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TDP-43 Mutations in Familial and Sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Science  21 Mar 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5870, pp. 1668-1672
DOI: 10.1126/science.1154584

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Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disorder characterized pathologically by ubiquitinated TAR DNA binding protein (TDP-43) inclusions. The function of TDP-43 in the nervous system is uncertain, and a mechanistic role in neurodegeneration remains speculative. We identified neighboring mutations in a highly conserved region of TARDBP in sporadic and familial ALS cases. TARDBPM337V segregated with disease within one kindred and a genome-wide scan confirmed that linkage was restricted to chromosome 1p36, which contains the TARDBP locus. Mutant forms of TDP-43 fragmented in vitro more readily than wild type and, in vivo, caused neural apoptosis and developmental delay in the chick embryo. Our evidence suggests a pathophysiological link between TDP-43 and ALS.

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