Mechanisms of IRF2BPL-related disorders and identification of a potential therapeutic strategy


  • S. Sinha Ray
  • D. Dutta
  • C. Dennys
  • S. Powers
  • F. Roussel
  • P. Lisowski
  • P. Glažar
  • X. Zhang
  • P. Biswas
  • J.R. Caporale
  • N. Rajewsky
  • M. Bickle
  • N. Wein
  • H.J. Bellen
  • S. Likhite
  • P.C. Marcogliese
  • K.C. Meyer


  • Cell Reports


  • Cell Rep 41 (10): 111751


  • The recently discovered neurological disorder NEDAMSS is caused by heterozygous truncations in the transcriptional regulator IRF2BPL. Here, we reprogram patient skin fibroblasts to astrocytes and neurons to study mechanisms of this newly described disease. While full-length IRF2BPL primarily localizes to the nucleus, truncated patient variants sequester the wild-type protein to the cytoplasm and cause aggregation. Moreover, patient astrocytes fail to support neuronal survival in coculture and exhibit aberrant mitochondria and respiratory dysfunction. Treatment with the small molecule copper ATSM (CuATSM) rescues neuronal survival and restores mitochondrial function. Importantly, the in vitro findings are recapitulated in vivo, where co-expression of full-length and truncated IRF2BPL in Drosophila results in cytoplasmic accumulation of full-length IRF2BPL. Moreover, flies harboring heterozygous truncations of the IRF2BPL ortholog (Pits) display progressive motor defects that are ameliorated by CuATSM treatment. Our findings provide insights into mechanisms involved in NEDAMSS and reveal a promising treatment for this severe disorder.