Dysregulation of the NRG1/ERBB pathway causes a developmental disorder with gastrointestinal dysmotility in humans.

Le TL, Galmiche L, Levy J, Suwannarat P, Hellebrekers DM, Morarach K, Boismoreau F, Theunissen TE, Lefebvre M, Pelet A, Martinovic J, Gelot A, Guimiot F, Calleroz A, Gitiaux C, Hully M, Goulet O, Chardot C, Drunat S, Capri Y, Bole-Feysot C, Nitschké P, Whalen S, Mouthon L, Babcock HE, Hofstra R, de Coo IF, Tabet AC, Molina TJ, Keren B, Brooks A, Smeets HJ, Marklund U, Gordon CT, Lyonnet S, Amiel J, Bondurand N.

Source : J Clin Invest

2021 Mar 15

Pmid : 33497358

Abstract

Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) is the most frequent developmental anomaly of the enteric nervous system, with an incidence of 1 in 5000 live births. Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO) is less frequent and classified as neurogenic or myogenic. Isolated HSCR has an oligogenic inheritance with RET as the major disease-causing gene, while CIPO is genetically heterogeneous, caused by mutations in smooth muscle-specific genes. Here, we describe a series of patients with developmental disorders including gastrointestinal dysmotility, and investigate the underlying molecular bases. Trio-exome sequencing led to the identification of biallelic variants in ERBB3 and ERBB2 in 8 individuals variably associating HSCR, CIPO, peripheral neuropathy, and arthrogryposis. Thorough gut histology revealed aganglionosis, hypoganglionosis, and intestinal smooth muscle abnormalities. The cell type-specific ErbB3 and ErbB2 function was further analyzed in mouse single-cell RNA sequencing data and in a conditional ErbB3-deficient mouse model, revealing a primary role for ERBB3 in enteric progenitors. The consequences of the identified variants were evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) on patient-derived fibroblasts or immunoblot assays on Neuro-2a cells overexpressing WT or mutant proteins, revealing either decreased expression or altered phosphorylation of the mutant receptors. Our results demonstrate that dysregulation of ERBB3 or ERBB2 leads to a broad spectrum of developmental anomalies, including intestinal dysmotility.

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