Signaling defects in iPSC-derived fragile X premutation neurons.
ABSTRACT Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a leading monogenic neurodegenerative disorder affecting premutation carriers of the fragile X (FMR1) gene. To investigate the underlying cellular neuropathology, we produced induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons from isogenic subclones of primary fibroblasts of a female premutation carrier, with each subclone bearing exclusively either the normal or the expanded (premutation) form of the FMR1 gene as the active allele. We show that neurons harboring the stably-active, expanded allele (EX-Xa) have reduced postsynaptic density protein 95 protein expression, reduced synaptic puncta density and reduced neurite length. Importantly, such neurons are also functionally abnormal, with calcium transients of higher amplitude and increased frequency than for neurons harboring the normal-active allele. Moreover, a sustained calcium elevation was found in the EX-Xa neurons after glutamate application. By excluding the individual genetic background variation, we have demonstrated neuronal phenotypes directly linked to the FMR1 premutation. Our approach represents a unique isogenic, X-chromosomal epigenetic model to aid the development of targeted therapeutics for FXTAS, and more broadly as a model for the study of common neurodevelopmental (e.g. autism) and neurodegenerative (e.g. Parkinsonism, dementias) disorders.
SourceAvailable from: Zukhrofi Muzar[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is caused by a premutation CGG-repeat expansion in the 5'UTR of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. The classical clinical manifestations include tremor, cerebellar ataxia, cognitive decline and psychiatric disorders. Other less frequent features are peripheral neuropathy and autonomic dysfunction. Cognitive decline, a form of frontal subcortical dementia, memory loss and executive function deficits are also characteristics of this disorder. In this review, we present an expansion of recommendations for genetic testing for adults with suspected premutation disorders and provide an update of the clinical, radiological and molecular research of FXTAS, as well as the current research in the treatment for this intractable complex neurodegenerative genetic disorder.Journal of diarrhoeal diseases research 11/2014; 3(4):101-109. DOI:10.5582/irdr.2014.01029
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects as many as 1 in 68 children and is said to be the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States. There is currently no medical cure or diagnostic test for ASD. Furthermore, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve a single drug for the treatment of autism's core symptoms. Despite numerous genome studies and the identification of hundreds of genes that may cause or predispose children to ASD, the pathways underlying the pathogenesis of idiopathic ASD still remain elusive. Post-mortem brain samples, apart from being difficult to obtain, offer little insight into a disorder that arises through the course of development. Furthermore, ASD is a disorder of highly complex, human-specific behaviors, making it difficult to model in animals. Stem cell models of ASD can be generated by performing skin biopsies of ASD patients and then dedifferentiating these fibroblasts into human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). iPSCs closely resemble embryonic stem cells and retain the unique genetic signature of the ASD patient from whom they were originally derived. Differentiation of these iPSCs into neurons essentially recapitulates the ASD patient's neuronal development in a dish, allowing for a patient-specific model of ASD. Here we review our current understanding of the underlying neurobiology of ASD and how the use of stem cells can advance this understanding, possibly leading to new therapeutic avenues.The Yale journal of biology and medicine 03/2015; 88(1):5-16.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common single gene cause of intellectual disability and it is characterized by a CGG expansion of more than 200 repeats in the FMR1 gene, leading to methylation of the promoter and gene silencing. The fragile X premutation, characterized by a 55 to 200 CGG repeat expansion, causes health problems and developmental difficulties in some, but not all, carriers. The premutation causes primary ovarian insufficiency in approximately 20% of females, psychiatric problems (including depression and/or anxiety) in approximately 50% of carriers and a neurodegenerative disorder, the fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), in approximately 40% of males and 16% of females later in life. Recent clinical studies in premutation carriers have expanded the health problems that may be seen. Advances in the molecular pathogenesis of the premutation have shown significant mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in neurons which may be amenable to treatment. Here we review the clinical problems of carriers and treatment recommendations.01/2014; 3. DOI:10.4172/2168-975X.1000119