Mislocated FUS is sufficient for gain-of-toxic-function amyotrophic lateral sclerosis phenotypes in mice

Gen Shiihashi, Daisuke Ito, Takuya Yagi, Yoshihiro Nihei, Taeko Ebine, Norihiro Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Mutations in RNA-binding proteins, including fused in sarcoma (FUS) and TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43, encoded by TARDBP), are associated with sporadic and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A major question is whether neuronal loss is caused by toxic gain-of-function cytoplasmic aggregates or loss of nuclear RNA-binding protein function. We generated a transgenic mouse overexpressing exogenous FUS without a nuclear localization signal (ΔNLS-FUS), which developed progressive spastic motor deficits and neuronal loss in the motor cortex. The ΔNLS-FUS protein was restricted to the cytoplasm and formed ubiquitin/p62-positive aggregates. Endogenous FUS expression, nuclear localization, and splicing activity were not altered, indicating that mislocated FUS is sufficient for proteinopathy. Crossing ΔNLS-FUS with wild-type human TDP-43 transgenic mice exacerbated pathological and behavioural phenotypes, suggesting that both proteins are involved in a common cascade. RNA-sequence analysis revealed specific transcriptome alterations, including genes regulating dynein-associated molecules and endoplasmic reticulum stress. ΔNLS-FUS mice are promising tools for understanding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis and testing new therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2380-2394
Number of pages15
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 1


  • RNA processing
  • TDP-43
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • frontotemporal lobar degeneration
  • protein aggregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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