Loss of function of the ALS protein SigR1 leads to ER pathology associated with defective autophagy and lipid raft disturbances

J T Vollrath, A Sechi, A Dreser, I Katona, D Wiemuth, J Vervoorts, M Dohmen, A Chandrasekar, J Prause, E Brauers, C M Jesse, J Weis, A Goswami

Abstract

Intracellular accumulations of altered, misfolded proteins in neuronal and other cells are pathological hallmarks shared by many neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mutations in several genes give rise to familial forms of ALS. Mutations in Sigma receptor 1 have been found to cause a juvenile form of ALS and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). We recently described altered localization, abnormal modification and loss of function of SigR1 in sporadic ALS. In order to further elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying SigR1-mediated alterations in sporadic and familial ALS, we extended our previous studies using neuronal SigR1 knockdown cell lines. We found that loss of SigR1 leads to abnormal ER morphology, mitochondrial abnormalities and impaired autophagic degradation. Consistent with these results, we found that endosomal trafficking of EGFR is impaired upon SigR1 knockdown. Furthermore, in SigR1-deficient cells the transport of vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein is inhibited, leading to the accumulation of this cargo protein in the Golgi apparatus. Moreover, depletion of SigR1 destabilized lipid rafts and associated calcium mobilization, confirming the crucial role of SigR1 in lipid raft and intracellular calcium homeostasis. Taken together, our results support the notion that loss of SigR1 function contributes to ALS pathology by causing abnormal ER morphology, lipid raft destabilization and defective endolysosomal pathways.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCell death & disease
Volume5
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)e1290
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12.06.2014

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