TDP-43-Mediated Toxicity in HEK293T Cells


on the February 17, 2020

Published in Cells

Collaborative research project led by Prof. H. Blasco

TDP-43-Mediated Toxicity in HEK293T Cells: A Fast and Reproducible Protocol To Be Employed in the Search of New Therapeutic Options against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis


Cytoplasmic TDP-43 aggregates are a hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Today, only two drugs are available for ALS treatment, and their modest effect prompts researchers to search for new therapeutic options. TDP-43 represents one of the most promising targets for therapeutic intervention, but reliable and reproducible in vitro protocols for TDP-43-mediated toxicity are lacking. Here, we used HEK293T cells transfected with increasing concentrations of TDP-43-expressing plasmid to evaluate different parameters of toxicity and alterations in cellular metabolism. Overexpression of TDP-43 induced aggregates occurrence followed by the detection of 25- and 35-kDa forms of TDP-43. TDP-43 overexpression decreased cell viability and increased cells arrested at G2/M phase and nuclear fragmentation. Analysis of the energetic metabolism showed a tendency to decrease oxidative phosphorylation and increase glycolysis, but no statistical differences were observed. Metabolomics revealed alterations in different metabolites (mainly sphingolipids and glycerophospholipids) in cells overexpressing TDP-43. Our data reveal the main role of TDP-43 aggregation in cellular death and highlight novel insight into the mechanism of cellular toxicity induced by TDP-43. Here, we provide a simple, sensitive, and reliable protocol in a human-derived cell line to be used in high-throughput screenings of potential therapeutic molecules for ALS treatment.


#ALS #TDP-43 #aggregation #apoptosis #cellular #death #metabolomics

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