Nucleocytoplasmic mRNA redistribution accompanies RNA binding protein mislocalization in ALS motor neurons and is restored by VCP ATPase inhibition

More about Open Access at the Crick


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by nucleocytoplasmic mislocalization of the RNA-binding protein (RBP) TDP-43. However, emerging evidence suggests more widespread mRNA and protein mislocalization. Here, we employed nucleocytoplasmic fractionation, RNA sequencing, and mass spectrometry to investigate the localization of mRNA and protein in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons (iPSMNs) from ALS patients with TARDBP and VCP mutations. ALS mutant iPSMNs exhibited extensive nucleocytoplasmic mRNA redistribution, RBP mislocalization, and splicing alterations. Mislocalized proteins exhibited a greater affinity for redistributed transcripts, suggesting a link between RBP mislocalization and mRNA redistribution. Notably, treatment with ML240, a VCP ATPase inhibitor, partially restored mRNA and protein localization in ALS mutant iPSMNs. ML240 induced changes in the VCP interactome and lysosomal localization and reduced oxidative stress and DNA damage. These findings emphasize the link between RBP mislocalization and mRNA redistribution in ALS motor neurons and highlight the therapeutic potential of VCP inhibition.

Journal details

Journal Neuron
Volume 111
Issue number 19
Pages 3011-3027.e7
Available online
Publication date