Despite the known causality of copy-number variations (CNVs) to human neurodevelopmental disorders, the mechanisms behind each gene's contribution to the constellation of neural phenotypes remain elusive. Here, we investigated the 7q11.23 CNV, whose hemideletion causes Williams syndrome (WS), and uncovered that mitochondrial dysfunction participates in WS pathogenesis. Dysfunction is facilitated in part by the 7q11.23 protein DNAJC30, which interacts with mitochondrial ATP-synthase machinery. Removal of Dnajc30 in mice resulted in hypofunctional mitochondria, diminished morphological features of neocortical pyramidal neurons, and altered behaviors reminiscent of WS. The mitochondrial features are consistent with our observations of decreased integrity of oxidative phosphorylation supercomplexes and ATP-synthase dimers in WS. Thus, we identify DNAJC30 as an auxiliary component of ATP-synthase machinery and reveal mitochondrial maladies as underlying certain defects in brain development and function associated with WS. Reduced copy number of DNAJC30, now shown to interact with the mitochondrial ATP synthase, leads to mitochondrial dysfunction underlying neuronal defects in Williams syndrome.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)