Smads as muscle biomarkers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Academic Article


  • Objective: To identify molecular signatures in muscle from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that could provide insight into the disease process and serve as biomarkers. Methods: RNA sequencing was performed on ALS and control muscle samples to identify Smad family members as potential markers of disease. Validation studies were performed in a cohort of 27 ALS patients and 33 controls. The markers were assessed in the G93A superoxide dismutase (SOD)1 mouse at different stages of disease and in a model of sciatic nerve injury. Results: Smad8, and to a lesser extent Smad1 and 5, mRNAs were significantly elevated in human ALS muscle samples. The markers displayed a remarkably similar pattern in the G93A SOD1 mouse model of ALS with increases detected at preclinical stages. Expression at the RNA and protein levels as well as protein activation (phosphorylation) significantly increased with disease progression in the mouse. The markers were also elevated to a lesser degree in gastrocnemius muscle following sciatic nerve injury, but then reverted to baseline during the muscle reinnervation phase. Interpretation: These data indicate that Smad1, 5, 8 mRNA and protein levels, as well as Smad phosphorylation, are elevated in ALS muscle and could potentially serve as markers of disease progression or regression.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 9155862
  • Author List

  • Si Y; Cui X; Kim S; Wians R; Sorge R; Oh SJ; Kwan T; AlSharabati M; Lu L; Claussen G
  • Start Page

  • 778
  • End Page

  • 787
  • Volume

  • 1
  • Issue

  • 10