Bi-allelic variants in HOPS complex subunit VPS41 cause cerebellar ataxia and abnormal membrane trafficking.

Leslie E Sanderson, Kristina Lanko, Maysoon Alsagob, Rawan AlMass, Nada Al-Ahmadi, Maryam Najafi, Mohammad A Al-Muhaizea, Hamad Alzaidan, Hesham AlDhalaan, Elena Perenthaler, Herma C van der Linde, Anita Nikoncuk, Nikolas A Kühn, Dinu Antony, Tarek Mustafa Owaidah, Salmo Raskin, Luana Gabriela Dalla Rosa Vieira, Romulo Mombach, Najmeh Ahangari, Tainá Regina Damaceno SilveiraNajim Ameziane, Arndt Rolfs, Aljohara Alharbi, Raghda M Sabbagh, Khalid AlAhmadi, Bashayer Alawam, Hazem Ghebeh, Aljouhra AlHargan, Anoud A Albader, Faisal S Binhumaid, Ewa Goljan, Dorota Monies, Osama M Mustafa, Mazhor Aldosary, Albandary AlBakheet, Banan Alyounes, Faten Almutairi, Ali Al-Odaib, Durdane Bekar Aksoy, A Nazli Basak, Robin Palvadeau, Daniah Trabzuni, Jill A Rosenfeld, Ehsan Ghayoor Karimiani, Brian F Meyer, Bedri Karakas, Futwan Al-Mohanna, Stefan T. Arold, Dilek Colak, Reza Maroofian, Henry Houlden, Aida M Bertoli-Avella, Miriam Schmidts, Tahsin Stefan Barakat, Tjakko J van Ham, Namik Kaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Membrane trafficking is a complex, essential process in eukaryotic cells responsible for protein transport and processing. Deficiencies in vacuolar protein sorting (VPS) proteins, key regulators of trafficking, cause abnormal intracellular segregation of macromolecules and organelles and are linked to human disease. VPS proteins function as part of complexes such as the homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting (HOPS) tethering complex, composed of VPS11, VPS16, VPS18, VPS33A, VPS39 and VPS41. The HOPS-specific subunit VPS41 has been reported to promote viability of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease but to date has not been linked to human disease. Here, we describe five unrelated families with nine affected individuals, all carrying homozygous variants in VPS41 that we show impact protein function. All affected individuals presented with a progressive neurodevelopmental disorder consisting of cognitive impairment, cerebellar atrophy/hypoplasia, motor dysfunction with ataxia and dystonia, and nystagmus. Zebrafish disease modelling supports the involvement of VPS41 dysfunction in the disorder, indicating lysosomal dysregulation throughout the brain and providing support for cerebellar and microglial abnormalities when vps41 was mutated. This provides the first example of human disease linked to the HOPS-specific subunit VPS41 and suggests the importance of HOPS complex activity for cerebellar function.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBrain : a journal of neurology
StatePublished - Mar 25 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-03-29
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the families for their participation. We thank the Saudi Human Genome Program, Core Facilities, and Purchasing Departments at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC) and special thanks to Mr Faisal Al-Otaibi for quickly handling our orders and requests. Wim Quint and Kirke Tadema (Erasmus MC) are acknowledged for their expertise in OKR analysis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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