Differential expression of ceruloplasmin isoforms in the cerebrospinal fluid of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients



Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) a fatal degenerative disease that selectively affects motor neurons, likely results from a complex interplay among oxidative injury, excitotoxic stimulation, protein aggregation and genetic factors. Ceruloplasmin (Cp) protein is a ferroxidase that oxidizes toxic ferrous iron to its nontoxic ferric form, protecting the central nervous system (CNS) from iron deposition. Cp is thus considered as one of the main systems dedicated to the protection of the CNS from oxidative stress damage. We investigated Cp protein behaviour in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of ALS patients of recent onset. An increased expression of Cp was observed in ALS (n = 16) compared to two control groups (healthy subjects, n = 11 and peripheral neuropathy patients, n = 10). 2-DE analysis revealed a differential expression of Cp isoforms in ALS patients compared to controls. ALS samples showed an increase in the relative abundance of more basic Cp forms, corresponding to the nonsialylated proteins. Despite the increase in protein expression, ferroxidase activity evaluated in the CSF of ALS patients was comparable to that of the controls, indicating a Cp functional impairment. Ceruloplasmin isoforms profile may be proposed as disease feature that could provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of ALS pathogenesis.