Functional and molecular properties of dyt-sgce myoclonus-dystonia patient-derived striatal medium spiny neurons

Anna Kutschenko, Selma Staege, Karen Grütz, Hannes Glaß, Norman Kalmbach, Thomas Gschwendtberger, Lisa M. Henkel, Johanne Heine, Anne Grünewald, Andreas Hermann, Philip Seibler, Florian Wegner*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Myoclonus-dystonia (DYT-SGCE, formerly DYT11) is characterized by alcohol-sensitive, myoclonic-like appearance of fast dystonic movements. It is caused by mutations in the SGCE gene encoding ε-sarcoglycan leading to a dysfunction of this transmembrane protein, alterations in the cerebello-thalamic pathway and impaired striatal plasticity. To elucidate underlying pathogenic mechanisms, we investigated induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) from two myoclonus-dystonia patients carrying a heterozygous mutation in the SGCE gene (c.298T>G and c.304C>T with protein changes W100G and R102X) in comparison to two matched healthy control lines. Calcium imaging showed significantly elevated basal intracellular Ca2+ content and lower frequency of spontaneous Ca2+ signals in SGCE MSNs. Blocking of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels by verapamil was less efficient in suppressing KCl-induced Ca2+ peaks of SGCE MSNs. Ca2+ amplitudes upon glycine and acetylcholine applications were increased in SGCE MSNs, but not after GABA or glutamate applications. Expression of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and most ionotropic receptor subunits was not altered. SGCE MSNs showed significantly reduced GABAergic synaptic density. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings displayed elevated amplitudes of miniature postsynaptic currents and action potentials in SGCE MSNs. Our data contribute to a better understanding of the pathophysiology and the development of novel therapeutic strategies for myoclonus-dystonia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3565
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2021


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