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Mol Cell Biochem. 2013 Jan;372(1-2):241-8. doi: 10.1007/s11010-012-1465-x. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

The JNK/c-Jun signaling axis contributes to the TDP-43-induced cell death.

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Department of Pharmacology, Tokyo Medical University, 6-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8402, Japan.


Dysregulation of transactive response DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) is closely linked to the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U). The contribution of the upregulation of TDP-43 expression to the pathogenesis has been strongly suggested by the observation that the level of TDP-43 expression is increased in both ALS and FTLD-U patients. We previously found that the low-grade (twice to five times more than the endogenous level) overexpression of TDP-43 induces neuronal cell death through the upregulation of Bim and CHOP expression and the downregulation of Bcl-xL expression. In this study, we further show that the low-grade overexpression of TDP-43 increases the level of phosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and the co-incubation with a JNK inhibitor, the expression of a dominant-negative JNK, or the expression of a dominant-negative c-Jun inhibited the TDP-43-induced death in NSC34 motor neuronal cells. These data together suggest that the JNK/c-Jun signaling axis contributes to the TDP-43-induced cell death.

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