OTUD7A Regulates Neurodevelopmental Phenotypes in the 15q13.3 Microdeletion Syndrome
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Copy-number variations (CNVs) are strong risk factors for neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. The 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome region contains up to ten genes and is associated with numerous conditions, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), epilepsy, schizophrenia, and intellectual disability; however, the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome remain unknown. We combined whole-genome sequencing, human brain gene expression (proteome and transcriptome), and a mouse model with a syntenic heterozygous deletion (Df(h15q13)/+ mice) and determined that the microdeletion results in abnormal development of cortical dendritic spines and dendrite outgrowth. Analysis of large-scale genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data identified OTUD7A as a critical gene for brain function. OTUD7A was found to localize to dendritic and spine compartments in cortical neurons, and its reduced levels in Df(h15q13)/+ cortical neurons contributed to the dendritic spine and dendrite outgrowth deficits. Our results reveal OTUD7A as a major regulatory gene for 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome phenotypes that contribute to the disease mechanism through abnormal cortical neuron morphological development.
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