Mutations in HNRNPH2 cause an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder with features that include developmental delay, motor function deficits, and seizures. More than 90% of patients with hnRNPH2 have a missense mutation within or adjacent to the nuclear localization signal (NLS) of hnRNPH2. Here, we report that hnRNPH2 NLS mutations caused reduced interaction with the nuclear transport receptor Kapβ2 and resulted in modest cytoplasmic accumulation of hnRNPH2. We generated 2 knockin mouse models with human-equivalent mutations in Hnrnph2 as well as Hnrnph2-KO mice. Knockin mice recapitulated clinical features of the human disorder, including reduced survival in male mice, impaired motor and cognitive functions, and increased susceptibility to audiogenic seizures. In contrast, 2 independent lines of Hnrnph2-KO mice showed no detectable phenotypes. Notably, KO mice had upregulated expression of Hnrnph1, a paralog of Hnrnph2, whereas knockin mice failed to upregulate Hnrnph1. Thus, genetic compensation by Hnrnph1 may counteract the loss of hnRNPH2. These findings suggest that HNRNPH2-related disorder may be driven by a toxic gain of function or a complex loss of HNRNPH2 function with impaired compensation by HNRNPH1. The knockin mice described here are an important resource for preclinical studies to assess the therapeutic benefit of gene replacement or knockdown of mutant hnRNPH2.
Ane Korff, Xiaojing Yang, Kevin O’Donovan, Abner Gonzalez, Brett J.W. Teubner, Haruko Nakamura, James Messing, Fen Yang, Alexandre F. Carisey, Yong-Dong Wang, Tushar Patni, Heather Sheppard, Stanislav S. Zakharenko, Yuh Min Chook, J. Paul Taylor, Hong Joo Kim