1. Guangdong Provincial Engineering Research Center of Molecular Imaging, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China 519000.
2. Center for Interventional Medicine, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China 519000.
3. Department of Interventional Medicine, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China 519000.
4. Department of Radiology, The Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China 519000.
†These first authors contributed equally to this work.
Point mutations in the DEAD-box helicase DDX24 are associated with vascular malformations such as multi-organ venous and lymphatic defect (MOVLD) syndrome and Budd-Chiari syndrome, with the pathogenesis largely uncharacterized. DDX24 is mainly located in the nucleolus, where nucleophosmin (NPM1) regulates nucleolar homeostasis via liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS). However, the connection between DDX24 and NPM1 in vascular malformation remains elusive. Here we demonstrated that DDX24 formed biomolecular condensates in vitro and the mutated DDX24 protein, DDX24E271K, partitioned less into the nucleoli in tissues from patients with MOVLD syndrome and cultured endothelial cells (ECs), altering nucleolar morphology. Furthermore, DDX24 was directly associated with NPM1 to regulate its phase behavior as a client in the nucleolar granular component (GC). Functionally, we showed that DDX24 was essential in maintaining nucleolar homeostasis of ECs and that either mutation or knockdown of DDX24 led to the dysfunction of ribosome biogenesis and the elevated capability of cell migration and tube formation. Our findings illustrate how DDX24 mutation affects nucleolar structure and function by regulating the phase behavior of NPM1 in the setting of vascular malformation.
Keywords: DEAD-box helicase 24, liquid-liquid phase separation, nucleolar homeostasis, NPM1, vascular malformation