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1.  The spectrum and severity of FUS-immunoreactive inclusions in the frontal and temporal lobes of ten cases of neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease 
Acta Neuropathologica  2010;121(2):219-228.
Neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID), a rare form of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), is characterized neuropathologically by focal atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes, neuronal loss, gliosis, and neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) containing epitopes of ubiquitin and neuronal intermediate filament proteins. Recently, the ‘fused in sarcoma’ (FUS) protein (encoded by the FUS gene) has been shown to be a component of the inclusions of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutation, NIFID, basophilic inclusion body disease, and atypical FTLD with ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions (aFTLD-U). To further characterize FUS proteinopathy in NIFID, and to determine whether the pathology revealed by FUS immunohistochemistry (IHC) is more extensive than α-internexin, we have undertaken a quantitative assessment of ten clinically and neuropathologically well-characterized cases using FUS IHC. The densities of NCI were greatest in the dentate gyrus (DG) and in sectors CA1/2 of the hippocampus. Anti-FUS antibodies also labeled glial inclusions (GI), neuronal intranuclear inclusions (NII), and dystrophic neurites (DN). Vacuolation was extensive across upper and lower cortical layers. Significantly greater densities of abnormally enlarged neurons and glial cell nuclei were present in the lower compared with the upper cortical laminae. FUS IHC revealed significantly greater numbers of NCI in all brain regions especially the DG. Our data suggest: (1) significant densities of FUS-immunoreactive NCI in NIFID especially in the DG and CA1/2; (2) infrequent FUS-immunoreactive GI, NII, and DN; (3) widely distributed vacuolation across the cortex, and (4) significantly more NCI revealed by FUS than α-internexin IHC.
doi:10.1007/s00401-010-0753-3
PMCID: PMC3035044  PMID: 20886222
Neurofilament intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID); ‘Fused in sarcoma’ (FUS); Neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI); Density; Neuronal intranuclear inclusions (NII)
2.  Expression of Fused in sarcoma mutations in mice recapitulates the neuropathology of FUS proteinopathies and provides insight into disease pathogenesis 
Background
Mutations in the gene encoding the RNA-binding protein fused in sarcoma (FUS) can cause familial and sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and rarely frontotemproal dementia (FTD). FUS accumulates in neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs) in ALS patients with FUS mutations. FUS is also a major pathologic marker for a group of less common forms of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), which includes atypical FTLD with ubiquitinated inclusions (aFTLD-U), neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID) and basophilic inclusion body disease (BIBD). These diseases are now called FUS proteinopathies, because they share this disease marker. It is unknown how FUS mutations cause disease and the role of FUS in FTD-FUS cases, which do not have FUS mutations. In this paper we report the development of somatic brain transgenic (SBT) mice using recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) to investigate how FUS mutations lead to neurodegeneration.
Results
We compared SBT mice expressing wild-type human FUS (FUSWT), and two ALS-linked mutations: FUSR521C and FUSΔ14, which lacks the nuclear localization signal. Both FUS mutants accumulated in the cytoplasm relative to FUSWT. The degree of this shift correlated with the severity of the FUS mutation as reflected by disease onset in humans. Mice expressing the most aggressive mutation, FUSΔ14, recapitulated many aspects of FUS proteinopathies, including insoluble FUS, basophilic and eosiniphilic NCIs, and other pathologic markers, including ubiquitin, p62/SQSTM1, α-internexin, and the poly-adenylate(A)-binding protein 1 (PABP-1). However, TDP-43 did not localize to inclusions.
Conclusions
Our data supports the hypothesis that ALS or FTD-linked FUS mutations cause neurodegeneration by increasing cyotplasmic FUS. Accumulation of FUS in the cytoplasm may retain RNA targets and recruit additional RNA-binding proteins, such as PABP-1, into stress-granule like aggregates that coalesce into permanent inclusions that could negatively affect RNA metabolism. Identification of mutations in other genes that cause ALS/FTD, such as C9ORF72, sentaxin, and angiogenin, lends support to the idea that defective RNA metabolism is a critical pathogenic pathway. The SBT FUS mice described here will provide a valuable platform for dissecting the pathogenic mechanism of FUS mutations, define the relationship between FTD and ALS-FUS, and help identify therapeutic targets that are desperately needed for these devastating neurodegenerative disorders.
doi:10.1186/1750-1326-7-53
PMCID: PMC3519790  PMID: 23046583
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; Fused in sarcoma proteinopathies; Transgenic mouse models; Adeno-associated virus; Neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions; Ubiquitin; p62/SQSTM1; α-internexin; PABP-1; Stress granules; RNA dysfunction
3.  Abundant FUS-immunoreactive pathology in neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease 
Acta neuropathologica  2009;118(5):605-616.
Neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID) is an uncommon neurodegenerative condition that typically presents as early-onset, sporadic frontotemporal dementia (FTD), associated with a pyramidal and/or extrapyramidal movement disorder. The neuropathology is characterized by frontotemporal lobar degeneration with neuronal inclusions that are immunoreactive for all class IV intermediate filaments (IF), light, medium and heavy neurofilament subunits and α-internexin. However, not all the inclusions in NIFID are IF-positive and the primary molecular defect remains uncertain. Mutations in the gene encoding the fused in sarcoma (FUS) protein have recently been identified as a cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Because of the recognized clinical, genetic and pathological overlap between FTD and ALS, we investigated the possible role of FUS in NIFID. We found abnormal intracellular accumulation of FUS to be a consistent feature of our NIFID cases (n = 5). More neuronal inclusions were labeled using FUS immunohistochemistry than for IF. Several types of inclusions were consistently FUS-positive but IF-negative, including neuronal intranuclear inclusions and glial cytoplasmic inclusions. Double-label immunofluorescence confirmed that many cells had only FUS-positive inclusions and that all cells with IF-positive inclusions also contained pathological FUS. No mutations in the FUS gene were identified in a single case with DNA available. These findings suggest that FUS may play an important role in the pathogenesis of NIFID.
doi:10.1007/s00401-009-0581-5
PMCID: PMC2864784  PMID: 19669651
frontotemporal dementia; frontotemporal lobar degeneration; neuronal intermediate filament disease; fused in liposarcoma; translocated in sarcoma
4.  A new subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with FUS pathology 
Brain  2009;132(11):2922-2931.
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a clinical syndrome with a heterogeneous molecular basis. The neuropathology associated with most FTD is characterized by abnormal cellular aggregates of either transactive response DNA-binding protein with Mr 43 kDa (TDP-43) or tau protein. However, we recently described a subgroup of FTD patients, representing around 10%, with an unusual clinical phenotype and pathology characterized by frontotemporal lobar degeneration with neuronal inclusions composed of an unidentified ubiquitinated protein (atypical FTLD-U; aFTLD-U). All cases were sporadic and had early-onset FTD with severe progressive behavioural and personality changes in the absence of aphasia or significant motor features. Mutations in the fused in sarcoma (FUS) gene have recently been identified as a cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, with these cases reported to have abnormal cellular accumulations of FUS protein. Because of the recognized clinical, genetic and pathological overlap between FTD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we investigated whether FUS might also be the pathological protein in aFTLD-U. In all our aFTLD-U cases (n = 15), FUS immunohistochemistry labelled all the neuronal inclusions and also demonstrated previously unrecognized glial pathology. Immunoblot analysis of protein extracted from post-mortem aFTLD-U brain tissue demonstrated increased levels of insoluble FUS. No mutations in the FUS gene were identified in any of our patients. These findings suggest that FUS is the pathological protein in a significant subgroup of sporadic FTD and reinforce the concept that FTD and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are closely related conditions.
doi:10.1093/brain/awp214
PMCID: PMC2768659  PMID: 19674978
frontotemporal lobar degeneration; frontotemporal dementia; FUS; fused in sarcoma; TLS; translocated in liposarcoma
5.  Different molecular pathologies result in similar spatial patterns of cellular inclusions in neurodegenerative disease: a comparative study of eight disorders 
Journal of neural transmission (Vienna, Austria : 1996)  2012;119(12):10.1007/s00702-012-0838-3.
Recent research suggests cell-to-cell transfer of pathogenic proteins such as tau and α-synuclein may play a role in neurodegeneration. Pathogenic spread along neural pathways may give rise to specific spatial patterns of the neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) characteristic of these disorders. Hence, the spatial patterns of NCI were compared in four tauopathies, viz., Alzheimer’s disease, Pick’s disease, corticobasal degeneration, and progressive supranuclear palsy, two synucleinopathies, viz., dementia with Lewy bodies and multiple system atrophy, the ‘fused in sarcoma’ (FUS)-immunoreactive inclusions in neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease, and the transactive response DNA-binding protein (TDP-43)-immunoreactive inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration, a TDP-43 proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP). Regardless of molecular group or morphology, NCI were most frequently aggregated into clusters, the clusters being regularly distributed parallel to the pia mater. In a significant proportion of regions, the regularly distributed clusters were in the size range 400–800 μm, approximating to the dimension of cell columns associated with the cortico-cortical pathways. The data suggest that cortical NCI in different disorders exhibit a similar spatial pattern in the cortex consistent with pathogenic spread along anatomical pathways. Hence, treatments designed to protect the cortex from neurodegeneration may be applicable across several different disorders.
doi:10.1007/s00702-012-0838-3
PMCID: PMC3863379  PMID: 22678700
Tauopathy; Synucleinopathy; FUS proteinopathy; TDP-43 proteinopathy; Spatial patterns; Neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI); Cell to cell transfer
6.  Topography of FUS pathology distinguishes late-onset BIBD from aFTLD-U 
Background
Multiple neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the abnormal accumulation of FUS protein including various subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with FUS inclusions (FTLD-FUS). These subtypes include atypical frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (aFTLD-U), basophilic inclusion body disease (BIBD) and neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID). Despite considerable overlap, certain pathologic features including differences in inclusion morphology, the subcellular localization of inclusions, and the relative paucity of subcortical FUS pathology in aFTLD-U indicate that these three entities represent related but distinct diseases. In this study, we report the clinical and pathologic features of three cases of aFTLD-U and two cases of late-onset BIBD with an emphasis on the anatomic distribution of FUS inclusions.
Results
The aFTLD-U cases demonstrated FUS inclusions in cerebral cortex, subcortical grey matter and brainstem with a predilection for anterior forebrain and rostral brainstem. In contrast, the distribution of FUS pathology in late-onset BIBD cases demonstrated a predilection for pyramidal and extrapyramidal motor regions with relative sparing of cerebral cortex and limbic regions.
Conclusions
The topography of FUS pathology in these cases demonstrate the diversity of sporadic FUS inclusion body diseases and raises the possibility that late-onset motor neuron disease with BIBD neuropathology may exhibit unique clinical and pathologic features.
doi:10.1186/2051-5960-1-9
PMCID: PMC3767453  PMID: 24027631
Frontotemporal dementia; Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; Motor neuron disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
7.  Topography of FUS pathology distinguishes late-onset BIBD from aFTLD-U 
Background
Multiple neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the abnormal accumulation of FUS protein including various subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with FUS inclusions (FTLD-FUS). These subtypes include atypical frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (aFTLD-U), basophilic inclusion body disease (BIBD) and neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID). Despite considerable overlap, certain pathologic features including differences in inclusion morphology, the subcellular localization of inclusions, and the relative paucity of subcortical FUS pathology in aFTLD-U indicate that these three entities represent related but distinct diseases. In this study, we report the clinical and pathologic features of three cases of aFTLD-U and two cases of late-onset BIBD with an emphasis on the anatomic distribution of FUS inclusions.
Results
The aFTLD-U cases demonstrated FUS inclusions in cerebral cortex, subcortical grey matter and brainstem with a predilection for anterior forebrain and rostral brainstem. In contrast, the distribution of FUS pathology in late-onset BIBD cases demonstrated a predilection for pyramidal and extrapyramidal motor regions with relative sparing of cerebral cortex and limbic regions.
Conclusions
The topography of FUS pathology in these cases demonstrate the diversity of sporadic FUS inclusion body diseases and raises the possibility that late-onset motor neuron disease with BIBD neuropathology may exhibit unique clinical and pathologic features.
doi:10.1186/2051-5960-1-9
PMCID: PMC3767453  PMID: 24027631
Frontotemporal dementia; Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; Motor neuron disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
8.  Fine structural analysis of the neuronal inclusions of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 proteinopathy 
TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) is a major component of the pathological inclusions of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 proteinopathy, also called FTLD with ubiquitin-positive, tau-negative inclusions (FTLD-U), and motor neuron disease (MND). TDP-43 is predominantly expressed in the nucleus and regulates gene expression and splicing. In FTLD with TDP-43 proteinopathy, neuronal inclusions present variably as cytoplasmic inclusions (NCIs), dystrophic neurites (DNs), and intranuclear inclusions (NIIs), leading to a fourfold neuropathological classification correlating with genotype. There have been few fine structural studies of these inclusions. Thus, we undertook an immunoelectron microscopic study of FTLD with TDP-43 proteinopathy, including sporadic and familial cases with progranulin (GRN) mutation. TDP-43-immunoreactive inclusions comprised two components: granular and filamentous. Filament widths, expressed as mean (range) were: NCI, 9 nm (4–16 nm); DN, 10 nm (5–16 nm); NII, 18 nm (9–50 nm). Morphologically distinct inclusion components may reflect the process of TDP-43 aggregation and interaction with other proteins: determining these latter may contribute towards understanding the heterogeneous pathogenesis of FTLD with TDP-43 proteinopathy.
doi:10.1007/s00702-008-0137-1
PMCID: PMC2789307  PMID: 18974920
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; Ubiquitin; TDP-43; TARDBP; Progranulin; Immunoelectron microscopy
9.  Spatial patterns of FUS-immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) in neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID) 
Neuronal intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID), a rare form of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), is characterized neuropathologically by focal atrophy of the frontal and temporal lobes, neuronal loss, gliosis, and neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) containing epitopes of ubiquitin and neuronal intermediate filament (IF) proteins. Recently, the ‘fused in sarcoma’ (FUS) protein (encoded by the FUS gene) has been shown to be a component of the inclusions of NIFID. To further characterize FUS proteinopathy in NIFID, we studied the spatial patterns of the FUS-immunoreactive NCI in frontal and temporal cortex of 10 cases. In the cerebral cortex, sectors CA1/2 of the hippocampus, and the dentate gyrus (DG), the FUS-immunoreactive NCI were frequently clustered and the clusters were regularly distributed parallel to the tissue boundary. In a proportion of cortical gyri, cluster size of the NCI approximated to those of the columns of cells was associated with the cortico-cortical projections. There were no significant differences in the frequency of different types of spatial patterns with disease duration or disease stage. Clusters of NCI in the upper and lower cortex were significantly larger using FUS compared with phosphorylated, neurofilament heavy polypeptide (NEFH) or α-internexin (INA) immunohistochemistry (IHC). We concluded: (1) FUS-immunoreactive NCI exhibit similar spatial patterns to analogous inclusions in the tauopathies and synucleinopathies, (2) clusters of FUS-immunoreactive NCI are larger than those revealed by NEFH or IMA, and (3) the spatial patterns of the FUS-immunoreactive NCI suggest the degeneration of the cortico-cortical projections in NIFID.
doi:10.1007/s00702-011-0690-x
PMCID: PMC3199334  PMID: 21792670
Neurofilament intermediate filament inclusion disease (NIFID); ‘Fused in sarcoma’ (FUS); Neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI); Spatial pattern; Cortico-cortical projections
10.  Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration with TDP-43 Proteinopathy and Chromosome 9p Repeat Expansion in C9ORF72: Clinicopathologic Correlation 
Mutations in C9ORF72 resulting in expanded hexanucleotide repeats were recently reported to be the underlying genetic abnormality in chromosome 9p-linked frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kD (TDP-43) proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND). Several subsequent publications described the neuropathology as being similar to that seen in cases of FTLD-TDP and ALS without C9ORF72 mutations, except that cases with mutations have p62 and ubiquitin positive, TDP-43 negative inclusions in cerebellum, hippocampus, neocortex, and basal ganglia. The identity of this protein is as yet unknown, and its significance is unclear. With the goal of potentially uncovering the significance of these TDP-43 negative inclusions, we compared the clinical, pathologic, and genetic characteristics in 5 cases of FTLD-TDP and FTLD-MND with C9ORF72 mutations to 20 cases without mutations. We confirmed the apparent specificity of p62 positive, TDP-43 negative inclusions in cerebellum, hippocampus, cortex, and basal ganglia to FTLD with C9ORF72 mutations. p62 positive, TDP-43 negative inclusions in hippocampus correlated with hippocampal atrophy, but no additional correlations were uncovered. However, although ambiguity of TDP sub-typing has previously been reported in cases with C9ORF72 mutations, this is the first report to show that although most FTLD cases with C9ORF72 mutations were TDP type B, some of the pathologic characteristics in these cases were more similar to TDP types A and C than to TDP type B FTLD cases without mutations. These features include greater cortical and hippocampal atrophy, greater ventricular dilatation, more neuronal loss and gliosis in temporal lobe and striatum, and TDP-43 positive fine neuritic profiles in the hippocampus in FTLD cases with C9ORF72 mutations compared to FTLD-TDP type B cases without mutations, implying that the C9ORF72 mutation modifies the pathologic phenotype of FTLD-TDP type B.
doi:10.1111/j.1440-1789.2012.01332.x
PMCID: PMC3449045  PMID: 22702520
C9ORF72; repeat expansion; p62; ubiquitin; TDP-43; FTLD; ALS
11.  Elucidating the genetics and pathology of Perry syndrome 
Perry syndrome is characterized clinically by autosomal dominantly inherited, rapidly progressive parkinsonism, depression, weight loss and hypoventilation. In the seven families reported previously and the two new families presented herein (the Hawaii family and the Fukuoka-4 Japanese family), the mean disease onset age is 48 years (range: 35-61) and the mean disease duration five years (range: 2-10). Histology and immunohistochemistry show severe neuronal loss in the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus, with TDP-43-positive pathology in neurons (intranuclear and cytoplasmic inclusions, dystrophic neurites, axonal spheroids) and glial cells (glial cytoplasmic inclusions). Compared with other TDP-43-proteinopathies (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and ubiquitin-positive frontotemporal lobar degeneration), the distribution is unique in Perry syndrome with pallidonigral distribution and sparing of the cortex, hippocampus and motor neurons. The genetic cause of Perry syndrome was recently identified with five mutations in the dynactin gene (DCTN1) segregating with disease in eight families. DCTN1 encodes p150glued, the major subunit of the dynactin protein complex, which plays a crucial role in retrograde axonal and cytoplasmic transport of various cargoes. Evidence suggests the Perry mutations alter the binding of p150glued to microtubules. Further studies will examine reasons for the vulnerability of selected neuronal populations in Perry syndrome, and the link between the genetic defect and TDP-43 pathology.
doi:10.1016/j.jns.2009.08.044
PMCID: PMC2813334  PMID: 19732908
Perry syndrome; parkinsonism; depression; hypoventilation; dynactin; DCTN1; p150glued; TDP-43
12.  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration: A spectrum of TDP-43 proteinopathies 
It is now established that pathological transactive response DNA-binding protein with a Mr of 43 kD (TDP-43) on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis is the major disease protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (now known as FTLD-TDP). In fact, the discovery of pathological TDP-43 solidified the idea that these disorders are multi-system diseases and this led to the concept of a TDP-43 proteinopathy as a spectrum of disorders comprised of different clinical and pathological entities extending from ALS to ALS with cognitive impairment/dementia and FTLD-TDP without or with motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND). These align along a broad disease continuum sharing similar pathogenetic mechanisms linked to pathological TDP-43. We here review salient findings in the development of a concept of TDP-43 proteinopathy as a novel group of neurodegenerative diseases similar in concept to α-synucleinopathies and tauopathies.
doi:10.1111/j.1440-1789.2009.01091.x
PMCID: PMC3131978  PMID: 20102519
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; frontotemporal lobar degeneration; multi-system disease; proteinopathy; transactive response DNA-binding protein with a Mr of 43 kD (TDP-43)
13.  Caspase-Cleaved Transactivation Response DNA-Binding Protein 43 in Parkinson's Disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies 
Neuro-Degenerative Diseases  2010;7(4):243-250.
Background
Transactivation response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) proteinopathies are classified based upon the extent of modified TDP-43 and include a growing number of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-immunoreactive, tau-negative inclusions and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with motor neuron disease. Objective: The purpose of the study was to examine whether proteolytic modifications of TDP-43 are a relevant finding in Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
Methods
A novel site-directed caspase cleavage antibody, termed TDP caspase cleavage product antibody (TDPccp), was utilized based upon a known caspase 3 cleavage consensus site within TDP-43 at position 219.
Results
Application of this antibody to postmortem brain sections from PD and DLB patients revealed the presence of caspase-cleaved TDP-43 in Lewy bodies and Hirano bodies in all cases examined. Colocalization of TDPccp with an antibody to α-synuclein (α-Syn), which served as a general marker for Lewy bodies, was evident within the substantia nigra in both α-synucleinopathies. Interestingly, the TDPccp antibody detected a greater number of Lewy bodies in PD and DLB compared to the α-Syn antibody. In addition, a semiquantitative analysis in both diseases confirmed this finding by indicating that the percentage of caspase-cleaved TDP-43 single-labeled Lewy bodies was approximately twice that of α-Syn labeling (in DLB 13.4 vs. 5.5%, while in PD 34.6 vs. 17.6%).
Conclusion
Collectively, these data have identified caspase-cleaved TDP-43 as a primary component of Lewy and Hirano bodies in PD and DLB, and suggest that the TDPccp antibody is an effective marker for the detection of Lewy bodies in these neurodegenerative diseases.
doi:10.1159/000287952
PMCID: PMC2895743  PMID: 20551689
Transactivation response DNA-binding protein 43 proteinopathies; Parkinson's disease; Dementia with Lewy bodies; α-Synucleinopathies; Hirano bodies; α-Synuclein; Caspases
14.  The genetics and neuropathology of frontotemporal lobar degeneration 
Acta Neuropathologica  2012;124(3):353-372.
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by disturbances of behavior and personality and different types of language impairment with or without concomitant features of motor neuron disease or parkinsonism. FTLD is characterized by atrophy of the frontal and anterior temporal brain lobes. Detailed neuropathological studies have elicited proteinopathies defined by inclusions of hyperphosphorylated microtubule-associated protein tau, TAR DNA-binding protein TDP-43, fused-in-sarcoma or yet unidentified proteins in affected brain regions. Rather than the type of proteinopathy, the site of neurodegeneration correlates relatively well with the clinical presentation of FTLD. Molecular genetic studies identified five disease genes, of which the gene encoding the tau protein (MAPT), the growth factor precursor gene granulin (GRN), and C9orf72 with unknown function are most frequently mutated. Rare mutations were also identified in the genes encoding valosin-containing protein (VCP) and charged multivesicular body protein 2B (CHMP2B). These genes are good markers to distinguish underlying neuropathological phenotypes. Due to the complex landscape of FTLD diseases, combined characterization of clinical, imaging, biological and genetic biomarkers is essential to establish a detailed diagnosis. Although major progress has been made in FTLD research in recent years, further studies are needed to completely map out and correlate the clinical, pathological and genetic entities, and to understand the underlying disease mechanisms. In this review, we summarize the current state of the rapidly progressing field of genetic, neuropathological and clinical research of this intriguing condition.
doi:10.1007/s00401-012-1029-x
PMCID: PMC3422616  PMID: 22890575
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; Proteinopathy; MAPT; GRN; C9orf72; VCP; CHMP2B; Tau; TDP-43; FUS
15.  Overexpression of human wild-type FUS causes progressive motor neuron degeneration in an age- and dose-dependent fashion 
Acta Neuropathologica  2012;125(2):273-288.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) are relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative disorders with overlapping clinical, genetic and pathological features. Cytoplasmic inclusions of fused in sarcoma (FUS) are the hallmark of several forms of FTLD and ALS patients with mutations in the FUS gene. FUS is a multifunctional, predominantly nuclear, DNA and RNA binding protein. Here, we report that transgenic mice overexpressing wild-type human FUS develop an aggressive phenotype with an early onset tremor followed by progressive hind limb paralysis and death by 12 weeks in homozygous animals. Large motor neurons were lost from the spinal cord accompanied by neurophysiological evidence of denervation and focal muscle atrophy. Surviving motor neurons in the spinal cord had greatly increased cytoplasmic expression of FUS, with globular and skein-like FUS-positive and ubiquitin-negative inclusions associated with astroglial and microglial reactivity. Cytoplasmic FUS inclusions were also detected in the brain of transgenic mice without apparent neuronal loss and little astroglial or microglial activation. Hemizygous FUS overexpressing mice showed no evidence of a motor phenotype or pathology. These findings recapitulate several pathological features seen in human ALS and FTLD patients, and suggest that overexpression of wild-type FUS in vulnerable neurons may be one of the root causes of disease. Furthermore, these mice will provide a new model to study disease mechanism, and test therapies.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00401-012-1043-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00401-012-1043-z
PMCID: PMC3549237  PMID: 22961620
16.  Mechanisms of disease in frontotemporal lobar degeneration: gain of function versus loss of function effects 
Acta neuropathologica  2012;124(3):373-382.
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is clinically, pathologically and genetically heterogeneous. Three major proteins are implicated in its pathogenesis. About half of cases are characterized by depositions of the microtubule associated protein, tau (FTLD-tau). In most of the remaining cases, deposits of the transactive response (TAR) DNA-binding protein with Mw of 43 kDa, known as TDP-43 (FTLD-TDP), are seen. Lastly, about 5–10 % of cases are characterized by abnormal accumulations of a third protein, fused in sarcoma (FTLD-FUS). Depending on the protein concerned, the signature accumulations can take the form of inclusion bodies (neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions and neuronal intranuclear inclusions) or dystrophic neurites, in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and subcortex. In some instances, glial cells are also affected by inclusion body formation. In motor neurone disease (MND), TDP-43 or FUS inclusions can present within motor neurons of the brain stem and spinal cord. This present paper attempts to critically examine the role of such proteins in the pathogenesis of FTLD and MND as to whether they might exert a direct pathogenetic effect (gain of function), or simply act as relatively innocent witnesses to a more fundamental loss of function effect. We conclude that although there is strong evidence for both gain and loss of function effects in respect of each of the proteins concerned, in reality, it is likely that each is a single face of either side of the coin, and that both will play separate, though complementary, roles in driving the damage which ultimately leads to the downfall of neurons and clinical expression of disease.
doi:10.1007/s00401-012-1030-4
PMCID: PMC3445027  PMID: 22878865
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration; Motor neurone disease; Microtubule associated protein; Tau; TDP-43; FUS; Gain of function; Loss of function
17.  FET proteins TAF15 and EWS are selective markers that distinguish FTLD with FUS pathology from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutations 
Brain  2011;134(9):2595-2609.
Accumulation of the DNA/RNA binding protein fused in sarcoma as cytoplasmic inclusions in neurons and glial cells is the pathological hallmark of all patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with mutations in FUS as well as in several subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, which are not associated with FUS mutations. The mechanisms leading to inclusion formation and fused in sarcoma-associated neurodegeneration are only poorly understood. Because fused in sarcoma belongs to a family of proteins known as FET, which also includes Ewing’s sarcoma and TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15, we investigated the potential involvement of these other FET protein family members in the pathogenesis of fused in sarcoma proteinopathies. Immunohistochemical analysis of FET proteins revealed a striking difference among the various conditions, with pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutations being labelled exclusively for fused in sarcoma, whereas fused in sarcoma-positive inclusions in subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration also consistently immunostained for TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 and variably for Ewing’s sarcoma. Immunoblot analysis of proteins extracted from post-mortem tissue of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with fused in sarcoma pathology demonstrated a relative shift of all FET proteins towards insoluble protein fractions, while genetic analysis of the TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 and Ewing’s sarcoma gene did not identify any pathogenic variants. Cell culture experiments replicated the findings of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutations by confirming the absence of TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 and Ewing’s sarcoma alterations upon expression of mutant fused in sarcoma. In contrast, all endogenous FET proteins were recruited into cytoplasmic stress granules upon general inhibition of Transportin-mediated nuclear import, mimicking the findings in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with fused in sarcoma pathology. These results allow a separation of fused in sarcoma proteinopathies caused by FUS mutations from those without a known genetic cause based on neuropathological features. More importantly, our data imply different pathological processes underlying inclusion formation and cell death between both conditions; the pathogenesis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with FUS mutations appears to be more restricted to dysfunction of fused in sarcoma, while a more global and complex dysregulation of all FET proteins is involved in the subtypes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with fused in sarcoma pathology.
doi:10.1093/brain/awr201
PMCID: PMC3170539  PMID: 21856723
FUS; TAF15; EWS; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; frontotemporal dementia
18.  Nuclear Carrier and RNA Binding Proteins in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration associated with Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) pathological changes 
Neuropathology and applied neurobiology  2012;10.1111/j.1365-2990.2012.01274.x.
Aims
We aimed to investigate the role of the nuclear carrier and binding proteins, transportin-1 (TRN1) and transportin-2 (TRN2), TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15 (TAF15) and Ewing’s Sarcoma protein (EWS) in inclusion body formation in cases of Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD) associated with Fused in Sarcoma protein (FTLD-FUS).
Methods
Eight cases of FTLD-FUS (5 cases of atypical FTLD-U (aFTLD-U), 2 of Neuronal Intermediate Filament Inclusion Body Disease (NIFID) and 1 of Basophilic Inclusion Body Disease (BIBD)) were immunostained for FUS, TRN1, TRN2, TAF15 and EWS. 10 cases of FTLD associated with TDP-43 inclusions served as reference cases.
Results
The inclusion bodies in FTLD-FUS contained TRN1 and TAF15 and, to a lesser extent, EWS, but not TRN2. The patterns of immunostaining for TRN1 and TAF15 were very similar to that of FUS. None of these proteins was associated with tau or TDP-43 aggregations in FTLD.
Conclusion
Data suggest that FUS, TRN1 and TAF15 may participate in a functional pathway in an interdependent way, and imply that the function of TDP-43 may not necessarily be in parallel with, or complementary to, that of FUS, despite each protein sharing many similar structural elements.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2990.2012.01274.x
PMCID: PMC3479345  PMID: 22497712
Frontotemporal Lobar degeneration; Fused in Sarcoma; TDP-43; transportins; TATA-binding protein-associated factor 15; Ewing’s sarcoma protein
19.  Entorhinal cortical neurons are the primary targets of FUS mislocalization and ubiquitin aggregation in FUS transgenic rats 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(21):4602-4614.
Ubiquitin-positive inclusion containing Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) defines a new subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). FTLD is characterized by progressive alteration in cognitions and it preferentially affects the superficial layers of frontotemporal cortex. Mutation of FUS is linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and to motor neuron disease with FTLD. To examine FUS pathology in FTLD, we developed the first mammalian animal model expressing human FUS with pathogenic mutation and developing progressive loss of memory. In FUS transgenic rats, ubiquitin aggregation and FUS mislocalization were developed primarily in the entorhinal cortex of temporal lobe, particularly in the superficial layers of affected cortex. Overexpression of mutant FUS led to Golgi fragmentation and mitochondrion aggregation. Intriguingly, aggregated ubiquitin was not colocalized with either fragmented Golgi or aggregated mitochondria, and neurons with ubiquitin aggregates were deprived of endogenous TDP-43. Agonists of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) possess anti-glial inflammation effects and are also shown to preserve the dendrite and dendritic spines of cortical neurons in culture. Here we show that rosiglitazone, a PPAR-γ agonist, rescued the dendrites and dendritic spines of neurons from FUS toxicity and preserved rats' spatial memory. Our FUS transgenic rats would be useful to the mechanistic study of cortical dementia in FTLD. As rosiglitazone is clinically used to treat diabetes, our results would encourage immediate application of PPAR-γ agonists in treating patients with cortical dementia.
doi:10.1093/hmg/dds299
PMCID: PMC3471393  PMID: 22833456
20.  Acute and chronically increased immunoreactivity to phosphorylation-independent but not pathological TDP-43 after a single traumatic brain injury in humans 
Acta neuropathologica  2011;122(6):715-726.
The pathologic phosphorylation and sub-cellular translocation of neuronal transactive response-DNA binding protein (TDP-43) was identified as the major disease protein in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with ubiquitinated inclusions, now termed FTLD-TDP, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). More recently, TDP-43 proteinopathy has been reported in dementia pugilistica or chronic traumatic encephalopathy caused by repetitive traumatic brain injury (TBI). While a single TBI has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and an increased frequency of neurofibrillary tangles, TDP-43 proteinopathy has not been examined with survival following a single TBI. Using immunohistochemistry specific for both pathological phosphorylated TDP-43 (p-TDP-43) and phosphorylation-independent TDP-43 (pi-TDP-43), we examined acute (n = 23: Survival < 2 weeks) and long-term (n = 39; 1–47 years survival) survivors of a single TBI versus age-matched controls (n = 47). Multiple regions were examined including the hippocampus, medial temporal lobe, cingulate gyrus, superior frontal gyrus and brainstem. No association was found between a history of single TBI and abnormally phosphorylated TDP-43 (p-TDP-43) inclusions. Specifically, just 3 of 62 TBI cases displayed p-TDP-43 pathology versus 2 of 47 control cases. However, while aggregates of p-TDP-43 were not increased acutely or long-term following TBI, immunoreactivity to phosphorylation-independent TDP-43 was commonly increased in the cytoplasm following TBI with both acute and long-term survival. Moreover, while single TBI can induce multiple long-term neurodegenerative changes, the absence of TDP-43 proteinopathy may indicate a fundamental difference in the processes induced following single TBI from those of repetitive TBI.
doi:10.1007/s00401-011-0909-9
PMCID: PMC3979333  PMID: 22101322
TDP-43; 43 kDa transactive response (TAR) DNA binding protein; Traumatic brain injury; Head injury; Diffuse axonal injury; DAI; Neurodegeneration; Dementia; Alzheimer’s disease; Long-term survival; Single versus repetitive TBI
21.  Pallidonigral TDP-43 pathology in Perry syndrome 
Parkinsonism & related disorders  2008;15(4):281-286.
Objective
Autosomal dominant parkinsonism, hypoventilation, depression and severe weight loss (Perry syndrome) is an early-onset rapidly progressive disease. At autopsy, previous studies have found severe neuronal loss in the substantia nigra without Lewy bodies. Transactive response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) has recently been identified as a major ubiquitinated constituent of neuronal and glial inclusions in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin-positive inclusions and in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This study reports clinical, genetic and neuropathologic investigations of Perry syndrome.
Methods
Clinical data and autopsy brain tissue samples were collected from eight patients from four genealogically unrelated kindreds with Perry syndrome. Brain tissue was studied with immunohistochemistry and biochemistry for TDP-43. Patients were screened for mutations in the progranulin (GRN) and TDP-43 (TARDBP) genes.
Results
The mean age at onset was 47 years (range: 40-56), and the mean age at death was 52 years (range: 44-64). In all patients, we identified TDP-43-positive neuronal inclusions, dystrophic neurites and axonal spheroids in a predominantly pallidonigral distribution, and we demonstrated changes in solubility and electrophoretic mobility of TDP-43 in brain tissue. The inclusions were highly pleomorphic and predominated in the extrapyramidal system, sparing the cortex, hippocampus and motor neurons. There were no mutations in GRN or TARDBP.
Interpretation
Perry syndrome displays unique TDP-43 pathology that is selective for the extrapyramidal system and spares the neocortex and motor neurons.
doi:10.1016/j.parkreldis.2008.07.005
PMCID: PMC2693935  PMID: 18723384
autosomal dominant; axonal dystrophy; neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions; pallidonigral; parkinsonism; Perry syndrome; TARDBP; TDP-43
22.  TDP-43 in aging and Alzheimer's disease - a review 
Transactive response DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43), an RNA and DNA binding protein involved in transcriptional repression, RNA splicing and RNA metabolism during the stress response, is the major component of neuronal inclusions in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin inclusions, now referred to as FTLD-TDP. While initially thought to be relatively specific to ALS and FTLD-TDP, TDP-43 pathology has now been detected in a number of other neurodegenerative diseases, many associated with tau pathology, including Guam Parkinson dementia complex and Alzheimer's disease (AD). TDP-43 pathology is detected in 25% to 50% of AD cases, especially those with more severe clinical phenotype and greater Alzheimer type pathology, as well as AD cases with hippocampal sclerosis (HS). HS is characterized by selective neuronal loss affecting CA1 sector of the hippocampus, and most cases of HS, with or without AD, have TDP-43 pathology. Whether TDP-43 pathology is merely an incidental finding in AD or actually contributing to the more severe clinical phenotype remains unresolved. Presence of TDP-43 in normal elderly, who are at increased risk for AD, would strengthen the argument that it is not merely a secondary or incidental finding in end stage AD. Limited studies suggest that TDP-43 pathology is infrequent in neurologically normal elderly (3% or less). We provide an overview of what is known about TDP-43 in AD, normal aging and in other disorders and suggest that TDP-43 proteinopathies be considered in two classes - primary and secondary.
PMCID: PMC3037200  PMID: 21326809
Alzheimer's disease (AD); amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD); neurofibrillary tangles (NFT); progranulin; tau; transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43)
23.  Clinical and neuroanatomical signatures of tissue pathology in frontotemporal lobar degeneration 
Brain  2011;134(9):2565-2581.
Relating clinical symptoms to neuroanatomical profiles of brain damage and ultimately to tissue pathology is a key challenge in the field of neurodegenerative disease and particularly relevant to the heterogeneous disorders that comprise the frontotemporal lobar degeneration spectrum. Here we present a retrospective analysis of clinical, neuropsychological and neuroimaging (volumetric and voxel-based morphometric) features in a pathologically ascertained cohort of 95 cases of frontotemporal lobar degeneration classified according to contemporary neuropathological criteria. Forty-eight cases (51%) had TDP-43 pathology, 42 (44%) had tau pathology and five (5%) had fused-in-sarcoma pathology. Certain relatively specific clinicopathological associations were identified. Semantic dementia was predominantly associated with TDP-43 type C pathology; frontotemporal dementia and motoneuron disease with TDP-43 type B pathology; young-onset behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia with FUS pathology; and the progressive supranuclear palsy syndrome with progressive supranuclear palsy pathology. Progressive non-fluent aphasia was most commonly associated with tau pathology. However, the most common clinical syndrome (behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia) was pathologically heterogeneous; while pathologically proven Pick's disease and corticobasal degeneration were clinically heterogeneous, and TDP-43 type A pathology was associated with similar clinical features in cases with and without progranulin mutations. Volumetric magnetic resonance imaging, voxel-based morphometry and cluster analyses of the pathological groups here suggested a neuroanatomical framework underpinning this clinical and pathological diversity. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration-associated pathologies segregated based on their cerebral atrophy profiles, according to the following scheme: asymmetric, relatively localized (predominantly temporal lobe) atrophy (TDP-43 type C); relatively symmetric, relatively localized (predominantly temporal lobe) atrophy (microtubule-associated protein tau mutations); strongly asymmetric, distributed atrophy (Pick's disease); relatively symmetric, predominantly extratemporal atrophy (corticobasal degeneration, fused-in-sarcoma pathology). TDP-43 type A pathology was associated with substantial individual variation; however, within this group progranulin mutations were associated with strongly asymmetric, distributed hemispheric atrophy. We interpret the findings in terms of emerging network models of neurodegenerative disease: the neuroanatomical specificity of particular frontotemporal lobar degeneration pathologies may depend on an interaction of disease-specific and network-specific factors.
doi:10.1093/brain/awr198
PMCID: PMC3170537  PMID: 21908872
frontotemporal dementia; frontotemporal lobar degeneration; voxel-based morphometry; MRI; neural network
24.  Frequency of ubiquitin and FUS-positive, TDP-43-negative frontotemporal lobar degeneration 
Journal of Neurology  2009;257(5):747-753.
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a clinically, genetically and pathologically heterogeneous disorder. Within FTLD with ubiquitin-positive inclusions (FTLD-U), a new pathological subtype named FTLD-FUS was recently found with fused in sarcoma (FUS) positive, TDP-43-negative inclusions, and striking atrophy of the caudate nucleus. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of FTLD-FUS in our pathological FTLD series, and to describe the clinical, neuroimaging and neuropathological features of FTLD-FUS, especially caudate atrophy. Demographic and clinical data collected prospectively from 387 patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) yielded 74 brain specimens. Immunostaining was carried out using a panel of antibodies, including AT-8, ubiquitin, p62, FUS, and TDP-43. Cortical and caudate atrophy on MRI (n = 136) was rated as normal, mild-moderate or severe. Of the 37 FTLD-U cases, 33 were reclassified as FTLD-TDP and four (0.11, 95%: 0.00–0.21) as FTLD-FUS, with ubiquitin and FUS-positive, p62 and TDP-43-negative neuronal intranuclear inclusions (NII). All four FTLD-FUS cases had a negative family history, behavioural variant FTD (bvFTD), and three had an age at onset ≤40 years. MRI revealed mild-moderate or severe caudate atrophy in all, with a mean duration from onset till MRI of 63 months (range 16–119 months). In our total clinical FTD cohort, we found 11 patients (0.03; 95% CI: 0.01–0.05) with bvFTD, negative family history, and age at onset ≤40 years. Caudate atrophy was present in 10 out of 136 MRIs, and included all four FUS-cases. The newly identified FTLD-FUS has a frequency of 11% in FTLD-U, and an estimated frequency of three percent in our clinical FTD cohort. The existence of this pathological subtype can be predicted with reasonable certainty by age at onset ≤40 years, negative family history, bvFTD and caudate atrophy on MRI.
doi:10.1007/s00415-009-5404-z
PMCID: PMC2864899  PMID: 19946779
Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD); Ubiquitin; p62; TDP-43; FUS
25.  Cytoplasmic Inclusions of TDP-43 in Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Potential Role for Caspases 
Histology and histopathology  2009;24(8):1081-1086.
TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) proteinopathies are classified based upon the extent of modified TDP-43 inclusions and include a growing number of neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin immunoreactive, tau negative inclusions (FTLD-U) and FTLD with motor neuron disease (FTLD-MND). In addition, TDP-43 inclusions have also been identified in a number of other neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease, corticobasal degeneration, Lewy body related diseases and Pick's disease. Current understanding suggests that in these diseases, TDP-43 is relocated from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and sequestered into inclusions that contain modified TDP-43. Major modifications of TDP-43 have been identified as being hyperphosphorylation and proteolytic cleavage by caspases. In this review a summary of the major findings regarding the proteolytic modification of TDP-43 will be discussed as well as potential toxic-gain mechanisms these fragments may cause including cytoskeletal disruptions.
PMCID: PMC2791961  PMID: 19554515
Pick's disease; Pick bodies; Caspases; TDP-43; Hirano Bodies; Tau; Review; Alzheimer's disease; FTLD-U; ALS; actin

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