Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Transcriptome Analysis of Brain Tissues in a MeCP2-Null Rat Model of Rett Syndrome

Version 1 : Received: 1 April 2019 / Approved: 2 April 2019 / Online: 2 April 2019 (12:28:17 CEST)

How to cite: Le, L.; Fu, H.; Bai, X.; Li, C.; Zhai, W.; Jiang, B.; Gao, H.; Hu, K. Transcriptome Analysis of Brain Tissues in a MeCP2-Null Rat Model of Rett Syndrome. Preprints 2019, 2019040031 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201904.0031.v1). Le, L.; Fu, H.; Bai, X.; Li, C.; Zhai, W.; Jiang, B.; Gao, H.; Hu, K. Transcriptome Analysis of Brain Tissues in a MeCP2-Null Rat Model of Rett Syndrome. Preprints 2019, 2019040031 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201904.0031.v1).

Abstract

Objective: Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in MeCP2, a transcription factor. MeCP2 mutations cause abnormal expression of downstream genes and eventually lead to brain dysfunction. The role of MeCP2 in brain neural development remains unclear. To further elucidate this role, a MeCP2-null rat model was created with the CRISPR/cas9 system. Method: A MeCP2-cas9 vector was constructed and then microinjected into fertilized rat ova in vitro. Two mutations by CRISPR/cas9 were confirmed to cause deletions in exon 2 of MeCP2 via DNA sequencing, and protein expression was measured by Western blotting. Transcriptome data for three brain tissues, the cerebellum, cerebral cortex and hippocampus, were obtained via next-generation sequencing. Results: MeCP2-null rats were successfully obtained, and preliminary analysis showed that the MeCP2-null rats exhibited motor dysfunction and anxious and depressed behaviour. In addition, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in the three MeCP2-null brain tissues compared to wild-type rat brain tissues. In the rat cerebellum, 388 downregulated DEGs were mainly involved in the calcium ion signalling pathway and the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway. In the cerebral cortex, 386 upregulated DEGs were primarily involved in intracellular signal transduction, protein phosphorylation and the MAPK signalling pathway. In the hippocampus, the DEGs were related to the MAPK signalling pathway. Conclusion: We constructed a MeCP2-null rat model with unique features with CRISPR/cas9 technology to study RTT and analysed DEGs in three rat brain tissues to highlight potential targets for the development of new medicines.

Subject Areas

Rett syndrome; MeCP2; CRISPR/cas9; transcriptome; calcium ion

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