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Title: TDP-43 regulates the Microprocessor complex activity during in vitro neuronal differentiation
Keywords: TDP-43
Issue Date: 21-Jan-2014
Abstract: TDP-43 is an RNA-binding protein implicated in RNA metabolism at several levels. Even if ubiquitously expressed, it is considered as a neuronal activity-responsive factor and a major signature for neurological pathologies, making the comprehension of its activity in the nervous system a very challenging issue. TDP-43 has also been described as an accessory component of the Drosha-DGCR8 microprocessor complex, which is crucially involved in basal and tissue-specific RNA processing events. In the present study, we exploited in vitro neuronal differentiation systems to investigate the TDP-43 demand for the microprocessor function, focusing on both its canonical microRNA biosynthetic activity and its alternative role as a post-transcriptional regulator of gene expression. Our findings reveal a novel role for TDP-43 as an essential factor that controls the stability of Drosha protein during neuronal differentiation, thus globally affecting the production of microRNAs. We also demonstrate that TDP-43 is required for the Drosha-mediated regulation of Neurogenin 2, a master gene orchestrating neurogenesis, whereas post-transcriptional control of Dgcr8, another Drosha target, resulted to be TDP-43-independent. These results implicate a previously uncovered contribution of TDP-43 in regulating the abundance and the substrate-specificity of the microprocessor complex and provide new insights onto TDP-43 as a key player in neuronal differentiation.
Description: PhD thesis
Research interests: biologia molecolare

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