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DnaJ homolog subfamily C member 5 (Ceroid-lipofuscinosis neuronal protein 4) (Cysteine string protein) (CSP) [CLN4]


Gene Therapy of Adult Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses with CRISPR/Cas9 in Zebrafish.

Adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (ANCL), one of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCLs), is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder with progressive neuronal dysfunction. Recently, mutations in the DNAJC5 gene that encodes cysteine-string protein alpha (CSPα) have been reported to be associated with familial autosomal-dominant ANCL (AD-ANCL). This study constructed an ANCL transgenic zebrafish model expressing the human mutant DNAJC5 (mDNAJC5) gene under the control of a zebrafish neuron-specific promoter. To investigate whether gene therapy based on genome-editing technology could treat ANCL, a panel of TALEN and Cas9 nucleases was designed to disrupt the mDNAJC5 gene in this transgenic animal model. By screening these nucleases, it was found that one nuclease that targeted the 5' coding region efficiently alleviated mDNAJC5 protein aggregates in the affected neurons. Therefore, this study provides a gene therapy strategy via the use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to treat neural genetic diseases.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Base Sequence
  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Genetic Therapy
  • HSP40 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses
  • Neurons
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins


  • ANCL
  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • gene therapy

Caenorhabditis elegans dnj-14, the orthologue of the DNAJC5 gene mutated in adult onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, provides a new platform for neuroprotective drug screening and identifies a SIR-2.1-independent action of resveratrol.

Adult onset neuronal lipofuscinosis (ANCL) is a human neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive neuronal dysfunction and premature death. Recently, the mutations that cause ANCL were mapped to the DNAJC5 gene, which encodes cysteine string protein alpha. We show here that mutating dnj-14, the Caenorhabditis elegans orthologue of DNAJC5, results in shortened lifespan and a small impairment of locomotion and neurotransmission. Mutant dnj-14 worms also exhibited age-dependent neurodegeneration of sensory neurons, which was preceded by severe progressive chemosensory defects. A focussed chemical screen revealed that resveratrol could ameliorate dnj-14 mutant phenotypes, an effect mimicked by the cAMP phosphodiesterase inhibitor, rolipram. In contrast to other worm neurodegeneration models, activation of the Sirtuin, SIR-2.1, was not required, as sir-2.1; dnj-14 double mutants showed full lifespan rescue by resveratrol. The Sirtuin-independent neuroprotective action of resveratrol revealed here suggests potential therapeutic applications for ANCL and possibly other human neurodegenerative diseases.

MeSH Terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • HSP40 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses
  • Resveratrol
  • Sirtuins
  • Stilbenes