The long Filamin-A isoform is required for intestinal development and motility: implications for chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction

Almira Zada, Yuying Zhao, Danny Halim, Jonathan Windster, Herma C. van der Linde, Jackleen Glodener, Sander Overkleeft, Bianca M. de Graaf, Robert M. Verdijk, Alice S. Brooks, Iain Shepherd, Ya Gao, Alan J. Burns, Robert M. W. Hofstra, Maria M. Alves*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Filamin A (FLNA) is a cytoplasmic actin binding protein, recently shown to be expressed as a long and short isoform. Mutations in FLNA are associated with a wide spectrum of disorders, including an X-linked form of chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO). However, the role of FLNA in intestinal development and function is largely unknown. In this study, we show that FLNA is expressed in the muscle layer of the small intestine from early human fetal stages. Expression of FLNA variants associated with CIPO, blocked expression of the long flna isoform and led to an overall reduction of RNA and protein levels. As a consequence, contractility of human intestinal smooth muscle cells was affected. Lastly, our transgenic zebrafish line showed that the flna long isoform is required for intestinal elongation and peristalsis. Histological analysis revealed structural and architectural changes in the intestinal smooth muscle of homozygous fish, likely triggered by the abnormal expression of intestinal smooth muscle markers. No defect in the localization or numbers of enteric neurons was observed. Taken together, our study demonstrates that the long FLNA isoform contributes to intestinal development and function. Since loss of the long FLNA isoform does not seem to affect the enteric nervous system, it likely results in a myopathic form of CIPO, bringing new insights to disease pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Aug 2022

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