Molecular Neurodegeneration

, 7:L19 | Cite as

Mechanisms and models of TDP-43 proteinopathies

  • Leonard Petrucelli
Open Access
Lecture presentation


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Gait Abnormality Reactive Gliosis Abnormal Distribution Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration 
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Abnormal distribution, modification and aggregation of transactivation response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) are the hallmarks of multiple neurodegenerative diseases, especially frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).


To explore the pathogenic properties of mutant forms of TDP-43, we generated and characterized two mouse lines expressing human TDP-43 carrying the M337V mutation (hTDP-43M337V). We found hTDP-43M337V was expressed primarily in the nuclei of neurons in the brain and spinal cord, intranuclear and cytoplasmic phosphorylated TDP-43 aggregates were frequently detected, and the levels of TDP-43 LMW products of ~25 kDa and ~35 kDa species were also increased. Overexpression of hTDP-43M337V dramatically down regulated the levels of mouse TDP-43 (mTDP-43) protein and RNA, indicating TDP-43 levels are tightly controlled in mammalian systems. TDP-43M337V mice displayed reactive gliosis, widespread ubiquitination, chromatolysis, gait abnormalities, and early lethality. Abnormal cytoplasmic mitochondrial aggregates and abnormal phosphorylated tau were also detected in the mice.


While overexpression of hTDP-43 in wild-type TDP-43 and TDP-43M337V mouse models produces similar phenotypes, our results suggest that overexpression of the hTDP-43M337V can cause neuronal dysfunction due to its effect on a number of cell organelles and proteins, such as mitochondria and TDP-43, that are critical for neuronal activity.

Copyright information

© Petrucelli; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard Petrucelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Mayo Clinic JacksonvilleUSA

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