Similar metabolic pathways are affected in both Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome-22 and Prader-Willi Syndrome

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. 2024 Jun;1870(5):167175. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2024.167175. Epub 2024 Apr 16.


Loss of prolyl endopeptidase-like (PREPL) encoding a serine hydrolase with (thio)esterase activity leads to the recessive metabolic disorder Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome-22 (CMS22). It is characterized by severe neonatal hypotonia, feeding problems, growth retardation, and hyperphagia leading to rapid weight gain later in childhood. The phenotypic similarities with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) are striking, suggesting that similar pathways are affected. The aim of this study was to identify changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis in mouse models for both disorders and to examine mitochondrial function in skin fibroblasts of patients and knockout cell lines. We have demonstrated that Prepl is downregulated in the brains of neonatal PWS-IC-p/+m mice. In addition, the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is similarly affected in both Prepl-/- and PWS-IC-p/+m mice resulting in defective orexigenic signaling and growth retardation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that mitochondrial function is altered in PREPL knockout HEK293T cells and can be rescued with the supplementation of coenzyme Q10. Finally, PREPL-deficient and PWS patient skin fibroblasts display defective mitochondrial bioenergetics. The mitochondrial dysfunction in PWS fibroblasts can be rescued by overexpression of PREPL. In conclusion, we provide the first molecular parallels between CMS22 and PWS, raising the possibility that PREPL substrates might become therapeutic targets for treating both disorders.

Keywords: Hyperphagia; Mitochondrial dysfunction; Neonatal hypotonia; PREPL; PWS.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / pathology
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout*
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / pathology
  • Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital* / genetics
  • Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital* / metabolism
  • Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital* / pathology
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome* / genetics
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome* / metabolism
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome* / pathology
  • Prolyl Oligopeptidases* / metabolism
  • Serine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Serine Endopeptidases / metabolism
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives
  • Ubiquinone / metabolism


  • PREPL protein, human
  • coenzyme Q10