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PFN1 phosphorylation marks protein aggregation and white matter pathology in ALS

Authors
  • Parsi, Sepideh
  • Qiao, Tao
  • Ostrow, Lyle Wilfred
  • Rust, Marco B.
  • Xu, Zuoshang
Publication Date
Oct 26, 2020
Source
[email protected]
Keywords
License
Green
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Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease is the most common form of motor neuron disease. In familial ALS, Multiple mutations of, PFN1 gene a well-known actin-binding protein have been linked to ALS disease recently. Phosphorylation in many degenerative conditions plays an important role in disease mechanism but its potential role in ALS remains not fully understood. We sought to look further into not previously studied phosphorylation of PFN1 as a potential contributor to aggregation and toxicity in ALS. Using different histochemistry and cytochemistry and molecular biology approaches, we observed that phosphorylation on Profilin shows a very distinctive pattern in PFN1C71G andSOD1G93A disease models. This modification is abundantly found in both astrocytes and white matter which latter indeed marks a staining pattern that is indistinguishable between two ALS mice model compared to controls. Interestingly, pPFN1 reactive areas colocalized with Myelin in the spinal cord are frequently found in the proximity of CD68 positive macrophages. Moreover, biochemical fractionation using ultracentrifugation detects endogenous pPFN1 in the highly insoluble fraction of protein lysate from both PFN1C71G andSOD1G93A model. Finally, a similar staining pattern to the ALS mice model was also observed in human sporadic ALS cases. Overall, our results suggest for the first time a role for phosphorylation of PFN1 in protein aggregation and white matter pathology in ALS that will shed more light on the mechanism of disease and developing potential therapeutics in near future.

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