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BACKGROUND - Mutations in microtubule-regulating genes are associated with disorders of neuronal migration and microcephaly. Regulation of centriole length has been shown to underlie the pathogenesis of certain ciliopathy phenotypes. Using a next-generation sequencing approach, we identified mutations in a novel centriolar disease gene in a kindred with an embryonic lethal ciliopathy phenotype and in a patient with primary microcephaly.
METHODS AND RESULTS - Whole exome sequencing data from a non-consanguineous Caucasian kindred exhibiting mid-gestation lethality and ciliopathic malformations revealed two novel non-synonymous variants in CENPF, a microtubule-regulating gene. All four affected fetuses showed segregation for two mutated alleles [IVS5-2A>C, predicted to abolish the consensus splice-acceptor site from exon 6; c.1744G>T, p.E582X]. In a second unrelated patient exhibiting microcephaly, we identified two CENPF mutations [c.1744G>T, p.E582X; c.8692 C>T, p.R2898X] by whole exome sequencing. We found that CENP-F colocalised with Ninein at the subdistal appendages of the mother centriole in mouse inner medullary collecting duct cells. Intraflagellar transport protein-88 (IFT-88) colocalised with CENP-F along the ciliary axonemes of renal epithelial cells in age-matched control human fetuses but did not in truncated cilia of mutant CENPF kidneys. Pairwise co-immunoprecipitation assays of mitotic and serum-starved HEKT293 cells confirmed that IFT88 precipitates with endogenous CENP-F.
CONCLUSIONS - Our data identify CENPF as a new centriolar disease gene implicated in severe human ciliopathy and microcephaly related phenotypes. CENP-F has a novel putative function in ciliogenesis and cortical neurogenesis.
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The nuclear envelope in Saccharomyces cerevisiae harbors two essential macromolecular protein assemblies: the nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) that enable nucleocytoplasmic transport, and the spindle pole bodies (SPBs) that mediate chromosome segregation. Previously, based on metazoan and budding yeast studies, we reported that reticulons and Yop1/DP1 play a role in the early steps of de novo NPC assembly. Here, we examined if Rtn1 and Yop1 are required for SPB function in S. cerevisiae. Electron microscopy of rtn1Δ yop1Δ cells revealed lobular abnormalities in SPB structure. Using an assay that monitors lateral expansion of the SPB central layer, we found that rtn1Δ yop1Δ SPBs had decreased connections to the NE compared to wild type, suggesting that SPBs are less stable in the NE. Furthermore, large budded rtn1Δ yop1Δ cells exhibited a high incidence of short mitotic spindles, which were frequently misoriented with respect to the mother-daughter axis. This correlated with cytoplasmic microtubule defects. We found that overexpression of the SPB insertion factors NDC1, MPS2, or BBP1 rescued the SPB defects observed in rtn1Δ yop1Δ cells. However, only overexpression of NDC1, which is also required for NPC biogenesis, rescued both the SPB and NPC associated defects. Rtn1 and Yop1 also physically interacted with Ndc1 and other NPC membrane proteins. We propose that NPC and SPB biogenesis are altered in cells lacking Rtn1 and Yop1 due to competition between these complexes for Ndc1, an essential common component of both NPCs and SPBs.