Altered distributions of Gemini of coiled bodies and mitochondria in motor neurons of TDP-43 transgenic mice

Xiu Shan, Po Min Chiang, Donald L Price, Philip C. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43), a DNA/RNA-binding protein involved in RNA transcription and splicing, has been associated with the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS. However, the function of TDP-43 in motor neurons remains undefined. Here we use both gain- and loss-of-function approaches to determine roles of TDP-43 in motor neurons. Mice expressing human TDP-43 in neurons exhibited growth retardation and premature death that are characterized by abnormal intranuclear inclusions composed of TDP-43 and fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS), and massive accumulation of mitochondria in TDP-43-negative cytoplasmic inclusions in motor neurons, lack of mitochondria in motor axon terminals, and immature neuromuscular junctions. Whereas an elevated level of TDP-43 disrupts the normal nuclear distribution of survival motor neuron (SMN)-associated Gemini of coiled bodies (GEMs) in motor neurons, its absence prevents the formation of GEMs in the nuclei of these cells. Moreover, transcriptome-wide deep sequencing analysis revealed that a decrease in abundance of neurofilament transcripts contributed to the reduction of caliber of motor axons in TDP-43 mice. In concert, our findings indicate that TDP-43 participates in pathways critical for motor neuron physiology, including those that regulate the normal distributions of SMN-associated GEMs in the nucleus and mitochondria in the cytoplasm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16325-16330
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 14 2010


  • ALS
  • Frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions
  • Fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma
  • RNA metabolism
  • Survival motor neuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Altered distributions of Gemini of coiled bodies and mitochondria in motor neurons of TDP-43 transgenic mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this