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      Chromosome 22q11.2 deletion causes PERK-dependent vulnerability in dopaminergic neurons


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          The chromosome 22q11.2 deletion is an extremely high risk genetic factor for various neuropsychiatric disorders; however, the 22q11.2 deletion-related brain pathology in humans at the cellular and molecular levels remains unclear.


          We generated iPS cells from healthy controls (control group) and patients with 22q11.2 deletion (22DS group), and differentiated them into dopaminergic neurons. Semiquantitative proteomic analysis was performed to compare the two groups. Next, we conducted molecular, cell biological and pharmacological assays.


          Semiquantitative proteomic analysis identified ‘protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)’ as the most altered pathway in the 22DS group. In particular, we found a severe defect in protein kinase R-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) expression and its activity in the 22DS group. The decreased PERK expression was also shown in the midbrain of a 22q11.2 deletion mouse model. The 22DS group showed characteristic phenotypes, including poor tolerance to ER stress, abnormal F-actin dynamics, and decrease in protein synthesis. Some of phenotypes were rescued by the pharmacological manipulation of PERK activity and phenocopied in PERK-deficient dopaminergic neurons. We lastly showed that DGCR14 was associated with reduction in PERK expression.


          Our findings led us to conclude that the 22q11.2 deletion causes various vulnerabilities in dopaminergic neurons, dependent on PERK dysfunction.


          This study was supported by the doi 10.13039/100010463, AMED; under grant nos JP20dm0107087, JP20dm0207075, JP20ak0101113, JP20dk0307081, and JP18dm0207004h0005; the MEXT KAKENHI under grant nos. 16K19760, 19K08015, 18H04040, and 18K19511; the doi 10.13039/100008732, Uehara Memorial Foundation; under grant no. 201810122; and 2019 iPS Academia Japan Grant.

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          Most cited references 58

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          Induction of pluripotent stem cells from adult human fibroblasts by defined factors.

          Successful reprogramming of differentiated human somatic cells into a pluripotent state would allow creation of patient- and disease-specific stem cells. We previously reported generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, capable of germline transmission, from mouse somatic cells by transduction of four defined transcription factors. Here, we demonstrate the generation of iPS cells from adult human dermal fibroblasts with the same four factors: Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc. Human iPS cells were similar to human embryonic stem (ES) cells in morphology, proliferation, surface antigens, gene expression, epigenetic status of pluripotent cell-specific genes, and telomerase activity. Furthermore, these cells could differentiate into cell types of the three germ layers in vitro and in teratomas. These findings demonstrate that iPS cells can be generated from adult human fibroblasts.
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            An ER-mitochondria tethering complex revealed by a synthetic biology screen.

            Communication between organelles is an important feature of all eukaryotic cells. To uncover components involved in mitochondria/endoplasmic reticulum (ER) junctions, we screened for mutants that could be complemented by a synthetic protein designed to artificially tether the two organelles. We identified the Mmm1/Mdm10/Mdm12/Mdm34 complex as a molecular tether between ER and mitochondria. The tethering complex was composed of proteins resident of both ER and mitochondria. With the use of genome-wide mapping of genetic interactions, we showed that the components of the tethering complex were functionally connected to phospholipid biosynthesis and calcium-signaling genes. In mutant cells, phospholipid biosynthesis was impaired. The tethering complex localized to discrete foci, suggesting that discrete sites of close apposition between ER and mitochondria facilitate interorganelle calcium and phospholipid exchange.
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              Translational control of long-lasting synaptic plasticity and memory.

              Long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and memory are dependent on new protein synthesis. Recent advances obtained from genetic, physiological, pharmacological, and biochemical studies provide strong evidence that translational control plays a key role in regulating long-term changes in neural circuits and thus long-term modifications in behavior. Translational control is important for regulating both general protein synthesis and synthesis of specific proteins in response to neuronal activity. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent progress in the field and highlight the prospects for better understanding of long-lasting changes in synaptic strength, learning, and memory and implications for neurological diseases.

                Author and article information

                17 December 2020
                January 2021
                17 December 2020
                : 63
                [a ]Department of Psychiatry, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan
                [b ]Center for Advanced Medicine and Clinical Research, Nagoya University Hospital, Nagoya, Japan
                [c ]Institute for Advanced Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
                [d ]National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Okazaki, Japan
                [e ]Medical Genomics Center, Nagoya University Hospital, Nagoya, Japan
                [f ]Laboratory of Animal Resources, Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
                [g ]Brain and Mind Research Center, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
                Author notes
                S2352-3964(20)30514-4 103138
                © 2020 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                Research Paper


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