Exaggerated translation causes synaptic and behavioural aberrations associated with autism.
ABSTRACT Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are an early onset, heterogeneous group of heritable neuropsychiatric disorders with symptoms that include deficits in social interaction skills, impaired communication abilities, and ritualistic-like repetitive behaviours. One of the hypotheses for a common molecular mechanism underlying ASDs is altered translational control resulting in exaggerated protein synthesis. Genetic variants in chromosome 4q, which contains the EIF4E locus, have been described in patients with autism. Importantly, a rare single nucleotide polymorphism has been identified in autism that is associated with increased promoter activity in the EIF4E gene. Here we show that genetically increasing the levels of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) in mice results in exaggerated cap-dependent translation and aberrant behaviours reminiscent of autism, including repetitive and perseverative behaviours and social interaction deficits. Moreover, these autistic-like behaviours are accompanied by synaptic pathophysiology in the medial prefrontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus. The autistic-like behaviours displayed by the eIF4E-transgenic mice are corrected by intracerebroventricular infusions of the cap-dependent translation inhibitor 4EGI-1. Our findings demonstrate a causal relationship between exaggerated cap-dependent translation, synaptic dysfunction and aberrant behaviours associated with autism.
SourceAvailable from: Darius Ebrahimi-Fakhari[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Recent studies have implicated hundreds of genetic variants in the cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Genes involved in 'monogenic' forms of syndromic ASD converge on common pathways that are involved in synaptic development, plasticity and signaling. In this review, we discuss how these 'developmental synaptopathies' inform our understanding of the molecular disease in ASD and highlight promising approaches that have bridged the gap between the bench and the clinic. Accumulating evidence suggests that synaptic deficits in syndromic and nonsyndromic ASD can be mapped to gene mutations in pathways that control synaptic protein synthesis and degradation with postsynaptic scaffold architecture and neurotransmitter receptors. This is recapitulated in models of Fragile X syndrome (FXS), Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), Angelman syndrome and Phelan-McDermid syndrome (PMS), all of which cause syndromic ASD. Important recent advances include the development of mouse models and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines that enable a detailed investigation of synaptic deficits and the identification of potential targets for therapy. Examples of the latter include mGluR5 antagonists in FXS, mTOR inhibitors in TSC and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in PMS. Identifying converging pathways in syndromic forms of ASD will uncover novel therapeutic targets for non-syndromic ASD. Insights into developmental synaptopathies will lead to rational development of mechanism-based therapies and clinical trials that may provide a blueprint for other common pathways implicated in the molecular neuropathology of ASD.Current Opinion in Neurology 02/2015; DOI:10.1097/WCO.0000000000000186 · 5.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Infantile autism and schizophrenia are severe multifactorial disorders with a pronounced genetic predisposition. Their pathogeneses are often associated with oxidative stress in the brain. Previously, we established that a cell's resistance to oxidative stress depended on the copy number of transcriptionally active genes for rRNA (ribosomal genes) in the cell's genome. The feature is measured cytogenetically in cultured lymphocytes derived from patients. It varies from 120 up to 190 copies per diploid genome, with an arithmetic mean of 150±4 (SE) copies in a healthy population (n=239), being considerably lower, according to our previous results, in a sample of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (n=49), another multifactorial disease with a proven significant role of oxidative stress in its pathogenesis: from 115 to 165 copies, with a mean of 140±4 (SE). Conversely, a sample of schizophrenic patients (n=42) previously showed a higher value of copy number of active rRNA genes compared with a healthy population: from 145 to 190 copies, with a mean of 170±4. This fact is of special interest in the context of the well-known, but still unexplained phenomenon of the reduced comorbidity rate of schizophrenia and rheumatoid arthritis. The copy number of active ribosomal genes was estimated in a sample of autistic children (n=51). In contrast with the schizophrenic patients studied previously, we found that the values were significantly lower than those in the healthy population: from 125 to 160 copies, with a mean of 142±5. In this work, we suggest a mathematical model of the oxidative stress dynamics on the basis of Lotka-Volterra's approach to predator-prey interactions. In our model, the 'prey' represents reactive oxygen species, whereas the 'predator' simulates molecules of the antioxidant enzymes. The rate of biosynthesis of the latter is limited by the number of ribosomes available, which, in turn, is determined by the copy number of active rRNA genes. Analysis of the model showed the existence of a unique equilibrium point that makes biological sense. The reactive oxygen species level oscillatory approaches this equilibrium value, which inversely depends on the copy number of active rRNA genes. Our findings confirm the hypothesis of disturbance of the 'translational homeostasis' in the pathogeneses of autism and schizophrenia, and would help explain why oxidative stress markers are discovered in most autism studies, whereas similar reports related to schizophrenia are far less consistent.
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ABSTRACT: Cap-dependent translation is a potential cancer-related target (oncotarget) due to its critical role in cancer initiation and progression. 4EGI-1, an inhibitor of eIF4E/eIF4G interaction, was discovered by screening chemical libraries of small molecules. 4EGI-1 inhibits cap-dependent translation initiation by impairing the assembly of the eIF4E/eIF4G complex, and therefore is a potential anti-cancer agent. Here, we report that 4EGI-1 also inhibits mTORC1 signaling independent of its inhibitory role on cap-dependent translation initiation. The inhibition of mTORC1 signaling by 4EGI-1 activates Akt due to both abrogation of the negative feedback loops from mTORC1 to PI3K and activation of mTORC2. We further validated that mTORC2 activity is required for 4EGI-1-mediated Akt activation. The activated Akt counteracted the anticancer effects of 4EGI-1. In support of this model, inhibition of Akt potentiates the antitumor activity of 4EGI-1 both in vitro and in a xenograft mouse model in vivo. Our results suggest that a combination of 4EGI-1and Akt inhibitor is a rational approach for the treatment of cancer.Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 01/2015; 14(2):232-42. DOI:10.4161/15384101.2014.977096 · 5.01 Impact Factor