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Insights into the aggregation mechanism of RRM domains in TDP-43: A theoretical exploration

Citation

Li, Chaoqun et al. (2021), Insights into the aggregation mechanism of RRM domains in TDP-43: A theoretical exploration, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.w3r2280q0

Abstract

The transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is associated with several diseases such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) due to pathogenic aggregations. In this work, we examined the dimer, tetramer and hexamer models built from the RRM domains of TDP-43 using molecular dynamics simulations in combination with the protein-protein docking. Our results showed that the formations of the dimer models are mainly achieved by the interactions of the RRM1 domains. The parallel β-sheet layers between the RRM1 domains in these oligomer models, which provide the potential binding sites in the aggregation process, are formed energetically favorable. The approaching of the parallel β-sheet layers from small oligomer models gradually expand to large ones through the allosteric communication between the α1/α2 helices of the RRM1 domains, which maintains the binding affinities and interactions in the larger oligomer models. Using the repeatable-superimposing method based on the tetramer models, we proposed a new aggregation mechanism of RRM domains in TDP-43, which could well characterize the formation of the large aggregation models with the repeated, helical and rope-like structures. These new insights help to understand the amyloid-like aggregation phenomena of TDP-43 protein in ALS and FTLD diseases.

Funding

Hebei Province Science and Technology Research Youth Talent Support Program, Award: BJ2019204

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 21573020

National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 22073010

Natural Science Foundation of Hebei province, P.R. China, Award: B2021109004

Hebei Province Science and Technology Research Youth Talent Support Program, Award: BJ2019204