admin February 5, 2019

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, adult-onset neurodegenerative disease caused by degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord leading to muscle weakness. Median survival after symptom onset in patients is 3–5 years and no effective therapies are available to treat or cure ALS. Therefore, further insight is needed into the molecular and cellular mechanisms that cause motor neuron degeneration and ALS. Different ALS disease mechanisms have been identified and recent evidence supports a prominent role for defects in intracellular transport. Several different ALS-causing gene mutations (e.g., in FUS, TDP43, or C9ORF72) have been linked to defects in neuronal trafficking and a picture is emerging on how these defects may trigger disease. This review summarizes and discusses these recent findings. An overview of how endosomal and receptor trafficking are affected in ALS is followed by a description on dysregulated autophagy and ER/Golgi trafficking. Finally, changes in axonal transport and nucleocytoplasmic transport are discussed. Further insight into intracellular trafficking defects in ALS will deepen our understanding of ALS pathogenesis and will provide novel avenues for therapeutic intervention.

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