ER-mitochondria associations are regulated by the VAPB-PTPIP51 interaction and are disrupted by ALS/FTD-associated TDP-43

Radu Stoica, Kurt J. De Vos, Sébastien Paillusson, Sarah Mueller, Rosa M. Sancho, Kwok Fai Lau, Gema Vizcay-Barrena, Wen Lang Lin, Ya Fei Xu, Jada Lewis, Dennis W. Dickson, Leonard Petrucelli, Jacqueline C. Mitchell, Christopher E. Shaw, Christopher C.J. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

260 Scopus citations


Mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) form tight structural associations and these facilitate a number of cellular functions. However, the mechanisms by which regions of the ER become tethered to mitochondria are not properly known. Understanding these mechanisms is not just important for comprehending fundamental physiological processes but also for understanding pathogenic processes in some disease states. In particular, disruption to ER-mitochondria associations is linked to some neurodegenerative diseases. Here we show that the ER-resident protein VAPB interacts with the mitochondrial protein tyrosine phosphatase-interacting protein-51 (PTPIP51) to regulate ER-mitochondria associations. Moreover, we demonstrate that TDP-43, a protein pathologically linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and fronto-temporal dementia perturbs ER-mitochondria interactions and that this is associated with disruption to the VAPB-PTPIP51 interaction and cellular Ca2+ homeostasis. Finally, we show that overexpression of TDP-43 leads to activation of glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) and that GSK-3β regulates the VAPB-PTPIP51 interaction. Our results describe a new pathogenic mechanism for TDP-43.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3996
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jun 3 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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