A genetic fusion GDNF-C fragment of tetanus toxin prolongs survival in a symptomatic mouse ALS model

Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2008;26(6):459-65.


Purpose: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a paralyzing disorder that kills individuals within three to five years of onset without any possibility for effective treatment. One proposed therapy has been the use of neurotrophic factors to inhibit the apoptosis of motorneurones. At the present, one way to deliver neurotrophic factors after intramuscular injection to the motor neurones is through the use of adenoviral vectors. An alternative strategy is the use of the atoxic C fragment of tetanus toxin (TTC) as a neurotrophic factor carrier for motorneurones.

Methods: We have produced the recombinant protein fusion Glial Derived Neurotrophic Factor and C fragment of tetanus toxin (GDNF-TTC) and we have tested its antiapoptotic activity in degeneration culture cells and in the symptomatic SOD;{G93A} transgenic animal model for ALS.

Results: We demonstrated that GDNF-TTC induces the neuronal survival Akt kinase pathway in mouse cortical culture neurons and~maintains its antiapoptotic neuronal activity in Neuro2A cells. Moreover, we have found that genetic fusion is able to increase survival by 9 days and improves life quality in symptomatic ALS animal models.

Conclusion: These results suggest that recombinant GDNF-TTC fusion protein intramuscular injections provide a potential therapy for ALS treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / genetics
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / microbiology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Oncogene Protein v-akt / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / therapeutic use*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tetanus Toxin / therapeutic use*
  • Transfection


  • Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Tetanus Toxin
  • tetanus toxin fragment C
  • SOD1 G93A protein
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Oncogene Protein v-akt
  • Caspase 3