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J Biol Chem. 2011 Apr 1;286(13):10970-82. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.166587. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

TDP-43 is a transcriptional repressor: the testis-specific mouse acrv1 gene is a TDP-43 target in vivo.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.

Abstract

TDP-43 is an evolutionarily conserved ubiquitously expressed DNA/RNA-binding protein. Although recent studies have shown its association with a variety of neurodegenerative disorders, the function of TDP-43 remains poorly understood. Here we address TDP-43 function using spermatogenesis as a model system. We previously showed that TDP-43 binds to the testis-specific mouse acrv1 gene promoter in vitro via two GTGTGT-motifs and that mutation of these motifs led to premature transcription in spermatocytes of an otherwise round spermatid-specific promoter. The present study tested the hypothesis that TDP-43 represses acrv1 gene transcription in spermatocytes. Plasmid chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated that TDP-43 binds to the acrv1 promoter through GTGTGT motifs in vivo. Reporter gene assays showed that TDP-43 represses acrv1 core promoter-driven transcription via the N-terminal RRM1 domain in a histone deacetylase-independent manner. Consistent with repressor role, ChIP on physiologically isolated germ cells confirmed that TDP-43 occupies the endogenous acrv1 promoter in spermatocytes. Surprisingly, however, TDP-43 remains at the promoter in round spermatids, which express acrv1 mRNA. We show that RNA binding-defective TDP-43, but not splice variant isoforms, relieve repressor function. Transitioning from repressive to active histone marks has little effect on TDP-43 occupancy. Finally, we found that RNA polymerase II is recruited but paused at the acrv1 promoter in spermatocytes. Because mutation of TDP-43 sites caused premature transcription in spermatocytes in vivo, TDP-43 may be involved in pausing RNAPII at the acrv1 promoter in spermatocytes. Overall, our study shows that TDP-43 is a transcriptional repressor and that it regulates spatiotemporal expression of the acrv1 gene during spermatogenesis.

PMID:
21252238
PMCID:
PMC3064152
DOI:
10.1074/jbc.M110.166587
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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