Aflaki E et al. (JUL 2016)
Journal of Neuroscience 36 28 7441--7452
A New Glucocerebrosidase Chaperone Reduces -Synuclein and Glycolipid Levels in iPSC-Derived Dopaminergic Neurons from Patients with Gaucher Disease and Parkinsonism
UNLABELLED Among the known genetic risk factors for Parkinson disease, mutations in GBA1, the gene responsible for the lysosomal disorder Gaucher disease, are the most common. This genetic link has directed attention to the role of the lysosome in the pathogenesis of parkinsonism. To study how glucocerebrosidase impacts parkinsonism and to evaluate new therapeutics, we generated induced human pluripotent stem cells from four patients with Type 1 (non-neuronopathic) Gaucher disease, two with and two without parkinsonism, and one patient with Type 2 (acute neuronopathic) Gaucher disease, and differentiated them into macrophages and dopaminergic neurons. These cells exhibited decreased glucocerebrosidase activity and stored the glycolipid substrates glucosylceramide and glucosylsphingosine, demonstrating their similarity to patients with Gaucher disease. Dopaminergic neurons from patients with Type 2 and Type 1 Gaucher disease with parkinsonism had reduced dopamine storage and dopamine transporter reuptake. Levels of α-synuclein, a protein present as aggregates in Parkinson disease and related synucleinopathies, were selectively elevated in neurons from the patients with parkinsonism or Type 2 Gaucher disease. The cells were then treated with NCGC607, a small-molecule noninhibitory chaperone of glucocerebrosidase identified by high-throughput screening and medicinal chemistry structure optimization. This compound successfully chaperoned the mutant enzyme, restored glucocerebrosidase activity and protein levels, and reduced glycolipid storage in both iPSC-derived macrophages and dopaminergic neurons, indicating its potential for treating neuronopathic Gaucher disease. In addition, NCGC607 reduced α-synuclein levels in dopaminergic neurons from the patients with parkinsonism, suggesting that noninhibitory small-molecule chaperones of glucocerebrosidase may prove useful for the treatment of Parkinson disease. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Because GBA1 mutations are the most common genetic risk factor for Parkinson disease, dopaminergic neurons were generated from iPSC lines derived from patients with Gaucher disease with and without parkinsonism. These cells exhibit deficient enzymatic activity, reduced lysosomal glucocerebrosidase levels, and storage of glucosylceramide and glucosylsphingosine. Lines generated from the patients with parkinsonism demonstrated elevated levels of α-synuclein. To reverse the observed phenotype, the neurons were treated with a novel noninhibitory glucocerebrosidase chaperone, which successfully restored glucocerebrosidase activity and protein levels and reduced glycolipid storage. In addition, the small-molecule chaperone reduced α-synuclein levels in dopaminergic neurons, indicating that chaperoning glucocerebrosidase to the lysosome may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for both Parkinson disease and neuronopathic forms of Gaucher disease.
STEMdiff™ Neural Rosette Selection Reagent
Sun Y et al. (MAR )
PLOS ONE 3 e0118771
Properties of Neurons Derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells of Gaucher Disease Type 2 Patient Fibroblasts: Potential Role in Neuropathology
Gaucher disease (GD) is caused by insufficient activity of acid $\$-glucosidase (GCase) resulting from mutations in GBA1. To understand the pathogenesis of the neuronopathic GD, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were generated from fibroblasts isolated from three GD type 2 (GD2) and 2 unaffected (normal and GD carrier) individuals. The iPSCs were converted to neural precursor cells (NPCs) which were further differentiated into neurons. Parental GD2 fibroblasts as well as iPSCs, NPCs, and neurons had similar degrees of GCase deficiency. Lipid analyses showed increases of glucosylsphingosine and glucosylceramide in the GD2 cells. In addition, GD2 neurons showed increased $\$-synuclein protein compared to control neurons. Whole cell patch-clamping of the GD2 and control iPSCs-derived neurons demonstrated excitation characteristics of neurons, but intriguingly, those from GD2 exhibited consistently less negative resting membrane potentials with various degree of reduction in action potential amplitudes, sodium and potassium currents. Culture of control neurons in the presence of the GCase inhibitor (conduritol B epoxide) recapitulated these findings, providing a functional link between decreased GCase activity in GD and abnormal neuronal electrophysiological properties. To our knowledge, this study is first to report abnormal electrophysiological properties in GD2 iPSC-derived neurons that may underlie the neuropathic phenotype in Gaucher disease.
STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium
Werner A et al. (SEP 2015)
Nature 525 7570 523--527
Cell-fate determination by ubiquitin-dependent regulation of translation
Metazoan development depends on the accurate execution of differentiation programs that allow pluripotent stem cells to adopt specific fates. Differentiation requires changes to chromatin architecture and transcriptional networks, yet whether other regulatory events support cell-fate determination is less well understood. Here we identify the ubiquitin ligase CUL3 in complex with its vertebrate-specific substrate adaptor KBTBD8 (CUL3(KBTBD8)) as an essential regulator of human and Xenopus tropicalis neural crest specification. CUL3(KBTBD8) monoubiquitylates NOLC1 and its paralogue TCOF1, the mutation of which underlies the neurocristopathy Treacher Collins syndrome. Ubiquitylation drives formation of a TCOF1-NOLC1 platform that connects RNA polymerase I with ribosome modification enzymes and remodels the translational program of differentiating cells in favour of neural crest specification. We conclude that ubiquitin-dependent regulation of translation is an important feature of cell-fate determination.
STEMdiff™ APEL™ Medium
STEMdiff™ Neural Induction Medium
Swartz EW et al. (NOV 2016)
STEM CELLS Translational Medicine 5 11 1461--1472
A Novel Protocol for Directed Differentiation of C9orf72-Associated Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Into Contractile Skeletal Myotubes
: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer an unlimited resource of cells to be used for the study of underlying molecular biology of disease, therapeutic drug screening, and transplant-based regenerative medicine. However, methods for the directed differentiation of skeletal muscle for these purposes remain scarce and incomplete. Here, we present a novel, small molecule-based protocol for the generation of multinucleated skeletal myotubes using eight independent iPSC lines. Through combinatorial inhibition of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) with addition of bone morphogenic protein 4 (BMP4) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), we report up to 64% conversion of iPSCs into the myogenic program by day 36 as indicated by MYOG+ cell populations. These cells began to exhibit spontaneous contractions as early as 34 days in vitro in the presence of a serum-free medium formulation. We used this protocol to obtain iPSC-derived muscle cells from frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients harboring C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansions (rGGGGCC), sporadic FTD, and unaffected controls. iPSCs derived from rGGGGCC carriers contained RNA foci but did not vary in differentiation efficiency when compared to unaffected controls nor display mislocalized TDP-43 after as many as 120 days in vitro. This study presents a rapid, efficient, and transgene-free method for generating multinucleated skeletal myotubes from iPSCs and a resource for further modeling the role of skeletal muscle in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other motor neuron diseases. SIGNIFICANCE Protocols to produce skeletal myotubes for disease modeling or therapy are scarce and incomplete. The present study efficiently generates functional skeletal myotubes from human induced pluripotent stem cells using a small molecule-based approach. Using this strategy, terminal myogenic induction of up to 64% in 36 days and spontaneously contractile myotubes within 34 days were achieved. Myotubes derived from patients carrying the C9orf72 repeat expansion show no change in differentiation efficiency and normal TDP-43 localization after as many as 120 days in vitro when compared to unaffected controls. This study provides an efficient, novel protocol for the generation of skeletal myotubes from human induced pluripotent stem cells that may serve as a valuable tool in drug discovery and modeling of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular diseases.