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Transcriptomic analyses reveal neuronal specificity of Leigh syndrome associated genes

Wahedi, Azizia; Soondram, Chandika; Murphy, Alan E; Skene, Nathan; Rahman, Shamima; (2022) Transcriptomic analyses reveal neuronal specificity of Leigh syndrome associated genes. Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 10.1002/jimd.12578. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Leigh syndrome is a rare inherited, complex, neurometabolic disorder with genetic and clinical heterogeneity. Features present in affected patients range from classical stepwise developmental regression to ataxia, seizures, tremor, and occasionally psychiatric manifestations. Currently, more than 100 monogenic causes of Leigh syndrome have been identified, yet, the pathophysiology remains unknown. Here, we sought to determine the cellular specificity within the brain of all genes currently associated with Leigh syndrome. Further, we aimed to investigate potential genetic commonalities between Leigh syndrome and other disorders with overlapping clinical features. Enrichment of our target genes within the brain was evaluated with co-expression (CoExp) network analyses constructed using existing UK Brain Expression Consortium data. To determine the cellular specificity of the Leigh associated genes, we employed expression weighted cell type enrichment (EWCE) analysis of single cell RNA-Seq data. Finally, CoExp network modules demonstrating enrichment of Leigh syndrome associated genes were then utilised for synaptic gene ontology analysis and heritability analysis. CoExp network analyses revealed that Leigh syndrome associated genes exhibit the highest levels of expression in brain regions most affected on MRI in affected patients. EWCE revealed significant enrichment of target genes in hippocampal and somatosensory pyramidal neurons and interneurons of the brain. Analysis of CoExp modules enriched with our target genes revealed preferential association with pre-synaptic structures. Heritability studies suggested some common enrichment between Leigh syndrome and Parkinson disease and epilepsy. Our findings suggest a primary mitochondrial dysfunction as the underlying basis of Leigh syndrome with associated genes primarily expressed in neuronal cells.

Type: Article
Title: Transcriptomic analyses reveal neuronal specificity of Leigh syndrome associated genes
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/jimd.12578
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12578
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Keywords: CoExp network, EWCE, Leigh syndrome spectrum, Primary mitochondrial disease, transcriptomics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Genetics and Genomic Medicine Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10162142
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