1. Developmental Biology
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Glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthesis and remodeling are required for neural tube closure, heart development, and cranial neural crest cell survival

  1. Marshall Lukacs
  2. Tia Roberts
  3. Praneet Chatuverdi
  4. Rolf W Stottmann  Is a corresponding author
  1. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 5
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e45248 doi: 10.7554/eLife.45248


The glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor attaches nearly 150 proteins to the cell membrane. Patients with pathogenic variants in GPI biosynthesis genes develop diverse phenotypes including seizures, dysmorphic facial features and cleft palate through an unknown mechanism. We identified a novel mouse mutant (cleft lip/palate, edema and exencephaly; Clpex) with a hypo-morphic mutation in Post-Glycophosphatidylinositol Attachment to Proteins-2 (Pgap2), a component of the GPI biosynthesis pathway. The Clpex mutation decreases surface GPI expression. Surprisingly, Pgap2 showed tissue specific expression with enrichment in the brain and face. We found the Clpex phenotype is due to apoptosis of neural crest cells (NCCs) and the cranial neuroepithelium. We showed folinic acid supplementation in utero can partially rescue the cleft lip phenotype. Finally, we generated a novel mouse model of NCC-specific total GPI deficiency. These mutants developed median cleft lip and palate demonstrating a previously undocumented cell autonomous role for GPI biosynthesis in NCC development.

Data availability

Sequencing data have been submitted to GEO (Clpex exome seq: GSE131920 and RNA-Seq: GSE131919)

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Marshall Lukacs

    Division of Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Tia Roberts

    Division of Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Praneet Chatuverdi

    Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Rolf W Stottmann

    Division of Human Genetics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-4512-6806


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (R01NS085023)

  • Rolf W Stottmann

American Cleft Palate - Craniofacial Association

  • Marshall Lukacs

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.


Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocol #2016-0098 of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. All euthanasia was performed after isoflourane sedation, and every effort was made to minimize suffering.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Joseph G Gleeson, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: January 16, 2019
  2. Accepted: June 5, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 24, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: July 5, 2019 (version 2)


© 2019, Lukacs et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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