A metal-free, disulfide oxidized form of superoxide dismutase 1 as a primary misfolded species with prion-like properties in the extracellular environments surrounding motor neuron-like cells

Chika Takashima, Yasuhiro Kosuge, Masahisa Inoue, Shin Ichi Ono, Eiichi Tokuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) is a metalloenzyme with high structural stability, but a lack of Cu and Zn ions decreases its stability and enhances the likelihood of misfolding, which is a pathological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A growing body of evidence has demonstrated that misfolded SOD1 has prion-like properties such as transmissibility between cells and intracellular propagation of misfolding of natively folded SOD1. Recently, we found that SOD1 is misfolded in the cerebrospinal fluid of sporadic ALS patients, providing a route by which misfolded SOD1 spreads via the extracellular environment of the central nervous system. Unlike intracellular misfolded SOD1, it is unknown which extracellular misfolded species is most relevant to prion-like properties. Here, we determined a conformational feature of extracellular misfolded SOD1 that is linked to prion-like properties. Using culture media from motor neuron-like cells, NSC-34, extracellular misfolded wild-type, and four ALS-causing SOD1 mutants were characterized as a metal-free, disulfide oxidized form of SOD1 (apo-SOD1S-S ). Extracellular misfolded apo-SOD1S-S exhibited cell-to-cell transmission from the culture medium to recipient cells as well as intracellular propagation of SOD1 misfolding in recipient cells. Furthermore, culture medium containing misfolded apo-SOD1S-S exerted cytotoxicity to motor neuron-like cells, which was blocked by removal of misfolded apo-SOD1S-S from the medium. We conclude that misfolded apo-SOD1S-S is a primary extracellular species that is linked to prion-like properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4155
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume22
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Extracellular environment
  • Prion-like property
  • Protein misfolding
  • Superoxide dismutase 1

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