DYRK1A-dosage imbalance perturbs NRSF/REST levels, deregulating pluripotency and embryonic stem cell fate in Down syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Down syndrome (DS) is the most common cause of mental retardation. Many neural phenotypes are shared between DS individuals and DS mouse models; however, the common underlying molecular pathogenetic mechanisms remain unclear. Using a transchromosomic model of DS, we show that a 30%-60% reduced expression of Nrsf/Rest (a key regulator of pluripotency and neuronal differentiation) is an alteration that persists in trisomy 21 from undifferentiated embryonic stem (ES) cells to adult brain and is reproducible across several DS models. Using partially trisomic ES cells, we map this effect to a three-gene segment of HSA21, containing DYRK1A. We independently identify the same locus as the most significant eQTL controlling REST expression in the human genome. We show that specifically silencing the third copy of DYRK1A rescues Rest levels, and we demonstrate altered Rest expression in response to inhibition of DYRK1A expression or kinase activity, and in a transgenic Dyrk1A mouse. We reveal that undifferentiated trisomy 21 ES cells show DYRK1A-dose-sensitive reductions in levels of some pluripotency regulators, causing premature expression of transcription factors driving early endodermal and mesodermal differentiation, partially overlapping recently reported downstream effects of Rest +/-. They produce embryoid bodies with elevated levels of the primitive endoderm progenitor marker Gata4 and a strongly reduced neuroectodermal progenitor compartment. Our results suggest that DYRK1A-mediated deregulation of REST is a very early pathological consequence of trisomy 21 with potential to disturb the development of all embryonic lineages, warranting closer research into its contribution to DS pathology and new rationales for therapeutic approaches.
Project description:Trisomy 21 (Ts21) affects craniofacial precursors in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). The resultant craniofacial features in all individuals with Ts21 may significantly affect breathing, eating and speaking. Using mouse models of DS, we have traced the origin of DS-associated craniofacial abnormalities to deficiencies in neural crest cell (NCC) craniofacial precursors early in development. Hypothetically, three copies of Dyrk1a (dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation regulated kinase 1A), a trisomic gene found in most humans with DS and mouse models of DS, may significantly affect craniofacial structure. We hypothesized that we could improve DS-related craniofacial abnormalities in mouse models using a Dyrk1a inhibitor or by normalizing Dyrk1a gene dosage. In vitro and in vivo treatment with Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a Dyrk1a inhibitor, modulated trisomic NCC deficiencies at embryonic time points. Furthermore, prenatal EGCG treatment normalized some craniofacial phenotypes, including cranial vault in adult Ts65Dn mice. Normalization of Dyrk1a copy number in an otherwise trisomic Ts65Dn mice normalized many dimensions of the cranial vault, but did not correct all craniofacial anatomy. These data underscore the complexity of the gene–phenotype relationship in trisomy and suggest that changes in Dyrk1a expression play an important role in morphogenesis and growth of the cranial vault. These results suggest that a temporally specific prenatal therapy may be an effective way to ameliorate some craniofacial anatomical changes associated with DS.
Project description:Pathological mechanisms underlying Down syndrome (DS)/Trisomy 21, including dysregulation of essential signalling processes remain poorly understood. Combining bioinformatics with RNA and protein analysis, we identified downregulation of the Wnt/?-catenin pathway in the hippocampus of adult DS individuals with Alzheimer's disease and the 'Tc1' DS mouse model. Providing a potential underlying molecular pathway, we demonstrate that the chromosome 21 kinase DYRK1A regulates Wnt signalling via a novel bimodal mechanism. Under basal conditions, DYRK1A is a negative regulator of Wnt/?-catenin. Following pathway activation, however, DYRK1A exerts the opposite effect, increasing signalling activity. In summary, we identified downregulation of hippocampal Wnt/?-catenin signalling in DS, possibly mediated by a dose dependent effect of the chromosome 21-encoded kinase DYRK1A. Overall, we propose that dosage imbalance of the Hsa21 gene DYRK1A affects downstream Wnt target genes. Therefore, modulation of Wnt signalling may open unexplored avenues for DS and Alzheimer's disease treatment.
Project description:Children with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome [DS]) have a 130-fold increased incidence of Hirschsprung Disease (HSCR), a developmental defect where the enteric nervous system (ENS) is missing from distal bowel (i.e., distal bowel is aganglionic). Treatment for HSCR is surgical resection of aganglionic bowel, but many children have bowel problems after surgery. Post-surgical problems like enterocolitis and soiling are especially common in children with DS. To determine how trisomy 21 affects ENS development, we evaluated the ENS in two DS mouse models, Ts65Dn and Tc1. These mice are trisomic for many chromosome 21 homologous genes, including Dscam and Dyrk1a, which are hypothesized to contribute to HSCR risk. Ts65Dn and Tc1 mice have normal ENS precursor migration at E12.5 and almost normal myenteric plexus structure as adults. However, Ts65Dn and Tc1 mice have markedly reduced submucosal plexus neuron density throughout the bowel. Surprisingly, the submucosal neuron defect in Ts65Dn mice is not due to excess Dscam or Dyrk1a, since normalizing copy number for these genes does not rescue the defect. These findings suggest the possibility that the high frequency of bowel problems in children with DS and HSCR may occur because of additional unrecognized problems with ENS structure.
Project description:Down syndrome (DS) is a complex disorder caused by the trisomy of either the entire, or a critical region of chromosome 21 (21q22.1-22.3). Despite representing the most common cause of mental retardation, the molecular bases of the syndrome are still largely unknown.To better understand the pathogenesis of DS, we analyzed the genome-wide transcription profiles of lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from six DS and six euploid individuals and investigated differential gene expression and pathway deregulation associated with trisomy 21. Connectivity map and PASS-assisted exploration were used to identify compounds whose molecular signatures counteracted those of DS lymphoblasts and to predict their therapeutic potential. An experimental validation in DS LCLs and fetal fibroblasts was performed for the most deregulated GO categories, i.e. the ubiquitin mediated proteolysis and the NF-kB cascade.We show, for the first time, that the level of protein ubiquitination is reduced in human DS cell lines and that proteasome activity is increased in both basal conditions and oxidative microenvironment. We also provide the first evidence that NF-kB transcription levels, a paradigm of gene expression control by ubiquitin-mediated degradation, is impaired in DS due to reduced IkB-alfa ubiquitination, increased NF-kB inhibitor (IkB-alfa) and reduced p65 nuclear fraction. Finally, the DSCR1/DYRK1A/NFAT genes were analysed. In human DS LCLs, we confirmed the presence of increased protein levels of DSCR1 and DYRK1A, and showed that the levels of the transcription factor NFATc2 were decreased in DS along with a reduction of its nuclear translocation upon induction of calcium fluxes.The present work offers new perspectives to better understand the pathogenesis of DS and suggests a rationale for innovative approaches to treat some pathological conditions associated to DS.
Project description:Inhibition of DYRK1A kinase, produced by chromosome 21 and consequently overproduced in trisomy 21 subjects, has been suggested as a therapeutic approach to treating the cognitive deficiencies observed in Down syndrome (DS). We now report the synthesis and potent DYRK1A inhibitory activities of fluoro derivatives of 3,5-di(polyhydroxyaryl)-7-azaindoles (F-DANDYs). One of these compounds (3-(4-fluorophenyl)-5-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-1H-pyrrolo[2,3-b]pyridine, 5a) was selected for in vivo studies of cognitive rescuing effects in a standard mouse model of DS (Ts65Dn line). Using the Morris water maze task, Ts65Dn mice treated i.p. with 20?mg/kg of 5a performed significantly better than Ts65Dn mice treated with placebo, confirming the promnesiant effect of 5a in the trisomic mice. Overall, these results demonstrate for the first time that selective and competitive inhibition of DYRK1A kinase by the F-DANDY derivative 5a may provide a viable treatment strategy for combating the memory and learning deficiencies encountered in DS.
Project description:Down Syndrome (DS) results from the trisomy of human chromosome 21 (HSA21). It is still the most frequent intellectual disability, affecting 1 newborn per 700 births. Among candidate genes explaining intellectual disabilities seen in DS patients, the dual specificity tyrosine-phosphorylation regulated kinase 1A, DYRK1A, is located in the DS critical region of chromosome 21. DYRK1A has become a major screening target for the development of selective and potent pharmacological inhibitors. We here investigated the effects of a relatively selective DYRK1A inhibitor, Leucettine 41 (hereafter L41) in three different trisomic mouse models with increasing genetic complexity, Tg(Dyrk1a), Ts65Dn and Dp1Yey. Leucettines are derived from the marine sponge alkaloid Leucettamine B.
Project description:Down syndrome (DS) results from trisomy of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) and is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, using the unique transchromosomic Tc1 mouse model of DS we investigate the influence of trisomy of Hsa21 on the protein tau, which is hyperphosphorylated in Alzheimer's disease. We show that in old, but not young, Tc1 mice increased phosphorylation of tau occurs at a site suggested to be targeted by the Hsa21 encoded kinase, dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A). We show that DYRK1A is upregulated in young and old Tc1 mice, but that young trisomic mice may be protected from accumulating aberrantly phosphorylated tau. We observe that the key tau kinase, glycogen synthase kinase3-? (GSK-3?) is aberrantly phosphorylated at an inhibitory site in the aged Tc1 brain which may reduce total glycogen synthase kinase3-? activity. It is possible that a similar mechanism may also occur in people with DS.
Project description:Down syndrome (DS), caused by trisomy of chromosome 21, is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability. We recently discovered that green tea extracts containing epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) improve cognition in mice transgenic for Dyrk1a (TgDyrk1A) and in a trisomic DS mouse model (Ts65Dn). Interestingly, paired with cognitive stimulation, green tea has beneficial pro-cognitive effects in DS individuals. Dual Specificity Tyrosine-Phosphorylation-Regulated Kinase 1A (DYRK1A) is a major candidate to explain the cognitive phenotypes of DS, and inhibiting its activity is a promising pro-cognitive therapy. DYRK1A kinase activity can be normalized in the hippocampus of transgenic DYRK1A mice administering green tea extracts, but also submitting the animals to environmental enrichment (EE). However, many other mechanisms could also explain the pro-cognitive effects of green tea extracts and EE. To underpin the overall alterations arising upon DYRK1A overexpression and the molecular processes underneath the pro-cognitive effects, we used quantitative proteomics. We investigated the hippocampal (phospho)proteome in basal conditions and after treatment with a green tea extract containing EGCG and/or EE in TgDyrk1A and control mice. We found that Dyrk1A overexpression alters protein and phosphoprotein levels of key postsynaptic and plasticity-related pathways and that these alterations were rescued upon the cognitive enhancer treatments.
Project description:Two groups of tau, 3R- and 4R-tau, are generated by alternative splicing of tau exon 10. Normal adult human brain expresses equal levels of them. Disruption of the physiological balance is a common feature of several tauopathies. Very early in their life, individuals with Down syndrome (DS) develop Alzheimer-type tau pathology, the molecular basis for which is not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate that Dyrk1A, a kinase encoded by a gene in the DS critical region, phosphorylates alternative splicing factor (ASF) at Ser-227, Ser-234, and Ser-238, driving it into nuclear speckles and preventing it from facilitating tau exon 10 inclusion. The increased dosage of Dyrk1A in DS brain due to trisomy of chromosome 21 correlates to an increase in 3R-tau level, which on abnormal hyperphosphorylation and aggregation of tau results in neurofibrillary degeneration. Imbalance of 3R- and 4R-tau in DS brain by Dyrk1A-induced dysregulation of alternative splicing factor-mediated alternative splicing of tau exon 10 represents a novel mechanism of neurofibrillary degeneration and may help explain early onset tauopathy in individuals with DS.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Down syndrome (DS), a major cause of mental retardation, is caused by trisomy of some or all of human chromosome 21 and includes three basic karyotypes: trisomy 21, translocation, and mosaicism. The derivation of DS-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provides us novel DS models that can be used to determine the DS mechanism and to devise therapeutic approaches for DS patients. METHODS: In the present study, fibroblasts from patients with DS of various karyotypes were reprogrammed into iPSCs via the overexpression of four factors: OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC, by using lentiviral vectors. The abilities of the iPSC-DS in the self-renewal and pluripotency in vitro and in vivo were then examined. RESULTS: The iPSC-DS showed characteristics similar to those of human embryonic stem cells, particularly the morphology, surface marker (SSEA4, TRA-1-60, and TRA-1-81) expression, pluripotent-specific transcription-factor expression levels, and methylation status of the OCT4 promoter. The pluripotency of iPSC-DS was also tested in vitro and in vivo. Embryoid bodies were formed and showed the expression of differentiated markers for three germ layers. Furthermore, iPSC-DS formed classic teratomas when injected into nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficient (NOD-SCID) mice. CONCLUSIONS: iPSCs were generated from patients with DS. The iPSCs derived from different types of DS may be used in DS modeling, patient-care optimization, drug discovery, and eventually, autologous cell-replacement therapies.