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Genetic and acute CPEB1 depletion ameliorate fragile X pathophysiology.
ABSTRACT: Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common cause of inherited mental retardation and autism, is caused by transcriptional silencing of FMR1, which encodes the translational repressor fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). FMRP and cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein (CPEB), an activator of translation, are present in neuronal dendrites, are predicted to bind many of the same mRNAs and may mediate a translational homeostasis that, when imbalanced, results in FXS. Consistent with this possibility, Fmr1(-/y); Cpeb1(-/-) double-knockout mice displayed amelioration of biochemical, morphological, electrophysiological and behavioral phenotypes associated with FXS. Acute depletion of CPEB1 in the hippocampus of adult Fmr1(-/y) mice rescued working memory deficits, demonstrating reversal of this FXS phenotype. Finally, we find that FMRP and CPEB1 balance translation at the level of polypeptide elongation. Our results suggest that disruption of translational homeostasis is causal for FXS and that the maintenance of this homeostasis by FMRP and CPEB1 is necessary for normal neurologic function.
Project description:Fragile X syndrome (FXS) results in intellectual disability (ID) most often caused by silencing of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. The resulting absence of fragile X mental retardation protein 1 (FMRP) leads to both pre- and postsynaptic defects, yet whether the pre- and postsynaptic functions of FMRP are independent and have distinct roles in FXS neuropathology remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate an independent presynaptic function for FMRP through the study of an ID patient with an FMR1 missense mutation. This mutation, c.413G > A (R138Q), preserves FMRP's canonical functions in RNA binding and translational regulation, which are traditionally associated with postsynaptic compartments. However, neuronally driven expression of the mutant FMRP is unable to rescue structural defects at the neuromuscular junction in fragile x mental retardation 1 (dfmr1)-deficient Drosophila, suggesting a presynaptic-specific impairment. Furthermore, mutant FMRP loses the ability to rescue presynaptic action potential (AP) broadening in Fmr1 KO mice. The R138Q mutation also disrupts FMRP's interaction with the large-conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channels that modulate AP width. These results reveal a presynaptic- and translation-independent function of FMRP that is linked to a specific subset of FXS phenotypes.
Project description:Fragile X syndrome (FXS), an inherited disorder characterized by mental retardation and autismlike behaviors, is caused by the failure to transcribe the gene for fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), a translational regulator and transporter of select mRNAs. FXS model mice (Fmr1 KO mice) exhibit impaired neuropeptide release. Release of biogenic amines does not differ between wild-type (WT) and Fmr1 KO mice. Rab3A, an mRNA cargo of FMRP involved in the recruitment of vesicles, is decreased by ?50% in synaptoneurosomes of Fmr1 KO mice; however, the number of dense-core vesicles (DCVs) does not differ between WT and Fmr1 KO mice. Therefore, deficits associated with FXS may reflect this aberrant vesicle release, specifically involving docking and fusion of peptidergic DCVs, and may lead to defective maturation/maintenance of synaptic connections.
Project description:How transmitter receptors modulate neuronal signaling by regulating voltage-gated ion channel expression remains an open question. Here we report dendritic localization of mRNA of Kv4.2 voltage-gated potassium channel, which regulates synaptic plasticity, and its local translational regulation by fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) linked to fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common heritable mental retardation. FMRP suppression of Kv4.2 is revealed by elevation of Kv4.2 in neurons from fmr1 knockout (KO) mice and in neurons expressing Kv4.2-3'UTR that binds FMRP. Moreover, treating hippocampal slices from fmr1 KO mice with Kv4 channel blocker restores long-term potentiation induced by moderate stimuli. Surprisingly, recovery of Kv4.2 after N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-induced degradation also requires FMRP, likely due to NMDAR-induced FMRP dephosphorylation, which turns off FMRP suppression of Kv4.2. Our study of FMRP regulation of Kv4.2 deepens our knowledge of NMDAR signaling and reveals a FMRP target of potential relevance to FXS.
Project description:: Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of inherited cognitive disability, is caused by a deficiency of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). In most patients, the absence of FMRP is due to an aberrant transcriptional silencing of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene. FXS has no cure, and the available treatments only provide symptomatic relief. Given that FMR1 gene silencing in FXS patient cells can be partially reversed by treatment with compounds that target repressive epigenetic marks, restoring FMRP expression could be one approach for the treatment of FXS. We describe a homogeneous and highly sensitive time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay for FMRP detection in a 1,536-well plate format. Using neural stem cells differentiated from an FXS patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line that does not express any FMRP, we screened a collection of approximately 5,000 known tool compounds and approved drugs using this FMRP assay and identified 6 compounds that modestly increase FMR1 gene expression in FXS patient cells. Although none of these compounds resulted in clinically relevant levels of FMR1 mRNA, our data provide proof of principle that this assay combined with FXS patient-derived neural stem cells can be used in a high-throughput format to identify better lead compounds for FXS drug development.In this study, a specific and sensitive fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based assay for fragile X mental retardation protein detection was developed and optimized for high-throughput screening (HTS) of compound libraries using fragile X syndrome (FXS) patient-derived neural stem cells. The data suggest that this HTS format will be useful for the identification of better lead compounds for developing new therapeutics for FXS. This assay can also be adapted for FMRP detection in clinical and research settings.
Project description:Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability, caused by CGG expansion over 200 repeats (full mutation, FM) at the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene and subsequent DNA methylation of the promoter region, accompanied by additional epigenetic histone modifications that result in a block of transcription and absence of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). The lack of FMRP, involved in multiple aspects of mRNA metabolism in the brain, is thought to be the direct cause of the FXS phenotype. Restoration of FMR1 transcription and FMRP production can be obtained in vitro by treating FXS lymphoblastoid cell lines with the demethylating agent 5-azadeoxycytidine, demonstrating that DNA methylation is key to FMR1 inactivation. This concept is strengthened by the existence of rare male carriers of a FM, who are unable to methylate the FMR1 promoter. These individuals produce limited amounts of FMRP and are of normal intelligence. Their inability to methylate the FMR1 promoter, whose cause is not yet fully elucidated, rescues them from manifesting the FXS. These observations demonstrate that a therapeutic approach to FXS based on the pharmacological reactivation of the FMR1 gene is conceptually tenable and worthy of being further pursued.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP) is a widely expressed RNA-binding protein involved in translation regulation. Since the absence of FMRP leads to Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and autism, FMRP has been extensively studied in brain. The functions of FMRP in peripheral organs and on metabolic homeostasis remain elusive; therefore, we sought to investigate the systemic consequences of its absence. METHODS:Using metabolomics, in vivo metabolic phenotyping of the Fmr1-KO FXS mouse model and in vitro approaches, we show that the absence of FMRP induced a metabolic shift towards enhanced glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, reduced adiposity, and increased β-adrenergic-driven lipolysis and lipid utilization. RESULTS:Combining proteomics and cellular assays, we highlight that FMRP loss increased hepatic protein synthesis and impacted pathways notably linked to lipid metabolism. Mapping metabolomic and proteomic phenotypes onto a signaling and metabolic network, we predicted that the coordinated metabolic response to FMRP loss was mediated by dysregulation in the abundances of specific hepatic proteins. We experimentally validated these predictions, demonstrating that the translational regulator FMRP associates with a subset of mRNAs involved in lipid metabolism. Finally, we highlight that FXS patients mirror metabolic variations observed in Fmr1-KO mice with reduced circulating glucose and insulin and increased free fatty acids. CONCLUSIONS:Loss of FMRP results in a widespread coordinated systemic response that notably involves upregulation of protein translation in the liver, increased utilization of lipids, and significant changes in metabolic homeostasis. Our study unravels metabolic phenotypes in FXS and further supports the importance of translational regulation in the homeostatic control of systemic metabolism.
Project description:Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism. It is caused by the absence of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene product, fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an RNA-binding protein involved in the regulation of translation of a subset of brain mRNAs. In Fmr1 knockout mice, the absence of FMRP results in elevated protein synthesis in the brain as well as increased signaling of many translational regulators. Whether protein synthesis is also dysregulated in FXS patients is not firmly established. Here, we demonstrate that fibroblasts from FXS patients have significantly elevated rates of basal protein synthesis along with increased levels of phosphorylated mechanistic target of rapamycin (p-mTOR), phosphorylated extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2, and phosphorylated p70 ribosomal S6 kinase 1 (p-S6K1). The treatment with small molecules that inhibit S6K1 and a known FMRP target, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) catalytic subunit p110?, lowered the rates of protein synthesis in both control and patient fibroblasts. Our data thus demonstrate that fibroblasts from FXS patients may be a useful in vitro model to test the efficacy and toxicity of potential therapeutics prior to clinical trials, as well as for drug screening and designing personalized treatment approaches.
Project description:Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent inherited form of mental retardation. The cause for this X-linked disorder is the silencing of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (fmr1) gene and the absence of the fragile X mental retardation protein (Fmrp). The RNA-binding protein Fmrp represses protein translation, particularly in synapses. In Drosophila, Fmrp interacts with the adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (Adar) enzymes. Adar enzymes convert adenosine to inosine (A-to-I) and modify the sequence of RNA transcripts. Utilizing the fmr1 zebrafish mutant (fmr1-/-), we studied Fmrp-dependent neuronal circuit formation, behavior, and Adar-mediated RNA editing. By combining behavior analyses and live imaging of single axons and synapses, we showed hyperlocomotor activity, as well as increased axonal branching and synaptic density, in fmr1-/- larvae. We identified thousands of clustered RNA editing sites in the zebrafish transcriptome and showed that Fmrp biochemically interacts with the Adar2a protein. The expression levels of the adar genes and Adar2 protein increased in fmr1-/- zebrafish. Microfluidic-based multiplex PCR coupled with deep sequencing showed a mild increase in A-to-I RNA editing levels in evolutionarily conserved neuronal and synaptic Adar-targets in fmr1-/- larvae. These findings suggest that loss of Fmrp results in increased Adar-mediated RNA editing activity on target-specific RNAs, which, in turn, might alter neuronal circuit formation and behavior in FXS.
Project description:Silencing of fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene and loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) cause fragile X syndrome (FXS), a genetic disorder characterized by intellectual disability and autistic behaviors. FMRP is an mRNA-binding protein regulating neuronal translation of target mRNAs. Abnormalities in actin-rich dendritic spines are major neuronal features in FXS, but the molecular mechanism and identity of FMRP targets mediating this phenotype remain largely unknown. Cytoplasmic FMR1-interacting protein 2 (Cyfip2) was identified as an interactor of FMRP, and its mRNA is a highly ranked FMRP target in mouse brain. Importantly, Cyfip2 is a component of WAVE regulatory complex, a key regulator of actin cytoskeleton, suggesting that Cyfip2 could be implicated in the dendritic spine phenotype of FXS. Here, we generated and characterized Cyfip2-mutant (Cyfip2(+/-)) mice. We found that Cyfip2(+/-) mice exhibited behavioral phenotypes similar to Fmr1-null (Fmr1(-/y)) mice, an animal model of FXS. Synaptic plasticity and dendritic spines were normal in Cyfip2(+/-) hippocampus. However, dendritic spines were altered in Cyfip2(+/-) cortex, and the dendritic spine phenotype of Fmr1(-/y) cortex was aggravated in Fmr1(-/y); Cyfip2(+/-) double-mutant mice. In addition to the spine changes at basal state, metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR)-induced dendritic spine regulation was impaired in both Fmr1(-/y) and Cyfip2(+/-) cortical neurons. Mechanistically, mGluR activation induced mRNA translation-dependent increase of Cyfip2 in wild-type cortical neurons, but not in Fmr1(-/y) or Cyfip2(+/-) neurons. These results suggest that misregulation of Cyfip2 function and its mGluR-induced expression contribute to the neurobehavioral phenotypes of FXS.
Project description:Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability. In addition to cognitive deficits, FXS patients exhibit hyperactivity, attention deficits, social difficulties, anxiety, and other autistic-like behaviors. FXS is caused by an expanded CGG trinucleotide repeat in the 5' untranslated region of the Fragile X Mental Retardation (FMR1) gene leading to epigenetic silencing and loss of expression of the Fragile X Mental Retardation protein (FMRP). Despite the known relationship between FMR1 CGG repeat expansion and FMR1 silencing, the epigenetic modifications observed at the FMR1 locus, and the consequences of the loss of FMRP on human neurodevelopment and neuronal function remain poorly understood. To address these limitations, we report on the generation of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines from multiple patients with FXS and the characterization of their differentiation into post-mitotic neurons and glia. We show that clones from reprogrammed FXS patient fibroblast lines exhibit variation with respect to the predominant CGG-repeat length in the FMR1 gene. In two cases, iPSC clones contained predominant CGG-repeat lengths shorter than measured in corresponding input population of fibroblasts. In another instance, reprogramming a mosaic patient having both normal and pre-mutation length CGG repeats resulted in genetically matched iPSC clonal lines differing in FMR1 promoter CpG methylation and FMRP expression. Using this panel of patient-specific, FXS iPSC models, we demonstrate aberrant neuronal differentiation from FXS iPSCs that is directly correlated with epigenetic modification of the FMR1 gene and a loss of FMRP expression. Overall, these findings provide evidence for a key role for FMRP early in human neurodevelopment prior to synaptogenesis and have implications for modeling of FXS using iPSC technology. By revealing disease-associated cellular phenotypes in human neurons, these iPSC models will aid in the discovery of novel therapeutics for FXS and other autism-spectrum disorders sharing common pathophysiology.