Copper to a Rescue in ALS Mice

February 6, 2016 - als

With a shower of what researchers jokingly call “brick dust,” scientists easy health to a unequivocally ill rodent indication of amyotrophic parallel sclerosis, fluctuating a one- to two-week lifespan to roughly dual years. As reported in a Jan 27 Neurobiology of Disease online, a researchers treated a mice with CuATSM, a reddish copper chelator that can lift a steel into a mind and spinal cord. There, a speculation goes, a chelator releases Cu ions to a Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase 1, an enzyme that causes a singular patrimonial form of ALS when deteriorated and tends to total when it’s blank a copper. While a rodent overexpressing both tellurian mutant SOD1 and a copper chaperone CCS responded quite good to a treatment, CuATSM also extended a life of a some-more customary ALS indication carrying usually a SOD1 transgene. The Australian association Collaborative Medicinal Therapeutics skeleton to start a Phase 1 reserve investigate of CuATSM in people with ALS this year. Senior author Joseph Beckman of Oregon State University in Corvallis advises the company.

“The biggest warn is that these mice are equivocal cured. we have never seen that,” commented Fernando Vieira of a ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was not concerned in a work. While a anticipating worried fad among people with ALS, Beckman cautioned that copper and polluted preparations of CuATSM can be toxic.

Beckman and colleagues trust a drug works by provision copper not usually to SOD1, though also to cytochrome oxidase c (COX), a respiratory enzyme that loses a copper to SOD1 in a mSOD1xCCS mice.


Diacetylbis(4-methylthiosemicarbazone), or ATSM for short, chelated copper.

Mutations in a SOD1 enzyme, that underlie about 2 percent of ALS cases, meddle with a ability to connect metals. Mature SOD1 dimers full with both copper and zinc ions are rarely stable, though justification suggests a juvenile forms though their steel corner tend to misfold and total (see Apr 2009 news; May 2009 news; Oct 2014 news). This fact led scientists to suppose that copper should repair a deformed enzyme. Researchers attempted co-expressing a tellurian gene for CCS in SOD1-transgenic mice, though that done a animals worse. They survived for usually a few weeks, while mice with mutant SOD1 alone lived for months (Son et al., 2007). Some scientists consider a additional CCS competence have commandeered all accessible copper, flitting it to a overexpressed SOD1 and withdrawal other Cu-dependent proteins, such as COX, high and dry. “I consider it [CCS] is unequivocally throwing a wrench in a whole system,” pronounced Giovanni Manfredi of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who did not minister to a current paper.

Surprise Save
Beckman’s organisation was investigate given those mSOD1xCCS mice fell so ill when researchers from a University of Melbourne who worked with CuATSM visited his lab. The scientists motionless to try a devalue in one double transgenic mouse, that was incompetent to mount and nearby a finish of a short lifespan.

The researchers dissolved CuATSM in dimethyl sulfoxide and dribbled in onto a pup’s neck, where it was fast engrossed by a skin. A few hours later, a rodent was adult and moving.

Restoring Balance. When a copper chaperone CCS is in excess, it transfers all a copper entering a dungeon to SOD1, withdrawal cytochrome c oxidase copper-deficient. Additional copper, delivered by CuATSM, provides adequate of a steel for both proteins. [Image pleasantness of Williams et al., 2016; Creative Commons permit 4.0.]

Surprised, a researchers hypothesized that a combined copper from CuATSM was adequate to outfit both SOD1 and COX with a metal, permitting a rodent to tarry (see figure above). The researchers steady their success in several some-more mice, afterwards started a blinded, randomized hearing helmed by investigate initial author Jared Williams.

Williams and colleagues treated females with CuATSM a day after mating, so their embryos would get a copper and equivocate developmental problems compared with a CCS expression. Once a pups were born, a scientists separate them into 3 groups. Of 30 pups, 17 continued on a CuATSM diagnosis around their lives. These mice remained active over a year. By 600 days, many struggled to control their rear legs. They survived for 366 to 660 days. Regular lab mice typically live for 1.5-2 years, and mice with usually SOD1-G93A transgenes live for about 133 days.

For an additional 6 pups, a authors stopped a remedy once they reached 21 days. The mice grew routinely for another integrate of months, though started to have difficulty relocating their rear legs around 70 to 90 days. They died between 122 and 132 days.

Then, in 7 some-more pups, a researchers stopped a diagnosis during 21 days, though restarted it during about 80 days when symptoms emerged. These mice recovered some transformation control over a subsequent dual months, though eventually got worse and died between 302 and 377 days.

Trials Ahead
Beckman and colleagues also attempted CuATSM in some-more standard SOD1-G93A mice that do not have a CCS transgene. Starting diagnosis when animals were 50 days aged extended life by about 3 weeks, to 155 days, confirming prior reports that a chelator could advantage SOD1 mice (McAllum et al., 2013; Roberts et al., 2014). 

“This could be a unequivocally good drug for mutant SOD1 ALS patients,” commented Jeffrey Rothstein of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who was not concerned in a study. Other experts who spoke with Alzforum agreed. “I consider that it’s unequivocally good value exploring,” pronounced Lucie Bruijn of a ALS Association.

However, mutant SOD1 accounts for usually a fragment of people with a disease. “I am not certain if it is going to have an impact on occasionally disease,” pronounced Bruijn. Rothstein and Vieira doubted it would, though Beckman suspected it competence given a normal protein has been celebrated to misfold in occasionally cases (see Oct 2010 news). Bruijn cautioned that a jump from mice to humans is a large one, generally given CuATSM worked best in mice that overexpressed both tellurian mSOD1 and CCS, and usually wrongly in animals that overexpressed usually mSOD1. Beckman and colleagues argued that a double transgenics improved simulate a SOD1:CCS ratio in people than do mice that overexpress only mSOD1.

Beckman pronounced that if CuATSM proves protected and effective, he envisions it as a preventative that someone with a SOD1 turn competence take for decades. He concurred that researchers would need to know copiousness some-more about a proton before any use as a long-term treatment.

The tellurian investigate starts this year. Collaborative Medicinal Therapeutics skeleton to start a Phase 1 investigate in April, with sites in Melbourne and Sydney, pronounced association boss Craig Rosenfeld. He estimates a hearing will enroll 30 to 50 people, both patrimonial and occasionally cases, who will all accept sharpening doses of CuATSM for 28 days.—Amber Dance

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News Citations

  1. No Metal, No Stability: Structure of Apo SOD1 10 Apr 2009
  2. Frustrated ALS Enzyme: SOD1 Sacrifices Structural Stability for Function 29 May 2009
  3. Enzyme Structure Linked to ALS Severity 24 Oct 2014
  4. Research Brief: SOD1 in Sporadic ALS Suggests Common Pathway 22 Oct 2010

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    Overexpression of CCS in G93A-SOD1 mice leads to accelerated neurological deficits with serious mitochondrial pathology.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Apr 3;104(14):6072-7.
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    Therapeutic effects of Cu(II)(atsm) in a SOD1-G37R rodent indication of amyotrophic parallel sclerosis.
    Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2013 Dec;14(7-8):586-90.
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    Oral diagnosis with Cu(II)(atsm) increases mutant SOD1 in vivo though protects engine neurons and improves a phenotype of a transgenic rodent indication of amyotrophic parallel sclerosis.
    J Neurosci. 2014 Jun 4;34(23):8021-31.

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  1. Creative Commons permit 4.0


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    Zn(II)(atsm) is protecting in amyotrophic parallel sclerosis indication mice around a copper smoothness mechanism.
    Neurobiol Dis. 2015 Mar 10;
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    The hypoxia imaging representative CuII(atsm) is neuroprotective and improves engine and cognitive functions in mixed animal models of Parkinson’s disease.
    J Exp Med. 2012 Apr 9;209(4):837-54.
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    PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42277.
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    Diacetylbis(N(4)-methylthiosemicarbazonato) copper(II) (CuII(atsm)) protects opposite peroxynitrite-induced nitrosative repairs and prolongs presence in amyotrophic parallel sclerosis rodent model.
    J Biol Chem. 2011 Dec 23;286(51):44035-44.
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    Increased oxidative highlight is associated to illness astringency in a ALS engine cortex: A PET study.
    Neurology. 2015 May 19;84(20):2033-9. Epub 2015 Apr 22

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