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The rare, fatal neurodegenerative disorder Niemann-Pick disease type C1 (NPC1) arises from lysosomal accumulation of unesterified cholesterol and glycosphingolipids. These subcellular pathologies lead to phenotypes of hepatosplenomegaly, neurological degeneration and premature death. The timing and severity of NPC1 clinical presentation is extremely heterogeneous. This study analyzed RNA-Seq data from 42 NPC1 patient-derived, primary fibroblast cell lines to determine transcriptional changes induced by treatment with 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPβCD), a compound currently under investigation in clinical trials. A total of 485 HPβCD-responsive genes were identified. Pathway enrichment analysis of these genes showed significant involvement in cholesterol and lipid biosynthesis. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry of the cerebellum as well as measurements of serum from Npc1m1N null mice treated with HPβCD and adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy suggests that one of the identified genes, GPNMB, may serve as a useful biomarker of treatment response in NPC1 disease. Overall, this large NPC1 patient-derived dataset provides a comprehensive foundation for understanding the genomic response to HPβCD treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

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