Aggregation and cytoplasmic mislocalization of TDP-43 are pathological hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia spectrum. However, the molecular mechanism by which TDP-43 aggregates form and cause neurodegeneration remains poorly understood. Cyclophilin A, also known as peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase A (PPIA), is a foldase and molecular chaperone. We previously found that PPIA interacts with TDP-43 and governs some of its functions, and its deficiency accelerates disease in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here we characterized PPIA knock-out mice throughout their lifespan and found that they develop a neurodegenerative disease with key behavioural features of frontotemporal dementia, marked TDP-43 pathology and late-onset motor dysfunction. In the mouse brain, deficient PPIA induces mislocalization and aggregation of the GTP-binding nuclear protein Ran, a PPIA interactor and a master regulator of nucleocytoplasmic transport, also for TDP-43. Moreover, in absence of PPIA, TDP-43 autoregulation is perturbed and TDP-43 and proteins involved in synaptic function are downregulated, leading to impairment of synaptic plasticity. Finally, we found that PPIA was downregulated in several patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia, and identified a PPIA loss-of-function mutation in a patient with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis . The mutant PPIA has low stability, altered structure and impaired interaction with TDP-43. These findings strongly implicate that defective PPIA function causes TDP-43 mislocalization and dysfunction and should be considered in future therapeutic approaches.
Grassano M.;Carli M.;De Marco G.;Manera U.;Moglia C.;Chio A.;Calvo A.
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