Regionally defined proteomic profiles of human cerebral tissue and organoids reveal conserved molecular modules of neurodevelopment

Cell Rep. 2022 May 24;39(8):110846. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.110846.


Cerebral organoids have emerged as robust models for neurodevelopmental and pathological processes, as well as a powerful discovery platform for less-characterized neurobiological programs. Toward this prospect, we leverage mass-spectrometry-based proteomics to molecularly profile precursor and neuronal compartments of both human-derived organoids and mid-gestation fetal brain tissue to define overlapping programs. Our analysis includes recovery of precursor-enriched transcriptional regulatory proteins not found to be differentially expressed in previous transcriptomic datasets. To highlight the discovery potential of this resource, we show that RUVBL2 is preferentially expressed in the SOX2-positive compartment of organoids and that chemical inactivation leads to precursor cell displacement and apoptosis. To explore clinicopathological correlates of this cytoarchitectural disruption, we interrogate clinical datasets and identify rare de novo genetic variants involving RUVBL2 in patients with neurodevelopmental impairments. Together, our findings demonstrate how cell-type-specific profiling of organoids can help nominate previously unappreciated genes in neurodevelopment and disease.

Keywords: CP: Neuroscience; cerebral organoids; mass spectrometry; neurodevelopment; proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATPases Associated with Diverse Cellular Activities / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Organoids* / metabolism
  • Proteomics* / methods
  • Transcriptome / genetics


  • Carrier Proteins
  • ATPases Associated with Diverse Cellular Activities
  • DNA Helicases
  • RUVBL2 protein, human