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Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Jan 1;22(1):51-60. doi: 10.1093/hmg/dds399. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Expression of wild-type human superoxide dismutase-1 in mice causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Department of Medical Biosciences, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå, Sweden.


A common cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is mutations in the gene encoding superoxide dismutase-1. There is evolving circumstantial evidence that the wild-type protein can also be neurotoxic and that it may more generally be involved in the pathogenesis of ALS. To test this proposition more directly, we generated mice that express wild-type human superoxide dismutase-1 at a rate close to that of mutant superoxide dismutase-1 in the commonly studied G93A transgenic model. These mice developed an ALS-like syndrome and became terminally ill after around 370 days. The loss of spinal ventral neurons was similar to that in the G93A and other mutant superoxide dismutase-1 models, and large amounts of aggregated superoxide dismutase-1 were found in spinal cords, but also in the brain. The findings show that wild-type human superoxide dismutase-1 has the ability to cause ALS in mice, and they support the hypothesis of a more general involvement of the protein in the disease in humans.

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