TDP43 is a human low molecular weight neurofilament (hNFL) mRNA-binding protein

Mol Cell Neurosci. 2007 Jun;35(2):320-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2007.03.007. Epub 2007 Mar 20.


The human TAR DNA-binding protein (TDP43) colocalizes with ubiquitinated inclusions in motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). TDP43 is both a DNA-binding protein with a nuclear export sequence that interacts with (TG)nTm elements in DNA and an RNA-binding protein that interacts with (UG)(6-12) motifs in single-stranded RNA. In control motor neurons, TDP43 was almost exclusively nuclear, whereas in ALS spinal motor neurons, TDP43 was predominantly localized to the cytosol and not the nucleus. TDP43 was observed as punctuate immunoreactivity and as dense skeins, with and without ubiquitinization. We observed that TDP43 stabilizes the human low molecular weight (hNFL) mRNA through a direct interaction with the 3'UTR. TDP43 is a unique hNFL mRNA-binding protein that is altered in its somatotopic localization in ALS spinal motor neurons and potentially contributes to the formation of NF aggregates in ALS through alterations in NF stoichiometry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions / physiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Weight
  • Motor Neurons / metabolism*
  • Neurofilament Proteins / genetics*
  • Neurofilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Transfection
  • Ubiquitin / metabolism


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Neurofilament Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Ubiquitin
  • neurofilament protein L