The Caenorhabditis elegans Ortholog of TDP-43 Regulates the Chromatin Localization of the Heterochromatin Protein 1 Homolog HPL-2

Tassa K. Saldi, Patrick Gonzales, Alfonso Garrido-Lecca, Vishantie Dostal, Christine M. Roberts, Leonard Petrucelli, Christopher D. Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


TDP-1 is the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of mammalian TDP-43, which is strongly implicated in the etiology of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We discovered that deletion of the tdp-1 gene results in enhanced nuclear RNA interference (RNAi). As nuclear RNAi in C. elegans involves chromatin changes moderated by HPL-2, a homolog of heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1), we investigated the interaction of TDP-1 and HPL-2. We found that TDP-1 and HPL-2 interact directly and that loss of TDP-1 dramatically alters the chromatin association of HPL-2. We showed previously that deletion of the tdp-1 gene results in transcriptional alterations and the accumulation of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). These molecular changes are replicated in an hpl-2 deletion strain, consistent with HPL-2 acting in consort with TDP-1 to modulate these aspects of RNA metabolism. Our observations identify novel mechanisms by which HP1 homologs can be recruited to chromatin and by which nuclear depletion of human TDP-43 may lead to changes in RNA metabolism that are relevant to disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018



  • ChIP-seq
  • chromatin
  • dsRNA
  • neurodegeneration
  • RNA-seq

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this