Deleterious variants in TRAK1 disrupt mitochondrial movement and cause fatal encephalopathy
Oxford University Press
© Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.
Reason for embargo
Cellular distribution and dynamics of mitochondria are regulated by several motor proteins and a microtubule network. In neurons, mitochondrial trafficking is crucial because of high energy needs and calcium ion buffering along axons to synapses during neurotransmission. The trafficking kinesin proteins (TRAKs) are well characterized for their role in lysosomal and mitochondrial trafficking in cells, especially neurons. Using whole exome sequencing, we identified homozygous truncating variants in TRAK1 (NM_001042646:c.287-2A > C), in six lethal encephalopathic patients from three unrelated families. The pathogenic variant results in aberrant splicing and significantly reduced gene expression at the RNA and protein levels. In comparison with normal cells, TRAK1-deficient fibroblasts showed irregular mitochondrial distribution, altered mitochondrial motility, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential, and diminished mitochondrial respiration. This study confirms the role of TRAK1 in mitochondrial dynamics and constitutes the first report of this gene in association with a severe neurodevelopmental disorder.
D.M.E. and J.K. are supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Grant N000141410538. M.S. is supported by the BBSRC (BB/K006231/1), a Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Award (WT097835MF, WT105618MA), and a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN) action PerFuMe (316723). M.C.V.M., J.S., H.P., C.F., T.V. and W.A.G. are supported by the NGHRI Intramural Research Program. G.R. is supported by the Kahn Family Foundation and the Israeli Centers of Excellence (I-CORE) Program (ISF grant no. 41/11).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Oxford University Press via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 140, Iss. 3, 1 March 2017, pp. 568–581