Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a terminal late-onset condition characterized by the loss of upper and lower motor neurons. Mutations in more than 30 genes are associated to the disease, but these explain only ~20% of cases. The molecular functions of these genes implicate a wide range of cellular processes in ALS pathology, a cohesive understanding of which may provide clues to common molecular mechanisms across both familial (inherited) and sporadic cases and could be key to the development of effective therapeutic approaches. Here, the different pathways that have been investigated in ALS are summarized, discussing in detail: mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, axonal transport dysregulation, glutamate excitotoxicity, endosomal and vesicular transport impairment, impaired protein homeostasis, and aberrant RNA metabolism. This review considers the mechanistic roles of ALS-associated genes in pathology, viewed through the prism of shared molecular pathways.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was financed by the European Union Regional Development Fund (ERDF) EU Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for N. Ireland, Northern Ireland Public Health Agency (HSC R&D) & Ulster University (PI: A Bjourson). LLG was a recipient of the ArSLA PhD fellowship, OC was a recipient of the PhD DELL fellowship, EA was a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Scholarships, and UGV was a recipient of the TargetALS fellowship (PI: S Duguez).
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- oxidative stress
- mitochondria dysfunction
- axonal transport
- RNA metabolism
- Oxidative stress
- Mitochondria dysfunction
- Axonal transport