DYT-TOR1A is the most common inherited dystonia caused by a three nucleotide (GAG) deletion (dE) in the TOR1A gene. Death early after birth and cortical anomalies of the full knockout in rodents underscore its developmental importance. We therefore explored the timed effects of TOR1A-wt and TOR1A-dE during differentiation in a human neural in vitro model. We used lentiviral tet-ON expression of TOR1A-wt and -dE in induced neural stem cells derived from healthy donors. Overexpression was induced during proliferation of neural precursors, during differentiation and after differentiation into mature neurons. Overexpression of both wildtype and mutated protein had no effect on the viability and cell number of neural precursors as well as mature neurons when initiated before or after differentiation. However, if induced during differentiation, overexpression of TOR1A-wt and -dE led to a pronounced reduction of mature neurons in a dose dependent manner. Our data underscores the importance of physiological expression levels of TOR1A as crucial for proper neuronal differentiation. We did not find evidence for a specific impact of the mutated TOR1A on neuronal maturation.
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Medical Genetics