Absence of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins and survival motor neuron protein in TDP-43 positive inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration
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- Neumann, M., Igaz, L.M., Kwong, L.K. et al. Acta Neuropathol (2007) 113: 543. doi:10.1007/s00401-007-0221-x
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TDP-43 was recently identified as the major disease protein in neuronal inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U). TDP-43 becomes redistributed from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, ubiquitinated, hyperphosphorylated and cleaved to generate C-terminal fragments, thereby linking mismetabolism of TDP-43 to the pathogenesis of FTLD-U. The function of TDP-43 is unclear, however it has been shown that TDP-43 might act as transcription repressor and activator of exon skipping through interaction with proteins of the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) family as well as a scaffold for nuclear bodies through interactions with survival motor neuron protein.
To investigate whether these binding partners might be associated with TDP-43 pathology, we studied the expression and localization of proteins of the hnRNP family (hnRNP A1, A2/B1, C1/C2) and SMN protein in affected brain regions in patients with sporadic and familial FTLD-U and normal control brains by immunohistochemistry and biochemical analysis. In contrast to TDP-43, no changes in subcellular distribution, no labeling of pathologic inclusions and no biochemical alterations were detectable for the tested hnRNPs and SMN in FTLD-U brains compared to controls. These results argue against a role of these binding partners in the pathogenesis of FTLD-U and emphasize the specificity of TDP-43 as marker for FTLD-U pathology.