TDP-43, an ALS Linked Protein, Regulates Fat Deposition and Glucose Homeostasis

Nancy R. Stallings, Krishna Puttaparthi, Katherine J. Dowling, Christina M. Luther, Dennis K. Burns, Kathryn Davis, Jeffrey L. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The identification of proteins which determine fat and lean body mass composition is critical to better understanding and treating human obesity. TDP-43 is a well-conserved RNA-binding protein known to regulate alternative splicing and recently implicated in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While TDP-43 knockout mice show early embryonic lethality, post-natal conditional knockout mice show weight loss, fat depletion, and rapid death, suggesting an important role for TDP-43 in regulating energy metabolism. Here we report, that over-expression of TDP-43 in transgenic mice can result in a phenotype characterized by increased fat deposition and adipocyte hypertrophy. In addition, TDP-43 over-expression in skeletal muscle results in increased steady state levels of Tbc1d1, a RAB-GTPase activating protein involved in Glucose 4 transporter (Glut4) translocation. Skeletal muscle fibers isolated from TDP-43 transgenic mice show altered Glut4 translocation in response to insulin and impaired insulin mediated glucose uptake. These results indicate that levels of TDP-43 regulate body fat composition and glucose homeostasis in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere71793
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 13 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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