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© Research
Publication : The Journal of experimental medicine

Human USP18 deficiency underlies type 1 interferonopathy leading to severe pseudo-TORCH syndrome

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in The Journal of experimental medicine - 20 Jun 2016

Meuwissen ME, Schot R, Buta S, Oudesluijs G, Tinschert S, Speer SD, Li Z, van Unen L, Heijsman D, Goldmann T, Lequin MH, Kros JM, Stam W, Hermann M, Willemsen R, Brouwer RW, Van IJcken WF, Martin-Fernandez M, de Coo I, Dudink J, de Vries FA, Bertoli Avella A, Prinz M, Crow YJ, Verheijen FW, Pellegrini S, Bogunovic D, Mancini GM

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 27325888

J. Exp. Med. 2016 Jun;213(7):1163-74

Pseudo-TORCH syndrome (PTS) is characterized by microcephaly, enlarged ventricles, cerebral calcification, and, occasionally, by systemic features at birth resembling the sequelae of congenital infection but in the absence of an infectious agent. Genetic defects resulting in activation of type 1 interferon (IFN) responses have been documented to cause Aicardi-Goutières syndrome, which is a cause of PTS. Ubiquitin-specific peptidase 18 (USP18) is a key negative regulator of type I IFN signaling. In this study, we identified loss-of-function recessive mutations of USP18 in five PTS patients from two unrelated families. Ex vivo brain autopsy material demonstrated innate immune inflammation with calcification and polymicrogyria. In vitro, patient fibroblasts displayed severely enhanced IFN-induced inflammation, which was completely rescued by lentiviral transduction of USP18. These findings add USP18 deficiency to the list of genetic disorders collectively termed type I interferonopathies. Moreover, USP18 deficiency represents the first genetic disorder of PTS caused by dysregulation of the response to type I IFNs. Therapeutically, this places USP18 as a promising target not only for genetic but also acquired IFN-mediated CNS disorders.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27325888