• Stress Granule Assembly Can Facilitate but Is Not Required for TDP-43 Cytoplasmic Aggregation

      Fernandes, Nikita; Nero, Luke; Lyons, Shawn M; Ivanov, Pavel; Mittelmeier, Telsa M; Bolger, Timothy A; Buchan, J Ross; Univ Arizona, Dept Mol & Cellular Biol (MDPI, 2020-09-25)
      Stress granules (SGs) are hypothesized to facilitate TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) cytoplasmic mislocalization and aggregation, which may underly amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathology. However, much data for this hypothesis is indirect. Additionally, whether P-bodies (PBs; related mRNA-protein granules) affect TDP-43 phenotypes is unclear. Here, we determine that induction of TDP-43 expression in yeast results in the accumulation of SG-like foci that in >90% of cases become the sites where TDP-43 cytoplasmic foci first appear. Later, TDP-43 foci associate less with SGs and more with PBs, though independent TDP-43 foci also accumulate. However, depleting or over-expressing yeast SG and PB proteins reveals no consistent trend between SG or PB assembly and TDP-43 foci formation, toxicity or protein abundance. In human cells, immunostaining endogenous TDP-43 with different TDP-43 antibodies reveals distinct localization and aggregation behaviors. Following acute arsenite stress, all phospho-TDP-43 foci colocalize with SGs. Interestingly, in SG assembly mutant cells (G3BP1/2ΔΔ), TDP-43 is enriched in nucleoli. Finally, formation of TDP-43 cytoplasmic foci following low-dose chronic arsenite stress is impaired, but not completely blocked, in G3BP1/2ΔΔ cells. Collectively, our data suggest that SG and PB assembly may facilitate TDP-43 cytoplasmic localization and aggregation but are likely not essential for these events.