ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive and fatal motor neuron disease with no effective medicine. Importantly, the majority of the ALS cases are with TDP-43 proteinopathies characterized with TDP-43-positive, ubiquitin-positive inclusions (UBIs) in the cytosol. However, the role of the mismetabolism of TDP-43 in the pathogenesis of ALS with TDP-43 proteinopathies is unclear. Using the conditional mouse gene targeting approach, we show that mice with inactivation of the Tardbp gene in the spinal cord motor neurons (HB9:Cre-Tardbp lx/-) exhibit progressive and male-dominant development of ALS-related phenotypes including kyphosis, motor dysfunctions, muscle weakness/atrophy, motor neuron loss, and astrocytosis in the spinal cord. Significantly, ubiquitinated proteins accumulate in the TDP-43-depleted motor neurons of the spinal cords of HB9:Cre-Tardbp lx/- mice with the ALS phenotypes. This study not only establishes an important role of TDP-43 in the long term survival and functioning of the mammalian spinal cord motor neurons, but also establishes that loss of TDP-43 function could be one major cause for neurodegeneration in ALS with TDP-43 proteinopathies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology
Wu, L. S., Cheng, W. C., & Shen, C. K. J. (2012). Targeted depletion of TDP-43 expression in the spinal cord motor neurons leads to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-like phenotypes in mice. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287(33), 27335-27344. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M112.359000