Leukoencephalopathy with vanishing white matter: a review.
ABSTRACT Vanishing white matter (VWM) is one of the most prevalent inherited childhood leukoencephalopathies, but this may affect people of all ages, including neonates and adults. It is a progressive disorder clinically dominated by cerebellar ataxia and in which minor stress conditions, such as fever or mild trauma, provoke major episodes of neurologic deterioration. Typical pathological findings include increasing white matter rarefaction and cystic degeneration, oligodendrocytosis with highly characteristic foamy oligodendrocytes, meager astrogliosis with dysmorphic astrocytes, and loss of oligodendrocytes by apoptosis. Vanishing white matter is caused by mutations in any of the genes encoding the 5 subunits of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2B (eIF2B), EIF2B1 through EIF2B5. eIF2B is a ubiquitously expressed protein complex that plays a crucial role in regulating the rate of protein synthesis. Vanishing white matter mutations reduce the activity of eIF2B and impair its function to couple protein synthesis to the cellular demands in basal conditions and during stress. Reduced eIF2B activity leads to sustained improper activation of the unfolded protein response, resulting in concomitant expression of proliferation, prosurvival, and proapoptotic downstream effectors. Consequently, VWM cells are constitutively predisposed and hyperreactive to stress. In view of the fact that VWM genes are housekeeping genes, it is surprising that the disease is primarily a leukoencephalopathy. The pathophysiology of selective glial vulnerability in VWM remains poorly understood.
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ABSTRACT: Leukoencephalopathy with vanishing white matter (VWM) is one of the most prevalent inherited childhood white matter disorders, which caused by mutations in each of the five subunits of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2B (EIF2B1-5). In our study, 34 out of the 36 clinically diagnosed children (94%) were identified to have EIF2B1-5 mutations by sequencing. 15 novel mutations were identified. CNVs were not detected in patients with only one mutant allele and mutation-negative determined by gene sequencing. There is a significantly higher incidence of patients with EIF2B3 mutations compared with Caucasian patients (32% vs. 4%). c.1037T>C (p.Ile346Thr) in EIF2B3 was confirmed to be a founder mutation in Chinese, which probably one of the causes of the genotypic differences between ethnicities. Our average 4.4 years-follow-up on infantile, early childhood and juvenile VWM children suggested a rapid deterioration in motor function. Episodic aggravation was presented in 90% of infantile cases and 71.4% of childhood cases. 10 patients died during the follow-up. The Kaplan-Meier curve showed that the median survival time is 8.83 ± 1.51 years. This is the largest sample of children in a VWM follow-up study, which is helpful for a more depth understanding about the natural course.PLoS ONE 03/2015; 10(3):e0118001. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0118001 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: RNA polymerase III (Pol III) synthesizes tRNAs and other small noncoding RNAs to regulate protein synthesis. Dysregulation of Pol III transcription has been linked to cancer, and germline mutations in genes encoding Pol III subunits or tRNA processing factors cause neurogenetic disorders in humans, such as hypomyelinating leukodystrophies and pontocerebellar hypoplasia. Here we describe an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by cerebellar hypoplasia and intellectual disability, as well as facial dysmorphic features, short stature, microcephaly, and dental anomalies. Whole-exome sequencing revealed biallelic missense alterations of BRF1 in three families. In support of the pathogenic potential of the discovered alleles, suppression or CRISPR-mediated deletion of brf1 in zebrafish embryos recapitulated key neurodevelopmental phenotypes; in vivo complementation showed all four candidate mutations to be pathogenic in an apparent isoform-specific context. BRF1 associates with BDP1 and TBP to form the transcription factor IIIB (TFIIIB), which recruits Pol III to target genes. We show that disease-causing mutations reduce Brf1 occupancy at tRNA target genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and impair cell growth. Moreover, BRF1 mutations reduce Pol III-related transcription activity in vitro. Taken together, our data show that BRF1 mutations that reduce protein activity cause neurodevelopmental anomalies, suggesting that BRF1-mediated Pol III transcription is required for normal cerebellar and cognitive development. © 2015 Borck et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.Genome Research 01/2015; 25(2). DOI:10.1101/gr.176925.114 · 13.85 Impact Factor
12/2012; 2(3):170-176. DOI:10.5222/buchd.2012.170