Retinal Ganglion Cells With a Glaucoma OPTN(E50K) Mutation Exhibit Neurodegenerative Phenotypes when Derived from Three-Dimensional Retinal Organoids

Kirstin B. VanderWall, Kang Chieh Huang, Yanling Pan, Sailee S. Lavekar, Clarisse M. Fligor, Anna R. Allsop, Kelly A. Lentsch, Pengtao Dang, Chi Zhang, Henry C. Tseng, Theodore R. Cummins, Jason S. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) serve as the connection between the eye and the brain, with this connection disrupted in glaucoma. Numerous cellular mechanisms have been associated with glaucomatous neurodegeneration, and useful cellular models of glaucoma allow for the precise analysis of degenerative phenotypes. Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) serve as powerful tools for studying human disease, particularly cellular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. Thus, efforts focused upon hPSCs with an E50K mutation in the Optineurin (OPTN) gene, a leading cause of inherited forms of glaucoma. CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing introduced the OPTN(E50K) mutation into existing lines of hPSCs, as well as generating isogenic controls from patient-derived lines. RGCs differentiated from OPTN(E50K) hPSCs exhibited numerous neurodegenerative deficits, including neurite retraction, autophagy dysfunction, apoptosis, and increased excitability. These results demonstrate the utility of OPTN(E50K) RGCs as an in vitro model of neurodegeneration, with the opportunity to develop novel therapeutic approaches for glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-66
Number of pages15
JournalStem Cell Reports
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 14 2020

Keywords

  • CRISPR
  • autophagy
  • differentiation
  • disease
  • gene editing
  • glaucoma
  • iPSC
  • modeling
  • neurodegeneration
  • retina
  • stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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  • Cite this

    VanderWall, K. B., Huang, K. C., Pan, Y., Lavekar, S. S., Fligor, C. M., Allsop, A. R., Lentsch, K. A., Dang, P., Zhang, C., Tseng, H. C., Cummins, T. R., & Meyer, J. S. (2020). Retinal Ganglion Cells With a Glaucoma OPTN(E50K) Mutation Exhibit Neurodegenerative Phenotypes when Derived from Three-Dimensional Retinal Organoids. Stem Cell Reports, 15(1), 52-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.05.009