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Deficiency in the endocytic adaptor proteins PHETA1/2 impair renal and craniofacial development

journal contribution
submitted on 2024-07-02, 11:31 and posted on 2024-07-02, 13:01 authored by Kristin M. Ates, Tong Wang, Trevor Moreland, Rajalakshmi Veeranan-Karmegam, Manxiu Ma, Chelsi Jeter, Priya Anand, Wolfgang Wenzel, Hyung-Goo Kim, Lynne A. Wolfe, Joshi A. Stephen, David R. Adams, Thomas Markello, Cynthia J. Tifft, Robert Settlage, William A. Gahl, Graydon B. Gonsalvez, May Christine Malicdan, Heather Flanagan-Steet, Y. Albert Pan

A critical barrier in the treatment of endosomal and lysosomal diseases is the lack of understanding of the in vivo functions of the putative causative genes. We addressed this by investigating a key pair of endocytic adaptor proteins, PH domain containing endocytic trafficking adaptor 1 and 2 (PHETA1/2, also known as FAM109A/B, Ses1/2, IPIP27A/B), which interact with the protein product of OCRL, the causative gene for Lowe syndrome. Here we conducted the first study of PHETA1/2 in vivo, utilizing the zebrafish system. We found that impairment of both zebrafish orthologs, pheta1 and pheta2, disrupted endocytosis and ciliogenesis in renal tissues. In addition, pheta1/2 mutant animals exhibited reduced jaw size and delayed chondrocyte differentiation, indicating a role in craniofacial development. Deficiency of pheta1/2 resulted in dysregulation of cathepsin K, which led to an increased abundance of type II collagen in craniofacial cartilages, a marker of immature cartilage extracellular matrix. Cathepsin K inhibition rescued the craniofacial phenotypes in the pheta1/2 double mutants. The abnormal renal and craniofacial phenotypes in the pheta1/2 mutant animals were consistent with the clinical presentations of a patient with a de novo arginine (R) to cysteine (C) variant (R6C) of PHETA1. Expressing the patient-specific variant in zebrafish exacerbated craniofacial deficits, suggesting that the R6C allele acts in a dominant-negative manner. Together, these results provide insights into the in vivo roles of PHETA1/2 and suggest that the R6C variant is contributory to the pathogenesis of disease in the patient.

Other Information

Published in: Disease Models & Mechanisms
See article on publisher's website:


National Institutes of Health (GM119016, GM086524).

Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (ER14S-001-LS).



  • English


The Company of Biologists

Publication Year

  • 2020

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • Qatar Biomedical Research Institute - HBKU
  • Neurological Disorders Research Center - QBRI

Related Datasets

Yuchin Albert Pan. (2019). Series GSE142673. Last modified 2020. National Library of Medicine : National Center for Biotechnology Information : Gene Expression Omnibus.

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