Dynactin1 mutations associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their effect on axonal transport and neuromuscular junction formation

Abstract : Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease, which is mainly sporadic in nature. This progressive pathology has an estimated incidence of 1:1000 and generally leads to death within 2-5 years of diagnosis due to muscle wasting and severe motor neuron loss. Over the last years, mutations have been identified in both sporadic and familial ALS patients, interfering with the function of many genes, including DCTN1, which encodes for a subunit of the motor protein complex subunit dynactin. The dynactin complex serves as an adaptor for the dynein motor complex, responsible for retrograde axonal transport, and it is believed to regulate dynein activity and the binding capacity for cargos. We set out to characterize a mutant zebrafish line for dynactn1a (named mikre okom632, mokm632), looking specifically at caudal primary motor neurons (CaPs), with regard to axonal development, formation and stability of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and the behavioral phenotype produced in embryos, as well as axonal transport metrics. We suggest a role for dynactin1 in synapse stability, where the loss-of-function of this gene leads to growth defects, electrophysiological abnormalities and behavioral deficits. This role appears to be independent of its known function as a regulator of dynein, its implication in axonal transport, or its regulation of microtubule dynamics. With this study, we hope to elucidate key molecular mechanisms in ALS etiology by revealing the role of dynactin1 in NMJ development and maintenance.
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Valérie Bercier. Dynactin1 mutations associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their effect on axonal transport and neuromuscular junction formation. Neurons and Cognition [q-bio.NC]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017PA066176⟩. ⟨tel-02292543⟩

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