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Neuroscientist. 2015 Oct;21(5):519-29. doi: 10.1177/1073858414561795. Epub 2014 Dec 9.

SOD1 Function and Its Implications for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Pathology: New and Renascent Themes.

Author information

1
Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.
2
Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK e.fisher@prion.ucl.ac.uk.

Abstract

The canonical role of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is as an antioxidant enzyme protecting the cell from reactive oxygen species toxicity. SOD1 was also the first gene in which mutations were found to be causative for the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more than 20 years ago. ALS is a relentless and incurable mid-life onset disease, which starts with a progressive paralysis and usually leads to death within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis; in the majority of cases, the intellect appears to remain intact while the motor system degenerates. It rapidly became clear that when mutated SOD1 takes on a toxic gain of function in ALS. However, this novel function remains unknown and many cellular systems have been implicated in disease. Now it seems that SOD1 may play a rather larger role in the cell than originally realized, including as a key modulator of glucose signaling (at least so far in yeast) and in RNA binding. Here, we consider some of the new findings for SOD1 in health and disease, which may shed light on how single amino acid changes at sites throughout this protein can cause devastating neurodegeneration in the mammalian motor system.

KEYWORDS:

ALS; SOD1; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; motor neuron; superoxide dismutase 1

PMID:
25492944
DOI:
10.1177/1073858414561795
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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