ATP6V0A1 encoding the a1-subunit of the V0 domain of vacuolar H +-ATPases is essential for brain development in humans and mice

Nat Commun. 2021 Apr 8;12(1):2107. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-22389-5.


Vacuolar H+-ATPases (V-ATPases) transport protons across cellular membranes to acidify various organelles. ATP6V0A1 encodes the a1-subunit of the V0 domain of V-ATPases, which is strongly expressed in neurons. However, its role in brain development is unknown. Here we report four individuals with developmental and epileptic encephalopathy with ATP6V0A1 variants: two individuals with a de novo missense variant (R741Q) and the other two individuals with biallelic variants comprising one almost complete loss-of-function variant and one missense variant (A512P and N534D). Lysosomal acidification is significantly impaired in cell lines expressing three missense ATP6V0A1 mutants. Homozygous mutant mice harboring human R741Q (Atp6v0a1R741Q) and A512P (Atp6v0a1A512P) variants show embryonic lethality and early postnatal mortality, respectively, suggesting that R741Q affects V-ATPase function more severely. Lysosomal dysfunction resulting in cell death, accumulated autophagosomes and lysosomes, reduced mTORC1 signaling and synaptic connectivity, and lowered neurotransmitter contents of synaptic vesicles are observed in the brains of Atp6v0a1A512P/A512P mice. These findings demonstrate the essential roles of ATP6V0A1/Atp6v0a1 in neuronal development in terms of integrity and connectivity of neurons in both humans and mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagosomes / pathology
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain Diseases / genetics*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cathepsin D / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Loss of Function Mutation / genetics
  • Lysosomes / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mutation, Missense / genetics
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Synaptic Vesicles / pathology
  • Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases / genetics*


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1
  • Cathepsin D
  • ATP6V0A1 protein, human
  • ATP6V0A1 protein, mouse
  • Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases