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Neurotox Res. 2011 Aug;20(2):150-8. doi: 10.1007/s12640-010-9230-y. Epub 2010 Nov 17.

Flavin-containing monooxygenase mRNA levels are up-regulated in als brain areas in SOD1-mutant mice.

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  • 1Lab of Experimental Neurobiology, IRCCS National Neurological Institute C. Mondino, Via Mondino, 2, 27100, Pavia, Italy.


Flavin-containing monooxygenases (FMOs) are a family of microsomal enzymes involved in the oxygenation of a variety of nucleophilic heteroatom-containing xenobiotics. Recent results have pointed to a relation between Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and FMO genes. ALS is an adult-onset, progressive, and fatal neurodegenerative disease. We have compared FMO mRNA expression in the control mouse strain C57BL/6J and in a SOD1-mutated (G93A) ALS mouse model. Fmo expression was examined in total brain, and in subregions including cerebellum, cerebral hemisphere, brainstem, and spinal cord of control and SOD1-mutated mice. We have also considered expression in male and female mice because FMO regulation is gender-related. Real-Time TaqMan PCR was used for FMO expression analysis. Normalization was done using hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (Hprt) as a control housekeeping gene. Fmo genes, except Fmo3, were detectably expressed in the central nervous system of both control and ALS model mice. FMO expression was generally greater in the ALS mouse model than in control mice, with the highest increase in Fmo1 expression in spinal cord and brainstem. In addition, we showed greater Fmo expression in males than in female mice in the ALS model. The expression of Fmo1 mRNA correlated with Sod1 mRNA expression in pathologic brain areas. We hypothesize that alteration of FMO gene expression is a consequence of the pathological environment linked to oxidative stress related to mutated SOD1.

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