Proteomic and transcriptional changes associated with MeCP2 dysfunction reveal nodes for therapeutic intervention in Rett syndrome

Ketan Marballi, Jessica L. MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene cause Rett syndrome (RTT), an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder predominantly impacting females. MECP2 is an epigenetic transcriptional regulator acting mainly to repress gene expression, though it plays multiple gene regulatory roles and has distinct molecular targets across different cell types and specific developmental stages. In this review, we summarize MECP2 loss-of-function associated transcriptome and proteome disruptions, delving deeper into the latter which have been comparatively severely understudied. These disruptions converge on multiple biochemical and cellular pathways, including those involved in synaptic function and neurodevelopment, NF-κB signaling and inflammation, and the vitamin D pathway. RTT is a complex neurological disorder characterized by myriad physiological disruptions, in both the central nervous system and peripheral systems. Thus, treating RTT will likely require a combinatorial approach, targeting multiple nodes within the interactomes of these cellular pathways. To this end, we discuss the use of dietary supplements and factors, namely, vitamin D and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), as possible partial therapeutic agents given their demonstrated benefit in RTT and their ability to restore homeostasis to multiple disrupted cellular pathways simultaneously. Further unravelling the complex molecular alterations induced by MECP2 loss-of-function, and contextualizing them at the level of proteome homeostasis, will identify new therapeutic avenues for this complex disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105076
JournalNeurochemistry International
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Autism
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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