In this study, we targeted the N-terminal domain (NTD) of transactive response (TAR) DNA binding protein (TDP-43), which is implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases. In silico docking of 50K compounds to the NTD domain of TDP-43 identified a small molecule (nTRD22) that is bound to the N-terminal domain. Interestingly, nTRD22 caused allosteric modulation of the RNA binding domain (RRM) of TDP-43, resulting in decreased binding to RNA in vitro. Moreover, incubation of primary motor neurons with nTRD22 induced a reduction of TDP-43 protein levels, similar to TDP-43 RNA binding-deficient mutants and supporting a disruption of TDP-43 binding to RNA. Finally, nTRD22 mitigated motor impairment in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Our findings provide an exciting way of allosteric modulation of the RNA-binding region of TDP-43 through the N-terminal domain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine