Functional Contribution of the Transcription Factor ATF4 to the Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
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CitationMatus, Soledad, Estefanía Lopez, Vicente Valenzuela, Melissa Nassif, and Claudio Hetz. 2013. “Functional Contribution of the Transcription Factor ATF4 to the Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.” PLoS ONE 8 (7): e66672. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066672. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0066672.
AbstractEndoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress represents an early pathological event in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ATF4 is a key ER stress transcription factor that plays a role in both adaptation to stress and the activation of apoptosis. Here we investigated the contribution of ATF4 to ALS. ATF4 deficiency reduced the rate of birth of SOD1G86R transgenic mice. The fraction of ATF4−/−-SOD1G85R transgenic mice that were born are more resistant to develop ALS, leading to delayed disease onset and prolonged life span. ATF4 deficiency completely attenuated the induction of pro-apoptotic genes, including BIM and CHOP, and also led to quantitative changes in the ER protein homeostasis network. Unexpectedly, ATF4 deficiency enhanced mutant SOD1 aggregation at the end stage of the disease. Studies in the motoneuron cell line NSC34 demonstrated that knocking down ATF4 enhances mutant SOD1 aggregation possibly due to alteration in the redox status of the cell. Our results support a functional role of ATF4 in ALS, offering a novel target for disease intervention.
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