Messenger RNA processing is altered in autosomal dominant leukodystrophy

Anna Bartoletti-Stella, Laura Gasparini, Caterina Giacomini, Patrizia Corrado, Rossana Terlizzi, Elisa Giorgio, Pamela Magini, Marco Seri, Agostino Baruzzi, Piero Parchi, Alfredo Brusco, Pietro Cortelli, Sabina Capellari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adult-onset autosomal dominant leukodystrophy (ADLD) is a slowly progressive neurological disorder characterized by autonomic dysfunction, followed by cerebellar and pyramidal features. ADLD is caused by duplication of the lamin B1 gene (LMNB1), which leads to its increased expression. The molecular pathways involved in the disease are still poorly understood. Hence, we analyzed global gene expression in fibroblasts and whole blood of LMNB1 duplication carriers and used Gene Set Enrichment Analysis to explore their gene signatures. We found that LMNB1 duplication is associated with dysregulation of genes involved in the immune system, neuronal and skeletal development. Genes with an altered transcriptional profile clustered in specific genomic regions. Among the dysregulated genes, we further studied the role of RAVER2, whichwe found to be overexpressed atmRNAand protein level. RAVER2 encodes a putative trans regulator of the splicing repressor polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) and is likely implicated in alternative splicing regulation. Functional studies demonstrated an abnormal splicing pattern of several PTB-target genes and of the myelin protein gene PLP1, previously demonstrated to be involved in ADLD. Mutant mice with different lamin B1 expression levels confirmed that Raver2 expression is dependent on lamin B1 in neural tissue and determines an altered splicing pattern of PTB-target genes and Plp1. Overall our results demonstrate that deregulation of lamin B1 expression induces modified splicing of several genes, likely driven by raver-2 overexpression, and suggest that an alteration of mRNA processing could be a pathogenic mechanism in ADLD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberddv034
Pages (from-to)2746-2756
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Molecular Biology


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