Superoxide dismutase 1 subunits with mutations linked to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis do not affect wild-type subunit function

D. R. Borchelt, M. Guarnieri, P. C. Wong, M. K. Lee, H. S. Slunt, Z. S. Xu, S. S. Sisodia, D. L. Price, D. W. Cleveland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) have been linked to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a dominantly inherited motor neuron disorder of midlife. Because SOD1 is a homodimeric enzyme, dimerization of mutant and wild-type SOD1 subunits could dominantly alter the activity, stability, or localization of wild-type SOD1 subunits. To explore these possibilities, we used transient and stable gene transfection to express high levels of either of two mutant human SOD1 subunits in the presence of limited levels of wild- type mouse and/or human SOD1 subunits. Although both mutant subunits displayed diminished half-lives and free radical scavenging activities, their presence caused no change in the half-life or activity of wild-type SOD1 subunits. Our data indicate that mutant subunits do not dominantly affect the function of wild-type SOD1 subunits. These findings, together with observations that many mutant SOD1 subunits retain significant stability and activity, suggest that motor neuron damage in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is caused by the acquisition of injurious properties by mutant SOD1 subunits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3234-3238
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume270
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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