ALS-related mutant SOD1 aggregates interfere with mitophagy by sequestering the autophagy receptor optineurin

Yeong Jin Tak, Ju Hwang Park, Hyangshuk Rhim, Seongman Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive demise of motor neurons. One of the causes of familial ALS is the mutation of the gene encoding superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), which leads to abnormal protein aggregates. How SOD1 aggregation drives ALS is still poorly understood. Recently, ALS pathogenesis has been functionally implicated in mitophagy, specifically the clearance of damaged mitochondria. Here, to understand this mechanism, we investigated the relationship between the mitophagy receptor optineurin and SOD1 aggregates. We found that mutant SOD1 (mSOD1) proteins associate with and then sequester optineurin, which is required to form the mitophagosomes, to aggregates in N2a cells. Optineurin recruitment into mSOD1 aggregates resulted in a reduced mitophagy flux. Furthermore, we observed that an exogenous augmentation of optineurin alleviated the cellular cytotoxicity induced by mSOD1. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that ALS-linked mutations in SOD1 interfere with the mitophagy process through optineurin sequestration, suggesting that the accumulation of damaged mitochondria may play a crucial role in the pathophysiological mechanisms contributing to ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7525
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct 2


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Mitophagy
  • Optineurin (OPTN)
  • Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'ALS-related mutant SOD1 aggregates interfere with mitophagy by sequestering the autophagy receptor optineurin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this