Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive loss of motor neurons (MNs) and subsequent muscle weakness. These pathological features are associated with numerous cellular changes, including alteration in mitochondrial morphology and function. However, the molecular mechanisms associating mitochondrial structure with ALS pathology are poorly understood. In this study, we found that Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) was dephosphorylated in several ALS models, including those with SOD1 and TDP-43 mutations, and the dephosphorylation was mediated by the pathological induction of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) activity in these models. Suppression of the PP1-Drp1 cascade effectively prevented ALS-related symptoms, including mitochondrial fragmentation, mitochondrial complex I impairment, axonal degeneration, and cell death, in primary neuronal culture models, iPSC-derived human MNs, and zebrafish models in vivo. These results suggest that modulation of PP1-Drp1 activity may be a therapeutic target for multiple pathological features of ALS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research