Molecular dissection of TDP-43 proteinopathies

J Mol Neurosci. 2011 Nov;45(3):480-5. doi: 10.1007/s12031-011-9571-x. Epub 2011 Jun 16.


TDP-43 has been identified as a major component of ubiquitin-positive tau-negative cytoplasmic inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U) and in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We raised antibodies to phosphopeptides representing 36 out of 64 candidate phosphorylation sites of human TDP-43 and showed that the antibodies to pS379, pS403/404, pS409, pS410 and pS409/410 labeled the inclusions, but not the nuclei. Immunoblot analyses demonstrated that the antibodies recognized TDP-43 at ~45 kDa, smearing substances and 18-26 kDa C-terminal fragments. Furthermore, the band patterns of the C-terminal fragments differed between neuropathological subtypes, but were indistinguishable between brain regions and spinal cord in each individual patient. Protease treatment of Sarkosyl-insoluble TDP-43 suggests that the different band patterns of the C-terminal fragments reflect different conformations of abnormal TDP-43 molecules between the diseases. These results suggest that molecular species of abnormal TDP-43 are different between the diseases and that they propagate from affected cells to other cells during disease progression and determine the clinicopathological phenotypes of the diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / genetics
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / metabolism
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / pathology
  • Antibodies / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration / genetics
  • Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration / metabolism
  • Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Intranuclear Inclusion Bodies / metabolism
  • Intranuclear Inclusion Bodies / pathology
  • Peptide Fragments / genetics
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Conformation
  • TDP-43 Proteinopathies / genetics
  • TDP-43 Proteinopathies / metabolism*
  • TDP-43 Proteinopathies / pathology*


  • Antibodies
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments