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NGLY1 mutations cause protein aggregation in human neurons

Biallelic mutations in the gene that encodes the enzyme N-glycanase 1 (NGLY1) cause a rare disease with multi-symptomatic features including developmental delay, intellectual disability, neuropathy, and seizures. NGLY1’s activity in human neural cells is currently not well understood. To understand how NGLY1 gene loss leads to the specific phenotypes of NGLY1 deficiency, we employed direct conversion of NGLY1 patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to functional cortical neurons. Transcriptomic, proteomic, and functional studies of iPSC-derived neurons lacking NGLY1 function revealed several major cellular processes that were altered, including protein aggregate-clearing functionality, mitochondrial homeostasis, and synaptic dysfunctions.