Differential effects of mutant SOD1 on protein structure of skeletal muscle and spinal cord of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Role of chaperone network

Rochelle Wei, Arunabh Bhattacharya, Ryan T. Hamilton, Amanda L. Jernigan, Asish R. Chaudhuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Protein misfolding is considered to be a potential contributing factor for motor neuron and muscle loss in diseases like Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Several independent studies have demonstrated using over-expressed mutated Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (mSOD1) transgenic mouse models which mimic familial ALS (f-ALS), that both muscle and motor neurons undergo degeneration during disease progression. However, it is unknown whether protein conformation of skeletal muscle and spinal cord is equally or differentially affected by mSOD1-induced toxicity. It is also unclear whether heat shock proteins (Hsp's) differentially modulate skeletal muscle and spinal cord protein structure during ALS disease progression. We report three intriguing observations utilizing the f-ALS mouse model and cell-free in vitro system; (i) muscle proteins are equally sensitive to misfolding as spinal cord proteins despite the presence of low level of soluble and absence of insoluble G93A protein aggregate, unlike in spinal cord, (ii) Hsp's levels are lower in muscle compared to spinal cord at any stage of the disease, and (iii) G93ASOD1 enzyme-induced toxicity selectively affects muscle protein conformation over spinal cord proteins. Together, these findings strongly suggest that differential chaperone levels between skeletal muscle and spinal cord may be a critical determinant for G93A-induced protein misfolding in ALS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-223
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 16 2013



  • BisANS
  • Familial ALS
  • Heat shock proteins
  • Mutant SOD1
  • Protein conformation
  • Surface hydrophobicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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