Foxc2 disease mutations identified in lymphedema distichiasis patients impair transcriptional activity and cell proliferation

Daniela Tavian, Sara Missaglia, Alvaro Mordente, Sandro Michelini, Paolo Enrico Maltese, Elena Manara, Matteo Bertelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

FOXC2 is a member of the human forkhead-box gene family and encodes a regulatory transcription factor. Mutations in FOXC2 have been associated with lymphedema distichiasis (LD), an autosomal dominant disorder that primarily affects the limbs. Most patients also show extra eyelashes, a condition known as distichiasis. We previously reported genetic and clinical findings in six unrelated families with LD. Half the patients showed missense mutations, two carried frameshift mutations and a stop mutation was identified in a last patient. Here we analyzed the subcellular localization and transactivation activity of the mutant proteins, showing that all but one (p.Y109*) localized to the nucleus. A significant reduction of transactivation activity was observed in four mutants (p.L80F, p.H199Pfs*264, p.I213Tfs*18, p.Y109*) compared with wild type FOXC2 protein, while only a partial loss of function was associated with p.V228M. The mutant p.I213V showed a very slight increase of transactivation activity. Finally, immunofluorescence analysis revealed that some mutants were sequestered into nuclear aggregates and caused a reduction of cell viability. This study offers new insights into the effect of FOXC2 mutations on protein function and shows the involvement of aberrant aggregation of FOXC2 proteins in cell death.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • FOXC2
  • cell death
  • functional analysis
  • lymphedema distichiasis
  • nonsense-mediated decay
  • nuclear transcription factor
  • transactivation activity.

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