GSBS Student Publications

Title

Mutations in the profilin 1 gene cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Student Author(s)

Chi-Hong Wu

GSBS Program

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurology; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Date

8-23-2012

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Genetics | Genomics | Molecular Biology | Molecular Genetics | Nervous System Diseases | Neurology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder resulting from motor neuron death. Approximately 10% of cases are familial (FALS), typically with a dominant inheritance mode. Despite numerous advances in recent years, nearly 50% of FALS cases have unknown genetic aetiology. Here we show that mutations within the profilin 1 (PFN1) gene can cause FALS. PFN1 is crucial for the conversion of monomeric (G)-actin to filamentous (F)-actin. Exome sequencing of two large ALS families showed different mutations within the PFN1 gene. Further sequence analysis identified 4 mutations in 7 out of 274 FALS cases. Cells expressing PFN1 mutants contain ubiquitinated, insoluble aggregates that in many cases contain the ALS-associated protein TDP-43. PFN1 mutants also display decreased bound actin levels and can inhibit axon outgrowth. Furthermore, primary motor neurons expressing mutant PFN1 display smaller growth cones with a reduced F/G-actin ratio. These observations further document that cytoskeletal pathway alterations contribute to ALS pathogenesis.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Nature. 2012 Aug 23;488(7412):499-503. doi: 10.1038/nature11280. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version

10.1038/nature11280

Comments

Full author list omitted for brevity. For the full list of authors, see article.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

Nature

PubMed ID

22801503