The increased use of sequencing in medicine has identified millions of coding variants in the human genome. Many of these variants occur in genes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, but the functional significance of the vast majority of variants remains unknown. The present protocol describes the study of variants for Ube3a, a gene that encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase linked to both autism and Angelman syndrome. Duplication or triplication of Ube3a is strongly linked to autism, whereas its deletion causes Angelman syndrome. Thus, understanding the valence of changes in UBE3A protein activity is important for clinical outcomes. Here, a rapid, cell-based method that pairs Ube3a variants with a Wnt pathway reporter is described. This simple assay is scalable and can be used to determine the valence and magnitude of activity changes in any Ube3a variant. Moreover, the facility of this method allows the generation of a wealth of structure-function information, which can be used to gain deep insights into the enzymatic mechanisms of UBE3A.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere64454
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number188
StatePublished - Oct 2022


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