ALS-linked mutant SOD1 induces ER stress- and ASK1-dependent motor neuron death by targeting Derlin-1

Hideki Nishitoh, Hisae Kadowaki, Atsushi Nagai, Takeshi Maruyama, Takanori Yokota, Hisashi Fukutomi, Takuya Noguchi, Atsushi Matsuzawa, Kohsuke Takeda, Hidenori Ichijo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

394 Citations (Scopus)


Mutation in Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is a cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutant SOD1 protein (SOD1mut) induces motor neuron death, although the molecular mechanism of SOD1 mut-induced cell death remains controversial. Here we show that SOD1mut specifically interacted with Derlin-1, a component of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) machinery and triggered ER stress through dysfunction of ERAD. SOD1mut-induced ER stress activated the apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1)-dependent cell death pathway. Perturbation of binding between SOD1mut and Derlin-1 by Derlin-1-derived oligopeptide suppressed SOD1mut-induced ER stress, ASK1 activation, and motor neuron death. Moreover, deletion of ASK1 mitigated the motor neuron loss and extended the life span of SOD1mut transgenic mice. These findings demonstrate that ER stress-induced ASK1 activation, which is triggered by the specific interaction of Derlin-1 with SOD1mut, is crucial for disease progression of familial ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1464
Number of pages14
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes


  • ASK1
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Derlin-1
  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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