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Modeling of Menkes disease via human induced pluripotent stem cells

Elsevier Inc.
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.01.038
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • Cadherin
  • Neruonal
  • Menkes
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Menkes disease (MD) is a copper-deficient neurodegenerative disorder that manifests severe neurologic symptoms such as seizures, lethargic states, and hypotonia. Menkes disease is due to a dysfunction of ATP7A, but the pathophysiology of neurologic manifestation is poorly understood during embryonic development. To understand the pathophysiology of neurologic symptoms, molecular and cellular phenotypes were investigated in Menkes disease-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (MD-iPSCs). MD-iPSCs were generated from fibroblasts of a Menkes disease patient. Abnormal reticular distribution of ATP7A was observed in MD-fibroblasts and MD-iPSCs, respectively. MD-iPSCs showed abnormal morphology in appearance during embryoid body (EB) formation as compared with wild type (WT)-iPSCs. Intriguingly, aberrant switch of E-cadherin (E-cad) to N-cadherin (N-cad) and impaired neural rosette formation were shown in MD-iPSCs during early differentiation. When extracellular copper was chelated in WT-iPSCs by treatment with bathocuprione sulfate, aberrant switch of E-cad to N-cad and impaired neuronal differentiation were observed, like in MD-iPSCs. Our results suggest that neurological defects in Menkes disease patients may be responsible for aberrant cadherin transition and impaired neuronal differentiation during early developmental stage.

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