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Nat Commun. 2012;3:1307. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2303.

A role for calpain-dependent cleavage of TDP-43 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathology.

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CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


Both mislocalization of TDP-43 and downregulation of RNA-editing enzyme ADAR2 co-localize in the motor neurons of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients, but how they are linked is not clear. Here we demonstrate that activation of calpain, a Ca2+-dependent cysteine protease, by upregulation of Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors generates carboxy-terminal-cleaved TDP-43 fragments and causes mislocalization of TDP-43 in the motor neurons expressing glutamine/arginine site-unedited GluA2 of conditional ADAR2 knockout (AR2) mice that mimic the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathology. These abnormalities are inhibited in the AR2res mice that express Ca2+-impermeable AMPA receptors in the absence of ADAR2 and in the calpastatin transgenic mice, but are exaggerated in the calpastatin knockout mice. Additional demonstration of calpain-dependent TDP43 fragments in the spinal cord and brain of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients, and high vulnerability of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked mutant TDP43 to cleavage by calpain support the crucial role of the calpain-dependent cleavage of TDP43 in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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