7q11.23 CNV alters protein synthesis and REST-mediated neuronal intrinsic excitability
Copy number variations (CNVs) at 7q11.23 cause Williams-Beuren (WBS) and 7q microduplication syndromes (7Dup), two neurodevelopmental disorders with shared and opposite cognitive-behavioral phenotypes. Using patient-derived and isogenic neurons, we integrated transcriptomics, translatomics and proteomics to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of this dosage effect. We found that 7q11.23 CNVs cause opposite alterations in neuronal differentiation and excitability. Genes related to neuronal transmission chiefly followed 7q11.23 dosage and appeared transcriptionally controlled, while translation and ribosomal protein genes followed the opposite trend and were post-transcriptionally buffered. Mechanistically, we uncovered REST regulon as a key mediator of observed phenotypes and rescued transcriptional and excitability alterations through REST inhibition. We identified downregulation of global protein synthesis, mGLUR5 and ERK-mTOR pathways activity in steady-state in both WBS and 7Dup, whereas BDNF stimulation rescued them specifically in 7Dup. Overall, we show that 7q11.23 CNVs alter protein synthesis and neuronal firing-established molecular and cellular phenotypes of neurodevelopmental disorders.