Characterizing SOD1 mutations in Spain. The impact of genotype, age, and sex in the natural history of the disease

Eur J Neurol. 2022 Dec 9. doi: 10.1111/ene.15661. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: The aim of this study is to describe the frequency and distribution of SOD1 mutations in Spain, and to explore those factors contributing to their phenotype and prognosis.

Methods: Seventeen centres shared data on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients carrying pathogenic or likely pathogenic SOD1 variants. Multivariable models were used to explore prognostic modifiers.

Results: In 144 patients (from 88 families), 29 mutations (26 missense, 2 deletion/insertion and 1 frameshift) were found in all 5 exons of SOD1, including 7 novel mutations. 2.6% of ALS patients (including 17.7% familial and 1.3% sporadic) were estimated to carry SOD1 mutations. Its frequency varied considerably between regions, due to founder events. The most frequent mutation was p.Gly38Arg (n = 58), followed by p.Glu22Gly (n = 11), p.Asn140His (n = 10), and the novel p.Leu120Val (n = 10). Most mutations were characterized by a protracted course, and some of them by atypical phenotypes. Older age of onset was independently associated with faster disease progression (exp(Estimate) = 1.03 [0.01, 0.05], p = 0.001) and poorer survival (HR = 1.05 [1.01, 1.08], p = 0.007), regardless of the underlying mutation. Female sex was independently associated to faster disease progression (exp(Estimate) = 2.1 [1.23, 3.65], p = 0.012) in patients carrying the p.Gly38Arg mutation, resulting in shorter survival compared with male carriers (236 vs 301 months).

Conclusions: These data may help to evaluate the efficacy of SOD1 targeted treatments, and to expand the number of patients that might benefit from these treatments.

Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; SOD1; motor neuron disease; mutation; prevalence; prognosis.