Mutant FUS and ELAVL4 (HuD) Aberrant Crosstalk in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Riccardo de Santis, Vincenzo Alfano, Valeria de Turris, Alessio Colantoni, Laura Santini, Maria Giovanna Garone, Giuseppe Antonacci, Giovanna Peruzzi, Emma Sudria-Lopez, Emanuel Wyler, Jasper J. Anink, Eleonora Aronica, Markus Landthaler, R. Jeroen Pasterkamp, Irene Bozzoni, Alessandro Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been genetically linked to mutations in RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), including FUS. Here, we report the RNA interactome of wild-type and mutant FUS in human motor neurons (MNs). This analysis identified a number of RNA targets. Whereas the wild-type protein preferentially binds introns, the ALS mutation causes a shift toward 3′ UTRs. Neural ELAV-like RBPs are among mutant FUS targets. As a result, ELAVL4 protein levels are increased in mutant MNs. ELAVL4 and mutant FUS interact and co-localize in cytoplasmic speckles with altered biomechanical properties. Upon oxidative stress, ELAVL4 and mutant FUS are engaged in stress granules. In the spinal cord of FUS ALS patients, ELAVL4 represents a neural-specific component of FUS-positive cytoplasmic aggregates, whereas in sporadic patients it co-localizes with phosphorylated TDP-43-positive inclusions. We propose that pathological mutations in FUS trigger an aberrant crosstalk with ELAVL4 with implications for ALS. De Santis et al. show that the mutant RNA-binding protein FUS, linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), targets other RNA-binding proteins, such as ELAVL4, in human motor neurons. This triggers aberrant crosstalk between mutant FUS and ELAVL4, which is found in pathological inclusions of ALS patients’ motor neurons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3818-3831.e5
JournalCell reports
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019


  • Brillouin
  • ELAVL4
  • FUS
  • HuD
  • RNA-binding protein
  • TDP-43
  • amytrophic lateral sclerosis
  • motor neuron
  • stress granules

Cite this