Protein homeostasis is critical for cell survival and functions during stress and is regulated at both RNA and protein levels. However, how the cell integrates RNA-processing programs with post-translational protein quality control systems is unknown. Transactive response DNA-binding protein (TARDBP/TDP-43) is an RNA-processing protein that is involved in the pathogenesis of major neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Here, we report a conserved role for TDP-43, from C. elegans to mammals, in the regulation of protein clearance via activation of FOXO transcription factors. In response to proteotoxic insults, TDP-43 redistributes from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, promoting nuclear translocation of FOXOs and relieving an inhibition of FOXO activity in the nucleus. The interaction between TDP-43 and the FOXO pathway in mammalian cells is mediated by their competitive binding to 14-3-3 proteins. Consistent with FOXO-dependent protein quality control, TDP-43 regulates the levels of misfolded proteins. Therefore, TDP-43 mediates stress responses and couples the regulation of RNA metabolism and protein quality control in a FOXO-dependent manner. The results suggest that compromising the function of TDP-43 in regulating protein homeostasis may contribute to the pathogenesis of related neurodegenerative diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research