The degradation of damaged proteins takes place via two major proteolytic pathways: the ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy. However, since it is unclear how these two proteolytic pathways contribute to the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we investigated the switching mechanism from UPS to autophagy by pharmacologically modifying these pathways by treating the spinal cords of female ALS mouse model bearing G93A human SOD1 (G93A mice) with MG132 or 3-methyladenine (3MA). G93A mice exhibited a progressive increase in the amount of ubiquitin and p62 aggregates, BAG3 expression, and LC3-II/LC3-I ratio in both astroglia and motor neurons. Treatment with MG132 or 3MA significantly increased the clinical hanging wire score and exacerbated α-motor neuron loss at 18 weeks in G93A mice, and increased the amount of ubiquitin, p62 aggregates, and BAG3 expression. This study's results demonstrate that the molecular switch from UPS to autophagy occurred not only in motor neurons but also in astroglia at the end stage (18 weeks) when the autophagic flux was impaired in G93A mice. This finding suggests that the defense system was disrupted against aggregate-prone protein production in ALS.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1 2021|
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
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