Mutations in FUS lead to synaptic dysregulation in ALS-iPSC derived neurons

Carole Shum, Erin C Hedges, Joseph Allison, Youn-Bok Lee, Natalia Arias, Graham Cocks, Siddharthan Chandran, Marc-David Ruepp, Christopher E Shaw, Agnes L Nishimura*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal, adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive muscular weakness due to the selective loss of motor neurons. Mutations in the gene Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) were identified as one cause of ALS. Here, we report that mutations in FUS lead to upregulation of synaptic proteins, increasing synaptic activity and abnormal release of vesicles at the synaptic cleft. Consequently, FUS-ALS neurons showed greater vulnerability to glutamate excitotoxicity, which raised neuronal swellings (varicose neurites) and led to neuronal death. Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is an RNA-binding protein known to regulate synaptic protein translation, and its expression is reduced in the FUS-ALS lines. Collectively, our data suggest that a reduction of FMRP levels alters the synaptic protein dynamics, leading to synaptic dysfunction and glutamate excitotoxicity. Here, we present a mechanistic hypothesis linking dysregulation of peripheral translation with synaptic vulnerability in the pathogenesis of FUS-ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number2
Early online date18 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2024


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