The X-linked Intellectual Disability Protein PHF6 Associates with the PAF1 Complex and Regulates Neuronal Migration in the Mammalian Brain

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The X-linked Intellectual Disability Protein PHF6 Associates with the PAF1 Complex and Regulates Neuronal Migration in the Mammalian Brain

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Title: The X-linked Intellectual Disability Protein PHF6 Associates with the PAF1 Complex and Regulates Neuronal Migration in the Mammalian Brain
Author: Zhang, Chi
Citation: Zhang, Chi. 2013. The X-linked Intellectual Disability Protein PHF6 Associates with the PAF1 Complex and Regulates Neuronal Migration in the Mammalian Brain. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: Intellectual disability is a prevalent developmental disorder for which no effective treatments are available. Mutations of the X-linked protein PHF6 cause the Börjeson-Forssman-Lehmann syndrome (BFLS) that is characterized by intellectual disability and epilepsy. However, the biological role of PHF6 relevant to BFLS pathogenesis has remained unknown. Here, I present my dissertation research demonstrating that knockdown of PHF6 profoundly impairs neuronal migration in the mouse cerebral cortex in vivo, leading to the formation of white matter heterotopias that harbor aberrant patterns of neuronal activity. Importantly, BFLS patient specific mutation of PHF6 blocks its ability to promote neuronal migration. I also elucidate the mechanism by which PHF6 drives neuronal migration in the cerebral cortex. PHF6 physically associates with the PAF1 transcription elongation complex, and inhibition of PAF1 phenocopies the PHF6 knockdown-induced migration phenotype in vivo. I further identify Neuroglycan C (NGC), a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia, as a critical downstream target of PHF6 and the PAF1 complex, and I demonstrate that NGC mediates PHF6-dependent neuronal migration. These findings define PHF6, the PAF1 transcription elongation complex, and NGC as components of a novel cell-intrinsic transcriptional pathway that orchestrates neuronal migration in the brain, with important implications for the pathogenesis of intellectual disability and potentially other neuropsychiatric disorders.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11156785
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