CRISPR/Cas9 mediated generation of an ovine model for infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (CLN1 disease).
ABSTRACT: The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are a group of devastating monogenetic lysosomal disorders that affect children and young adults with no cure or effective treatment currently available. One of the more severe infantile forms of the disease (INCL or CLN1 disease) is due to mutations in the palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1) gene and severely reduces the child's lifespan to approximately 9 years of age. In order to better translate the human condition than is possible in mice, we sought to produce a large animal model employing CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology. Three PPT1 homozygote sheep were generated by insertion of a disease-causing PPT1 (R151X) human mutation into the orthologous sheep locus. This resulted in a morphological, anatomical and biochemical disease phenotype that closely resembles the human condition. The homozygous sheep were found to have significantly reduced PPT1 enzyme activity and accumulate autofluorescent storage material, as is observed in CLN1 patients. Clinical signs included pronounced behavioral deficits as well as motor deficits and complete loss of vision, with a reduced lifespan of 17?±?1 months at a humanely defined terminal endpoint. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed a significant decrease in motor cortical volume as well as increased ventricular volume corresponding with observed brain atrophy and a profound reduction in brain mass of 30% at necropsy, similar to alterations observed in human patients. In summary, we have generated the first CRISPR/Cas9 gene edited NCL model. This novel sheep model of CLN1 disease develops biochemical, gross morphological and in vivo brain alterations confirming the efficacy of the targeted modification and potential relevance to the human condition.
Project description:The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), also known as Batten disease, are a group of autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorders in children characterized by the progressive onset of seizures, blindness, motor and cognitive decline and premature death. Patients with mutations in CLN1 primarily manifest with infantile NCL (INCL or Haltia-Santavuori disease), which is second only to congenital NCL for its age of onset and devastating progression. CLN1 encodes a lysosomal enzyme, palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1). Nonsense mutations in CLN1 account for 52.3% of all disease causing alleles in infantile NCL, the most common of which worldwide is the p.R151X mutation. Previously, we have shown how nonsense-mediated decay is involved in the degradation of CLN1 mRNA transcripts containing the p.R151X mutation in human lymphoblast cell lines. We have also shown how the read-through drugs gentamicin and ataluren (PTC124) increase CLN1 (PPT1) enzyme activity. Here, we provide the initial characterization of the novel Cln1(R151X) mouse model of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis that we have generated. This nonsense mutation model recapitulates the molecular, histological and behavioral phenotypes of the human disease. Cln1(R151X) mice showed a significant decrease in Cln1 mRNA level and PPT1 enzyme activity, accumulation of autofluorescent storage material, astrocytosis and microglial activation in the brain. Behavioral characterization of Cln1(R151X) mice at 3 and 5 months of age revealed significant motor deficits as measured by the vertical pole and rotarod tests. We also show how the read-through compound ataluren (PTC124) increases PPT1 enzyme activity and protein level in Cln1(R151X) mice in a proof-of-principle study.
Project description:About 10% of inherited diseases are caused by nonsense mutations [Trends Mol Med 18 (2012) 688], and nonsense suppression drug therapy promoting translation through premature stop codons is an emerging therapeutic approach. Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL), a childhood neurodegenerative disease, results from mutations in the CLN1 gene encoding the lysosomal enzyme, palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1) [Biochim Biophys Acta 1832 (2013) 1806, Hum Mutat (2012) 63, Biochim Biophys Acta 1832 (2013) 1881]. The nonsense mutation p.R151X is the most common disease-causing CLN1 mutation Hum Mutat (2012) 63. In the novel Cln1(R151X) mouse model of INCL, we found large, tissue-specific variations in Cln1(R151X) mRNA level and PPT1 residual enzyme activity. These tissue-specific differences strongly influenced the read-through efficiency of ataluren (PTC124), a well-known nonsense suppression drug. A two-day treatment with ataluren (10 mg/kg) increased PPT1 enzyme activity in the liver and muscle, but not in any other tissue examined. Our study identifies a new challenge/hurdle for read-through drug therapy: variable efficiency of read-through therapy in the different tissues/organs because of tissue-specific variations in nonsense mutant transcript levels.
Project description:Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) type 1 (CLN1) is a neurodegenerative storage disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding the lysosomal enzyme palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1). CLN1 patients suffer from brain atrophy, mental and motor retardation, seizures, and retinal degeneration ultimately resulting in blindness. Here, we performed an in-depth analysis of the retinal phenotype of a PPT1-deficient mouse, an animal model of this condition. Reactive astrogliosis and microgliosis were evident in mutant retinas prior to the onset of retinal cell loss. Progressive accumulation of storage material, a pronounced dysregulation of various lysosomal proteins, and accumulation of sequestosome/p62-positive aggregates in the inner nuclear layer also preceded retinal degeneration. At advanced stages of the disease, the mutant retina was characterized by a significant loss of ganglion cells, rod and cone photoreceptor cells, and rod and cone bipolar cells. Results demonstrate that PPT1 dysfunction results in early-onset pathological alterations in the mutant retina, followed by a progressive degeneration of various retinal cell types at relatively late stages of the disease. Data will serve as a reference for future work aimed at developing therapeutic strategies for the treatment of retinal degeneration in CLN1 disease.
Project description:Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL, Infantile Batten disease) is a neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disease caused by a deficiency in palmitoyl protein thioesterase-1 (PPT1). The PPT1-deficient mouse (Cln1(-/-)) is a useful phenocopy of human INCL. Cln1(-/-) mice display retinal dysfunction, seizures, motor deficits, and die at ~8 months of age. However, little is known about the cognitive and behavioral functions of Cln1(-/-) mice during disease progression. In the present study, younger (~1-2 months of age) Cln1(-/-) mice showed minor deficits in motor/sensorimotor functions while older (~5-6 months of age) Cln1(-/-) mice exhibited more severe impairments, including decreased locomotor activity, inferior cued water maze performance, decreased running wheel ability, and altered auditory cue conditioning. Unexpectedly, certain cognitive functions such as some learning and memory capabilities seemed intact in older Cln1(-/-) mice. Younger and older Cln1(-/-) mice presented with walking initiation defects, gait abnormalities, and slowed movements, which are analogous to some symptoms reported in INCL and parkinsonism. However, there was no evidence of alterations in dopaminergic markers in Cln1(-/-) mice. Results from this study demonstrate quantifiable changes in behavioral functions during progression of murine INCL and suggest that Parkinson-like motor/sensorimotor deficits in Cln1(-/-) mice are not mediated by dopamine deficiency.
Project description:CLN1 disease is a fatal inherited neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disease of early childhood, caused by mutations in the CLN1 gene, which encodes the enzyme Palmitoyl protein thioesterase-1 (PPT-1). We recently found significant spinal pathology in Ppt1-deficient (Ppt1-/-) mice and human CLN1 disease that contributes to clinical outcome and precedes the onset of brain pathology. Here, we quantified this spinal pathology at 3 and 7 months of age revealing significant and progressive glial activation and vulnerability of spinal interneurons. Tandem mass tagged proteomic analysis of the spinal cord of Ppt1-/-and control mice at these timepoints revealed a significant neuroimmune response and changes in mitochondrial function, cell-signalling pathways and developmental processes. Comparing proteomic changes in the spinal cord and cortex at 3 months revealed many similarly affected processes, except the inflammatory response. These proteomic and pathological data from this largely unexplored region of the CNS may help explain the limited success of previous brain-directed therapies. These data also fundamentally change our understanding of the progressive, site-specific nature of CLN1 disease pathogenesis, and highlight the importance of the neuroimmune response. This should greatly impact our approach to the timing and targeting of future therapeutic trials for this and similar disorders.
Project description:CLN1 disease (OMIM #256730) is an early childhood ceroid-lipofuscinosis associated with mutated CLN1, whose product (PPT1) is a lysosomal enzyme involved in the removal of palmitate residues from S-acylated proteins. In neurons, PPT1 is also related to specific functions in the synaptic compartment. The aim of this study was to recognize molecular signatures and functional modules connected with CLN1. We utilized differentiated SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells to overexpress wild type CLN1 (SH-p.wtCLN1) and introduced selected mutations previously detected in CLN1 patients. wtCLN1 and two mutant CLN1- harbouring cell lines were characterized by whole transcriptomic profiling using RNA-seq, to subsequently identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and alterations in related neuronal functions. Overall design: Examination of transciptomic profiles of three transfected SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell lines, which over-expressed either wtCLN1 or two mutated CLN1 constructs
Project description:Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a group of inherited neurodegenerative disorders with lysosomal pathology (CLN1-14). Recently, mutations in the DNAJC5/CLN4 gene, which encodes the presynaptic co-chaperone CSP? were shown to cause autosomal-dominant NCL. Although 14 NCL genes have been identified, it is unknown if they act in common disease pathways. Here we show that two disease-associated proteins, CSP? and the depalmitoylating enzyme palmitoyl-protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1/CLN1) are biochemically linked. We find that in DNAJC5/CLN4 patient brains, PPT1 is massively increased and mis-localized. Surprisingly, the specific enzymatic activity of PPT1 is dramatically reduced. Notably, we demonstrate that CSP? is depalmitoylated by PPT1 and hence its substrate. To determine the consequences of PPT1 accumulation, we compared the palmitomes from control and DNAJC5/CLN4 patient brains by quantitative proteomics. We discovered global changes in protein palmitoylation, mainly involving lysosomal and synaptic proteins. Our findings establish a functional link between two forms of NCL and serve as a springboard for investigations of NCL disease pathways.
Project description:<h4>Aim</h4>To understand the progression of CLN1 disease and develop effective therapies we need to characterize early sites of pathology. Therefore, we performed a comprehensive evaluation of the nature and timing of early CLN1 disease pathology in the spinal cord, which appears especially vulnerable, and how this may affect behaviour.<h4>Methods</h4>We measured the spinal volume and neuronal number, and quantified glial activation, lymphocyte infiltration and oligodendrocyte maturation, as well as cytokine profile analysis during the early stages of pathology in Ppt1-deficient (Ppt1<sup>-/-</sup> ) mouse spinal cords. We then performed quantitative gait analysis and open-field behaviour tests to investigate the behavioural correlates during this period.<h4>Results</h4>We detected significant microglial activation in Ppt1<sup>-/-</sup> spinal cords at 1 month. This was followed by astrocytosis, selective interneuron loss, altered spinal volumes and oligodendrocyte maturation at 2 months, before significant storage material accumulation and lymphocyte infiltration at 3 months. The same time course was apparent for inflammatory cytokine expression that was altered as early as one month. There was a transient early period at 2 months when Ppt1<sup>-/-</sup> mice had a significantly altered gait that resembles the presentation in children with CLN1 disease. This occurred before an anticipated decline in overall locomotor performance across all ages.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These data reveal disease onset 2 months (25% of life-span) earlier than expected, while spinal maturation is still ongoing. Our multi-disciplinary data provide new insights into the spatio-temporal staging of CLN1 pathogenesis during ongoing postnatal maturation, and highlight the need to deliver therapies during the presymptomatic period.
Project description:CLN1 disease (OMIM #256730) is an early childhood ceroid-lipofuscinosis associated with mutated CLN1, whose product Palmitoyl-Protein Thioesterase 1 (PPT1) is a lysosomal enzyme involved in the removal of palmitate residues from S-acylated proteins. In neurons, PPT1 expression is also linked to synaptic compartments. The aim of this study was to unravel molecular signatures connected to CLN1. We utilized SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells overexpressing wild type CLN1 (SH-p.wtCLN1) and five selected CLN1 patients' mutations. The cellular distribution of wtPPT1 was consistent with regular processing of endogenous protein, partially detected inside Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein 2 (LAMP2) positive vesicles, while the mutants displayed more diffuse cytoplasmic pattern. Transcriptomic profiling revealed 802 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in SH-p.wtCLN1 (as compared to empty-vector transfected cells), whereas the number of DEGs detected in the two mutants (p.L222P and p.M57Nfs*45) was significantly lower. Bioinformatic scrutiny linked DEGs with neurite formation and neuronal transmission. Specifically, neuritogenesis and proliferation of neuronal processes were predicted to be hampered in the wtCLN1 overexpressing cell line, and these findings were corroborated by morphological investigations. Palmitoylation survey identified 113 palmitoylated protein-encoding genes in SH-p.wtCLN1, including 25 ones simultaneously assigned to axonal growth and synaptic compartments. A remarkable decrease in the expression of palmitoylated proteins, functionally related to axonal elongation (GAP43, CRMP1 and NEFM) and of the synaptic marker SNAP25, specifically in SH-p.wtCLN1 cells was confirmed by immunoblotting. Subsequent, bioinformatic network survey of DEGs assigned to the synaptic annotations linked 81 DEGs, including 23 ones encoding for palmitoylated proteins. Results obtained in this experimental setting outlined two affected functional modules (connected to the axonal and synaptic compartments), which can be associated with an altered gene dosage of wtCLN1. Moreover, these modules were interrelated with the pathological effects associated with loss of PPT1 function, similarly as observed in the Ppt1 knockout mice and patients with CLN1 disease.
Project description:The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs) are the most common cause of childhood dementia and are invariably fatal. Early localized glial activation occurs in these disorders, and accurately predicts where neuronal loss is most pronounced. Recent evidence suggests that glial dysfunction may contribute to neuron loss, and we have now explored this possibility in infantile NCL (INCL, CLN1 disease). We grew primary cultures of astrocytes, microglia, and neurons derived from Ppt1 deficient mice (Ppt1-/-) and assessed their properties compared to wildtype (WT) cultures, before co-culturing them in different combinations (astrocytes with microglia, astrocytes or microglia with neurons, all three cell types together). These studies revealed that both Ppt1-/- astrocytes and microglia exhibit a more activated phenotype under basal unstimulated conditions, as well as alterations to their protein expression profile following pharmacological stimulation. Ppt1- /- astrocytes also displayed abnormal calcium signalling and an elevated cytoplasmic Ca2+ level, and a profound defect in their survival. Ppt1-/- neurons displayed decreased neurite outgrowth, altered complexity, a reduction in cell body size, and impaired neuron survival with prolonged time in culture. In co-cultures, the presence of both astrocytes and microglia from Ppt1-/- mice further impaired the morphology of both wild type and Ppt1-/- neurons. This negative influence was more pronounced for Ppt1-/- microglia, which appeared to trigger increased Ppt1-/- neuronal death. In contrast, wild type glial cells, especially astrocytes, ameliorated some of the morphological defects observed in Ppt1-/- neurons. These findings suggest that both Ppt1-/- microglia and astrocytes are dysfunctional and may contribute to the neurodegeneration observed in CLN1 disease. However, the dysfunctional phenotypes of Ppt1-/- glia are different from those present in CLN3 disease, suggesting that the pathogenic role of glia may differ between NCLs.