Structural diversity and functional implications of the eukaryotic TDP gene family

Hurng Yi Wang, I. Fan Wang, Jayaramakrishnan Bose, C. K.James Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Citations (Scopus)


TDP-43 is an RNA-binding protein that functions in mammalian cells in transcriptional repression and exon skipping. The gene encoding TDP-43 (HGMW-approved gene symbol TARDBP) is conserved in human, mouse, Drosophila melanogaster, and Caenorhabditis elegans. Sequence comparison of the coding regions of the TDP genes among the four taxa reveals an extraordinarily low rate of sequence divergence, suggesting that the TDP genes carry out essential functions in these organisms. With DNA transfection assay, we have established the importance of the glycine-rich domain for the exon-skipping activity of TDP-43. Both human and mouse TDP genes belong to a gene family that also consists of a number of processed pseudogenes. Interestingly, combined database analysis and cDNA cloning have demonstrated that the primary transcript of the mammalian TDP genes undergoes alternative splicing to generate 11 mRNAs, including the one encoding TDP-43. Eight of the 11 splicing events involved the use of four each of the 5′-donor and 3′-acceptor sites, all of which reside within the last exon of the TDP-43 mRNA. The existence of multispliced isoforms of TDP-encoded proteins provides further support for the functional complexity of the eukaryotic TDP genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternative splicing
  • Evolution
  • Exon skipping
  • TDP family

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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