Do Perineuronal Net Elements Contribute to Pathophysiology of Spinal Muscular Atrophy? In Vitro and Transcriptomics Insights

DAYANGAÇ ERDEN D. , GÜR DEDEOĞLU B., Eskici F. N. , Oztemur-Islakoglu Y., ERDEM ÖZDAMAR S.

OMICS-A JOURNAL OF INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY, vol.22, no.9, pp.598-606, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/omi.2018.0106
  • Page Numbers: pp.598-606


Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is one of the most common childhood onset neurodegenerative disorders in global health whereby novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets are sorely needed. SMA is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder resulting in degeneration of -motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord that leads to mortality in infants worldwide. In majority of the patients, SMA is caused by homozygous deletion of the SMN1 gene. The clinical spectrum of the SMA displays, however, large person-to-person variations where the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We report in this study transcriptomics insights gleaned from patients with the severe type I (GM03813 and GM09677) and the mild type III. Pathway enrichment and functional analysis showed that especially extracellular matrix (ECM), synapse organization, and ECM receptor interaction pathways were affected. Among the neural ECM components, hyaluronan and proteoglycan link protein (HAPLN1), which is a key triggering molecule of the perineuronal net (PNN), was significantly downregulated in type I fibroblasts compared to type III. PNN is a specialized form of neural ECM around the neuronal cell bodies and dendrites in the central nervous system. In addition, we evaluated the PNN expression in vitro in a model established by SMN silencing in the PC12 rat pheochromocytoma cell line which can be differentiated into neurons with nerve growth factor treatment. In this neuronal in vitro model, we found that HAPLN1 showed a significant 50% decrease. Our results describe the association between PNN elements, especially HAPLN1, and SMA pathophysiology for the first time. These observations collectively inform future translational research on SMA for discovery of novel molecular targets for diagnostics and precision medicine innovation.