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E-GEOD-33855 - Loss of nuclear TDP-43 in ALS causes altered expression of splicing machinery and widespread dysregulation of RNA splicing in motor neurons [fibroblasts]

Released on 1 June 2014, last updated on 9 June 2014
Homo sapiens
Samples (19)
Array (1)
Protocols (6)
Aims: Loss of nuclear TDP-43 characterises sporadic and most familial forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). TDP-43 (encoded by TARDBP) has multiple roles in RNA processing. We aimed to determine whether 1) RNA splicing dysregulation is present in lower motor neurons in ALS and in a motor neuron-like cell model, and 2) TARDBP mutations (mtTARDBP) are associated with aberrant RNA splicing using patient-derived fibroblasts. Methods: Affymetrix exon arrays were used to study mRNA expression and splicing in lower motor neurons obtained by laser capture microdissection of autopsy tissue from individuals with sporadic ALS and TDP-43 proteinopathy. Findings were confirmed by qRT-PCR and in NSC34 motor neuronal cells following shRNA-mediated TDP-43 depletion. Exon arrays and immunohistochemistry were used to study mRNA splicing and TDP-43 expression in fibroblasts from patients with mtTARDBP-associated, sporadic and mutant SOD1-associated ALS. Results: We found altered expression of spliceosome components in motor neurons and widespread aberrations of mRNA splicing that specifically affected genes involved in ribonucleotide binding. This was confirmed in TDP-43 depleted NSC34 cells. Fibroblasts with mtTARDBP showed loss of nuclear TDP-43 protein and demonstrated similar changes in splicing and gene expression, that were not present in fibroblasts from patients with sporadic or SOD1-related ALS. Conclusion: Loss of nuclear TDP-43 is associated with RNA processing abnormalities in ALS motor neurons, patient-derived cells with mtTARDBP, and following artificial TDP-43 depletion, suggesting that splicing dysregulation directly contributes to disease pathogenesis. Key functional pathways affected include those central to RNA metabolism. RNA was extracted from fibroblasts grown from neurologically healthy controls (n=6) and 3 groups of patients with ALS: 1) sporadic cases (n=6); 2) cases due to mutations of SOD1 (n=4); 3) cases due to mutations of TARDBP (n=3). The three ALS groups were compared to the controls.
Experiment type
transcription profiling by array 
Paul Roy Heath <>, Adrian Higginbottom, Alfredo Kalaitzis, Channa A Hewamadduma, Christopher J McDermott, J R Highley, Janine Kirby, Joeri A Jansweijer, Jonathan Cooper-Knock, Laura Ferraiuolo, Marta Milo, Neil Lawrence, Pamela J Shaw, Paul G Ince, Paul R Heath, Rohini Raman, Scott P Allen, Stuart A Wilson