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Functional analysis of germline VANGL2 variants using rescue assays of vangl2 knockout zebrafish

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Chris DerrickORCiD, Dr Ahlam Alqahtani, Dr Lorraine Eley, Professor Deborah HendersonORCiD, Dr Bill Chaudhry



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press. Developmental studies have shown that the evolutionarily conserved Wnt Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway is essential for the development of a diverse range of tissues and organs including the brain, spinal cord, heart and sensory organs, as well as establishment of the left-right body axis. Germline mutations in the highly conserved PCP gene VANGL2 in humans have only been associated with central nervous system malformations, and functional testing to understand variant impact has not been performed. Here we report three new families with missense variants in VANGL2 associated with heterotaxy and congenital heart disease p.(Arg169His), non-syndromic hearing loss p.(Glu465Ala) and congenital heart disease with brain defects p.(Arg135Trp). To test the in vivo impact of these and previously described variants, we have established clinically-relevant assays using mRNA rescue of the vangl2 mutant zebrafish. We show that all variants disrupt Vangl2 function, although to different extents and depending on the developmental process. We also begin to identify that different VANGL2 missense variants may be haploinsufficient and discuss evidence in support of pathogenicity. Together, this study demonstrates that zebrafish present a suitable pipeline to investigate variants of unknown significance and suggests new avenues for investigation of the different developmental contexts of VANGL2 function that are clinically meaningful.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Derrick CJ, Szenker-Ravi E, Santos-Ledo A, Alqahtani A, Yusof A, Eley L, Coleman AHL, Tohari S, Ng AY-J, Venkatesh B, Alharby E, Mansard L, Bonnet-Dupeyron M-N, Roux A-F, Vache C, Roume J, Bouvagnet P, Almontashiri NAM, Henderson DJ, Reversade B, Chaudhry B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Molecular Genetics

Year: 2024

Volume: 33

Issue: 2

Pages: 150-169

Print publication date: 15/01/2024

Online publication date: 10/10/2023

Acceptance date: 28/09/2023

Date deposited: 23/01/2024

ISSN (print): 0964-6906

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2083

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddad171

PubMed id: 37815931


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Funder referenceFunder name
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
PG/05/041British Heart Foundation
RG/19/2/34256British Heart Foundation