Targeting ER-mitochondria signaling as a therapeutic target for frontotemporal dementia and related amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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Abstract

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are two major neurodegenerative diseases. FTD is the second most common cause of dementia and ALS is the most common form of motor neuron disease. These diseases are now known to be linked. There are no cures or effective treatments for FTD or ALS and so new targets for therapeutic intervention are required but this is hampered by the large number of physiological processes that are damaged in FTD/ALS. Many of these damaged functions are now known to be regulated by signaling between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria. This signaling is mediated by “tethering” proteins that serve to recruit ER to mitochondria. One tether strongly associated with FTD/ALS involves an interaction between the ER protein VAPB and the mitochondrial protein PTPIP51. Recent studies have shown that ER-mitochondria signaling is damaged in FTD/ALS and that this involves breaking of the VAPB-PTPIP51 tethers. Correcting disrupted tethering may therefore correct many other downstream damaged features of FTD/ALS. Here, we review progress on this topic with particular emphasis on targeting of the VAPB-PTPIP51 tethers as a new drug target.

Original languageEnglish
Article number915931
JournalFrontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2022

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