Analysis of proteome-wide degradation dynamics in ALS SOD1 iPSC-derived patient neurons reveals disrupted VCP homeostasis

Konstantinos Tsioras, Kevin C. Smith, Seby L. Edassery, Mehraveh Garjani, Yichen Li, Chloe Williams, Elizabeth D. McKenna, Wenxuan Guo, Anika P. Wilen, Timothy J. Hark, Stefan L. Marklund, Lyle W. Ostrow, Jonathan D. Gilthorpe, Justin K. Ichida, Robert G. Kalb, Jeffrey N. Savas, Evangelos Kiskinis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mutations in SOD1 cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) through gain-of-function effects, yet the mechanisms by which misfolded mutant SOD1 (mutSOD1) protein impairs human motor neurons (MNs) remain unclear. Here, we use induced-pluripotent-stem-cell-derived MNs coupled to metabolic stable isotope labeling and mass spectrometry to investigate proteome-wide degradation dynamics. We find several proteins, including the ALS-causal valosin-containing protein (VCP), which predominantly acts in proteasome degradation and autophagy, that degrade slower in mutSOD1 relative to isogenic control MNs. The interactome of VCP is altered in mutSOD1 MNs in vitro, while VCP selectively accumulates in the affected motor cortex of ALS-SOD1 patients. Overexpression of VCP rescues mutSOD1 toxicity in MNs in vitro and in a C. elegans model in vivo, in part due to its ability to modulate the degradation of insoluble mutSOD1. Our results demonstrate that VCP contributes to mutSOD1-dependent degeneration, link two distinct ALS-causal genes, and highlight selective protein degradation impairment in ALS pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113160
JournalCell reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 31 2023


  • ALS
  • CP: Neuroscience
  • CP: Stem cell research
  • SILAC-based mass spectrometry
  • SOD1
  • VCP/p97
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • iPSCs
  • motor neurons
  • protein degradation
  • ubiquitin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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