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Publication Detail
FOXN1 forms higher-order nuclear condensates displaced by mutations causing immunodeficiency
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Rota IA, Handel AE, Maio S, Klein F, Dhalla F, Deadman ME, Cheuk S, Newman JA, Michaels YS, Zuklys S, Prevot N, Hublitz P, Charles PD, Gkazi AS, Adamopoulou E, Qasim W, Davies EG, Hanson I, Pagnamenta AT, Camps C, Dreau HM, White A, James K, Fischer R, Gileadi O, Taylor JC, Fulga T, Lagerholm BC, Anderson G, Sezgin E, Holländer GA
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Science Advances
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Article number:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Notes:
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
The transcription factor FOXN1 is a master regulator of thymic epithelial cell (TEC) development and function. Here, we demonstrate that FOXN1 expression is differentially regulated during organogenesis and participates in multimolecular nuclear condensates essential for the factor’s transcriptional activity. FOXN1’s C-terminal sequence regulates the diffusion velocity within these aggregates and modulates the binding to proximal gene regulatory regions. These dynamics are altered in a patient with a mutant FOXN1 that is modified in its C-terminal sequence. This mutant is transcriptionally inactive and acts as a dominant negative factor displacing wild-type FOXN1 from condensates and causing athymia and severe lymphopenia in heterozygotes. Expression of the mutated mouse ortholog selectively impairs mouse TEC differentiation, revealing a gene dose dependency for individual TEC subtypes. We have therefore identified the cause for a primary immunodeficiency disease and determined the mechanism by which this FOXN1 gain-of-function mutant mediates its dominant negative effect.
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