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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Jul 26;102(30):10516-21. Epub 2005 Jul 14.

Destabilization of apoprotein is insufficient to explain Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase-linked ALS pathogenesis.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


The relative stabilities and structural properties of a representative set of 20 ALS-mutant Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase apoproteins were examined by using differential scanning calorimetry and hydrogen-deuterium (H/D) exchange followed by MS. Contrary to recent reports from other laboratories, we found that ALS-mutant apoproteins are not universally destabilized by the disease-causing mutations. For example, several of the apoproteins with substitutions at or near the metal binding region (MBR) (MBR mutants) exhibited melting temperatures (Tm) in the range 51.6 degrees C to 56.2 degrees C, i.e., similar to or higher than that of the WT apoprotein (Tm = 52.5 degrees C). The apoproteins with substitutions remote from the MBR (WT-like mutants) showed a wide range of Tms, 40.0 degrees C to 52.4 degrees C. The H/D exchange properties of the mutants were also wide-ranging: the MBR mutant apoproteins exhibited H/D exchange kinetics similar to the WT apoprotein, as did some of the more stable WT-like mutant apoproteins, whereas the less stable apoproteins exhibited significantly less protection from H/D exchange than the WT apoprotein. Most striking were the three mutant apoproteins, D101N, E100K, and N139K, which have apparently normal metallation properties, and differ little from the WT apoprotein in either thermal stability or H/D exchange kinetics. Thus, the ALS mutant Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase apoproteins do not all share reduced global stability, and additional properties must be identified and understood to explain the toxicity of all of the mutant proteins.

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