Heterozygous mutations of the kinesin KIF21A in congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles type 1 (CFEOM1).
ABSTRACT Congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles type 1 (CFEOM1; OMIM #135700) is an autosomal dominant strabismus disorder associated with defects of the oculomotor nerve. We show that individuals with CFEOM1 harbor heterozygous missense mutations in a kinesin motor protein encoded by KIF21A. We identified six different mutations in 44 of 45 probands. The primary mutational hotspots are in the stalk domain, highlighting an important new role for KIF21A and its stalk in the formation of the oculomotor axis.
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ABSTRACT: One of the biggest challenges in neuroscience is illuminating the architecture of developmental brain disorders, which include structural malformations of the brain and nerves, intellectual disability, epilepsy, and some psychiatric conditions like autism and potentially schizophrenia. Ongoing gene identification reveals a great diversity of genetic causes underlying abnormal brain development, illuminating new biochemical pathways often not suspected based on genetic studies in other organisms. Our greater understanding of genetic disease also shows the complexity of allelic diversity, in which distinct mutations in a given gene can cause a wide range of distinct diseases or other phenotypes. These diverse alleles not only provide a platform for discovery of critical protein-protein interactions in a genetic fashion, but also illuminate the likely genetic architecture of as yet poorly characterized neurological disorders.Neuron 10/2010; 68(2):245-53. DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2010.09.042 · 15.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We report that eight heterozygous missense mutations in TUBB3, encoding the neuron-specific beta-tubulin isotype III, result in a spectrum of human nervous system disorders that we now call the TUBB3 syndromes. Each mutation causes the ocular motility disorder CFEOM3, whereas some also result in intellectual and behavioral impairments, facial paralysis, and/or later-onset axonal sensorimotor polyneuropathy. Neuroimaging reveals a spectrum of abnormalities including hypoplasia of oculomotor nerves and dysgenesis of the corpus callosum, anterior commissure, and corticospinal tracts. A knock-in disease mouse model reveals axon guidance defects without evidence of cortical cell migration abnormalities. We show that the disease-associated mutations can impair tubulin heterodimer formation in vitro, although folded mutant heterodimers can still polymerize into microtubules. Modeling each mutation in yeast tubulin demonstrates that all alter dynamic instability whereas a subset disrupts the interaction of microtubules with kinesin motors. These findings demonstrate that normal TUBB3 is required for axon guidance and maintenance in mammals.Cell 01/2010; 140(1):74-87. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2009.12.011 · 33.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Differentiation of memory cells involves DNA-sequence changes in B lymphocytes but is less clearly defined in T cells. RNA rearrangement is identified here as a key event in memory T cell differentiation by analysis of a mouse mutation that altered the proportions of naive and memory T cells and crippled the process of Ptprc exon silencing needed to generate CD45RO in memory T cells. A single substitution in a memory-induced RNA-binding protein, hnRNPLL, destabilized an RNA-recognition domain that bound with micromolar affinity to RNA containing the Ptprc exon-silencing sequence. Hnrpll mutation selectively diminished T cell accumulation in peripheral lymphoid tissues but not proliferation. Exon-array analysis of Hnrpll mutant naive and memory T cells revealed an extensive program of alternative mRNA splicing in memory T cells, coordinated by hnRNPLL. A remarkable overlap with alternative splicing in neural tissues may reflect a co-opted strategy for diversifying memory T cells.Immunity 01/2009; 29(6):863-75. DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2008.11.004 · 19.75 Impact Factor