Unraveling Molecular Mechanisms of THAP1 Missense Mutations in DYT6 Dystonia

Fubo Cheng, Michael Walter, Zinah Wassouf, Thomas Hentrich, Nicolas Casadei, Julia Schulze-Hentrich, Peter Barbuti, Rejko Krueger, Olaf Riess, Kathrin Grundmann-Hauser*, Thomas Ott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Mutations in THAP1 (THAP domain-containing apoptosis-associated protein 1) are responsible for DYT6 dystonia. Until now, more than eighty different mutations in THAP1 gene have been found in patients with primary dystonia, and two third of them are missense mutations. The potential pathogeneses of these missense mutations in human are largely elusive. In the present study, we generated stable transfected human neuronal cell lines expressing wild-type or mutated THAP1 proteins found in DYT6 patients. Transcriptional profiling using microarrays revealed a set of 28 common genes dysregulated in two mutated THAP1 (S21T and F81L) overexpression cell lines suggesting a common mechanism of these mutations. ChIP-seq showed that THAP1 can bind to the promoter of one of these genes, superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2). Overexpression of THAP1 in SK-N-AS cells resulted in increased SOD2 protein expression, whereas fibroblasts from THAP1 patients have less SOD2 expression, which indicates that SOD2 is a direct target gene of THAP1. In addition, we show that some THAP1 mutations (C54Y and F81L) decrease the protein stability which might also be responsible for altered transcription regulation due to dosage insufficiency. Taking together, the current study showed different potential pathogenic mechanisms of THAP1 mutations which lead to the same consequence of DYT6 dystonia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1008
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • DYT6 dystonia
  • Microarray analysis
  • Missense mutation
  • Protein stability
  • Synaptic function
  • THAP1


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