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Institut für Neuroimmunologie und Multiple Sklerose, Zentrum für Molekulare Neurobiologie Hamburg, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Service of Clinical Pathology, Geneva Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland
Bassoon proteinopathy drives neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by inflammatory insults that drive neuroaxonal injury. However, knowledge about neuron-intrinsic responses to inflammation is limited. By leveraging neuron-specific messenger RNA profiling, we found that neuroinflammation leads to induction and toxic accumulation of the synaptic protein bassoon (Bsn) in the neuronal somata of mice and patients with MS. Neuronal overexpression of Bsn in flies resulted in reduction of lifespan, while genetic disruption of Bsn protected mice from inflammation-induced neuroaxonal injury. Notably, pharmacological proteasome activation boosted the clearance of accumulated Bsn and enhanced neuronal survival. Our study demonstrates that neuroinflammation initiates toxic protein accumulation in neuronal somata and advocates proteasome activation as a potential remedy.