Concise Review: Stem Cell Models of SCN1A-Related Encephalopathies-Current Perspective and Future Therapies


Mutations in the SCN1A gene can cause a variety of phenotypes, ranging from mild forms, such as febrile seizures and generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus, to severe, such as Dravet and non-Dravet developmental epileptic encephalopathies. Until now, more than two thousand pathogenic variants of the SCN1A gene have been identified and different pathogenic mechanisms (loss vs. gain of function) described, but the precise molecular mechanisms responsible for the deficits exhibited by patients are not fully elucidated. Additionally, the phenotypic variability proves the involvement of other genetic factors in its final expression. This is the reason why animal models and cell line models used to explore the molecular pathology of SCN1A-related disorders are only of limited use. The results of studies based on such models cannot be directly translated to affected individuals because they do not address each patient's unique genetic background. The generation of functional neurons and glia for patient-derived iPSCs, together with the generation of isogenic controls using CRISPR/Cas technology, and finally, the 3D brain organoid models, seem to be a good way to solve this problem. Here, we review SCN1A-related encephalopathies, as well as the stem cell models used to explore their molecular basis.

Authors Zayat V, Szlendak R, Hoffman-Zacharska D
Journal Cells
Publication Date 2022 Oct 4;11(19)
PubMed 36231081
PubMed Central PMC9561991
DOI 10.3390/cells11193119

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