ALS skin fibroblasts reveal oxidative stress and ERK1/2-mediated cytoplasmic localization of TDP-43

Nicla Romano, Alessia Catalani, Serena Lattante, Antonio Belardo, Silvia Proietti, Laura Bertini, Federica Silvestri, Elisabetta Catalani, Davide Cervia, Lello Zolla, Mario Sabatelli, Kristy Welshhans, Marcello Ceci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The main hallmark of many forms of familiar and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a reduction in nuclear TDP-43 protein and its inclusion in cytoplasmic aggregates in motor neurons. In order to understand which cellular and molecular mechanisms underlie the mislocalization of TDP-43, we examined human skin fibroblasts from two individuals with familial ALS, both with mutations in TDP-43, and two individuals with sporadic ALS, both without TDP-43 mutations or mutations in other ALS related genes. We found that all ALS fibroblasts had a partially cytoplasmic localization of TDP-43 and had reduced cell metabolism as compared to fibroblasts from apparently healthy individuals. ALS fibroblasts showed an increase in global protein synthesis and an increase in 4E-BP1 and rpS6 phosphorylation, which is indicative of mTORC1 activity. We also observed a decrease in glutathione (GSH), which suggests that oxidative stress is elevated in ALS. ERK1/2 activity regulated the extent of oxidative stress and the localization of TDP-43 in the cytoplasm in all ALS fibroblasts. Lastly, ALS fibroblasts showed reduced stress granule formation in response to H2O2 stress. In conclusion, these findings identify specific cellular and molecular defects in ALS fibroblasts, thus providing insight into potential mechanisms that may also occur in degenerating motor neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109591
JournalCellular Signalling
Volume70
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • ALS
  • ERK
  • Fibroblasts
  • Oxidative stress
  • Stress granules
  • TDP-43

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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