Genetics of familial Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Arch Ital Biol. 2011 Mar;149(1):65-82. doi: 10.4449/aib.v149i1.1262.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late onset, rapidly progressive and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disease, caused by the loss of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. About 10% of all ALS cases are familial (FALS), and constitute a clinically and genetically heterogeneous entity. To date, FALS has been linked to mutations in 10 different genes and to four additional chromosomal loci. Research on FALS genetics, and in particular the discoveries of mutations in the SOD1, TARDBP, and FUS genes, has provided essential information toward the understanding of the pathogenesis of ALS in general. This review presents a tentative classification of all FALS-associated genes identified so far.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / genetics*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / pathology
  • Brain / pathology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Family Health*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Motor Neurons / pathology
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • RNA-Binding Protein FUS / genetics
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Protein FUS
  • SOD1 protein, human
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1