Feb 14, 2020

PEA15 loss of function and defective cerebral development in the domestic cat

Gregory BarshNancy Cox


Cerebral cortical size and organization are critical features of neurodevelopment and human evolution, for which genetic investigation in model organisms can provide insight into developmental mechanisms and the causes of cerebral malformations. However, some abnormalities in cerebral cortical proliferation and folding are challenging to study in laboratory mice due to the absence of gyri and sulci in rodents. We report an autosomal recessive allele in domestic cats associated with impaired cerebral cortical expansion and folding, giving rise to a smooth, lissencephalic brain, and that appears to be caused by homozygosity for a frameshift in PEA15 (phosphoprotein expressed in astrocytes-15). Notably, previous studies of a Pea15 targeted mutation in mice did not reveal structural brain abnormalities. Affected cats, however, present with a non-progressive hypermetric gait and tremors, develop dissociative behavioral defects and aggression with age, and exhibit profound malformation of the cerebrum, with a 45% average decrease in overall brain weight, and reduction or absence of the ectosylvian, sylvian and anterior cingulate gyrus. Histologically, the cerebral cortical layers are disorganized, there is substantial loss of white m...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Orbital Sulcus (Human Only)
Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
Protein Folding
Cell Proliferation
Cessation of Life
Genetic Analysis

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