SOD1 associates to membranes in its folded apo-state
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease accompanied by misfolding and intracellular deposition of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). Although the molecular details behind this misfolding process are yet poorly understood, increasing evidence suggest that SOD1 is most susceptible to misfolding in its metal-free and relatively unstable apo-state. Here, we addressed the question, if misfolding and aggregation of SOD1 involves erroneous interactions with membranes as has been implicated for the Aβ peptide in Alzheimers disease. To examine this possibility we subjected various apo SOD1 variants to the presence of different membrane systems. The results reveal that wild type apoSOD1 but to less extent destabilized ALS mutations interact with charged vesicles under physiologically relevant conditions, thereby acquiring pronounced helical structural features. As the data further show, the protein binds to the membranes by an electrostatically driven mechanism, which requires a folded apo-state conformation and a negative membrane surface potential. Unfolded SOD1 molecules show no appreciable affinity to the membrane surfaces yielding a correlation between increased stability, i. e. occupancy of folded molecules and extend of membrane association. Since this trend opposes the correlation between decreased SOD1 stability and progression of neural damage, the results suggest that membrane association is not part of the ALS mechanism. An explanation could be that the observed membrane association of apo SOD1 is reversible and does not ‘bleed out’ in irreversible aggregation as observed for other precursors of protein-misfolding diseases.
Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26314OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-26314DiVA: diva2:241776