Variants in SART3 cause a spliceosomopathy characterised by failure of testis development and neuronal defects

Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 9;14(1):3403. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-39040-0.


Squamous cell carcinoma antigen recognized by T cells 3 (SART3) is an RNA-binding protein with numerous biological functions including recycling small nuclear RNAs to the spliceosome. Here, we identify recessive variants in SART3 in nine individuals presenting with intellectual disability, global developmental delay and a subset of brain anomalies, together with gonadal dysgenesis in 46,XY individuals. Knockdown of the Drosophila orthologue of SART3 reveals a conserved role in testicular and neuronal development. Human induced pluripotent stem cells carrying patient variants in SART3 show disruption to multiple signalling pathways, upregulation of spliceosome components and demonstrate aberrant gonadal and neuronal differentiation in vitro. Collectively, these findings suggest that bi-allelic SART3 variants underlie a spliceosomopathy which we tentatively propose be termed INDYGON syndrome (Intellectual disability, Neurodevelopmental defects and Developmental delay with 46,XY GONadal dysgenesis). Our findings will enable additional diagnoses and improved outcomes for individuals born with this condition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Gonadal Dysgenesis*
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Intellectual Disability*
  • Male
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Testis / metabolism


  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • SART3 protein, human
  • Antigens, Neoplasm