Tzeplaeff L. et al.
Cytoplasmic mislocalization of the nuclear Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) protein is associated to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Cytoplasmic FUS accumulation is recapitulated in the frontal cortex and spinal cord of heterozygous Fus mice. Yet, the mechanisms linking FUS mislocalization to hippocampal function and memory formation are still not characterized. Herein, we show that in these mice, the hippocampus paradoxically displays nuclear FUS accumulation. Multi-omic analyses showed that FUS binds to a set of genes characterized by the presence of an ETS/ELK-binding motifs, and involved in RNA metabolism, transcription, ribosome/mitochondria and chromatin organization. Importantly, hippocampal nuclei showed a decompaction of the neuronal chromatin at highly expressed genes and an inappropriate transcriptomic response was observed after spatial training of Fus mice. Furthermore, these mice lacked precision in a hippocampal-dependent spatial memory task and displayed decreased dendritic spine density. These studies shows that mutated FUS affects epigenetic regulation of the chromatin landscape in hippocampal neurons, which could participate in FTD/ALS pathogenic events. These data call for further investigation in the neurological phenotype of FUS-related diseases and open therapeutic strategies towards epigenetic drugs.