Unwinding the role of Wnt signaling cascade and molecular triggers of motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

B. S. Soumya, V. P. Shreenidhi, Apoorvaa Agarwal, Rajesh Kumar Gandhirajan, Arun Dharmarajan, Sudha Warrier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative condition, triggered by various factors causing the degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons, resulting in progressive muscle wasting, paralysis, and death. Multiple in vivo and in vitro models have been established to unravel the molecular events leading to the deterioration of motor neurons in ALS. The canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling pathway has been implicated to play a crucial role in the progression of neurodegenerative disorders. This review discusses the role of Wnt signaling in the reported causes of ALS such as oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, autophagy, and apoptosis. Mutations in ALS-associated genes such as SOD1, C9orf72, TDP43, FUS, and OPTN cause an imbalance in neuronal integrity and homeostasis leading to motor neuron demise. Wnt signaling is also observed to play a crucial role in the muscle sparing of oculomotor neurons. The non-canonical Wnt/Ca2+ pathway which regulates intrinsic electrophysiological properties and mobilizes calcium ions to maintain neuronal integrity has been found to be altered in the stem cell-derived ALS model. Thus, the interplay of dysregulated canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathways in multiple motor neuron disease models has shown that Wnt contributes to disease progression indicating it to be utilized as a potential target for ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110807
JournalCellular Signalling
Volume110
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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