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1.  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 2-Deficiency Leads to Neuronal Degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis through Altered AMPA Receptor Trafficking 
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease is caused by a selective loss of motor neurons. One form of juvenile onset autosomal recessive ALS (ALS2) has been linked to the loss of function of the ALS2 gene. The pathogenic mechanism of ALS2-deficiency, however, remains unclear. To further understand the function of alsin that is encoded by the full-length ALS2 gene, we screened proteins interacting with alsin. Here, we report that alsin interacted with glutamate receptor interacting protein 1 (GRIP1) both in vitro and in vivo, and colocalized with GRIP1 in neurons. In support of the physiological interaction between alsin and GRIP1, the subcellular distribution of GRIP1 was altered in ALS2-/- spinal motor neurons, which correlates with a significant reduction of AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit 2 (GluR2) at the synaptic/cell surface of ALS2-/- neurons. The decrease of calcium-impermeable GluR2-containing AMPA receptors at the cell/synaptic surface rendered ALS2-/- neurons more susceptible to glutamate receptor-mediated neurotoxicity. Our findings reveal a novel function of alsin in AMPA receptor trafficking and provide a novel pathogenic link between ALS2-deficiency and motor neuron degeneration, suggesting a protective role of alsin in maintaining the survival of motor neurons.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2084-06.2006
PMCID: PMC2556290  PMID: 17093100
ALS2; knock-out mouse; motor neuron; GRIP1; AMPA receptor; excitotoxicity
2.  Analysis of IFT74 as a candidate gene for chromosome 9p-linked ALS-FTD 
BMC Neurology  2006;6:44.
Background
A new locus for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – frontotemporal dementia (ALS-FTD) has recently been ascribed to chromosome 9p.
Methods
We identified chromosome 9p segregating haplotypes within two families with ALS-FTD (F476 and F2) and undertook mutational screening of candidate genes within this locus.
Results
Candidate gene sequencing at this locus revealed the presence of a disease segregating stop mutation (Q342X) in the intraflagellar transport 74 (IFT74) gene in family 476 (F476), but no mutation was detected within IFT74 in family 2 (F2). While neither family was sufficiently informative to definitively implicate or exclude IFT74 mutations as a cause of chromosome 9-linked ALS-FTD, the nature of the mutation observed within F476 (predicted to truncate the protein by 258 amino acids) led us to sequence the open reading frame of this gene in a large number of ALS and FTD cases (n = 420). An additional sequence variant (G58D) was found in a case of sporadic semantic dementia. I55L sequence variants were found in three other unrelated affected individuals, but this was also found in a single individual among 800 Human Diversity Gene Panel samples.
Conclusion
Confirmation of the pathogenicity of IFT74 sequence variants will require screening of other chromosome 9p-linked families.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-6-44
PMCID: PMC1764752  PMID: 17166276

Results 1-2 (2)