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PLoS One. 2011 Mar 11;6(3):e17808. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017808.

TDP-43 regulates Drosophila neuromuscular junctions growth by modulating Futsch/MAP1B levels and synaptic microtubules organization.

Author information

1
International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Trieste, Italy.

Abstract

TDP-43 is an evolutionarily conserved RNA binding protein recently associated with the pathogenesis of different neurological diseases. At the moment, neither its physiological role in vivo nor the mechanisms that may lead to neurodegeneration are well known. Previously, we have shown that TDP-43 mutant flies presented locomotive alterations and structural defects at the neuromuscular junctions. We have now investigated the functional mechanism leading to these phenotypes by screening several factors known to be important for synaptic growth or bouton formation. As a result we found that alterations in the organization of synaptic microtubules correlate with reduced protein levels in the microtubule associated protein futsch/MAP1B. Moreover, we observed that TDP-43 physically interacts with futsch mRNA and that its RNA binding capacity is required to prevent futsch down regulation and synaptic defects.

PMID:
21412434
PMCID:
PMC3055892
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0017808
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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