Characterizing TDP-43 interaction with its RNA targets

Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 May;41(9):5062-74. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt189. Epub 2013 Mar 21.


One of the most important functional features of nuclear factor TDP-43 is its ability to bind UG-repeats with high efficiency. Several cross-linking and immunoprecipitation (CLIP) and RNA immunoprecipitation-sequencing (RIP-seq) analyses have indicated that TDP-43 in vivo can also specifically bind loosely conserved UG/GU-rich repeats interspersed by other nucleotides. These sequences are predominantly localized within long introns and in the 3'UTR of various genes. Most importantly, some of these sequences have been found to exist in the 3'UTR region of TDP-43 itself. In the TDP-43 3'UTR context, the presence of these UG-like sequences is essential for TDP-43 to autoregulate its own levels through a negative feedback loop. In this work, we have compared the binding of TDP-43 with these types of sequences as opposed to perfect UG-stretches. We show that the binding affinity to the UG-like sequences has a dissociation constant (Kd) of ∼110 nM compared with a Kd of 8 nM for straight UGs, and have mapped the region of contact between protein and RNA. In addition, our results indicate that the local concentration of UG dinucleotides in the CLIP sequences is one of the major factors influencing the interaction of these RNA sequences with TDP-43.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Acetylation
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Protein Conformation
  • RNA / chemistry
  • RNA / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • RNA
  • Lysine