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Polymer Science and Engineering


Aberrant aggregation and amyloid formation of tar DNA binding protein (TDP-43) and α-synuclein (αS) underlie frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD), respectively. Amyloid inclusions of TDP-43 and αS are also commonly co-observed in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer disease (AD). Emerging evidence from cellular and animal models show colocalization of the TDP-43 and αS aggregates, raising the possibility of direct interactions and co-aggregation between the two proteins. In this report, we set out to answer this question by investigating the interactions between αS and prion-like pathogenic C-terminal domain of TDP-43 (TDP-43 PrLD). PrLD is an aggregation-prone fragment generated both by alternative splicing as well as aberrant proteolytic cleavage of full length TDP-43. Our results indicate that two proteins interact in a synergistic manner to augment each other’s aggregation towards hybrid fibrils. While monomers, oligomers and sonicated fibrils of αS seed TDP-43 PrLD monomers, TDP-43 PrLD fibrils failed to seed αS monomers indicating selectivity in interactions. Furthermore, αS modulates liquid droplets formed by TDP-43 PrLD and RNA to promote insoluble amyloid aggregates. Importantly, the cross-seeded hybrid aggregates show greater cytotoxicity as compared to the individual homotypic aggregates suggesting that the interactions between the two proteins have a discernable impact on cellular functions. Together, these results bring forth insights into TDP-43 PrLD – αS interactions that could help explain clinical and pathological presentations in patients with co-morbidities involving the two proteins.


© 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license

Publication Title

Journal of Molecular Biology





Available for download on Sunday, May 01, 2022

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