EIF2B5 mutations compromise GFAP(+) astrocyte generation in vanishing white matter leukodystrophy
ABSTRACT Vanishing white matter disease (VWM) is a heritable leukodystrophy linked to mutations in translation initiation factor 2B (eIF2B). Although the clinical course of this disease has been relatively well described, the cellular consequences of EIF2B mutations on neural cells are unknown. Here we have established cell cultures from the brain of an individual with VWM carrying mutations in subunit 5 of eIF2B (encoded by EIF2B5). Despite the extensive demyelination apparent in this VWM patient, normal-appearing oligodendrocytes were readily generated in vitro. In contrast, few GFAP-expressing (GFAP+) astrocytes were present in primary cultures, induction of astrocytes was severely compromised, and the few astrocytes generated showed abnormal morphologies and antigenic phenotypes. Lesions in vivo also lacked GFAP+ astrocytes. RNAi targeting of EIF2B5 severely compromised the induction of GFAP+ cells from normal human glial progenitors. This raises the possibility that a deficiency in astrocyte function may contribute to the loss of white matter in VWM leukodystrophy.
SourceAvailable from: Cristian Droppelmann[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Small GTPases participate in a broad range of cellular processes such as proliferation, differentiation, and migration. The exchange of GDP for GTP resulting in the activation of these GTPases is catalyzed by a group of enzymes called guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), of which two classes: Dbl-related exchange factors and the more recently described dedicator of cytokinesis proteins family exchange factors. Increasingly, deregulation of normal GEF activity or function has been associated with a broad range of disease states, including neurodegeneration and neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we examine this evidence with special emphasis on the novel role of Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RGNEF/p190RhoGEF) in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. RGNEF is the first neurodegeneration-linked GEF that regulates not only RhoA GTPase activation but also functions as an RNA binding protein that directly acts with low molecular weight neurofilament mRNA 3' untranslated region to regulate its stability. This dual role for RGNEF, coupled with the increasing understanding of the key role for GEFs in modulating the GTPase function in cell survival suggests a prominent role for GEFs in mediating a critical balance between cytotoxicity and neuroprotection which, when disturbed, contributes to neuronal loss.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 09/2014; 8. DOI:10.3389/fncel.2014.00282 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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