Targeted mutation of Cyln2 in the Williams syndrome critical region links CLIP-115 haploinsufficiency to neurodevelopmental abnormalities in mice.

MGC Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Erasmus University, P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Nature Genetics (Impact Factor: 29.65). 10/2002; 32(1):116-27. DOI: 10.1038/ng954
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Williams syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by the hemizygous deletion of 1.6 Mb on human chromosome 7q11.23. This region comprises the gene CYLN2, encoding CLIP-115, a microtubule-binding protein of 115 kD. Using a gene-targeting approach, we provide evidence that mice with haploinsufficiency for Cyln2 have features reminiscent of Williams syndrome, including mild growth deficiency, brain abnormalities, hippocampal dysfunction and particular deficits in motor coordination. Absence of CLIP-115 also leads to increased levels of CLIP-170 (a closely related cytoplasmic linker protein) and dynactin at the tips of growing microtubules. This protein redistribution may affect dynein motor regulation and, together with the loss of CLIP-115-specific functions, underlie neurological alterations in Williams syndrome.

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    ABSTRACT: Williams-Beuren syndrome is a developmental multisystemic disorder caused by a recurrent 1.55-1.83 Mb heterozygous deletion on human chromosome band 7q11.23. Through chromosomal engineering with the cre-loxP system, we have generated mice with an almost complete deletion of the conserved syntenic region on chromosome 5G2. Heterozygous complete deletion mice were viable, fertile, and had a normal lifespan, while homozygotes were early embryonic lethal. Transcript levels of most deleted genes were reduced 50% in several tissues, consistent with gene dosage. Heterozygous mutant mice showed postnatal growth delay with reduced body weight and craniofacial abnormalities such as small mandible. The cardiovascular phenotype was only manifested with borderline hypertension, mildly increased arterial wall thickness, and cardiac hypertrophy. The neurobehavioral phenotype revealed impairments in motor coordination, increased startle response to acoustic stimuli and hypersociability. Mutant mice showed a general reduction in brain weight. Cellular and histological abnormalities were present in the amygdala, cortex and hippocampus, including increased proportion of immature neurons. In summary, these mice recapitulate most crucial phenotypes of the human disorder, provide novel insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms of the disease such as the neural substrates of the behavioral manifestations, and will be valuable to evaluate novel therapeutic approaches.
    Human Molecular Genetics 07/2014; DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddu368 · 6.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Williams syndrome (WS) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder arising from a hemizygotic deletion of approximately 27 genes on chromosome 7, at locus 7q11.23. WS is characterised by an uneven cognitive profile, with serious deficits in visuospatial tasks in comparison to relatively proficient performance in some other cognitive domains such as language and face processing. Individuals with partial genetic deletions within the WS critical region (WSCR) have provided insights into the contribution of specific genes to this complex phenotype. However, the combinatorial effects of different genes remain elusive. Methods We report on visuospatial cognition in two individuals with contrasting partial deletions in the WSCR: one female (HR), aged 11 years 9 months, with haploinsufficiency for 24 of the WS genes (up to GTF2IRD1), and one male (JB), aged 14 years 2 months, with the three most telomeric genes within the WSCR deleted, or partially deleted. Results Our in-depth phenotyping of the visuospatial domain from table-top psychometric, and small- and large-scale experimental tasks reveal a profile in HR in line with typically developing controls, albeit with some atypical features. These data are contrasted with patient JB's atypical profile of strengths and weaknesses across the visuospatial domain, as well as with more substantial visuospatial deficits in individuals with the full WS deletion. Conclusions Our findings point to the contribution of specific genes to spatial processing difficulties associated with WS, highlighting the multifaceted nature of spatial cognition and the divergent effects of genetic deletions within the WSCR on different components of visuospatial ability. The importance of general transcription factors at the telomeric end of the WSCR, and their combinatorial effects on the WS visuospatial phenotype are also discussed.
    Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders 07/2014; 6(1). DOI:10.1186/1866-1955-6-18 · 3.71 Impact Factor

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