WDR62 is associated with the spindle pole and is mutated in human microcephaly.
ABSTRACT: Autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH) is a disorder of neurodevelopment resulting in a small brain. We identified WDR62 as the second most common cause of MCPH after finding homozygous missense and frame-shifting mutations in seven MCPH families. In human cell lines, we found that WDR62 is a spindle pole protein, as are ASPM and STIL, the MCPH7 and MCHP7 proteins. Mutant WDR62 proteins failed to localize to the mitotic spindle pole. In human and mouse embryonic brain, we found that WDR62 expression was restricted to neural precursors undergoing mitosis. These data lend support to the hypothesis that the exquisite control of the cleavage furrow orientation in mammalian neural precursor cell mitosis, controlled in great part by the centrosomes and spindle poles, is critical both in causing MCPH when perturbed and, when modulated, generating the evolutionarily enlarged human brain.
Project description:Autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH) is a congenital disorder characterized by significantly reduced brain size and mental retardation. Nine genes are currently known to be associated with the condition, all of which encode centrosomal or spindle pole proteins. MCPH is associated with a reduction in proliferation of neural progenitors during fetal development. The cellular mechanisms underlying the proliferation defect, however, are not fully understood. The zebrafish retinal neuroepithelium provides an ideal system to investigate this question. Mutant or morpholino-mediated knockdown of three known MCPH genes (stil, aspm and wdr62) and a fourth centrosomal gene, odf2, which is linked to several MCPH proteins, results in a marked reduction in head and eye size. Imaging studies reveal a dramatic rise in the fraction of proliferating cells in mitosis in all cases, and time-lapse microscopy points to a failure of progression through prometaphase. There was also increased apoptosis in all the MCPH models but this appears to be secondary to the mitotic defect as we frequently saw mitotically arrested cells disappear, and knocking down p53 apoptosis did not rescue the mitotic phenotype, either in whole retinas or clones.
Project description:Autosomal Recessive Primary Microcephaly (MCPH) is a rare disorder of neurogenic mitosis characterized by reduced head circumference at birth with variable degree of mental retardation. In MCPH patients, brain size reduced to almost one-third of its original volume due to reduced number of generated cerebral cortical neurons during embryonic neurogensis. So far, seven genetic loci (MCPH1-7) for this condition have been mapped with seven corresponding genes (MCPH1, WDR62, CDK5RAP2, CEP152, ASPM, CENPJ, and STIL) identified from different world populations. Contribution of ASPM and WDR62 gene mutations in MCPH World wide is more than 50%. By and large, primary microcephaly patients are phenotypically indistinguishable, however, recent studies in patients with mutations in MCPH1, WDR62 and ASPM genes showed a broader clinical and/or cellular phenotype. It has been proposed that mutations in MCPH genes can cause the disease phenotype by disturbing: 1) orientation of mitotic spindles, 2) chromosome condensation mechanism during embryonic neurogenesis, 3) DNA damage-response signaling, 4) transcriptional regulations and microtubule dynamics, 5) certain unknown centrosomal mechanisms that control the number of neurons generated by neural precursor cells. Recent discoveries of mammalian models for MCPH have open up horizons for researchers to add more knowledge regarding the etiology and pathophysiology of MCPH. High incidence of MCPH in Pakistani population reflects the most probable involvement of consanguinity. Genetic counseling and clinical management through carrier detection/prenatal diagnosis in MCPH families can help reducing the incidence of this autosomal recessive disorder.
Project description:Mutations in the Abnormal Spindle Microcephaly related gene (ASPM) are the commonest cause of autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH) a disorder characterised by a small brain and associated mental retardation. ASPM encodes a mitotic spindle pole associated protein. It is suggested that the MCPH phenotype arises from proliferation defects in neural progenitor cells (NPC).We show that ASPM is a microtubule minus end-associated protein that is recruited in a microtubule-dependent manner to the pericentriolar matrix (PCM) at the spindle poles during mitosis. ASPM siRNA reduces ASPM protein at the spindle poles in cultured U2OS cells and severely perturbs a number of aspects of mitosis, including the orientation of the mitotic spindle, the main determinant of developmental asymmetrical cell division. The majority of ASPM depleted mitotic cells fail to complete cytokinesis. In MCPH patient fibroblasts we show that a pathogenic ASPM splice site mutation results in the expression of a novel variant protein lacking a tripeptide motif, a minimal alteration that correlates with a dramatic decrease in ASPM spindle pole localisation. Moreover, expression of dominant-negative ASPM C-terminal fragments cause severe spindle assembly defects and cytokinesis failure in cultured cells.These observations indicate that ASPM participates in spindle organisation, spindle positioning and cytokinesis in all dividing cells and that the extreme C-terminus of the protein is required for ASPM localisation and function. Our data supports the hypothesis that the MCPH phenotype caused by ASPM mutation is a consequence of mitotic aberrations during neurogenesis. We propose the effects of ASPM mutation are tolerated in somatic cells but have profound consequences for the symmetrical division of NPCs, due to the unusual morphology of these cells. This antagonises the early expansion of the progenitor pool that underpins cortical neurogenesis, causing the MCPH phenotype.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Primary microcephaly (MCPH) is a congenital neurodevelopmental disorder manifesting as small brain and intellectual disability. It underlies isolated reduction of the cerebral cortex that is reminiscent of early hominids which makes it suitable model disease to study the hominin-specific volumetric expansion of brain. Mutations in 25 genes have been reported to cause this disorder. Although majority of these genes were discovered in the Pakistani population, still a significant proportion of these families remains uninvestigated. METHODS:We studied a cohort of 32 MCPH families from different regions of Pakistan. For disease gene identification, genome-wide linkage analysis, Sanger sequencing, gene panel, and whole-exome sequencing were performed. RESULTS:By employing these techniques individually or in combination, we were able to discern relevant disease-causing DNA variants. Collectively, 15 novel mutations were observed in five different MCPH genes; ASPM (10), WDR62 (1), CDK5RAP2 (1), STIL (2), and CEP135 (1). In addition, 16 known mutations were also verified. We reviewed the literature and documented the published mutations in six MCPH genes. Intriguingly, our cohort also revealed a recurrent mutation, c.7782_7783delGA;p.(Lys2595Serfs*6), of ASPM reported worldwide. Drawing from this collective data, we propose two founder mutations, ASPM:c.9557C>G;p.(Ser3186*) and CENPJ:c.18delC;p.(Ser7Profs*2), in the Pakistani population. CONCLUSIONS:We discovered novel DNA variants, impairing the function of genes indispensable to build a proper functioning brain. Our study expands the mutational spectra of known MCPH genes and also provides supporting evidence to the pathogenicity of previously reported mutations. These novel DNA variants will be helpful for the clinicians and geneticists for establishing reliable diagnostic strategies for MCPH families.
Project description:Primary microcephaly (MCPH) is an autosomal-recessive congenital disorder characterized by smaller-than-normal brain size and mental retardation. MCPH is genetically heterogeneous with six known loci: MCPH1-MCPH6. We report mapping of a novel locus, MCPH7, to chromosome 1p32.3-p33 between markers D1S2797 and D1S417, corresponding to a physical distance of 8.39 Mb. Heterogeneity analysis of 24 families previously excluded from linkage to the six known MCPH loci suggested linkage of five families (20.83%) to the MCPH7 locus. In addition, four families were excluded from linkage to the MCPH7 locus as well as all of the six previously known loci, whereas the remaining 15 families could not be conclusively excluded or included. The combined maximum two-point LOD score for the linked families was 5.96 at marker D1S386 at theta = 0.0. The combined multipoint LOD score was 6.97 between markers D1S2797 and D1S417. Previously, mutations in four genes, MCPH1, CDK5RAP2, ASPM, and CENPJ, that code for centrosomal proteins have been shown to cause this disorder. Three different homozygous mutations in STIL, which codes for a pericentriolar and centrosomal protein, were identified in patients from three of the five families linked to the MCPH7 locus; all are predicted to truncate the STIL protein. Further, another recently ascertained family was homozygous for the same mutation as one of the original families. There was no evidence for a common haplotype. These results suggest that the centrosome and its associated structures are important in the control of neurogenesis in the developing human brain.
Project description:WD40-repeat protein 62 (WDR62) is a spindle pole protein required for normal cell division and neuroprogenitor differentiation during brain development. Microcephaly-associated mutations in WDR62 lead to mitotic mislocalization, highlighting a crucial requirement for precise WDR62 spatiotemporal distribution, although the regulatory mechanisms are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the WD40-repeat region of WDR62 is required for microtubule association, whereas the disordered C-terminal region regulates cell-cycle-dependent compartmentalization. In agreement with a functional requirement for the WDR62–JNK1 complex during neurogenesis, WDR62 specifically recruits JNK1 (also known as MAPK8), but not JNK2 (also known as MAPK9), to the spindle pole. However, JNK-mediated phosphorylation of WDR62 T1053 negatively regulated microtubule association, and loss of JNK signaling resulted in constitutive WDR62 localization to microtubules irrespective of cell cycle stage. In contrast, we identified that Aurora A kinase (AURKA) and WDR62 were in complex and that AURKA-mediated phosphorylation was required for the spindle localization of WDR62 during mitosis. Our studies highlight complex regulation of WDR62 localization, with opposing roles for JNK and AURKA in determining its spindle association.
Project description:Mutations in several genes encoding centrosomal proteins dramatically decrease the size of the human brain. We show that Aspm (abnormal spindle-like, microcephaly-associated) and Wdr62 (WD repeat-containing protein 62) interact genetically to control brain size, with mice lacking Wdr62, Aspm, or both showing gene dose-related centriole duplication defects that parallel the severity of the microcephaly and increased ectopic basal progenitors, suggesting premature delamination from the ventricular zone. Wdr62 and Aspm localize to the proximal end of the mother centriole and interact physically, with Wdr62 required for Aspm localization, and both proteins, as well as microcephaly protein Cep63, required to localize CENPJ/CPAP/Sas-4, a final common target. Unexpectedly, Aspm and Wdr62 are required for normal apical complex localization and apical epithelial structure, providing a plausible unifying mechanism for the premature delamination and precocious differentiation of progenitors. Together, our results reveal links among centrioles, apical proteins, and cell fate, and illuminate how alterations in these interactions can dynamically regulate brain size.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Human brain development is a complicated process. When normal growth and development of brain or central nervous system is impaired, it leads to neurodevelopemental disorders (NDDs). Autosomal Recessive Primary Microcephaly (MCPH) is one of those, for which seven loci (MCPH1-MCPH7) with the corresponding genes (MCPH1, WDR62, CDK5RAP2, CEP152, ASPM, CENPJ, and STIL) have been reported so far. An important field of study is to find out diversity among organisms due to evolution. How species are related to each other can be inferred through finding evolutionary relationship between organisms in the form of ancestors and descendents. METHODS: MEGA5 was used for phylogenetic tree reconstruction. Pair-wise and multiple alignment was built through ClustalW algorithm. Neighbor joining (NJ) and maximum parsimony (MP) methods were used for tree reconstruction. Bootstrap analysis was done to check the reliability of trees. Synteny analysis was performed using Ensemble synteny view in ensemble database and genome synteny viewer (GSV). RESULTS: Evolutionary time for single gene trees showed that CENPJ (0.02) evolving rapidly while CDK5RAP2 (0.1) evolving with least rate as compare to other genes. All trees were reconciling the species divergence time. Chimpanzee was inferred as closest specie of Human. In MCPH combined tree, five duplications were observed. Four duplications were before and one was after vertebrate and invertebrate divergence. Two genes MCPH1 and WDR62 were closely related with each other. Synteny analysis indicated that maximum conservation of Human was with Chimpanzee. Highly conserved synteny was observed for Human and Chimpanzee in case of CENPJ with no deletion. CONCLUSION: It has been hypothesized that due to having closest relationship, mutations can affect Chimpanzee likewise as these affect Human. Conservation shows that apart from sequence similarity, function of MCPH genes in closely related species is also same and this function disrupts as a result of mutation and hence leads to the diseased state. Huge genomic and proteomic data is available today which enables us to perform In Silico analysis. Our cost and time effective analysis has opened many insights into disease understanding and it will definitely provide a way towards accurate diagnosis.
Project description:Recessive mutations in WD repeat domain 62 (WDR62) cause microcephaly and a wide spectrum of severe brain malformations. Disruption of the mouse ortholog results in microcephaly underlain by reduced proliferation of neocortical progenitors during late neurogenesis, abnormalities in asymmetric centrosome inheritance leading to neuronal migration delays, and altered neuronal differentiation. Spindle pole localization of WDR62 and mitotic progression are defective in patient-derived fibroblasts, which, similar to mouse neocortical progenitors, transiently arrest at prometaphase. Expression of WDR62 is closely correlated with components of the chromosome passenger complex (CPC), a key regulator of mitosis. Wild type WDR62, but not disease-associated mutant forms, interacts with the CPC core enzyme Aurora kinase B and staining of CPC components at centromeres is altered in patient-derived fibroblasts. Our findings demonstrate critical and diverse functions of WDR62 in neocortical development and provide insight into the mechanisms by which its disruption leads to a plethora of structural abnormalities.
Project description:Primary microcephaly genes (MCPH) are required for the embryonic expansion of the mammalian cerebral cortex. However, MCPH mutations may spare growth in other regions of the developing forebrain which reinforces context-dependent functions for distinct MCPH genes in neurodevelopment. Mutations in the MCPH2 gene, WD40-repeat protein 62 (WDR62), are causative of primary microcephaly and cortical malformations in humans. WDR62 is a spindle microtubule-associated phosphoprotein that is required for timely and oriented cell divisions. Recent studies in rodent models confirm that WDR62 loss or mutation causes thinning of the neocortex and disrupted proliferation of apical progenitors reinforcing critical requirements in the maintenance of radial glia. However, potential contributions for WDR62 in hippocampal development had not been previously defined. Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, we generated mouse models with patient-derived non-synonymous missense mutations (WDR62V66M and WDR62R439H) and a null mutation (herein referred to as WDR62Stop) for comparison. We find that WDR62 deletion or mutation resulted in a significant reduction in the thickness of the hippocampal ventricular zone and the area of the dentate gyrus (DG). This was associated with the mitotic arrest and depletion of radial glia and intermediate progenitors in the ammonic neuroepithelium. As a consequence, we find that the number of mitotic dentate precursors in the migratory stream and granule neurons in the DG was reduced with WDR62 mutation. These findings reveal that WDR62 is required for neurogenesis and the growth of the hippocampus during embryonic development.