BTBD10, an Akt interactor, activates Akt by decreasing the protein phosphatase 2A-mediated dephosphorylation and inactivation of Akt. Overexpression of BTBD10 suppresses motor neuron death that is induced by a familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-linked superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) mutant, G93A-SOD1 in vitro. In this study, we further investigated the BTBD10-mediated suppression of motor neuron death. We found that the small interfering RNA-mediated inhibition of BTBD10 expression led to the death of cultured motor neurons. In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), disruption of the btbd-10 gene caused not only loss of neurons, including both motor and touch-receptor neurons, but also a locomotion defect. In addition, we found that the expression of BTBD10 was generally decreased in the motor neurons from patients of sporadic ALS and transgenic mice overexpressing G93A-SOD1 (G93A-SOD1-transgenic mice). Collectively, these results suggest that the reduced expression of BTBD10 leads to motor neuron death both in vitro and in vivo.
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