TARDNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) plays a key role in the neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. The nature of the TDP-43-mediated neurotoxicity associated with these diseases is not yet understood. Here, wehave established transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans models that express human TDP-43 variants in the nervous system, including the full-length wild-type (WT) and mutant proteins and a pathologic C-terminal fragment. The C. elegans models developed severe locomotor defects associated with the aggregation of TDP-43 in neurons. In comparison to parallel Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase worm models, transgenic full-length TDP-43, including the WT protein, was highly neurotoxic. In addition, TDP-43 demonstrated an unusually high tendency to aggregate, a property intrinsic to theWTprotein. The C-terminal 25 kDa fragment of TDP-43 was unstable but remarkably aggregation-prone. Distinct disulfidelinked TDP-43 dimers and oligomers were detected. In C. elegans, the neurotoxicity and the protein aggregation of TDP-43 were regulated by environmental temperature and heat shock transcriptional factor 1, indicating that a deficiency in protein quality control is a risk factor for TDP-43 proteinopathy. Furthermore, the neurotoxicity and the protein aggregation of TDP-43 can be significantly attenuated by a deficiency in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling in C. elegans and mammalian cells. These results suggest that protein misfolding underlies the aging-dependent neurodegeneration associated with TDP-43 and that the insulin/IGF-1 signaling may be a target for therapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology