Mutations in superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) polypeptides cause a form of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS). In different kindreds, harboring different mutations, the duration of illness tends to be similar for a given mutation. For example, patients inheriting a substitution of valine for alanine at position four (A4V) average a 1.5 year life expectancy after the onset of symptoms, whereas patients harboring a substitution of arginine for histidine at position 46 (H46R) average an 18 year life expectancy after disease onset. Here, we examine a number of biochemical and biophysical properties of nine different FALS variants of SOD1 polypeptides, including enzymatic activity (which relates indirectly to the affinity of the enzyme for copper), polypeptide half-life, resistance to proteolytic degradation and solubility, in an effort to determine whether a specific property of these enzymes correlates with clinical progression. We find that although all the mutants tested appear to be soluble, the different mutants show a remarkable degree of variation with respect to activity, polypeptide half-life and resistance to proteolysis. However, these variables do not stratify in a manner that correlates with clinical progression. We conclude that the basis for the different life expectancies of patients in different kindreds of sod1-linked FALS may result from an as yet unidentified property of these mutant enzymes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology