Cytoplasmic inclusions of the RNA-binding protein fused in sarcoma (FUS) represent one type of membraneless ribonucleoprotein compartment. Formation of FUS inclusions is promoted by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)–linked mutations, but the cellular functions affected upon inclusion formation are poorly defined. In this study, we find that FUS inclusions lead to the mislocalization of specific RNAs from fibroblast cell protrusions and neuronal axons. This is mediated by recruitment of kinesin-1 mRNA and protein within FUS inclusions, leading to a loss of detyrosinated glutamate (Glu)–microtubules (MTs; Glu-MTs) and an inability to support the localization of RNAs at protrusions. Importantly, dissolution of FUS inclusions using engineered Hsp104 disaggregases, or overexpression of kinesin-1, reverses these effects. We further provide evidence that kinesin-1 affects MT detyrosination not through changes in MT stability, but rather through targeting the tubulin carboxypeptidase enzyme onto specific MTs. Interestingly, other pathological inclusions lead to similar outcomes, but through apparently distinct mechanisms. These results reveal a novel kinesin-dependent mechanism controlling the MT cytoskeleton and identify loss of Glu-MTs and RNA mislocalization as common outcomes of ALS pathogenic mutations.
- Submitted: 5 August 2016
- Revision received 18 November 2016
- Accepted: 19 January 2017
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