Clinicopathologic study on an ALS family with a heterozygous E478G optineurin mutation

ArticleinActa Neuropathologica 122(2):223-9 · June 2011with21 Reads
Impact Factor: 10.76 · DOI: 10.1007/s00401-011-0842-y · Source: PubMed

We investigated a family manifesting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with a heterozygous E478G mutation in the optineurin (OPTN) gene. Clinically, slow deterioration of motor function, mood and personality changes, temporal lobe atrophy on neuroimaging, and bizarre finger deformity were noted. Neuropathologically, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43)-positive neuronal intracytoplasmic inclusions were observed in the spinal and medullary motor neurons. In these cells, the immunoreactivity of nuclear TDP-43 was reduced. Consecutive sections revealed that the inclusions were also reactive with anti-ubiquitin and anti-p62 antibodies, but noticeably negative for OPTN. In addition, TDP-43/p62-positive glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) were scattered throughout the spinal cord and the medullary motor nuclei. Furthermore, Golgi fragmentation was identified in 70% of the anterior horn cells (AHCs). The presence of AHCs with preserved nuclear TDP-43 and a fragmented Golgi apparatus, which are unrecognizable in sporadic ALS, indicates that patients with the E4787G OPTN mutation would manifest Golgi fragmentation before loss of nuclear TDP-43. In the neocortex, GCIs were sparsely scattered among the primary motor and temporal cortices, but no neuronal TDP-43-positive inclusions were detected. In the amygdala and the ambient gyrus, argyrophilic grains and ballooned neurons were seen. The thorough neuropathologic investigations performed in this work demonstrated that OPTN-positive inclusion bodies, if any, were not prominent. We postulate that optineurinopathy is closely linked with TDP-proteinopathy and speculate that this heterozygous E478G mutation would cause ALS by acting through a dominant-negative mechanism.

Supplementary resources

    • "Golgi fragmentation is a frequent feature in motor neurons of ALS patients, where it may occur in 10-50% of motor neurons in sporadic and SOD1-ALS patients [6,20,21] and up to 70% of the motor neurons in some patients with familial ALS and ALS-like disorders [22,23]. The occurrence of Golgi fragmentation correlates with nuclear-to-cytoplasmic redistribution of TDP-43 and the presence of TDP-43 positive inclusions in sporadic ALS motor neurons [24]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fragmentation of stacked cisterns of the Golgi apparatus into dispersed smaller elements is a feature associated with degeneration of neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and some other neurodegenerative disorders. However, the role of Golgi fragmentation in motor neuron degeneration is not well understood. Here we use a SOD1-ALS mouse model (low-copy Gurney G93A-SOD1 mouse) to show that motor neurons with Golgi fragmentation are retrogradely labeled by intramuscularly injected CTB (beta subunit of cholera toxin), indicating that Golgi fragmentation precedes neuromuscular denervation and axon retraction. We further show that Golgi fragmentation may occur in the absence of and precede two other pathological markers, i.e. somatodendritic SOD1 inclusions, and the induction of ATF3 expression. In addition, we show that Golgi fragmentation is associated with an altered dendritic organization of the Golgi apparatus, does not depend on intact apoptotic machinery, and is facilitated in transgenic mice with impaired retrograde dynein-dependent transport (BICD2-N mice). A connection to altered dynein-dependent transport also is suggested by reduced expression of endosomal markers in neurons with Golgi fragmentation, which also occurs in neurons with impaired dynein function. Together the data indicate that Golgi fragmentation is a very early event in the pathological cascade in ALS that is associated with altered organization of intracellular trafficking.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014
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    • "E478G, a missense mutation in the UBD region, is associated with ALS. Patients with heterozygous E478G mutation had later onset with slower progression (Ito et al. 2011). It was suggested that the E478G mutant might have a dominant-negative effect. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Optineurin is a gene associated with normal tension glaucoma (NTG) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Foci formation and functional consequences including Golgi fragmentation, impairment of vesicle trafficking and apoptosis were observed previously upon overexpression and/or mutation of optineurin. In the current study, a total of 15 GFP tagged constructs that included NTG (E50K and 2 bp-AG insertion), ALS (exon 5 deletion, R96L, Q398X, and E478G) and non-disease (L157A and D474N) associated mutants and a series of deletion fragments were cloned into mammalian expression vectors and transfected into RGC5 and/or Neuro2A cells to evaluate whether their expression confer the optineurin phenotypes. The cells were monitored for foci formation and stained by immunofluorescence with anti-GM130 to analyze the Golgi integrity. Transferrin uptake experiments were performed to evaluate the protein trafficking process and apoptosis was assessed with the active caspase 3/7 detection kit. We demonstrated that cells expressing E50K and R96L optineurin exhibited all of the optineurin phenotypes. Q398X mutant did not induce foci formation, but triggered Golgi fragmentation, impairment of transferrin uptake and increase in apoptosis. The 2 bp-AG insertion mutant had a nuclear localization, compromised the transferrin uptake and strongly induced apoptosis. The foci formation, which might not predict the rest of the phenotypes, appeared to require both the leucine zipper and ubiquitin binding domains of the optineurin sequence. Interactions of optineurin with proteins including Rab8, myosin VI, huntingtin and transferrin receptor might directly determine whether the Golgi and protein trafficking phenotypes would be manifested. Examination of mutants and deletion fragments located at various sites of optineurin gene provide clues as to what regions of the gene may play a critical role in the development of pathologic consequences.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · SpringerPlus
    0Comments 9Citations
    • "These causes can be classified into several categories: (1) Gene mutations that enhance the mutant protein aggregation propensity and cause ALS-FTLD with TDP-43 aggregation. Examples in this category include VCP, optineurin, dynactin, ataxin 2 and ubiquilin 2. All the mutant proteins form aggregates and some form coaggregates with wild-type TDP-43 [9,6566676869. The mechanism whereby these mutants cause TDP-43 aggregation is not understood. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2006, TAR-DNA binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43) was discovered to be in the intracellular aggregates in the degenerating cells in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), two fatal neurodegenerative diseases [1,2]. ALS causes motor neuron degeneration leading to paralysis [3,4]. FTLD causes neuronal degeneration in the frontal and temporal cortices leading to personality changes and a loss of executive function [5]. The discovery triggered a flurry of research activity that led to the discovery of TDP-43 mutations in ALS patients and the widespread presence of TDP-43 aggregates in numerous neurodegenerative diseases. A key question regarding the role of TDP-43 is whether it causes neurotoxicity by a gain of function or a loss of function. The gain-of-function hypothesis has received much attention primarily based on the striking neurodegenerative phenotypes in numerous TDP-43-overexpression models. In this review, I will draw attention to the loss-of-function hypothesis, which postulates that mutant TDP-43 causes neurodegeneration by a loss of function, and in addition, by exerting a dominant-negative effect on the wild-type TDP-43 allele. Furthermore, I will discuss how a loss of function can cause neurodegeneration in patients where TDP-43 is not mutated, review the literature in model systems to discuss how the current data support the loss-of-function mechanism and highlight some key questions for testing this hypothesis in the future.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Molecular Neurodegeneration
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