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Cep55 regulation of PI3K/Akt signaling is required for neocortical development and ciliogenesis

By Behnam Rashidieh, Belal Shohayeb, Amanda Louise Bain, Patrick R. J. Fortuna, Debottam Sinha, Andrew Burgess, Richard Mills, Rachael C. Adams, J. Alejandro Lopez, Peter Blumbergs, John Finnie, Murugan Kalimutho, Michael Piper, James Edward Hudson, Dominic Ng, Kum Kum Khanna

Posted 08 Jan 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.08.425857

Homozygous nonsense mutations in CEP55 are associated with several congenital malformations that lead to perinatal lethality suggesting that it plays a critical role in regulation of embryonic development. CEP55 has previously been studied as a critical regulator of cytokinesis predominantly in transformed cells and its deregulation is linked to carcinogenesis. However, its molecular functions during embryonic development in mammals have not been clearly defined. We have generated a Cep55 knockout (Cep55-/-) mouse model which demonstrated perinatal lethality associated with a wide range of neural defects. Focusing our analysis on the neocortex, we show that Cep55-/- embryos exhibited depleted neural stem/progenitor cells in the ventricular zone as a result of significantly increased cellular apoptosis. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that Cep55-loss downregulates the pGsk3{beta}/{beta}-Catenin/Myc axis in an Akt-dependent manner. The phenotype was recapitulated using human cerebral organoids and we could rescue the phenotype by inhibiting active Gsk3{beta}. Additionally, we show that Cep55-loss leads to a significant reduction of ciliated cells, highlighting its novel role in regulating ciliogenesis. Collectively, our findings demonstrate a critical role of Cep55 during brain development and provide mechanistic insights that may have important implications for genetic syndromes associated with Cep55-loss.

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