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Mutations in FUS are causative for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with a dominant mode of inheritance. In trying to model FUS-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in mouse it is clear that FUS is dosage-sensitive and effects arise from overexpression per se in transgenic strains. Novel models are required that maintain physiological levels of FUS expression and that recapitulate the human disease-with progressive loss of motor neurons in heterozygous animals. Here, we describe a new humanized FUS-ALS mouse with a frameshift mutation, which fulfils both criteria: the FUS Delta14 mouse. Heterozygous animals express mutant humanized FUS protein at physiological levels and have adult onset progressive motor neuron loss and denervation of neuromuscular junctions. Additionally, we generated a novel antibody to the unique human frameshift peptide epitope, allowing specific identification of mutant FUS only. Using our new FUSDelta14 ALS mouse-antibody system we show that neurodegeneration occurs in the absence of FUS protein aggregation. FUS mislocalization increases as disease progresses, and mutant FUS accumulates at the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Further, transcriptomic analyses show progressive changes in ribosomal protein levels and mitochondrial function as early disease stages are initiated. Thus, our new physiological mouse model has provided novel insight into the early pathogenesis of FUS-ALS.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/brain/awx248

Type

Journal article

Journal

Brain

Publication Date

01/11/2017

Volume

140

Pages

2797 - 2805

Keywords

ALS, Delta14, FUS, humanization, mouse, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Animals, Disease Models, Animal, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Rough, Frameshift Mutation, Gene Dosage, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Knock-In Techniques, Heterozygote, Humans, Mice, Mitochondria, Motor Neurons, Neuromuscular Junction, Protein Aggregation, Pathological, RNA-Binding Protein FUS, Ribosomal Proteins