RT2 PCR array screening reveals distinct perturbations in DNA damage response signaling in FUS-associated motor neuron disease

Haibo Wang, Suganya Rangaswamy, Manohar Kodavati, Joy Mitra, Wenting Guo, Erika N. Guerrero, Ludo Van Den Bosch, Muralidhar Hegde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative motor neuron disease that has been linked to defective DNA repair. Many familial ALS patients harbor autosomal dominant mutations in the gene encoding the RNA/DNA binding protein 'fused in sarcoma' (FUS) commonly inducing its cytoplasmic mislocalization. Recent reports from our group and others demonstrate a role of FUS in maintaining genome integrity and the DNA damage response (DDR). FUS interacts with many DDR proteins and may regulate their recruitment at damage sites. Given the role of FUS in RNA transactions, here we explore whether FUS also regulates the expression of DDR factors. We performed RT2 PCR arrays for DNA repair and DDR signaling pathways in CRISPR/Cas9 FUS knockout (KO) and shRNA mediated FUS knockdown (KD) cells, which revealed significant (> 2-fold) downregulation of BRCA1, DNA ligase 4, MSH complex and RAD23B. Importantly, similar perturbations in these factors were also consistent in motor neurons differentiated from an ALS patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line with a FUS-P525L mutation, as well as in postmortem spinal cord tissue of sporadic ALS patients with FUS pathology. BRCA1 depletion has been linked to neuronal DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) accumulation and cognitive defects. The ubiquitin receptor RAD23 functions both in nucleotide excision repair and proteasomal protein clearance pathway and is thus linked to neurodegeneration. Together, our study suggests that the FUS pathology perturbs DDR signaling via both its direct role and the effect on the expression of DDR genes. This underscors an intricate connections between FUS, genome instability, and neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103
JournalMolecular Brain
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 4 2019


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • DNA damage response
  • DNA repair
  • Motor neuron disease
  • RT PCR array

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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