FASEB J. 2024 Feb 15;38(3):e23461. doi: 10.1096/fj.202301979R.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive skeletal muscle denervation and loss of motor neurons that results in muscle atrophy and eventual death due to respiratory failure. Previously, we identified a novel SOD1L84F variation in a familial ALS case. In this study, we examined the functional consequences of SOD1L84F overexpression in the mouse motor neuron cell line (NSC-34). The cells expressing SOD1L84F showed increased oxidative stress and increased cell death. Interestingly, SOD1L84F destabilized the native dimer and formed high molecular weight SDS-resistant protein aggregates. Furthermore, SOD1L84F also decreased the percentage of differentiated cells and significantly reduced neurite length. A plethora of evidence suggested active involvement of skeletal muscle in disease initiation and progression. We observed differential processing of the mutant SOD1 and perturbations of cellular machinery in NSC-34 and muscle cell line C2C12. Unlike neuronal cells, mutant protein failed to accumulate in muscle cells probably due to the activated autophagy, as evidenced by increased LC3-II and reduced p62. Further, SOD1L84F altered mitochondrial dynamics only in NSC-34. In addition, microarray analysis also revealed huge variations in differentially expressed genes between NSC-34 and C2C12. Interestingly, SOD1L84F hampered the endogenous FUS autoregulatory mechanism in NSC-34 by downregulating retention of introns 6 and 7 resulting in a two-fold upregulation of FUS. No such changes were observed in C2C12. Our findings strongly suggest the differential processing and response towards the mutant SOD1 in neuronal and muscle cell lines.