neurodevelopmental disorder
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2023 ◽  
Vol 83 ◽  
T. Batool ◽  
S. Irshad ◽  
K. Mahmood

Abstract Autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a congenitally reduced head circumference (-3 to -5 SD) and non-progressive intellectual disability. The objective of the study was to evaluate pathogenic mutations in the ASPM gene to understand etiology and molecular mechanism of primary microcephaly. Blood samples were collected from various families across different remote areas of Pakistan from February 2017 to May 2019 who were identified to be affected with primary microcephaly. DNA extraction was performed using the salting-out method; the quality and quantity of DNA were evaluated using spectrophotometry and 1% agarose gel electrophoresis, respectively in University of the Punjab. Mutation analysis was performed by whole exome sequencing from the Cologne Center for Genomics, University of Cologne. Sanger sequencing was done in University of the Punjab to confirm the pathogenic nature of mutation. A novel 4-bp deletion mutation c.3877_3880delGAGA was detected in exon 17 of the ASPM gene in two primary microcephaly affected families (A and B), which resulted in a frame shift mutation in the gene followed by truncated protein synthesis (p.Glu1293Lysfs*10), as well as the loss of the calmodulin-binding IQ domain and the Armadillo-like domain in the ASPM protein. Using the in-silico tools Mutation Taster, PROVEAN, and PolyPhen, the pathogenic effect of this novel mutation was tested; it was predicted to be “disease causing,” with high pathogenicity scores. One previously reported mutation in exon 24 (c.9730C>T) of the ASPM gene resulting in protein truncation (p.Arg3244*) was also observed in family C. Mutations in the ASPM gene are the most common cause of MCPH in most cases. Therefore, enrolling additional affected families from remote areas of Pakistan would help in identifying or mapping novel mutations in the ASPM gene of primary microcephaly.

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (2) ◽  
pp. 954
Ipek Akol ◽  
Fabian Gather ◽  
Tanja Vogel

Development of the central nervous system (CNS) depends on accurate spatiotemporal control of signaling pathways and transcriptional programs. Forkhead Box G1 (FOXG1) is one of the master regulators that play fundamental roles in forebrain development; from the timing of neurogenesis, to the patterning of the cerebral cortex. Mutations in the FOXG1 gene cause a rare neurodevelopmental disorder called FOXG1 syndrome, also known as congenital form of Rett syndrome. Patients presenting with FOXG1 syndrome manifest a spectrum of phenotypes, ranging from severe cognitive dysfunction and microcephaly to social withdrawal and communication deficits, with varying severities. To develop and improve therapeutic interventions, there has been considerable progress towards unravelling the multi-faceted functions of FOXG1 in the neurodevelopment and pathogenesis of FOXG1 syndrome. Moreover, recent advances in genome editing and stem cell technologies, as well as the increased yield of information from high throughput omics, have opened promising and important new avenues in FOXG1 research. In this review, we provide a summary of the clinical features and emerging molecular mechanisms underlying FOXG1 syndrome, and explore disease-modelling approaches in animals and human-based systems, to highlight the prospects of research and possible clinical interventions.

2022 ◽  
Kohei Hamanaka ◽  
Keita Miyoshi ◽  
Jia-Hui Sun ◽  
Keisuke Hamada ◽  
Takao Komatsubara ◽  

2022 ◽  
Joseph Kuchling ◽  
Betty Jurek ◽  
Mariya Kents ◽  
Jakob Kreye ◽  
Christian Geis ◽  

Introduction: While decreased hippocampal connectivity and disruption of functional networks are established MRI features in human anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis, the underlying pathophysiology for brain network alterations remains poorly understood. Application of patient-derived monoclonal antibodies against the NR1 subunit of the NMDAR allows for the investigation of potential functional connectivity alterations in experimental murine NMDAR antibody disease models. Objective: To explore functional connectivity changes in NR1 antibody mouse models using resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI). Methods: Adult C57BL/6J mice (n=10) were intrathecally injected with a recombinant human NR1 antibody over 14 days and then studied using rs-fMRI at 7 Tesla. In addition, a newly established mouse model with in utero exposure to a human recombinant NR1 antibody characterized by a neurodevelopmental disorder (NR1-offspring) was investigated with rs-fMRI at the age of 8 weeks (n=15) and 10 months (n=14). Mice exposed to isotype-matched control antibodies served as controls. Independent component analysis (ICA) and dual regression analysis were performed to compare functional connectivity between NMDAR antibody mouse models and control mice. Results: Adult NR1-antibody injected mice showed significantly impaired functional connectivity within the dentate gyrus of the left hippocampus in comparison to controls, resembling impaired hippocampal functional connectivity patterns observed in human patients with NMDAR encephalitis. Similarly, analyses showed significantly reduced functional connectivity in the dentate gyrus in NR1-offspring compared after 8 weeks, and impaired connectivity in the dentate gyrus and CA3 hippocampal subregion in NR1-offspring at the age of 10 months. Conclusion: Functional connectivity changes within the hippocampus resulting from both direct application and in utero exposure to NMDAR antibodies can be modeled in experimental murine systems. With this translational approach, we successfully reproduced functional MRI alterations previously observed in human NMDAR encephalitis patients. Future experimental studies will identify the detailed mechanisms that cause functional network alterations and may eventually allow for non-invasive monitoring of disease activity and therapeutic effects in autoimmune encephalitis.

Cells ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (2) ◽  
pp. 275
Martina Kristofova ◽  
Alessandro Ori ◽  
Zhao-Qi Wang

MCPH1, or BRIT1, is often mutated in human primary microcephaly type 1, a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a smaller brain size at birth, due to its dysfunction in regulating the proliferation and self-renewal of neuroprogenitor cells. In the last 20 years or so, genetic and cellular studies have identified MCPH1 as a multifaceted protein in various cellular functions, including DNA damage signaling and repair, the regulation of chromosome condensation, cell-cycle progression, centrosome activity and the metabolism. Yet, genetic and animal model studies have revealed an unpredicted essential function of MPCH1 in gonad development and tumorigenesis, although the underlying mechanism remains elusive. These studies have begun to shed light on the role of MPCH1 in controlling various pathobiological processes of the disorder. Here, we summarize the biological functions of MCPH1, and lessons learnt from cellular and mouse models of MCPH1.

2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (2) ◽  
pp. 385
Pietro De Rossi ◽  
Italo Pretelli ◽  
Deny Menghini ◽  
Barbara D’Aiello ◽  
Silvia Di Vara ◽  

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most frequently diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder in school-age children, and it is usually associated with a significant impairment in global functioning. Traditionally, boys with ADHD are more likely to be referred for clinical assessments due to a higher prevalence of externalizing symptoms. However, as regards gender-related differential clinical characteristics between boys and girls with ADHD, further investigation is warranted in light of conflicting results found in currently available literature. In fact, a more precise clinical characterization could help increase appropriate diagnoses and treatment planning. In this context, we carried out a retrospective observational study on 715 children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD from 2018 to 2020 at our center, in order to describe their gender-related clinical characteristics. Boys displayed higher average IQs, but they were comparable to girls in functional impairments and adaptive skills. Girls displayed higher scores on the Attention Problems subscale of the CBCL 6–18 and on several CPRS-R:L subscales, suggesting higher general ADHD symptom severity. Boys showed higher scores on CBCL 6–18 subscales, such as withdrawn/depressed, internalizing, and obsessive-compulsive problems. In conclusion, girls showed more severe ADHD features and lower IQ in clinically referred settings, while boys showed more internalizing problems and obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Elisa Cali ◽  
Clarissa Rocca ◽  
Vincenzo Salpietro ◽  
Henry Houlden

SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) are an heterogeneous family of proteins that, together with their key regulators, are implicated in synaptic vesicle exocytosis and synaptic transmission. SNAREs represent the core component of this protein complex. Although the specific mechanisms of the SNARE machinery is still not completely uncovered, studies in recent years have provided a clearer understanding of the interactions regulating the essential fusion machinery for neurotransmitter release. Mutations in genes encoding SNARE proteins or SNARE complex associated proteins have been associated with a variable spectrum of neurological conditions that have been recently defined as “SNAREopathies.” These include neurodevelopmental disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), movement disorders, seizures and epileptiform abnormalities. The SNARE phenotypic spectrum associated with seizures ranges from simple febrile seizures and infantile spasms, to severe early-onset epileptic encephalopathies. Our study aims to review and delineate the epileptic phenotypes associated with dysregulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and transmission, focusing on the main proteins of the SNARE core complex (STX1B, VAMP2, SNAP25), tethering complex (STXBP1), and related downstream regulators.

2022 ◽  
Vol 221 (3) ◽  
Alexandre Toulmay ◽  
Fawn B. Whittle ◽  
Jerry Yang ◽  
Xiaofei Bai ◽  
Jessica Diarra ◽  

Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) is a glycolipid membrane anchor found on surface proteins in all eukaryotes. It is synthesized in the ER membrane. Each GPI anchor requires three molecules of ethanolamine phosphate (P-Etn), which are derived from phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). We found that efficient GPI anchor synthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires Csf1; cells lacking Csf1 accumulate GPI precursors lacking P-Etn. Structure predictions suggest Csf1 is a tube-forming lipid transport protein like Vps13. Csf1 is found at contact sites between the ER and other organelles. It interacts with the ER protein Mcd4, an enzyme that adds P-Etn to nascent GPI anchors, suggesting Csf1 channels PE to Mcd4 in the ER at contact sites to support GPI anchor biosynthesis. CSF1 has orthologues in Caenorhabditis elegans (lpd-3) and humans (KIAA1109/TWEEK); mutations in KIAA1109 cause the autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder Alkuraya-Kučinskas syndrome. Knockout of lpd-3 and knockdown of KIAA1109 reduced GPI-anchored proteins on the surface of cells, suggesting Csf1 orthologues in human cells support GPI anchor biosynthesis.

Genes ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 13 (1) ◽  
pp. 127
Jing Wang ◽  
Gudrun A. Rappold ◽  
Henning Fröhlich

Reduced cognitive flexibility, characterized by restricted interests and repetitive behavior, is associated with atypical memory performance in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), suggesting hippocampal dysfunction. FOXP1 syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by ASD, language deficits, global developmental delay, and mild to moderate intellectual disability. Strongly reduced Foxp1 expression has been detected in the hippocampus of Foxp1+/− mice, a brain region required for learning and memory. To investigate learning and memory performance in these animals, fear conditioning tests were carried out, which showed impaired associative learning compared with wild type (WT) animals. To shed light on the underlying mechanism, we analyzed various components of the mitochondrial network in the hippocampus. Several proteins regulating mitochondrial biogenesis (e.g., Foxo1, Pgc-1α, Tfam) and dynamics (Mfn1, Opa1, Drp1 and Fis1) were significantly dysregulated, which may explain the increased mitophagy observed in the Foxp1+/− hippocampus. The reduced activity of complex I and decreased expression of Sod2 most likely increase the production of reactive oxygen species and the expression of the pre-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bax in this tissue. In conclusion, we provide evidence that a disrupted mitochondrial network and the resulting oxidative stress in the hippocampus contribute to the altered learning and cognitive impairment in Foxp1+/− mice, suggesting that similar alterations also play a major role in patients with FOXP1 syndrome.

Julian Schröter ◽  
Bernt Popp ◽  
Heiko Brennenstuhl ◽  
Jan H. Döring ◽  
Stephany H. Donze ◽  

AbstractTUBA1A tubulinopathy is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder associated with brain malformations as well as early-onset and intractable epilepsy. As pathomechanisms and genotype-phenotype correlations are not completely understood, we aimed to provide further insights into the phenotypic and genetic spectrum. We here present a multicenter case series of ten unrelated individuals from four European countries using systematic MRI re-evaluation, protein structure analysis, and prediction score modeling. In two cases, pregnancy was terminated due to brain malformations. Amongst the eight living individuals, the phenotypic range showed various severity. Global developmental delay and severe motor impairment with tetraparesis was present in 63% and 50% of the subjects, respectively. Epilepsy was observed in 75% of the cases, which showed infantile onset in 83% and a refractory course in 50%. One individual presented a novel TUBA1A-associated electroclinical phenotype with evolvement from early myoclonic encephalopathy to continuous spike-and-wave during sleep. Neuroradiological features comprised a heterogeneous spectrum of cortical and extracortical malformations including rare findings such as cobblestone lissencephaly and subcortical band heterotopia. Two individuals developed hydrocephalus with subsequent posterior infarction. We report four novel and five previously published TUBA1A missense variants whose resulting amino acid substitutions likely affect longitudinal, lateral, and motor protein interactions as well as GTP binding. Assessment of pathogenic and benign variant distributions in synopsis with prediction scores revealed sections of variant enrichment and intolerance to missense variation. We here extend the clinical, neuroradiological, and genetic spectrum of TUBA1A tubulinopathy and provide insights into residue-specific pathomechanisms and genotype-phenotype correlations.

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