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Nat Neurosci. 2006 Jan;9(1):108-18. Epub 2005 Dec 20.

Chromogranin-mediated secretion of mutant superoxide dismutase proteins linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Laval University, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l' Université Laval, 2705 boulevard Laurier, Sainte-Foy, Quebec G1V 4G2, Canada.


Here we report that chromogranins, components of neurosecretory vesicles, interact with mutant forms of superoxide dismutase (SOD1) that are linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but not with wild-type SOD1. This interaction was confirmed by yeast two-hybrid screen and by co-immunoprecipitation assays using either lysates from Neuro2a cells coexpressing chromogranins and SOD1 mutants or lysates from spinal cord of ALS mice. Confocal and immunoelectron microscopy revealed a partial colocalization of mutant SOD1 with chromogranins in spinal cord of ALS mice. Mutant SOD1 was also found in immuno-isolated trans-Golgi network and in microsome preparations, suggesting that it can be secreted. Indeed we report evidence that chromogranins may act as chaperone-like proteins to promote secretion of SOD1 mutants. From these results, and our finding that extracellular mutant SOD1 can trigger microgliosis and neuronal death, we propose a new ALS pathogenic model based on the toxicity of secreted SOD1 mutants.

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