ALS and Parkinson's disease genes CHCHD10 and CHCHD2 modify synaptic transcriptomes in human iPSC-derived motor neurons

Neurobiol Dis. 2020 Jul:141:104940. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2020.104940. Epub 2020 May 11.


Mitochondrial intermembrane space proteins CHCHD2 and CHCHD10 have roles in motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and axonal neuropathy and in Parkinson's disease. They form a complex of unknown function. Here we address the importance of these two proteins in human motor neurons. We show that gene edited human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) lacking either CHCHD2 or CHCHD10 are viable and can be differentiated into functional motor neurons that fire spontaneous and evoked action potentials. Mitochondria in knockout iPSC and motor neurons sustain ultrastructure but show increased proton leakage and respiration, and reciprocal compensatory increases in CHCHD2 or CHCHD10. Knockout motor neurons have largely overlapping transcriptome profiles compared to isogenic control line, in particular for synaptic gene expression. Our results show that the absence of either CHCHD2 or CHCHD10 alters mitochondrial respiration in human motor neurons, inducing similar compensatory responses. Thus, pathogenic mechanisms may involve loss of synaptic function resulting from defective energy metabolism.

Keywords: ALS; CHCHD10; CHCHD2; CMT2; CRISPR/Cas9; Induced pluripotent stem cell; Mitochondria; Motor neuron differentiation; RNA sequencing; SMAJ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / genetics*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Motor Neurons / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics*
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcriptome*


  • CHCHD10 protein, human
  • CHCHD2 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Transcription Factors