Intellectual disability is a neurodevelopmental disorder frequently caused by monogenic defects. In this study, we collected 14 SEMA6B heterozygous variants in 16 unrelated patients referred for intellectual disability to different centres. Whereas until now SEMA6B variants have mainly been reported in patients with progressive myoclonic epilepsy, our study indicates that the clinical spectrum is wider, and also includes non-syndromic intellectual disability without epilepsy or myoclonus. To assess the pathogenicity of these variants, selected mutated forms of Sema6b were overexpressed in HEK293T cells and in primary neuronal cultures. shRNAs targeting Sema6b were also used in neuronal cultures to measure the impact of the decreased Sema6b expression on morphogenesis and synaptogenesis. The overexpression of some variants leads to a subcellular mislocalisation of SEMA6B protein in HEK293T cells and to a reduced spine density due to loss of mature spines in neuronal cultures. Sema6b knock-down also impairs spine density and spine maturation. In addition, we conducted in vivo rescue experiments in chicken embryos with the selected mutated forms of Sema6b expressed in commissural neurons after knock-down of endogenous SEMA6B. We observed that expression of these variants in commissural neurons fails to rescue the normal axon pathway. In conclusion, identification of SEMA6B variants in patients presenting with an overlapping phenotype with intellectual disability, and functional studies highlight the important role of SEMA6B in neuronal development, notably in spine formation and maturation, and in axon guidance. This study adds SEMA6B to the list of intellectual disability-related genes.

SEMA6B variants cause intellectual disability and alter dendritic spine density and axon guidance

Morleo, Manuela;
2022

Abstract

Intellectual disability is a neurodevelopmental disorder frequently caused by monogenic defects. In this study, we collected 14 SEMA6B heterozygous variants in 16 unrelated patients referred for intellectual disability to different centres. Whereas until now SEMA6B variants have mainly been reported in patients with progressive myoclonic epilepsy, our study indicates that the clinical spectrum is wider, and also includes non-syndromic intellectual disability without epilepsy or myoclonus. To assess the pathogenicity of these variants, selected mutated forms of Sema6b were overexpressed in HEK293T cells and in primary neuronal cultures. shRNAs targeting Sema6b were also used in neuronal cultures to measure the impact of the decreased Sema6b expression on morphogenesis and synaptogenesis. The overexpression of some variants leads to a subcellular mislocalisation of SEMA6B protein in HEK293T cells and to a reduced spine density due to loss of mature spines in neuronal cultures. Sema6b knock-down also impairs spine density and spine maturation. In addition, we conducted in vivo rescue experiments in chicken embryos with the selected mutated forms of Sema6b expressed in commissural neurons after knock-down of endogenous SEMA6B. We observed that expression of these variants in commissural neurons fails to rescue the normal axon pathway. In conclusion, identification of SEMA6B variants in patients presenting with an overlapping phenotype with intellectual disability, and functional studies highlight the important role of SEMA6B in neuronal development, notably in spine formation and maturation, and in axon guidance. This study adds SEMA6B to the list of intellectual disability-related genes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11591/471888
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