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  • Identification of fragile X syndrome specific molecular markers in human fibroblasts: a useful model to test the efficacy of therapeutic drugs.

Identification of fragile X syndrome specific molecular markers in human fibroblasts: a useful model to test the efficacy of therapeutic drugs.

Human mutation (2014-09-17)
Daman Kumari, Aditi Bhattacharya, Jeffrey Nadel, Kristen Moulton, Nicole M Zeak, Anne Glicksman, Carl Dobkin, David J Brick, Philip H Schwartz, Carolyn B Smith, Eric Klann, Karen Usdin
ABSTRACT

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most frequent cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism. It is caused by the absence of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene product, fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an RNA-binding protein involved in the regulation of translation of a subset of brain mRNAs. In Fmr1 knockout mice, the absence of FMRP results in elevated protein synthesis in the brain as well as increased signaling of many translational regulators. Whether protein synthesis is also dysregulated in FXS patients is not firmly established. Here, we demonstrate that fibroblasts from FXS patients have significantly elevated rates of basal protein synthesis along with increased levels of phosphorylated mechanistic target of rapamycin (p-mTOR), phosphorylated extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2, and phosphorylated p70 ribosomal S6 kinase 1 (p-S6K1). The treatment with small molecules that inhibit S6K1 and a known FMRP target, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) catalytic subunit p110β, lowered the rates of protein synthesis in both control and patient fibroblasts. Our data thus demonstrate that fibroblasts from FXS patients may be a useful in vitro model to test the efficacy and toxicity of potential therapeutics prior to clinical trials, as well as for drug screening and designing personalized treatment approaches.

MATERIALS
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