TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) regulates stress granule dynamics via differential regulation of G3BP and TIA-1
TAR deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is a multifunctional protein with roles in transcription, pre-messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) splicing, mRNA stability and transport. TDP-43 interacts with other heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs), including hnRNP A2, via its C-terminus and several hnRNP family members are involved in the cellular stress response. This relationship led us to investigate the role of TDP-43 in cellular stress. Our results demonstrate that TDP-43 and hnRNP A2 are localized to stress granules (SGs), following oxidative stress, heat shock and exposure to thapsigargin. TDP-43 contributes to both the assembly and maintenance of SGs in response to oxidative stress and differentially regulates key SGs components, including TIA-1 and G3BP. The controlled aggregation of TIA-1 is disrupted in the absence of TDP-43 resulting in slowed SG formation. In addition, TDP-43 regulates the levels of G3BP mRNA, a SG nucleating factor. The disease-associated mutation TDP-43(R361S) is a loss-of-function mutation with regards to SG formation and confers alterations in levels of G3BP and TIA-1. In contrast, a second mutation TDP-43(D169G) does not impact this pathway. Thus, mutations in TDP-43 are mechanistically divergent. Finally, the cellular function of TDP-43 extends beyond splicing and places TDP-43 as a participant of the central cellular response to stress and an active player in RNA storage.