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Wnt/β-catenin pathway and cell adhesion deregulation in CSDE1-related intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders

Abstract

Among the genetic factors playing a key role in the etiology of intellectual disabilities (IDs) and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), several encode RNA-binding proteins (RBPs). In this study, we deciphered the molecular and cellular bases of ID-ASD in a patient followed from birth to the age of 21, in whom we identified a de novo CSDE1 (Cold Shock Domain-containing E1) nonsense variation. CSDE1 encodes an RBP that regulates multiple cellular pathways by monitoring the translation and abundance of target transcripts. Analyses performed on the patient’s primary fibroblasts showed that the identified CSDE1 variation leads to haploinsufficiency. We identified through RNA-seq assays the Wnt/β-catenin signaling and cellular adhesion as two major deregulated pathways. These results were further confirmed by functional studies involving Wnt-specific luciferase and substrate adhesion assays. Additional data support a disease model involving APC Down-Regulated-1 (APCDD1) and cadherin-2 (CDH2), two components of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, CDH2 being also pivotal for cellular adhesion. Our study, which relies on both the deep phenotyping and long-term follow-up of a patient with CSDE1 haploinsufficiency and on ex vivo studies, sheds new light on the CSDE1-dependent deregulated pathways in ID-ASD.

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Fig. 1: The patient’s clinical features and the molecular bases of the CSDE1 haploinsufficiency.
Fig. 2: Transcriptomic analysis in the patient’s fibroblasts.
Fig. 3: Deregulation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and cellular adhesion in the patient.
Fig. 4: Pathophysiological model of the CSDE1-haploinsufficiency-related disease.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the patient and his family as well as control individuals for their cooperation. We thank Virginie Bordereau and Patrick Raymond for their technical contributions and Marthe Rizk-Rabin and Bruno Ragazzon for the material and advice on the functional assessing of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. This work was supported by grants from the Foundation of Rare Diseases (GIS–Institut des Maladies Rares).

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El Khouri, E., Ghoumid, J., Haye, D. et al. Wnt/β-catenin pathway and cell adhesion deregulation in CSDE1-related intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders. Mol Psychiatry (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01072-7

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