A mutation in a novel ATP-dependent Lon protease gene in a kindred with mild mental retardation.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Identifying the genetic factors that contribute to memory and learning is limited by the complexity of brain development and the lack of suitable human models for mild disorders of cognition. METHODS:Previously, a disease locus was mapped for a mild type of nonsyndromic mental retardation (IQ between 50 and 70) to a 4.2-MB interval on chromosome 3p25-pter in a large kindred. The genes and transcripts within the candidate region were systematically analyzed for mutations by single-strand polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing. RESULTS:A nonsense mutation causing a premature stop codon in a novel gene (cereblon; CRBN) was identified that encodes for an ATP-dependent Lon protease. The predicted protein sequence is highly conserved across species, and it belongs to a family of proteins that selectively degrade short-lived polypeptides and regulate mitochondrial replication and transcription. One member of the Lon-containing protein family is regionally expressed in the human hippocampus, an important neuroanatomic region that is involved in long-term potentiation and learning. The mutation in the CRBN gene described interrupts an N-myristoylation site and eliminates a casein kinase II phosphorylation site at the C terminus. CONCLUSIONS:A gene on chromosome 3p that is associated with mild mental retardation in a large kindred is reported. This finding implicates a role for the ATP-dependent degradation of proteins in memory and learning.
Project description:A nonsense mutation in cereblon (CRBN) causes a mild type of mental retardation in humans. An earlier study showed that CRBN negatively regulates the functional activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in vitro by binding directly to the ?1-subunit of the AMPK complex. However, the in vivo role of CRBN was not studied. For elucidation of the physiological functions of Crbn, a mouse strain was generated in which the Crbn gene was deleted throughout the whole body. In Crbn-deficient mice fed a normal diet, AMPK in the liver showed hyperphosphorylation, which indicated the constitutive activation of AMPK. Since Crbn-deficient mice showed significantly less weight gain when fed a high-fat diet and their insulin sensitivity was considerably improved, the functions of Crbn in the liver were primarily investigated. These results provide the first in vivo evidence that Crbn is a negative modulator of AMPK, which suggests that Crbn may be a potential target for metabolic disorders of the liver.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To identify and clinically evaluate four consanguineous families of Israeli Arab origin with non-syndromic mental retardation (NSMR), comprising a total of 10 affected and 24 unaffected individuals. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: All the families originated from the same small village and had the same family name. Association of the condition in these families with the two known autosomal recessive NSMR loci on chromosomes 3p25-pter and 4q24 (neurotrypsin gene) was excluded. RESULTS: Linkage of the disease gene to chromosome 19p13.12-p13.2(Zmax = 7.06 at theta = 0.00) for the marker D19S840 was established. All the affected individuals were found to be homozygous for a common haplotype for the markers cen-RFX1-D19S840-D19S558-D19S221-tel. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the disease is caused by a single mutation derived from a single ancestral founder in all the families. Recombination events and a common disease bearing haplotype defined a critical region of 2.4 Mb, between the loci D19S547 proximally and D19S1165 distally.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cryptic structural abnormalities within the subtelomeric regions of chromosomes have been the focus of much recent research because of their discovery in a percentage of people with mental retardation (UK terminology: learning disability). These studies focused on subjects (largely children) with various severities of intellectual impairment with or without additional physical clinical features such as dysmorphisms. However it is well established that prevalence of schizophrenia is around three times greater in those with mild mental retardation. The rates of bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder have also been reported as increased in people with mental retardation. We describe here a screen for telomeric abnormalities in a cohort of 69 patients in which mental retardation co-exists with severe psychiatric illness. METHODS: We have applied two techniques, subtelomeric fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) and multiplex amplifiable probe hybridisation (MAPH) to detect abnormalities in the patient group. RESULTS: A subtelomeric deletion was discovered involving loss of 4q in a patient with co-morbid schizoaffective disorder and mental retardation. CONCLUSION: The precise region of loss has been defined allowing us to identify genes that may contribute to the clinical phenotype through hemizygosity. Interestingly, the region of 4q loss exactly matches that linked to bipolar affective disorder in a large multiply affected Australian kindred.
Project description:Thalidomide is a teratogen that causes multiple malformations in the developing baby through its interaction with cereblon (CRBN), a substrate receptor subunit of the CRL4 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. CRBN was originally reported as a gene associated with autosomal recessive non-syndromic mild mental retardation. However, the function of CRBN during brain development remains largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that CRBN promotes brain development by facilitating the proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs). Knockdown of CRBN in zebrafish embryos impaired brain development and led to small brains, as did treatment with thalidomide. By contrast, overexpression of CRBN resulted in enlarged brains, leading to the expansion of NSC regions and increased cell proliferation in the early brain field and an expanded expression of brain region-specific genes and neural and glial marker genes. These results demonstrate that CRBN functions in the determination of brain size by regulating the proliferation of NSCs during development.
Project description:Lon protease plays a major role in the protein quality control system in mammalian cell mitochondria. It is present in the mitochondrial matrix, and degrades oxidized and misfolded proteins, thereby protecting the cell from various extracellular stresses, including oxidative stress. The intellectual disability-associated and thalidomide-binding protein cereblon (CRBN) contains a large, highly conserved Lon domain. However, whether CRBN has Lon protease-like function remains unknown. Here, we determined if CRBN has a protective function against oxidative stress, similar to Lon protease. We report that CRBN partially distributes in mitochondria, suggesting it has a mitochondrial function. To specify the mitochondrial role of CRBN, we mitochondrially expressed CRBN in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. The resulting stable SH-SY5Y cell line showed no apparent effect on the mitochondrial functions of fusion, fission, and membrane potential. However, mitochondrially expressed CRBN exhibited protease activity, and was induced by oxidative stress. In addition, stably expressed cells exhibited suppressed neuronal cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide. These results suggest that CRBN functions specifically as a Lon-type protease in mitochondria.
Project description:Rab proteins are small molecular weight guanosine triphosphatases involved in the regulation of vesicular trafficking.(1) Three of 4 X-linked RAB genes are specific to the brain, including RAB39B. Recently, Wilson et al.(2) reported that mutations in RAB39B cause X-linked intellectual disability (ID) and pathologically confirmed Parkinson disease (PD). They identified a ?45-kb deletion resulting in the complete loss of RAB39B in an Australian kindred and a missense mutation in a large Wisconsin kindred. Here, we report an additional affected man with typical PD and mild mental retardation harboring a new truncating mutation in RAB39B.
Project description:A nonsense mutation in the human cereblon gene (CRBN) causes a mild type of autosomal recessive non-syndromic intellectual disability (ID). Animal studies show that crbn is a cytosolic protein with abundant expression in the hippocampus (HPC) and neocortex (CTX). Its diverse functions include the developmental regulation of ion channels at the neuronal synapse, the mediation of developmental programs by ubiquitination, and a target for herpes simplex type I virus in HPC neurons. To test the hypothesis that anomalous CRBN expression leads to HPC-mediated memory and learning deficits, we generated germ-line crbn knock-out mice (crbn(-/-)). We also inactivated crbn in forebrain neurons in conditional knock-out mice in which crbn exons 3 and 4 are deleted by cre recombinase under the direction of the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha promoter (CamKII(cre/+), crbn(-/-)). crbn mRNA levels were negligible in the HPC, CTX, and cerebellum (CRBM) of the crbn(-/-) mice. In contrast, crbn mRNA levels were reduced 3- to 4-fold in the HPC, CTX but not in the CRBM in CamKII(cre/+), crbn(-/-) mice as compared to wild type (CamKII(cre/+), crbn(+/+)). Contextual fear conditioning showed a significant decrease in the percentage of freezing time in CamKII(cre/+), crbn(-/-) and crbn(-/-) mice while motor function, exploratory motivation, and anxiety-related behaviors were normal. These findings suggest that CamKII(cre/+), crbn(-/-) mice exhibit selective HPC-dependent deficits in associative learning and supports the use of these mice as in vivo models to study the functional consequences of CRBN aberrations on memory and learning in humans.
Project description:Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by unpredictable seizures, which are bursts of electrical activity that temporarily affect the brain. Cereblon (CRBN), a DCAFs (DDB1 and CUL4-associated factors), is a well-established protein associated with human mental retardation. Being a substrate receptor of the cullin-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase (CRL) 4 complex, CRBN mediates ubiquitination of several substrates and conducts multiple biological processes. In the central nervous system, the largeconductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BKCa) channel, which is the substrate of CRBN, is an important regulator of epilepsy. Despite the functional role and importance of CRBN in the brain, direct injection of pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) to induce seizures in CRBN knock-out mice has not been challenged. In this study, we investigated the effect of PTZ in CRBN knock-out mice. Here, we demonstrate that, compared with WT mice, CRBN knock-out mice do not show the intensification of seizures by PTZ induction. Moreover, electroencephalography recordings were also performed in the brains of both WT and CRBN knockout mice to identify the absence of significant differences in the pattern of seizure activities. Consistently, immunoblot analysis for validating the protein level of the CRL4 complex containing CRBN (CRL4Crbn) in the mouse brain was carried out. Taken together, we found that the deficiency of CRBN does not affect PTZ-induced seizure. [BMB Reports 2020; 53(9): 484-489].
Project description:A family with X-linked mental retardation characterized by severe mental retardation, speech and behavioral abnormalities, and seizures in affected male patients has been found to have a G1141C transversion in the creatine-transporter gene SLC6A8. This mutation results in a glycine being replaced by an arginine (G381R) and alternative splicing, since the G-->C transversion occurs at the -1 position of the 5' splice junction of intron 7. Two female relatives who are heterozygous for the SLC6A8 mutation also exhibit mild mental retardation with behavior and learning problems. Male patients with the mutation have highly elevated creatine in their urine and have decreased creatine uptake in fibroblasts, which reflects the deficiency in creatine transport. The ability to measure elevated creatine in urine makes it possible to diagnose SLC6A8 deficiency in male patients with mental retardation of unknown etiology.
Project description:In the last few years, several genes involved in X-specific mental retardation (MR) have been identified by using genetic analysis. Although it is likely that additional genes responsible for idiopathic MR are also localized on the autosomes, cloning and characterization of such genes have been elusive so far. Here, we report the isolation of a previously uncharacterized gene, MEGAP, which is disrupted and functionally inactivated by a translocation breakpoint in a patient who shares some characteristic clinical features, such as hypotonia and severe MR, with the 3p(-) syndrome. By fluorescence in situ hybridization and loss of heterozygosity analysis, we demonstrated that this gene resides on chromosome 3p25 and is deleted in 3p(-) patients that present MR. MEGAP/srGAP3 mRNA is predominantly and highly expressed in fetal and adult brain, specifically in the neurons of the hippocampus and cortex, structures known to play a pivotal role in higher cognitive function, learning, and memory. We describe several MEGAP/srGAP3 transcript isoforms and show that MEGAP/srGAP3a and -b represent functional GTPase-activating proteins (GAP) by an in vitro GAP assay. MEGAP/srGAP3 has recently been shown to be part of the Slit-Robo pathway regulating neuronal migration and axonal branching, highlighting the important role of MEGAP/srGAP3 in mental development. We propose that haploinsufficiency of MEGAP/srGAP3 leads to the abnormal development of neuronal structures that are important for normal cognitive function.