Comparative analysis of the DYRK1A-SRSF6-TNNT2 pathway in myocardial tissue from individuals with and without Down syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Down syndrome (trisomy 21) is characterized by genome-wide imbalances that result in a range of phenotypic manifestations. Altered expression of DYRK1A in the trisomic context has been linked to some Down syndrome phenotypes. DYRK1A regulates the splicing of cardiac troponin (TNNT2) through a pathway mediated by the master splicing factor SRSF6. Here, we documented the expression of the DYRK1A-SRSF6-TNNT2 pathway in a collection of myocardial samples from persons with and without Down syndrome. Results suggest that "gene dosage effect" may drive the expression of DYRK1A mRNA but has no effect on DYRK1A protein levels in trisomic myocardium. The levels of phosphorylated DYRK1A-Tyr321 tended to be higher (~35%) in myocardial samples from donors with Down syndrome. The levels of phosphorylated SRSF6 were 2.6-fold higher in trisomic myocardium. In line, the expression of fetal TNNT2 variants was higher in myocardial tissue with trisomy 21. These data provide a representative picture on the extent of inter-individual variation in myocardial DYRK1A-SRSF6-TNNT2 expression in the context of Down syndrome.
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: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) 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: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), 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: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 is a common genetic disorder caused by trisomy of chromosome 21. Brain development in affected foetuses might be improved through prenatal treatment. One potential target is DYRK1A, a multifunctional kinase encoded by chromosome 21 that, when overexpressed, alters neuronal excitation-inhibition balance and increases GAD67 interneuron density. We used a green tea extract enriched in EGCG to inhibit DYRK1A function only during gestation of transgenic mice overexpressing Dyrk1a (mBACtgDyrk1a). Adult mice treated prenatally displayed reduced levels of inhibitory markers, restored VGAT1/VGLUT1 balance, and rescued density of GAD67 interneurons. Similar results for gabaergic and glutamatergic markers and interneuron density were obtained in Dp(16)1Yey mice, trisomic for 140 chromosome 21 orthologs; thus, prenatal EGCG exhibits efficacy in a more complex DS model. Finally, cognitive and behaviour testing showed that adult Dp(16)1Yey mice treated prenatally had improved novel object recognition memory but do not show improvement with Y maze paradigm. These findings provide empirical support for a prenatal intervention that targets specific neural circuitries.
Project description:Down syndrome (DS), caused by trisomy of human chromosome 21 (chr21), is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability. The Ts65Dn mouse model of DS is trisomic for orthologs of 94 chr21-encoded, confirmed protein-coding genes and displays a number of behavioral deficits. Recently, Ts65Dn mice were shown to be hypersensitive to the locomotor stimulatory effects of the high-affinity N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR) channel blocker, MK-801. This is consistent with the functions of several chr21 proteins that are predicted directly or indirectly to impact NMDAR function or NMDAR-mediated signaling. In this study, we show that a second mouse model of DS, the Ts1Cje, which is trisomic for 70 protein-coding genes, is also hypersensitive to MK-801. To investigate the molecular basis for the responses to MK-801, we have measured levels of a subset of chr21 and phosphorylated non-chr21 proteins, in the cortex and hippocampus of Ts65Dn and Ts1Cje mice and euploid controls, with and without treatment with MK-801. We show that in euploid mice, the chr21-encoded proteins, TIAM1 and DYRK1A, and phosphorylation of AKT, ERK1/2 and the transcription factor ELK are involved in the MK-801 response. However, in both Ts65Dn and Ts1Cje mice, levels of phosphorylation are constitutively elevated in naïve, unstimulated mice, and the MK-801-induced changes in TIAM1 and DYRK1A and in phosphorylation are either absent or abnormal, with both genotype and brain-region-specific patterns. These results emphasize the complexities of the pathway perturbations that arise with segmental trisomy.
Project description:Trisomy of chromosome 21, the genetic cause of Down syndrome, has the potential to alter expression of genes on chromosome 21, as well as other locations throughout the genome. These transcriptome changes are likely to underlie the Down syndrome clinical phenotypes. We have employed RNA-seq to undertake an in-depth analysis of transcriptome changes resulting from trisomy of chromosome 21, using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from a single individual with Down syndrome. These cells were originally derived by Li et al, who genetically targeted chromosome 21 in trisomic iPSCs, allowing selection of disomic sibling iPSC clones. Analyses were conducted on trisomic/disomic cell pairs maintained as iPSCs or differentiated into cortical neuronal cultures. In addition to characterization of gene expression levels, we have also investigated patterns of RNA adenosine-to-inosine editing, alternative splicing, and repetitive element expression, aspects of the transcriptome that have not been significantly characterized in the context of Down syndrome. We identified significant changes in transcript accumulation associated with chromosome 21 trisomy, as well as changes in alternative splicing and repetitive element transcripts. Unexpectedly, the trisomic iPSCs we characterized expressed higher levels of neuronal transcripts than control disomic iPSCs, and readily differentiated into cortical neurons, in contrast to another reported study. Comparison of our transcriptome data with similar studies of trisomic iPSCs suggests that trisomy of chromosome 21 may not intrinsically limit neuronal differentiation, but instead may interfere with the maintenance of pluripotency.
Project description:Overexpression of Dual-specificity tyrosine-phosphorylated regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A), located on human chromosome 21, may alter molecular processes linked to developmental deficits in Down syndrome (DS). Trisomic DYRK1A is a rational therapeutic target, and although reductions in Dyrk1a genetic dosage have shown improvements in trisomic mouse models, attempts to reduce Dyrk1a activity by pharmacological mechanisms and correct these DS-associated phenotypes have been largely unsuccessful. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) inhibits DYRK1A activity in vitro and this action has been postulated to account for improvement of some DS-associated phenotypes that have been reported in preclinical studies and clinical trials. However, the beneficial effects of EGCG are inconsistent and there is no direct evidence that any observed improvement actually occurs through Dyrk1a inhibition. Inconclusive outcomes likely reflect a lack of knowledge about the tissue-specific patterns of spatial and temporal overexpression and elevated activity of Dyrk1a that may contribute to emerging DS traits during development. Emerging evidence indicates that Dyrk1a expression varies over the life span in DS mouse models, yet preclinical therapeutic treatments targeting Dyrk1a have largely not considered these developmental changes. Therapies intended to improve DS phenotypes through normalizing trisomic Dyrk1a need to optimize the timing and dose of treatment to match the spatiotemporal patterning of excessive Dyrk1a activity in relevant tissues. This will require more precise identification of developmental periods of vulnerability to enduring adverse effects of elevated Dyrk1a, representing the concurrence of increased Dyrk1a expression together with hypothesized tissue-specific-sensitive periods when Dyrk1a regulates cellular processes that shape the long-term functional properties of the tissue. Future efforts targeting inhibition of trisomic Dyrk1a should identify these putative spatiotemporally specific developmental sensitive periods and determine whether normalizing Dyrk1a activity then can lead to improved outcomes in DS phenotypes.