Published on Thu Aug 12 2021

The Proteomic Architecture of Schizophrenia Cerebral Organoids Reveals Alterations in GWAS and Neuronal Development Factors

Notaras, M., Lodhi, A., Fang, H., Greening, D., Colak, D.

Schizophrenia (Scz) is a brain disorder that has a typical onset in early adulthood but otherwise maintains unknown disease origins. Little progress has been made in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopment of Scz due to ethical and technical limitations in accessing developing human brain tissue. Here we provide a molecular architectural map of the developing Scz organoid proteome.

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Abstract

Schizophrenia (Scz) is a brain disorder that has a typical onset in early adulthood but otherwise maintains unknown disease origins. Unfortunately, little progress has been made in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopment of Scz due to ethical and technical limitations in accessing developing human brain tissue. To overcome this challenge, we have previously utilized patient-derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) to generate self-developing, self-maturating, and self-organizing 3D brain-like tissue known as cerebral organoids. As a continuation of this prior work [1], here we provide a molecular architectural map of the developing Scz organoid proteome. Utilizing iPSCs from n = 25 human donors (n = 8 healthy Ctrl donors, and n = 17 Scz patients), we generated 3D human cerebral organoids, employed 16-plex isobaric sample-barcoding chemistry, and simultaneously subjected samples to comprehensive high-throughput liquid-chromatography/mass-spectrometry (LC/MS) quantitative proteomics. Of 3,705 proteins identified by high-throughput proteomic profiling, we identified that just ~2.62% of the organoid global proteomic landscape was differentially regulated in Scz organoids. In sum, just 43 proteins were up-regulated and 54 were down-regulated in Scz patient-derived organoids. Notably, a range of neuronal factors were depleted in Scz organoids (e.g., MAP2, TUBB3, SV2A, GAP43, CRABP1, NCAM1 etc.). Based on global enrichment analysis, alterations in key pathways that regulate nervous system development (e.g., axonogenesis, axon development, axon guidance, morphogenesis pathways regulating neuronal differentiation, as well as substantia nigra development) were perturbed in Scz patient-derived organoids. We also identified prominent alterations in two novel GWAS factors, Pleiotrophin (PTN) and Podocalyxin (PODXL), in Scz organoids. In sum, this work serves as both a report and a resource whereby researchers can leverage human-derived neurodevelopmental data from Scz patients, which can be used to mine, compare, contrast, or orthogonally validate novel factors and pathways related to Scz risk identified in datasets from observational clinical studies and other model systems.