Regionally specific TSC1 and TSC2 gene expression in tuberous sclerosis complex

Yi Li, Matthew J. Barkovich, Celeste M. Karch, Ryan M. Nillo, Chun Chieh Fan, Iris J. Broce, Chin Hong Tan, Daniel Cuneo, Christopher P. Hess, William P. Dillon, Orit A. Glenn, Christine M. Glastonbury, Nicholas Olney, Jennifer S. Yokoyama, Luke W. Bonham, Bruce Miller, Aimee Kao, Nicholas Schmansky, Bruce Fischl, Ole A. AndreassenTerry Jernigan, Anders Dale, A. James Barkovich, Rahul S. Desikan, Leo P. Sugrue

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13 Scopus citations


Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a heritable neurodevelopmental disorder, is caused by mutations in the TSC1 or TSC2 genes. To date, there has been little work to elucidate regional TSC1 and TSC2 gene expression within the human brain, how it changes with age, and how it may influence disease. Using a publicly available microarray dataset, we found that TSC1 and TSC2 gene expression was highest within the adult neo-cerebellum and that this pattern of increased cerebellar expression was maintained throughout postnatal development. During mid-gestational fetal development, however, TSC1 and TSC2 expression was highest in the cortical plate. Using a bioinformatics approach to explore protein and genetic interactions, we confirmed extensive connections between TSC1/TSC2 and the other genes that comprise the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, and show that the mTOR pathway genes with the highest connectivity are also selectively expressed within the cerebellum. Finally, compared to age-matched controls, we found increased cerebellar volumes in pediatric TSC patients without current exposure to antiepileptic drugs. Considered together, these findings suggest that the cerebellum may play a central role in TSC pathogenesis and may contribute to the cognitive impairment, including the high incidence of autism spectrum disorder, observed in the TSC population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13373
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


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