Differences in protein quality control correlate with phenotype variability in 2 mouse models of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Marianna Marino, Simonetta Papa, Valeria Crippa, Giovanni Nardo, Marco Peviani, Cristina Cheroni, Maria Chiara Trolese, Eliana Lauranzano, Valentina Bonetto, Angelo Poletti, Silvia DeBiasi, Laura Ferraiuolo, Pamela J. Shaw, Caterina Bendotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease of variable severity in terms of speed of progression of the disease course. We found a similar variability in disease onset and progression of 2 familial ALS mouse strains, despite the fact that they carry the same transgene copy number and express the same amount of mutant SOD1G93A messenger RNA and protein in the central nervous system. Comparative analysis of 2 SOD1G93A mouse strains highlights differences associated with the disease severity that are unrelated to the degree of motor neuron loss but that appear to promote early dysfunction of these cells linked to protein aggregation. Features of fast progressing phenotype are (1) abundant protein aggregates containing mutant SOD1 and multiple chaperones; (2) low basal expression of the chaperone alpha-B-crystallin (CRYAB) and β5 subunits of proteasome; and (3) downregulation of proteasome subunit expression at disease onset. In contrast, high levels of functional chaperones such as cyclophillin-A and CRYAB, combined with delayed alteration of expression of proteasome subunits and the sequestration of TDP43 into aggregates, are features associated with a more slowly progressing pathology. These data support the hypothesis that impairment of protein homeostasis caused by low-soluble chaperone levels, together with malfunction of the proteasome degradation machinery, contributes to accelerate motor neuron dysfunction and progression of disease symptoms. Therefore, modulating the activity of these systems could represent a rational therapeutic strategy for slowing down disease progression in SOD1-related ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-504
Number of pages13
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Alpha-B-crystallin
  • ALS
  • Autophagy
  • Chaperone
  • Cyclophillin-A
  • Proteasome
  • Protein quality control
  • SOD1G93A transgenic mouse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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