Comprehensive analysis of coding variants highlights genetic complexity in developmental and epileptic encephalopathy

Although there are many known Mendelian genes linked to epileptic or developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (EE/DEE), its genetic architecture is not fully explained. Here, we address this incompleteness by analyzing exomes of 743 EE/DEE cases and 2366 controls. We observe that damaging ultra-rare variants (dURVs) unique to an individual are significantly overrepresented in EE/DEE, both in known EE/DEE genes and the other non-EE/DEE genes.

Genetic inhibition of CRMP2 phosphorylation at serine 522 promotes axonal regeneration after optic nerve injury

Axonal degeneration occurs in various neurological diseases and traumatic nerve injury, and axonal regeneration is restricted by inhibitory factors in the central nervous system. Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) are activated by one of those inhibitors, and collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2) is phosphorylated by both kinases. We previously developed a CRMP2 knock-in (CRMP2 KI) mouse line, in which CRMP2 phosphorylation at Ser 522 is inhibited.

PIM kinases facilitate lentiviral evasion from SAMHD1 restriction via Vpx phosphorylation

Lentiviruses have evolved to acquire an auxiliary protein Vpx to counteract the intrinsic host restriction factor SAMHD1. Although Vpx is phosphorylated, it remains unclear whether such phosphorylation indeed regulates its activity toward SAMHD1. Here we identify the PIM family of serine/threonine protein kinases as the factors responsible for the phosphorylation of Vpx and the promotion of Vpx-mediated SAMHD1 counteraction.

PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway alterations promote malignant progression and xenograft formation in oligodendroglial tumors

Oligodendroglioma (OD) has a relatively favorable prognosis, however, often undergoes malignant progression. We hypothesized that preclinical models of OD could facilitate identification of therapeutic targets in progressive OD. We established multiple OD xenografts to determine if PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway drives tumor progression.