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See detailFaithful SGCE imprinting in iPSC-derived cortical neurons: an endogenous cellular model of myoclonus-dystonia
Grütz, Karen; Weisbach, Anne; Lohmann, Katja et al

in Scientific Reports (2017)

In neuropathology research, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons are considered a tool closely resembling the patient brain. Albeit in respect to epigenetics, this concept has been ... [more ▼]

In neuropathology research, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons are considered a tool closely resembling the patient brain. Albeit in respect to epigenetics, this concept has been challenged. We generated iPSC-derived cortical neurons from myoclonus-dystonia patients with mutations (W100G and R102X) in the maternally imprinted ε-sarcoglycan (SGCE) gene and analysed properties such as imprinting, mRNA and protein expression. Comparison of the promoter during reprogramming and differentiation showed tissue-independent differential methylation. DNA sequencing with methylation-specific primers and cDNA analysis in patient neurons indicated selective expression of the mutated paternal SGCE allele. While fibroblasts only expressed the ubiquitous mRNA isoform, brain-specific SGCE mRNA and ε-sarcoglycan protein were detected in iPSC-derived control neurons. However, neuronal protein levels were reduced in both mutants. Our phenotypic characterization highlights the suitability of iPSC-derived cortical neurons with SGCE mutations for myoclonus-dystonia research and, in more general terms, prompts the use of iPSC-derived cellular models to study epigenetic mechanisms impacting on health and disease. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide association study in musician's dystonia: a risk variant at the arylsulfatase G locus?
Lohmann, Katja; Schmidt, Alexander; Schillert, Arne et al

in Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society (2014), 29(7), 921-7

Musician's dystonia (MD) affects 1% to 2% of professional musicians and frequently terminates performance careers. It is characterized by loss of voluntary motor control when playing the instrument ... [more ▼]

Musician's dystonia (MD) affects 1% to 2% of professional musicians and frequently terminates performance careers. It is characterized by loss of voluntary motor control when playing the instrument. Little is known about genetic risk factors, although MD or writer's dystonia (WD) occurs in relatives of 20% of MD patients. We conducted a 2-stage genome-wide association study in whites. Genotypes at 557,620 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) passed stringent quality control for 127 patients and 984 controls. Ten SNPs revealed P < 10(-5) and entered the replication phase including 116 MD patients and 125 healthy musicians. A genome-wide significant SNP (P < 5 x 10(-8) ) was also genotyped in 208 German or Dutch WD patients, 1,969 Caucasian, Spanish, and Japanese patients with other forms of focal or segmental dystonia as well as in 2,233 ethnically matched controls. Genome-wide significance with MD was observed for an intronic variant in the arylsulfatase G (ARSG) gene (rs11655081; P = 3.95 x 10(-9) ; odds ratio [OR], 4.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.66-7.05). rs11655081 was also associated with WD (P = 2.78 x 10(-2) ) but not with any other focal or segmental dystonia. The allele frequency of rs11655081 varies substantially between different populations. The population stratification in our sample was modest (lambda = 1.07), but the effect size may be overestimated. Using a small but homogenous patient sample, we provide data for a possible association of ARSG with MD. The variant may also contribute to the risk of WD, a form of dystonia that is often found in relatives of MD patients. [less ▲]

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See detailMortalin mutations are not a frequent cause of early-onset Parkinson disease.
Freimann, Karen; Zschiedrich, Katja; Bruggemann, Norbert et al

in Neurobiology of aging (2013), 34(11), 269419-20

Dysfunctional mitochondria and the mitochondrial chaperone mortalin (HSPA9, GRP75) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). We screened 139 early-onset PD (EOPD) patients for ... [more ▼]

Dysfunctional mitochondria and the mitochondrial chaperone mortalin (HSPA9, GRP75) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD). We screened 139 early-onset PD (EOPD) patients for mutations in mortalin revealing one missense change (p.L358P) that was absent in 279 control individuals. We also found one additional missense variant among the controls (p.T333K). Although both missense changes were predicted to be disease causing, we detected no differences in subcellular localization, mitochondrial morphology, or respiratory function between wild-type and mutant mortalin. These findings suggest that variants in mortalin (1) are not a major cause of EOPD; (2) occur in patients and controls; and (3) do not lead to functional impairment of mitochondria. [less ▲]

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