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Loss of fused in sarcoma (FUS) promotes pathological Tau splicing

Denise Orozco, Sabina Tahirovic, Kristin Rentzsch, Benjamin M Schwenk, Christian Haass, Dieter Edbauer

Author Affiliations

  1. Denise Orozco1,2,
  2. Sabina Tahirovic1,
  3. Kristin Rentzsch1,
  4. Benjamin M Schwenk1,
  5. Christian Haass1,3 and
  6. Dieter Edbauer*,1,3
  1. 1 German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Schillerstr. 44, Munich, 80336, Germany
  2. 2 The International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, Am Klopferspitz 18, Martinsried, 82152, Germany
  3. 3 Adolf Butenandt Institute, Biochemistry, Ludwig‐Maximilians University Munich, Schillerstr. 44, Munich, 80336, Germany
  1. *Corresponding author. Tel:+49 8921 8075462; Fax:+49 8921 8075432; E-mail: dieter.edbauer{at}dzne.de
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Abstract

A subset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) patients present pathological redistribution and aggregation of the nuclear protein fused in sarcoma (FUS) in the cytoplasm. Although FUS associates with the spliceosomal complex, no endogenous neuronal splicing targets have been identified. Here we identify Tau mRNA as a physiological splicing target of FUS. In mouse brain, FUS directly binds to Tau pre‐mRNA, and knockdown of FUS in hippocampal neurons leads to preferential inclusion of Tau exons 3 and 10. FUS knockdown causes significant growth cone enlargement and disorganization reminiscent of Tau loss of function. These findings suggest that disturbed cytoskeletal function and enhanced expression of the neurodegeneration‐associated Tau exon 10 might contribute to FTLD/ALS with FUS inclusions.

  • Received January 17, 2012.
  • Revision received May 22, 2012.
  • Accepted June 1, 2012.
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