A molecular mechanism realizing sequence-specific recognition of nucleic acids by TDP-43

Yoshiaki Furukawa, Yoh Suzuki, Mami Fukuoka, Kenichi Nagasawa, Kenta Nakagome, Hideaki Shimizu, Atsushi Mukaiyama, Shuji Akiyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is a DNA/RNA-binding protein containing two consecutive RNA recognition motifs (RRM1 and RRM2) in tandem. Functional abnormality of TDP-43 has been proposed to cause neurodegeneration, but it remains obscure how the physiological functions of this protein are regulated. Here, we show distinct roles of RRM1 and RRM2 in the sequence-specific substrate recognition of TDP-43. RRM1 was found to bind a wide spectrum of ssDNA sequences, while no binding was observed between RRM2 and ssDNA. When two RRMs are fused in tandem as in native TDP-43, the fused construct almost exclusively binds ssDNA with a TG-repeat sequence. In contrast, such sequence-specificity was not observed in a simple mixture of RRM1 and RRM2. We thus propose that the spatial arrangement of multiple RRMs in DNA/RNA binding proteins provides steric effects on the substrate-binding site and thereby controls the specificity of its substrate nucleotide sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20576
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'A molecular mechanism realizing sequence-specific recognition of nucleic acids by TDP-43'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this