Mouse motor neuron disease caused by truncated SOD1 with or without C-terminal modification

Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2005 Apr 27;135(1-2):12-20. doi: 10.1016/j.molbrainres.2004.11.019.


Mutation of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) contributes to a portion of the cases of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS). We previously reported on a FALS family whose members had a mutant form of SOD1 characterized by a 2-base pair (bp) deletion at codon 126 of the SOD1 gene. To investigate the cellular consequences of this mutation, we produced transgenic mice that expressed normal and mutated copies of human SOD1: wild-type SOD1 (W), wild-type SOD1 with a FLAG epitope at C-terminal (WF), mutated SOD1 with the 2-bp deletion (D), and SOD1 with the 2-bp deletion with FLAG (DF). The mice heterozygotic for the human mutated SOD1 (D and DF) showed distinct ALS-like motor symptoms, whereas the mice heterozygotic for the normal SOD1 (W and WF) mice did not. Homozygotes of D and DF lines showed the ALS symptoms at an earlier age and died earlier than the heterozygotes. By Northern blot analysis, the mRNAs for all human SOD1s were confirmed in these lines. All the human SOD1 proteins, except the D mutant, were detectable by immunoblot. The D protein was only confirmed when it was concentrated by immunoprecipitation. Neuropathologically, loss of spinal motor neurons and reactive gliosis were common features in the symptomatic lines. The remaining motor neurons in these mice also exhibited eosinophilic inclusions. The biochemical and pathological characteristics of these mice are quite similar to those of human FALS patients with same mutation. This intriguing model will provide an important source of information of the pathogenesis of FALS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern / methods
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Gliosis / pathology
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Immunoprecipitation / methods
  • Inclusion Bodies / enzymology
  • Inclusion Bodies / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic / physiology*
  • Motor Neuron Disease / enzymology
  • Motor Neuron Disease / genetics*
  • Motor Neuron Disease / physiopathology
  • Motor Neurons / enzymology
  • Motor Neurons / pathology
  • Mutation*
  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Spinal Cord / enzymology
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1
  • Time Factors


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • SOD1 protein, human
  • FLAG peptide
  • Sod1 protein, mouse
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1