Discovery of Highly Toxic SOD1 Protein in Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ―Expectations of a New Target toward the Development of Treatments for Intractable Neurological Diseases―
November 27, 2019 Keio University
Keio University Faculty of Science and Technology Associate Professor Yoshiaki Furukawa and Research Associate Eiichi Tokuda (at the time of research; currently an assistant professor at Nihon University School of Pharmacy) conducted joint research with Vice Director Shinji Ohara of the National Hospital Organization Matsumoto Medical Center Department of Neurology (currently at the Iida Hospital Department of Neurology), Professor Isao Hozumi of the Gifu Pharmaceutical University Laboratory of Medical Therapeutics and Molecular Therapeutics, and Professor Noriko Fujiwara of the Hyogo College of Medicine Department of Biochemistry, discovering for the first time that cerebrospinal fluid collected from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease, contains SOD1 proteins with extremely high cytotoxicity. It was previously known that ALS develops when a mutation occurs in the SOD1 gene that encodes the SOD1 protein, but even in sporadic ALS, for which the genetic background is unclear, it is suggested that abnormalities of the SOD proteins are involved in the onset of the disease. Because 90 to 95% of ALS cases are sporadic, the findings in this study are very important when considering the mechanisms that cause ALS and methods for its treatment.
The research was supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas for "Integrated Bio-metal Science", etc., and the outcomes of this research were presented in the online issue of the international scientific journal Molecular Neurodegeneration on November 19, 2019.
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