Activation of Phosphotyrosine-Mediated Signaling Pathways in the Cortex and Spinal Cord of SOD1G93A, a Mouse Model of Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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Degeneration of cortical and spinal motor neurons is the typical feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease for which a pathogenetic role for the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) has been demonstrated. Mice overexpressing a mutated form of the SOD1 gene (SOD1G93A) develop a syndrome that closely resembles the human disease. The SOD1 mutations confer to this enzyme a "gain-of-function," leading to increased production of reactive oxygen species. Several oxidants induce tyrosine phosphorylation through direct stimulation of kinases and/or phosphatases. In this study, we analyzed the activities of src and fyn tyrosine kinases and of protein tyrosine phosphatases in synaptosomal fractions prepared from the motor cortex and spinal cord of transgenic mice expressing SOD1G93A. We found that (i) protein phosphotyrosine level is increased, (ii) src and fyn activities are upregulated, and (iii) the activity of tyrosine phosphatases, including the striatal-enriched tyrosine phosphatase (STEP), is significantly decreased. Moreover, the NMDA receptor (NMDAR) subunit GluN2B tyrosine phosphorylation was upregulated in SOD1G93A. Tyrosine phosphorylation of GluN2B subunits regulates the NMDAR function and the recruitment of downstream signaling molecules. Indeed, we found that proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) and ERK1/2 kinase are upregulated in SOD1G93A mice. These results point out an involvement of tyrosine kinases and phosphatases in the pathogenesis of ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2430193
JournalNeural Plasticity
Publication statusPublished - 2018



  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/genetics
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Motor Cortex/metabolism
  • Phosphotyrosine/metabolism
  • Signal Transduction/physiology
  • Spinal Cord/metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase/biosynthesis

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