In Vitro Modeling Using Ciliopathy-Patient-Derived Cells Reveals Distinct Cilia Dysfunctions Caused by CEP290 Mutations.
ABSTRACT: Mutations in CEP290, a transition zone protein in primary cilia, cause diverse ciliopathies, including Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) and Joubert-syndrome and related disorders (JSRD). We examined cilia biogenesis and function in cells derived from CEP290-LCA and CEP290-JSRD patients. CEP290 protein was reduced in LCA fibroblasts with no detectable impact on cilia; however, optic cups derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of CEP290-LCA patients displayed less developed photoreceptor cilia. Lack of CEP290 in JSRD fibroblasts resulted in abnormal cilia and decreased ciliogenesis. We observed selectively reduced localization of ADCY3 and ARL13B. Notably, Hedgehog signaling was augmented in CEP290-JSRD because of enhanced ciliary transport of Smoothened and GPR161. These results demonstrate a direct correlation between the extent of ciliogenesis defects in fibroblasts and photoreceptors with phenotypic severity in JSRD and LCA, respectively, and strengthen the role of CEP290 as a selective ciliary gatekeeper for transport of signaling molecules in and out of the cilium.
Project description:Mutations in CEP290 cause ciliogenesis defects, leading to diverse clinical phenotypes, including Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). Gene therapy for CEP290-associated diseases is hindered by the 7.4 kb CEP290 coding sequence, which is difficult to deliver in vivo. The multi-domain structure of the CEP290 protein suggests that a specific CEP290 domain may complement disease phenotypes. Thus, we constructed AAV vectors with overlapping CEP290 regions and evaluated their impact on photoreceptor degeneration in Cep290rd16/rd16 and Cep290rd16/rd16;Nrl-/- mice, two models of CEP290-LCA. One CEP290 fragment (the C-terminal 989 residues, including the domain deleted in mutant mice) reconstituted CEP290 function and resulted in cone preservation and delayed rod death. The CEP290 C-terminal domain also improved cilia phenotypes in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and iPSC-derived retinal organoids carrying the Cep290rd16 mutation. Our study strongly argues for in trans complementation of CEP290 mutations by a cognate fragment and suggests therapeutic avenues.
Project description:Mutations in CEP290 are the most common cause of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a severe inherited retinal degenerative disease for which there is currently no cure. Autosomal recessive CEP290-associated LCA is a good candidate for gene replacement therapy, and cells derived from affected individuals give researchers the ability to study human disease and therapeutic gene correction in vitro. Here we report the development of lentiviral vectors carrying full-length CEP290 for the purpose of correcting the CEP290 disease-specific phenotype in human cells. A lentiviral vector containing CMV-driven human full-length CEP290 was constructed. Following transduction of patient-specific, iPSC-derived, photoreceptor precursor cells, reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis and western blotting revealed vector-derived expression. As CEP290 is important in ciliogenesis, the ability of fibroblast cultures from CEP290-associated LCA patients to form cilia was investigated. In cultures derived from these patients, fewer cells formed cilia compared with unaffected controls. Cilia that were formed were shorter in patient-derived cells than in cells from unaffected individuals. Importantly, lentiviral delivery of CEP290 rescued the ciliogenesis defect. The successful construction and viral transfer of full-length CEP290 brings us closer to the goal of providing gene- and cell-based therapies for patients affected with this common form of LCA.
Project description:Primary cilia are nonmotile organelles implicated in signaling and sensory functions. Understanding how primary cilia assemble could shed light on the many human diseases caused by mutations in ciliary proteins. The centrosomal protein CP110 is known to suppress ciliogenesis through an unknown mechanism. Here, we report that CP110 interacts with CEP290--a protein whose deficiency is implicated in human ciliary disease--in a discrete complex separable from other CP110 complexes involved in regulating the centrosome cycle. Ablation of CEP290 prevents ciliogenesis without affecting centrosome function or cell-cycle progression. Interaction with CEP290 is absolutely required for the ability of CP110 to suppress primary cilia formation. Furthermore, CEP290 and CP110 interact with Rab8a, a small GTPase required for cilia assembly. Depletion of CEP290 interferes with localization of Rab8a to centrosomes and cilia. Our results suggest that CEP290 cooperates with Rab8a to promote ciliogenesis and that this function is antagonized by CP110.
Project description:Cilia regulate diverse functions such as motility, fluid balance, and sensory perception. The cilia of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) compartmentalize the signaling proteins necessary for odor detection; however, little is known regarding the mechanisms of protein sorting/entry into olfactory cilia. Nephrocystins are a family of ciliary proteins likely involved in cargo sorting during transport from the basal body to the ciliary axoneme. In humans, loss-of-function of the cilia-centrosomal protein CEP290/NPHP6 is associated with Joubert and Meckel syndromes, whereas hypomorphic mutations result in Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a form of early-onset retinal dystrophy. Here, we report that CEP290-LCA patients exhibit severely abnormal olfactory function. In a mouse model with hypomorphic mutations in CEP290 [retinal dystrophy-16 mice (rd16)], electro-olfactogram recordings revealed an anosmic phenotype analogous to that of CEP290-LCA patients. Despite the loss of olfactory function, cilia of OSNs remained intact in the rd16 mice. As in wild type, CEP290 localized to dendritic knobs of rd16 OSNs, where it was in complex with ciliary transport proteins and the olfactory G proteins G(olf) and Ggamma(13). Interestingly, we observed defective ciliary localization of G(olf) and Ggamma(13) but not of G protein-coupled odorant receptors or other components of the odorant signaling pathway in the rd16 OSNs. Our data implicate distinct mechanisms for ciliary transport of olfactory signaling proteins, with CEP290 being a key mediator involved in G protein trafficking. The assessment of olfactory function can, therefore, serve as a useful diagnostic tool for genetic screening of certain syndromic ciliary diseases.
Project description:Cilia are highly specialized microtubule-based organelles that have pivotal roles in numerous biological processes, including transducing sensory signals. Defects in cilia biogenesis and transport cause pleiotropic human ciliopathies. Mutations in over 30 different genes can lead to cilia defects, and complex interactions exist among ciliopathy-associated proteins. Mutations of the centrosomal protein 290 kDa (CEP290) lead to distinct clinical manifestations, including Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a hereditary cause of blindness due to photoreceptor degeneration. Mice homozygous for a mutant Cep290 allele (Cep290rd16 mice) exhibit LCA-like early-onset retinal degeneration that is caused by an in-frame deletion in the CEP290 protein. Here, we show that the domain deleted in the protein encoded by the Cep290rd16 allele directly interacts with another ciliopathy protein, MKKS. MKKS mutations identified in patients with the ciliopathy Bardet-Biedl syndrome disrupted this interaction. In zebrafish embryos, combined subminimal knockdown of mkks and cep290 produced sensory defects in the eye and inner ear. Intriguingly, combinations of Cep290rd16 and Mkksko alleles in mice led to improved ciliogenesis and sensory functions compared with those of either mutant alone. We propose that altered association of CEP290 and MKKS affects the integrity of multiprotein complexes at the cilia transition zone and basal body. Amelioration of the sensory phenotypes caused by specific mutations in one protein by removal of an interacting domain/protein suggests a possible novel approach for treating human ciliopathies.
Project description:Joubert syndrome and related disorders (JSRD) are primarily autosomal-recessive conditions characterized by hypotonia, ataxia, abnormal eye movements, and intellectual disability with a distinctive mid-hindbrain malformation. Variable features include retinal dystrophy, cystic kidney disease, and liver fibrosis. JSRD are included in the rapidly expanding group of disorders called ciliopathies, because all six gene products implicated in JSRD (NPHP1, AHI1, CEP290, RPGRIP1L, TMEM67, and ARL13B) function in the primary cilium/basal body organelle. By using homozygosity mapping in consanguineous families, we identify loss-of-function mutations in CC2D2A in JSRD patients with and without retinal, kidney, and liver disease. CC2D2A is expressed in all fetal and adult tissues tested. In ciliated cells, we observe localization of recombinant CC2D2A at the basal body and colocalization with CEP290, whose cognate gene is mutated in multiple hereditary ciliopathies. In addition, the proteins can physically interact in vitro, as shown by yeast two-hybrid and GST pull-down experiments. A nonsense mutation in the zebrafish CC2D2A ortholog (sentinel) results in pronephric cysts, a hallmark of ciliary dysfunction analogous to human cystic kidney disease. Knockdown of cep290 function in sentinel fish results in a synergistic pronephric cyst phenotype, revealing a genetic interaction between CC2D2A and CEP290 and implicating CC2D2A in cilium/basal body function. These observations extend the genetic spectrum of JSRD and provide a model system for studying extragenic modifiers in JSRD and other ciliopathies.
Project description:Cilia have a unique diffusion barrier ("gate") within their proximal region, termed transition zone (TZ), that compartmentalises signalling proteins within the organelle. The TZ is known to harbour two functional modules/complexes (Meckel syndrome [MKS] and Nephronophthisis [NPHP]) defined by genetic interaction, interdependent protein localisation (hierarchy), and proteomic studies. However, the composition and molecular organisation of these modules and their links to human ciliary disease are not completely understood. Here, we reveal Caenorhabditis elegans CEP-290 (mammalian Cep290/Mks4/Nphp6 orthologue) as a central assembly factor that is specific for established MKS module components and depends on the coiled coil region of MKS-5 (Rpgrip1L/Rpgrip1) for TZ localisation. Consistent with a critical role in ciliary gate function, CEP-290 prevents inappropriate entry of membrane-associated proteins into cilia and keeps ARL-13 (Arl13b) from leaking out of cilia via the TZ. We identify a novel MKS module component, TMEM-218 (Tmem218), that requires CEP-290 and other MKS module components for TZ localisation and functions together with the NPHP module to facilitate ciliogenesis. We show that TZ localisation of TMEM-138 (Tmem138) and CDKL-1 (Cdkl1/Cdkl2/Cdkl3/Cdlk4 related), not previously linked to a specific TZ module, similarly depends on CEP-290; surprisingly, neither TMEM-138 or CDKL-1 exhibit interdependent localisation or genetic interactions with core MKS or NPHP module components, suggesting they are part of a distinct, CEP-290-associated module. Lastly, we show that families presenting with Oral-Facial-Digital syndrome type 6 (OFD6) have likely pathogenic mutations in CEP-290-dependent TZ proteins, namely Tmem17, Tmem138, and Tmem231. Notably, patient fibroblasts harbouring mutated Tmem17, a protein not yet ciliopathy-associated, display ciliogenesis defects. Together, our findings expand the repertoire of MKS module-associated proteins--including the previously uncharacterised mammalian Tmem80--and suggest an MKS-5 and CEP-290-dependent assembly pathway for building a functional TZ.
Project description:The gene coding for centrosomal protein 290 (CEP290), a large multidomain protein, is the most frequently mutated gene underlying the non-syndromic blinding disorder Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA). CEP290 has also been implicated in several cilia-related syndromic disorders including Meckel-Gruber syndrome, Joubert syndrome, Senor-Loken syndrome and Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS). In this study, we characterize the developmental and functional roles of cep290 in zebrafish. An antisense oligonucleotide [Morpholino (MO)], designed to generate an altered cep290 splice product that models the most common LCA mutation, was used for gene knockdown. We show that cep290 MO-injected embryos have reduced Kupffer's vesicle size and delays in melanosome transport, two phenotypes that are observed upon knockdown of bbs genes in zebrafish. Consistent with a role in cilia function, the cep290 MO-injected embryos exhibited a curved body axis. Patients with LCA caused by mutations in CEP290 have reduced visual perception, although they present with a fully laminated retina. Similarly, the histological examination of retinas from cep290 MO-injected zebrafish revealed no gross lamination defects, yet the embryos had a statistically significant reduction in visual function. Finally, we demonstrate that the vision impairment caused by the disruption of cep290 can be rescued by expressing only the N-terminal region of the human CEP290 protein. These data reveal that a specific region of the CEP290 protein is sufficient to restore visual function and this region may be a viable gene therapy target for LCA patients with mutations in CEP290.
Project description:Mutations in the gene centrosomal protein 290 kDa (CEP290) cause an array of debilitating and phenotypically distinct human diseases, ranging from the devastating blinding disease Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) to Senior-Løken syndrome, Joubert syndrome, and the lethal Meckel-Gruber syndrome. Despite its critical role in biology and disease, very little is known about CEP290's function. Here, we have identified 4 functional domains of the protein. We found that CEP290 directly binds to cellular membranes through an N-terminal domain that includes a highly conserved amphipathic helix motif and to microtubules through a domain located within its myosin-tail homology domain. Furthermore, CEP290 activity was regulated by 2 autoinhibitory domains within its N and C termini, both of which were found to play critical roles in regulating ciliogenesis. Disruption of the microtubule-binding domain in a mouse model of LCA was sufficient to induce significant deficits in cilium formation, which led to retinal degeneration. These data implicate CEP290 as an integral structural and regulatory component of the cilium and provide insight into the pathological mechanisms of LCA and related ciliopathies. Further, these data illustrate that disruption of particular CEP290 functional domains may lead to particular disease phenotypes and suggest innovative strategies for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:In differentiated human cells, primary cilia fulfill essential functions in converting mechanical or chemical stimuli into intracellular signals. Formation and maintenance of cilia require multiple functions associated with the centriole-derived basal body, from which axonemal microtubules grow and which assembles a gate to maintain the specific ciliary proteome. Here we characterize the function of a novel centriolar satellite protein, synovial sarcoma X breakpoint-interacting protein 2 (SSX2IP), in the assembly of primary cilia. We show that SSX2IP localizes to the basal body of primary cilia in human and murine ciliated cells. Using small interfering RNA knockdown in human cells, we demonstrate the importance of SSX2IP for efficient recruitment of the ciliopathy-associated satellite protein Cep290 to both satellites and the basal body. Cep290 takes a central role in gating proteins to the ciliary compartment. Consistent with that, loss of SSX2IP drastically reduces entry of the BBSome, which functions to target membrane proteins to primary cilia, and interferes with efficient accumulation of the key regulator of ciliary membrane protein targeting, Rab8. Finally, we show that SSX2IP knockdown limits targeting of the ciliary membrane protein and BBSome cargo, somatostatin receptor 3, and significantly reduces axoneme length. Our data establish SSX2IP as a novel targeting factor for ciliary membrane proteins cooperating with Cep290, the BBSome, and Rab8.