2 + over SOD1 aggregation potential. Isothermal titration calorimetry indicates entropy driven low affinity association of Ca2 + ions to apo SOD1, at pH 7.5 and 37 °C. Molecular dynamics simulations denote a noticeable loss of native structure upon Ca2 + association that is especially prominent at the zinc-binding and electrostatic loops, whose decoupling is known to expose the central SOD1 β-barrel triggering aggregation. Structural mapping of the preferential apo SOD1 Ca2 + binding locations reveals that among the most frequent ligands for Ca2 + are negatively-charged gatekeeper residues located in boundary positions with respect to segments highly prone to edge-to-edge aggregation. Calcium interactions thus diminish gatekeeping roles of these residues, by shielding repulsive interactions via stacking between aggregating β-sheets, partly blocking fibril formation and promoting amyloidogenic oligomers such as those found in ALS inclusions. Interestingly, many fALS mutations occur at these positions, disclosing how Ca2 + interactions recreate effects similar to those of genetic defects, a finding with relevance to understand sporadic ALS pathomechanisms.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins & Proteomics 11/2014; 1854(2):118-126. · 3.19 Impact Factor