LSM12-EPAC1 defines a neuroprotective pathway that sustains the nucleocytoplasmic RAN gradient

Jongbo Lee, Jumin Park, Ji Hyung Kim, Giwook Lee, Tae Eun Park, Ki Jun Yoon, Yoon Ki Kim, Chunghun Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Nucleocytoplasmic transport (NCT) defects have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases such as C9ORF72-associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia (C9-ALS/FTD). Here, we identify a neuroprotective pathway of like-Sm protein 12 (LSM12) and exchange protein directly activated by cyclic AMP 1 (EPAC1) that sustains the nucleocytoplasmic RAN gradient and thereby suppresses NCT dysfunction by the C9ORF72-derived poly(glycine-arginine) protein. LSM12 depletion in human neuroblastoma cells aggravated poly(GR)-induced impairment of NCT and nuclear integrity while promoting the nuclear accumulation of poly(GR) granules. In fact, LSM12 posttranscriptionally up-regulated EPAC1 expression, whereas EPAC1 overexpression rescued the RAN gradient and NCT defects in LSM12-deleted cells. C9-ALS patient-derived neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (C9-ALS iPSNs) displayed low expression of LSM12 and EPAC1. Lentiviral overexpression of LSM12 or EPAC1 indeed restored the RAN gradient, mitigated the pathogenic mislocalization of TDP-43, and suppressed caspase-3 activation for apoptosis in C9-ALS iPSNs. EPAC1 depletion biochemically dissociated RAN-importin β1 from the cytoplasmic nuclear pore complex, thereby dissipating the nucleocytoplasmic RAN gradient essential for NCT. These findings define the LSM12-EPAC1 pathway as an important suppressor of the NCT-related pathologies in C9-ALS/FTD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3001002
JournalPLoS biology
Issue number12 December
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 23

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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