In a subgroup of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the (G4C2)-RNA repeat expansion from C9orf72 chromosome binds to the Ran-activating protein (RanGAP) at the nuclear pore, resulting in nucleocytoplasmic transport deficit and accumulation of Ran in the cytosol. Here, we found that the sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R), a molecular chaperone, reverses the pathological effects of (G4C2)-RNA repeats in cell lines and in Drosophila. The Sig-1R colocalizes with RanGAP and nuclear pore proteins (Nups) and stabilizes the latter. Interestingly, Sig-1Rs directly bind (G4C2)-RNA repeats. Overexpression of Sig-1Rs rescues, whereas the Sig-1R knockout exacerbates, the (G4C2)-RNA repeats-induced aberrant cytoplasmic accumulation of Ran. In Drosophila, Sig-1R (but not the Sig-1R-E102Q mutant) overexpression reverses eye necrosis, climbing deficit, and firing discharge caused by (G4C2)-RNA repeats. These results on a molecular chaperone at the nuclear pore suggest that Sig-1Rs may benefit patients with C9orf72 ALS/FTD by chaperoning the nuclear pore assembly and sponging away deleterious (G4C2)-RNA repeats.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)