Identification of rare protein disulfide isomerase gene variants in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurology; Wellstone Center for FSHD



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Amino Acid Sequence; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Humans; Molecular Sequence Data; Protein Disulfide-Isomerases; Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


Genetics and Genomics | Molecular Genetics | Nervous System Diseases | Neurology


Disruption of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteostasis is a salient feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Upregulation of ER foldases of the protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) family has been reported in ALS mouse models and spinal cord tissue and body fluids derived from sporadic ALS cases. Although in vitro studies suggest a neuroprotective role of PDIs in ALS, the possible contribution of genetic mutations of these ER foldases in the disease process remains unknown. Interestingly, intronic variants of the PDIA1 gene were recently reported as a risk factor for ALS. Here, we initially screened for mutations in two major PDI genes (PDIA1/P4HB and PDIA3/ERp57) in a US cohort of 96 familial and 96 sporadic ALS patients using direct DNA sequencing. Then, 463 familial and 445 sporadic ALS patients from two independent cohorts were also screened for mutations in these two genes using whole exome sequencing. A total of nine PDIA1 missense variants and seven PDIA3 missense variants were identified in 16 ALS patients. We have identified several novel and rare single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in both genes that are enriched in ALS cases compared with a large group of control subjects showing a frequency of around 1% in ALS cases. The possible biological and structural impact of these ALS-linked PDI variants is also discussed.

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Citation: Gene. 2015 Jul 25;566(2):158-65. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2015.04.035. Epub 2015 Apr 22. Link to article on publisher's site

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