Wild-type and A315T mutant TDP-43 exert differential neurotoxicity in a Drosophila model of ALS.
ABSTRACT The RNA-binding protein TDP-43 has been linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) both as a causative locus and as a marker of pathology. With several missense mutations being identified within TDP-43, efforts have been directed towards generating animal models of ALS in mouse, zebrafish, Drosophila and worms. Previous loss of function and overexpression studies have shown that alterations in TDP-43 dosage recapitulate hallmark features of ALS pathology, including neuronal loss and locomotor dysfunction. Here we report a direct in vivo comparison between wild-type and A315T mutant TDP-43 overexpression in Drosophila neurons. We found that when expressed at comparable levels, wild-type TDP-43 exerts more severe effects on neuromuscular junction architecture, viability and motor neuron loss compared with the A315T allele. A subset of these differences can be compensated by higher levels of A315T expression, indicating a direct correlation between dosage and neurotoxic phenotypes. Interestingly, larval locomotion is the sole parameter that is more affected by the A315T allele than wild-type TDP-43. RNA interference and genetic interaction experiments indicate that TDP-43 overexpression mimics a loss-of-function phenotype and suggest a dominant-negative effect. Furthermore, we show that neuronal apoptosis does not require the cytoplasmic localization of TDP-43 and that its neurotoxicity is modulated by the proteasome, the HSP70 chaperone and the apoptosis pathway. Taken together, our findings provide novel insights into the phenotypic consequences of the A315T TDP-43 missense mutation and suggest that studies of individual mutations are critical for elucidating the molecular mechanisms of ALS and related neurodegenerative disorders.
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ABSTRACT: Nucleotide repeat expansions can elicit neurodegeneration as RNA by sequestering specific RNA-binding proteins, preventing them from performing their normal functions. Conversely, mutations in RNA-binding proteins can trigger neurodegeneration at least partly by altering RNA metabolism. In Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), a CGG repeat expansion in the 5'UTR of FMR1 leads to progressive neurodegeneration in patients and CGG repeats in isolation elicit toxicity in Drosophila and other animal models. Here we identify the ALS-associated RNA-binding protein TDP-43 as a suppressor of CGG repeat–induced toxicity in a Drosophila model of FXTAS. The rescue appears specific to TDP-43, as co-expression of another ALS associated RNA-binding protein, FUS, exacerbates the toxic effects of CGG repeats. Suppression of CGG RNA toxicity was abrogated by disease-associated mutations in TDP-43. TDP-43 does not co-localize with CGG RNA foci and its ability to bind RNA is not required for rescue. TDP-43 dependent rescue does, however, require fly hnRNP A2/B1 homologues Hrb87F and Hrb98DE. Deletions in the C-terminal domain of TDP-43 that preclude interactions with hnRNP A2/B1 abolish TDP-43 dependent rescue of CGG repeat toxicity. In contrast, suppression of CGG repeat toxicity by hnRNP A2/B1 is not affected by RNAi mediated knockdown of the fly TDP-43 orthologue, TBPH. Lastly, TDP-43 suppresses CGG repeat triggered mis-splicing of an hnRNP A2/B1 targeted transcript. These data support a model in which TDP-43 suppresses CGG mediated toxicity through interactions with hnRNP A2/B1 and suggest a convergence of pathogenic cascades between repeat expansion disorders and RNA-binding proteins implicated in neurodegenerative disease.Human Molecular Genetics 05/2014; · 6.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Maintenance of cellular homeostasis is regulated by the molecular chaperones. Under pathogenic conditions, aberrant proteins are triaged by the chaperone network. These aberrant proteins, known as "clients," have major roles in the pathogenesis of numerous neurological disorders, including tau in Alzheimer's disease, α-synuclein and LRRK2 in Parkinson's disease, SOD-1, TDP-43 and FUS in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and polyQ-expanded proteins such as huntingtin in Huntington's disease. Recent work has demonstrated that the use of chemical compounds which inhibit the activity of molecular chaperones subsequently alter the fate of aberrant clients. Inhibition of Hsp90 and Hsc70, two major molecular chaperones, has led to a greater understanding of how chaperone triage decisions are made and how perturbing the chaperone system can promote clearance of these pathogenic clients. Described here are major pathways and components of several prominent neurological disorders. Also discussed is how treatment with chaperone inhibitors, predominately Hsp90 inhibitors which are selective for a diseased state, can relieve the burden of aberrant client signaling in these neurological disorders.Journal of Alzheimer's disease & Parkinsonism. 04/2013; 2013(Suppl 10).
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ABSTRACT: Presynaptic densities are specialized structures involved in synaptic vesicle tethering and neurotransmission; however, the mechanisms regulating their function remain understudied. In Drosophila, Bruchpilot is a major constituent of the presynaptic density that tethers vesicles. Here, we show that HDAC6 is necessary and sufficient for deacetylation of Bruchpilot. HDAC6 expression is also controlled by TDP-43, an RNA-binding protein deregulated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Animals expressing TDP-43 harboring pathogenic mutations show increased HDAC6 expression, decreased Bruchpilot acetylation, larger vesicle-tethering sites, and increased neurotransmission, defects similar to those seen upon expression of HDAC6 and opposite to hdac6 null mutants. Consequently, reduced levels of HDAC6 or increased levels of ELP3, a Bruchpilot acetyltransferase, rescue the presynaptic density defects in TDP-43-expressing flies as well as the decreased adult locomotion. Our work identifies HDAC6 as a Bruchpilot deacetylase and indicates that regulating acetylation of a presynaptic release-site protein is critical for maintaining normal neurotransmission.Cell reports. 06/2014;