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Neurosci Lett. 2006 Jan 9;392(1-2):52-7. Epub 2005 Sep 19.

Variants in candidate ALS modifier genes linked to Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase do not explain divergent survival phenotypes.

Author information

  • 1Day Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, 114 16th Street, Navy Yard, Charlestown, 02129, USA.

Erratum in

  • Neurosci Lett. 2006 May 22;399(3):273.


Familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) accounts for 10% of all ALS cases; approximately 25% are due to mutations in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene (SOD1). In North America, SOD1(A4V) is the most common SOD1 mutation. A4V ALS cases typically have a very short survival (1-1.5 years versus 3-5 years for other dominant SOD1 mutations). A recent study of A4V carriers identified a common haplotype around the SOD1 locus, suggesting the hypothesis that genetic variations within the haplotypic region might accelerate the course of A4V cases. By contrast, SOD1(D90A/D90A) ALS cases have a very slow progression (>10 years), raising the reciprocal hypothesis that modifier genes linked to SOD1 ameliorate the phenotype of recessively inherited SOD1(D90A/D90A) mutations. In the present study, DNA sequencing of four genes within the haplotypic region shared in A4V and D90A ALS patients revealed 15 novel variants, but none result in changes in amino acid sequences specifically associated with SOD1(D90A/D90A) or SOD1(A4V) ALS. We conclude that mutations within coding regions of genes around the SOD1 locus are not responsible for the more aggressive and more benign natures of the SOD1(A4V) and SOD1(D90A/D90A) mutations, respectively.

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