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Type: Journal article
Title: Abnormal behavior and cortical connectivity deficits in mice lacking Usp9X
Author: Kasherman, M.A.
Currey, L.
Kurniawan, N.D.
Zalucki, O.
Vega, M.S.
Jolly, L.A.
Burne, T.H.J.
Wood, S.A.
Piper, M.
Citation: Cerebral Cortex, 2021; 31(3):1763-1775
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 1047-3211
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Maria A. Kasherman, Laura Currey, Nyoman D. Kurniawan, Oressia Zalucki, Michelle Sanchez Vega, Lachlan A. Jolly, Thomas H.J. Burne, Stephen A.Wood, and Michael Piper
Abstract: Genetic association studies have identified many factors associated with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the way these genes shape neuroanatomical structure and connectivity is poorly understood. Recent research has focused on proteins that act as points of convergence for multiple factors, as these may provide greater insight into understanding the biology of neurodevelopmental disorders. USP9X, a deubiquitylating enzyme that regulates the stability of many ASD-related proteins, is one such point of convergence. Loss of function variants in human USP9X lead to brain malformations, which manifest as a neurodevelopmental syndrome that frequently includes ASD, but the underlying structural and connectomic abnormalities giving rise to patient symptoms is unknown. Here, we analyzed forebrain-specific Usp9x knockout mice (Usp9x(-/y)) to address this knowledge gap. Usp9x(-/y) mice displayed abnormal communication and social interaction behaviors. Moreover, the absence of Usp9x culminated in reductions to the size of multiple brain regions. Diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging revealed deficits in all three major forebrain commissures, as well as long-range hypoconnectivity between cortical and subcortical regions. These data identify USP9X as a key regulator of brain formation and function, and provide insights into the neurodevelopmental syndrome arising as a consequence of USP9X mutations in patients.
Keywords: Autism; cerebral cortex; forebrain; neurodevelopmental disorders; USP9X
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhaa324
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