Multi-Study Proteomic and Bioinformatic Identification of Molecular Overlap between Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

Darija Šoltić, Melissa Bowerman, Joanne Stock, Hannah K Shorrock, Thomas H Gillingwater, Heidi R Fuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Unravelling the complex molecular pathways responsible for motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) remains a persistent challenge. Interest is growing in the potential molecular similarities between these two diseases, with the hope of better understanding disease pathology for the guidance of therapeutic development. The aim of this study was to conduct a comparative analysis of published proteomic studies of ALS and SMA, seeking commonly dysregulated molecules to be prioritized as future therapeutic targets. Fifteen proteins were found to be differentially expressed in two or more proteomic studies of both ALS and SMA, and bioinformatics analysis identified over-representation of proteins known to associate in vesicles and molecular pathways, including metabolism of proteins and vesicle-mediated transport-both of which converge on endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi trafficking processes. Calreticulin, a calcium-binding chaperone found in the ER, was associated with both pathways and we independently confirm that its expression was decreased in spinal cords from SMA and increased in spinal cords from ALS mice. Together, these findings offer significant insights into potential common targets that may help to guide the development of new therapies for both diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Sciences
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2018

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