Sixteen novel mutations in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A decade of discoveries, defects and disputes
Since the discovery of mutations in the gene encoding Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) ten years ago, testing for SOD1 gene mutations has become a part of the investigation of patients with suspected motor neuron disease. We searched for novel SOD1 mutations and for clinical characteristics of patients with these mutations.
Analysis was made of patient files at the Neurogenetic DNA Diagnostic Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. We also scrutinized available medical records and examined patients with the different SOD1 mutations.
One hundred and forty eight (148) of 2045 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients carried a disease-associated mutation in the SOD1 gene. The most prevalent was the A4V missense mutation, found in 41% of those patients. Sixteen novel exonic mutations (L8V, F20C, Q22L, H48R, T54R, S591, V87A, T88deltaTAD, A89T, V97M, S105deltaSL, V118L, D124G, G141X, G147R, 11515) were found, bringing the total number of SOD1 gene mutations in ALS to 105.
Mutations in the SOD1 gene are found both in sporadic and familial ALS cases without any definite predilection for any part of the gene. A common structural denominator for the 16 novel mutations or previously reported mutations is not obvious. Similarly, the nature of the putative acquired toxic function of mutant SOD1 remains unresolved. We conclude that patients with SOD1 mutations may infrequently show symptoms and signs unrelated to the motor systems, sometimes obscuring the diagnosis of ALS.
Available from: Heather J Mortiboys
- "The majority of ALS cases are sporadic but around 10% are familial in origin . Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1) was the first gene identified as mutated in ALS , and accounts for approximately 2% of all ALS cases , . SOD1 is a ubiquitously expressed metalloenzyme that catalyses the dismutation of superoxide radicals into hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen. "
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ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the progressive degeneration of motor neurons. Substantial evidence implicates oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction as early events in disease progression. Our aim was to ascertain whether mutation of the SOD1 protein increases metabolic functional susceptibility to oxidative stress. Here we used a motor neuron-like cell line (NSC34) stably transfected with various human mutant SOD1 transgenes (G93A, G37R, H48Q) to investigate the impact of oxidative stress on cell viability and metabolic function within intact cells. NSC34 cells expressing mutant SOD1 showed a dose dependent reduction in cell viability when exposed to oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide, with variation between mutations. The G93A transfectants showed greater cell death and LDH release compared to cells transfected with the other SOD1 mutations, and H48Q showed an accelerated decline at later time points. Differences in mitochondrial bioenergetics, including mitochondrial respiration, coupling efficiency and proton leak, were identified between the mutations, consistent with the differences observed in viability. NSC34 cells expressing G93A SOD1 displayed reduced coupled respiration and mitochondrial membrane potential compared to controls. Furthermore, the G93A mutation had significantly increased metabolic susceptibility to oxidative stress, with hydrogen peroxide increasing ROS production, reducing both cellular oxygen consumption and glycolytic flux in the cell. This study highlights bioenergetic defects within a cellular model of ALS and suggests that oxidative stress is not only detrimental to oxygen consumption but also glycolytic flux, which could lead to an energy deficit in the cell.
Available from: Serdar Kabatas
- "The only clinically available therapy to date is riluzole (Rilutek), which marginally extends survival by limiting excitotoxicity  and increasing neurotrophin release from astrocytes . The majority of ALS cases are sporadic, whereas only 10% are familial (FALS) , among which 15-20% can be traced to point mutations in cytosolic Cu 2+ /Zn 2+ superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) . "
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ABSTRACT: We here propose an updated concept of stem cells (SCs), with an emphasis on neural stem cells (NSCs). The conventional view, which has touched principally on the essential property of lineage multipotency (e.g., the ability of NSCs to differentiate into all neural cells), should be broadened to include the emerging recognition of biofunctional multipotency of SCs to mediate systemic homeostasis, evidenced in NSCs in particular by the secretion of neurotrophic factors. Under this new conceptual context and taking the NSC as a leading example, one may begin to appreciate and seek the "logic" behind the wide range of molecular tactics the NSC appears to serve at successive developmental stages as it integrates into and prepares, modifies, and guides the surrounding CNS micro- and macro-environment towards the formation and self-maintenance of a functioning adult nervous system. We suggest that embracing this view of the "multipotency" of the SCs is pivotal for correctly, efficiently, and optimally exploiting stem cell biology for therapeutic applications, including reconstitution of a dysfunctional CNS.
Available from: Cristina Cereda
- "Many of the mutations are at present unique to individual families. Correlation between mutations and phenotype has been investigated, because of a large variability in phenotype in term of disease progression, extramotor features, and age of onset but is generally difficult to predict on the basis of the SOD1 mutations . "
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ABSTRACT: Copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is a detoxifying enzyme localized in the cytosol, nucleus, peroxisomes, and mitochondria. The discovery that mutations in SOD1 gene cause a subset of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS) has attracted great attention, and studies to date have been mainly focused on discovering mutations in the coding region and investigation at protein level. Considering that changes in SOD1 mRNA levels have been associated with sporadic ALS (SALS), a molecular understanding of the processes involved in the regulation of SOD1 gene expression could not only unravel novel regulatory pathways that may govern cellular phenotypes and changes in diseases but also might reveal therapeutic targets and treatments. This review seeks to provide an overview of SOD1 gene structure and of the processes through which SOD1 transcription is controlled. Furthermore, we emphasize the importance to focus future researches on investigating posttranscriptional mechanisms and their relevance to ALS.
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