Compositional analysis of ALS-linked stress granule-like structures reveals factors and cellular pathways dysregulated by mutant FUS under stress [article]

Haiyan An, Gioana Litscher, Wenbin Wei, Naruaki Watanabe, Tadafumi Hashimoto, Takeshi Iwatsubo, Vladimir L Buchman, Tatyana A Shelkovnikova
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Formation of cytoplasmic RNA-protein structures called stress granules (SGs) is a highly conserved cellular response to stress. Abnormal metabolism of SGs may contribute to the pathogenesis of (neuro)degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Many SG proteins are affected by mutations causative of these conditions, including fused in sarcoma (FUS). Mutant FUS variants have high affinity to SGs and also spontaneously form de novo cytoplasmic RNA granules. Mutant
more » ... ning assemblies (mFAs), often called 'pathological SGs', are proposed to play a role in ALS-FUS pathogenesis. However, global structural differences between mFAs and physiological SGs remain largely unknown, therefore it is unclear whether and how mFAs may affect cellular stress responses. Here we used affinity purification to characterise the protein and RNA composition of normal SGs and mFAs purified from stressed cells. Comparison of the SG and mFA proteomes revealed that proteasome subunits and certain nucleocytoplasmic transport factors are depleted from mFAs, whereas translation elongation, mRNA surveillance and splicing factors as well as mitochondrial proteins are enriched in mFAs, as compared to SGs. Validation experiments for a hit from our analysis, a splicing factor hnRNPA3, confirmed its RNA-dependent sequestration into mFAs in cells and into pathological FUS inclusions in a FUS transgenic mouse model. Furthermore, silencing of the Drosophila hnRNPA3 ortholog dramatically enhanced FUS toxicity in transgenic flies. Comparative transcriptomic analysis of SGs and mFAs revealed that mFAs recruit a significantly less diverse spectrum of RNAs, including reduced recruitment of transcripts encoding proteins involved in protein translation, DNA damage response, and apoptotic signalling. However mFAs abnormally sequester certain mRNAs encoding proteins involved in stress signalling cascades. Overall, our study establishes molecular differences between physiological SGs and mFAs and identifies the spectrum of proteins, RNAs and respective cellular pathways affected by mFAs in stressed cells. In conclusion, we show that mFAs are compositionally distinct from SGs and that they cannot fully substitute for SG functions while gaining novel, potentially toxic functions in cellular stress response. Results of our study support a pathogenic role for stress-induced cytoplasmic FUS assemblies in ALS-FUS.
doi:10.1101/2021.03.02.433611 fatcat:f3nb4oszkvbergwbrd4sgmoyoa