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ALS-linked FUS mutations confer loss and gain of function in the nucleus by promoting excessive formation of dysfunctional paraspeckles

An, Haiyan, Skelt, Lucy, Notaro, Antonietta, Highley, J. Robin, Fox, Archa H., La Bella, Vincenzo, Buchman, Vladimir L. ORCID: and Shelkovnikova, Tatyana A. ORCID: 2019. ALS-linked FUS mutations confer loss and gain of function in the nucleus by promoting excessive formation of dysfunctional paraspeckles. Acta Neuropathologica Communications 7 , 7. 10.1186/s40478-019-0658-x

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Mutations in the FUS gene cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS-FUS). Mutant FUS is known to confer cytoplasmic gain of function but its effects in the nucleus are less understood. FUS is an essential component of paraspeckles, subnuclear bodies assembled on a lncRNA NEAT1. Paraspeckles may play a protective role specifically in degenerating spinal motor neurons. However it is still unknown how endogenous levels of mutant FUS would affect NEAT1/paraspeckles. Using novel cell lines with the FUS gene modified by CRISPR/Cas9 and human patient fibroblasts, we found that endogenous levels of mutant FUS cause accumulation of NEAT1 isoforms and paraspeckles. However, despite only mild cytoplasmic mislocalisation of FUS, paraspeckle integrity is compromised in these cells, as confirmed by reduced interaction of mutant FUS with core paraspeckle proteins NONO and SFPQ and increased NEAT1 extractability. This results in NEAT1 localisation outside paraspeckles, especially prominent under conditions of paraspeckle-inducing stress. Consistently, paraspeckle-dependent microRNA production, a readout for functionality of paraspeckles, is impaired in cells expressing mutant FUS. In line with the cellular data, we observed paraspeckle hyper-assembly in spinal neurons of ALS-FUS patients. Therefore, despite largely preserving its nuclear localisation, mutant FUS leads to loss (dysfunctional paraspeckles) and gain (excess of free NEAT1) of function in the nucleus. Perturbed fine structure and functionality of paraspeckles accompanied by accumulation of non-paraspeckle NEAT1 may contribute to the disease severity in ALS-FUS.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 2051-5960
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 January 2019
Date of Acceptance: 7 January 2019
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2023 02:38

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