Constitutive activation of mTORC1 signaling induced by biallelic loss-of-function mutations in SZT2 underlies a discernible neurodevelopmental disease

Yuji Nakamura, Kohji Kato, Naomi Tsuchida, Naomichi Matsumoto, Yoshiyuki Takahashi, Shinji Saitoh

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2 Citations (Scopus)


There have been increasing number of reports of SZT2-related neurological diseases, the main symptoms of which are epilepsy, developmental delay, macrocephaly and a dysmorphic corpus callosum. SZT2 functions as a regulator of mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling in cultured human cell lines and mouse tissues. However, it remains to be determined whether mutations in SZT2 in human patients alter mTORC1 signaling. In this study, we aimed to investigate the functional consequence of biallelic SZT2 variants in Epstein-Barr virus-induced lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) established from two patients with a typical SZT2-related neurodevelopmental disease. Increased phosphorylation of S6 kinase and S6 was identified in patient-derived cell lines under amino acid-starved condition, suggestive of constitutive hyperactivation of mTORC1 signaling. This result was validated by constitutive lysosomal localization of mTOR in patients’ LCLs. Furthermore, patients’ LCLs display an excessive response to slight amino acid stimulation. Our data suggest the loss-of-function nature of SZT2 mutations in the patients, and consequent hyperactivation of mTORC1 signaling in response to both amino acid starvation and stimulation in their LCLs. By these functional analyses, the pathogenicity of newly identified SZT2 variants can be determined, allowing for more detailed characterization of genotype-phenotype correlations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0221482
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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