Kufs Disease, the Major Adult Form of Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, Caused by Mutations in CLN6

Epilepsy Research Center, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria 3084, Australia.
The American Journal of Human Genetics (Impact Factor: 10.93). 05/2011; 88(5):566-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.04.004
Source: PubMed


The molecular basis of Kufs disease is unknown, whereas a series of genes accounting for most of the childhood-onset forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) have been identified. Diagnosis of Kufs disease is difficult because the characteristic lipopigment is largely confined to neurons and can require a brain biopsy or autopsy for final diagnosis. We mapped four families with Kufs disease for whom there was good evidence of autosomal-recessive inheritance and found two peaks on chromosome 15. Three of the families were affected by Kufs type A disease and presented with progressive myoclonus epilepsy, and one was affected by type B (presenting with dementia and motor system dysfunction). Sequencing of a candidate gene in one peak shared by all four families identified no mutations, but sequencing of CLN6, found in the second peak and shared by only the three families affected by Kufs type A disease, revealed pathogenic mutations in all three families. We subsequently sequenced CLN6 in eight other families, three of which were affected by recessive Kufs type A disease. Mutations in both CLN6 alleles were found in the three type A cases and in one family affected by unclassified Kufs disease. Mutations in CLN6 are the major cause of recessive Kufs type A disease. The phenotypic differences between variant late-infantile NCL, previously found to be caused by CLN6, and Kufs type A disease are striking; there is a much later age at onset and lack of visual involvement in the latter. Sequencing of CLN6 will provide a simple diagnostic strategy in this disorder, in which definitive identification usually requires invasive biopsy.

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Available from: Stefano Meletti
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    • "Alternative mutations in the metal transporter ATP13a2 have been implicated in an NCL and early onset Parkinsonism, suggesting a common pathway [7-11], however the functions of the NCL proteins and underlying disease processes are not well understood. A variant late infantile and an adult onset NCL are caused by mutations in CLN6, which encodes a highly conserved transmembrane endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein of unknown function [12,13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant biometal metabolism is a key feature of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Metal modulating compounds are promising therapeutics for neurodegeneration, but their mechanism of action remains poorly understood. Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), caused by mutations in CLN genes, are fatal childhood neurodegenerative lysosomal storage diseases without a cure. We previously showed biometal accumulation in ovine and murine models of the CLN6 variant NCL, but the mechanism is unknown. This study extended the concept that alteration of biometal functions is involved in pathology in these disorders, and investigated molecular mechanisms underlying impaired biometal trafficking in CLN6 disease. We observed significant region-specific biometal accumulation and deregulation of metal trafficking pathways prior to disease onset in CLN6 affected sheep. Substantial progressive loss of the ER/Golgi-resident Zn transporter, Zip7, which colocalized with the disease-associated protein, CLN6, may contribute to the subcellular deregulation of biometal homeostasis in NCLs. Importantly, the metal- complex, ZnII(atsm), induced Zip7 upregulation, promoted Zn redistribution and restored Zn-dependent functions in primary mouse Cln6 deficient neurons and astrocytes. This study demonstrates the central role of the metal transporter, Zip7, in the aberrant biometal metabolism of CLN6 variants of NCL and further highlights the key contribution of deregulated biometal trafficking to the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases. Importantly, our results suggest that ZnII(atsm) may be a candidate for therapeutic trials for NCLs.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014
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    • "Mutations in CLN6 result in both a variant late infantile NCL (vLINCL) and adult onset type A Kufs disease (MIM#601780,; [8], [9], [10], [11], Reviewed in [12]). CLN6 is an approximately 22.7 kb gene located on chromosome 15q23 [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs; also known collectively as Batten Disease) are a family of autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorders. Mutations in as many as 13 genes give rise to ∼10 variants of NCL, all with overlapping clinical symptomatology including visual impairment, motor and cognitive dysfunction, seizures, and premature death. Mutations in CLN6 result in both a variant late infantile onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (vLINCL) as well as an adult-onset form of the disease called Type A Kufs. CLN6 is a non-glycosylated membrane protein of unknown function localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In this study, we perform a detailed characterization of a naturally occurring Cln6 mutant (Cln6(nclf)) mouse line to validate its utility for translational research. We demonstrate that this Cln6(nclf) mutation leads to deficits in motor coordination, vision, memory, and learning. Pathologically, we demonstrate loss of neurons within specific subregions and lamina of the cortex that correlate to behavioral phenotypes. As in other NCL models, this model displays selective loss of GABAergic interneuron sub-populations in the cortex and the hippocampus with profound, early-onset glial activation. Finally, we demonstrate a novel deficit in memory and learning, including a dramatic reduction in dendritic spine density in the cerebral cortex, which suggests a reduction in synaptic strength following disruption in CLN6. Together, these findings highlight the behavioral and pathological similarities between the Cln6(nclf) mouse model and human NCL patients, validating this model as a reliable format for screening potential therapeutics.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The CLN6 gene encodes a transmembrane protein of unknown function and mutations cause the variant-late infantile form of NCL (vLINCL) as well as an adult form termed Kufs disease [9]–[11]. A naturally occurring mouse model CLN6nclf contains a frameshift truncation in both nclf genes [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is a group of neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorders characterized by vision loss, mental and motor deficits, and spontaneous seizures. Neuropathological analyses of autopsy material from NCL patients and animal models revealed brain atrophy closely associated with glial activity. Earlier reports also noticed loss of retinal cells and reactive gliosis in some forms of NCL. To study this phenomenon in detail, we analyzed the ocular phenotype of CLN6 (nclf) mice, an established mouse model for variant-late infantile NCL. Retinal morphometry, immunohistochemistry, optokinetic tracking, electroretinography, and mRNA expression were used to characterize retinal morphology and function as well as the responses of Müller cells and microglia. Our histological data showed a severe and progressive degeneration in the CLN6 (nclf) retina co-inciding with reactive Müller glia. Furthermore, a prominent phenotypic transformation of ramified microglia to phagocytic, bloated, and mislocalized microglial cells was identified in CLN6 (nclf) retinas. These events overlapped with a rapid loss of visual perception and retinal function. Based on the strong microglia reactivity we hypothesized that dietary supplementation with immuno-regulatory compounds, curcumin and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), could ameliorate microgliosis and reduce retinal degeneration. Our analyses showed that treatment of three-week-old CLN6 (nclf) mice with either 5% DHA or 0.6% curcumin for 30 weeks resulted in a reduced number of amoeboid reactive microglia and partially improved retinal function. DHA-treatment also improved the morphology of CLN6 (nclf) retinas with a preserved thickness of the photoreceptor layer in most regions of the retina. Our results suggest that microglial reactivity closely accompanies disease progression in the CLN6 (nclf) retina and both processes can be attenuated with dietary supplemented immuno-modulating compounds.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · PLoS ONE
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