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Abnormal accumulation of TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43), a DNA/RNA binding protein, is a pathological signature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Missense mutations in the TARDBP gene are also found in inherited and sporadic ALS, indicating that dysfunction in TDP-43 is causative for ALS. To model TDP-43-linked ALS in rodents, we generated TDP-43 knock-in mice with inherited ALS patient-derived TDP-43M337V mutation. Homozygous TDP-43M337V mice developed normally without exhibiting detectable motor dysfunction and neurodegeneration. However, splicing of mRNAs regulated by TDP-43 was deregulated in the spinal cords of TDP-43M337V mice. Together with the recently reported TDP-43 knock-in mice with ALS-linked mutations, our finding indicates that ALS patient-derived mutations in the TARDBP gene at a carboxyl-terminal domain of TDP-43 may cause a gain of splicing function by TDP-43, however, were insufficient to induce robust neurodegeneration in mice.
Watanabe, S., Oiwa, K., Murata, Y., Komine, O., Sobue, A., Endo, F., … Yamanaka, K. (2020). ALS-linked TDP-43M337V knock-in mice exhibit splicing deregulation without neurodegeneration. Molecular Brain, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13041-020-0550-4