TDP-43 knockdown impairs neurite outgrowth dependent on its target histone deacetylase 6

Fabienne C. Fiesel, Christine Schurr, Stephanie S. Weber, Philipp J. Kahle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Trans-activation response element (TAR) DNA binding protein of 43kDa (TDP-43) is causally related to the neurodegenerative diseases frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis being the hallmark protein in the disease-characteristic neuropathological lesions and via genetic linkage. Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is an established target of the RNA-binding protein TDP-43. HDAC6 is an unusual cytosolic deacetylase enzyme, central for a variety of pivotal cellular functions including aggregating protein turnover, microtubular dynamics and filopodia formation. All these functions are important in the context of neurodegenerative proteinopathies involving TDP-43. We have previously shown in a human embryonic kidney cell line that TDP-43 knockdown significantly impairs the removal of a toxic, aggregating polyQ ataxin-3 fusion protein in an HDAC6-dependent manner. Here we investigated the influence of TDP-43 and its target HDAC6 on neurite outgrowth. Results: Human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells with stably silenced TDP-43 showed a significant reduction of neurite outgrowth induced by retinoic acid and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Re-transfection with TDP-43 as well as HDAC6 rescued retinoic acid-induced neurite outgrowth. In addition, we show that silencing of HDAC6 alone is sufficient to reduce neurite outgrowth of in vitro differentiated SH-SY5Y cells. Conclusions: TDP-43 deficiency leads to impairment of neurite growth in an HDAC6-dependent manner, thereby contributing to neurodegenerative events in TDP-43 diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number64
JournalMolecular neurodegeneration
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


  • HDAC6
  • RNAi
  • SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma
  • TDP-43
  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • frontotemporal dementia
  • neurite outgrowth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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