HDAC6 Inhibition Corrects Electrophysiological and Axonal Transport Deficits in a Human Stem Cell-Based Model of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (Type 2D)

Adv Biol (Weinh). 2022 Feb;6(2):e2101308. doi: 10.1002/adbi.202101308. Epub 2021 Dec 26.


Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2D (CMT2D), is a hereditary peripheral neuropathy caused by mutations in the gene encoding glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GARS1). Here, human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-based models of CMT2D bearing mutations in GARS1 and their use for the identification of predictive biomarkers amenable to therapeutic efficacy screening is described. Cultures containing spinal cord motor neurons generated from this line exhibit network activity marked by significant deficiencies in spontaneous action potential firing and burst fire behavior. This result matches clinical data collected from a patient bearing a GARS1P724H mutation and is coupled with significant decreases in acetylated α-tubulin levels and mitochondrial movement within axons. Treatment with histone deacetylase 6 inhibitors, tubastatin A and CKD504, improves mitochondrial movement and α-tubulin acetylation in these cells. Furthermore, CKD504 treatment enhances population-level electrophysiological activity, highlighting its potential as an effective treatment for CMT2D.

Keywords: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; axonopathy; drug screening; electrophysiology; induced pluripotent stem cell; neurodegeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Axonal Transport
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease* / drug therapy
  • Glycine-tRNA Ligase* / genetics
  • Histone Deacetylase 6 / genetics
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Tubulin / genetics


  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Tubulin
  • HDAC6 protein, human
  • Histone Deacetylase 6
  • Glycine-tRNA Ligase

Supplementary concepts

  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Type 2D