Marinesco-Sjogren syndrome protein SIL1 regulates motor neuron subtype-selective ER stress in ALS
Mechanisms underlying motor neuron subtype selective endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and associated axonal pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remain unclear. Here we show that the molecular environment of the ER between motor neuron subtypes is distinct, with characteristic signatures. We identify cochaperone SILL mutated in Marinesco-Sjogren syndrome (MSS), as being robustly expressed in disease-resistant slow motor neurons but not in ER stress prone fast-fatigable motor neurons. In a mouse model of MSS, we demonstrate impaired ER homeostasis in motor neurons in response to loss of SIL1 function. Loss of a single functional Sill allele in an ALS mouse model (SOD1-G93A) enhanced ER stress and exacerbated ALS pathology. In SOD1-G93A mice, SIL1 levels were progressively and selectively reduced in vulnerable fast-fatigable motor neurons. Mechanistically, reduction in SIL1 levels was associated with lowered excitability of fast-fatigable motor neurons, further influencing expression of specific ER chaperones. Adeno-associated virus mediated delivery of SIL1 to familial ALS motor neurons restored ER homeostasis, delayed muscle denervation and prolonged survival.