TDP-43 mutations link Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis with R-loop homeostasis and R loop-mediated DNA damage

Marta Gianini, Aleix Bayona-Feliu, Daisy Sproviero, Sonia I Barroso, Cristina Cereda, Andrés Aguilera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

TDP-43 is a DNA and RNA binding protein involved in RNA processing and with structural resemblance to heterogeneous ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs), whose depletion sensitizes neurons to double strand DNA breaks (DSBs). Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder, in which 97% of patients are familial and sporadic cases associated with TDP-43 proteinopathies and conditions clearing TDP-43 from the nucleus, but we know little about the molecular basis of the disease. After showing with the non-neuronal model of HeLa cells that TDP-43 depletion increases R loops and associated genome instability, we prove that mislocalization of mutated TDP-43 (A382T) in transfected neuronal SH-SY5Y and lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from an ALS patient cause R-loop accumulation, and R loop-dependent increased DSBs and Fanconi Anemia repair centers. These results uncover a new role of TDP-43 in the control of co-transcriptional R-loops and the maintenance of genome integrity by preventing harmful R-loop accumulation. Our findings thus link TDP-43 pathology to increased R-loops and R loop-mediated DNA damage opening the possibility that R-loop modulation in TDP-43-defective cells might help develop ALS therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1009260
JournalPLoS Genetics
Volume16
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 10 2020

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