Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis mutations have the greatest destabilizing effect on the apo- and reduced form of SOD1, leading to unfolding and oxidative aggregation

Yoshiaki Furukawa, Thomas V. O'Halloran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

181 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mutant forms of Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) that cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) exhibit toxicity that promotes the death of motor neurons. Proposals for the toxic properties typically involve aberrant catalytic activities or protein aggregation. The striking thermodynamic stability of mature forms of the ALS mutant SOD1 (Tm >70 °C) is not typical of protein aggregation models that involve unfolding. Over 44 states of the polypeptide are possible, depending upon metal occupancy, disulfide status, and oligomeric state; however, it is not clear which forms might be responsible for toxicity. Recently the intramolecular disulfide has been shown to be required for SOD1 activity, leading us to examine these states of several disease-causing SOD1 mutants. We find that ALS mutations have the greatest effect on the most immature form of SOD1, destabilizing the metal-free and disulfide-reduced polypeptide to the point that it is unfolded at physiological temperatures (Tm < 37 °C). We also find that immature states of ALS mutant (but not wild type) proteins readily form oligomers at physiological concentrations. Furthermore, these oligomers are more susceptible to mild oxidative stress, which promotes incorrect disulfide cross-links between conserved cysteines and drives aggregation. Thus it is the earliest disulfide-reduced polypeptitles in the SOD1 assembly pathway that are most destabilized with respect to unfolding and oxidative aggregation by ALS-causing mutations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17266-17274
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume280
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Apr 29
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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