Mutations in genes involved in glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor biosynthesis underlie a group of congenital syndromes characterized by severe neurodevelopmental defects. GPI anchored proteins have diverse roles in cell adhesion, signaling, metabolism and complement regulation. Over 30 enzymes are required for GPI anchor biosynthesis and PIGA is involved in the first step of this process. A hypomorphic mutation in the X-linked PIGA gene (c.1234C>T) causes multiple congenital anomalies hypotonia seizure syndrome 2 (MCAHS2), indicating that even partial reduction of GPI anchored proteins dramatically impairs central nervous system development, but the mechanism is unclear. Here, we established a human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) model containing the PIGAc.1234C>T mutation to study the effects of a hypomorphic allele of PIGA on neuronal development. Neuronal differentiation from neural progenitor cells generated by EB formation in PIGAc.1234C>T is significantly impaired with decreased proliferation, aberrant synapse formation and abnormal membrane depolarization. The results provide direct evidence for a critical role of GPI anchor proteins in early neurodevelopment. Furthermore, neural progenitors derived from PIGAc.1234C>T hiPSCs demonstrate increased susceptibility to complement-mediated cytotoxicity, suggesting that defective complement regulation may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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