Picture of UK Houses of Parliament

Leading national thinking on politics, government & public policy through Open Access research

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the School of Government & Public Policy, based within the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Research here is 1st in Scotland for research intensity and spans a wide range of domains. The Department of Politics demonstrates expertise in understanding parties, elections and public opinion, with additional emphases on political economy, institutions and international relations. This international angle is reflected in the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC) which conducts comparative research on public policy. Meanwhile, the Centre for Energy Policy provides independent expertise on energy, working across multidisciplinary groups to shape policy for a low carbon economy.

Explore the Open Access research of the School of Government & Public Policy. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Disruption of the Zdhhc9 intellectual disability gene leads to behavioural abnormalities in a mouse

Kouskou, Marianna and Thomson, David M. and Brett, Ros R. and Wheeler, Lee and Tate, Rothwelle J. and Pratt, Judith A. and Chamberlain, Luke H. (2018) Disruption of the Zdhhc9 intellectual disability gene leads to behavioural abnormalities in a mouse. Experimental Neurology, 308. pp. 35-46. ISSN 0014-4886

Text (Kouskou-etal-EN2018-Disruption-of-the-Zdhhc9-intellectual-disability-gene)
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (1MB)| Preview


    Protein S-acylation is a widespread post-translational modification that regulates the trafficking and function of a diverse array of proteins. This modification is catalysed by a family of twenty-three zDHHC enzymes that exhibit both specific and overlapping substrate interactions. Mutations in the gene encoding zDHHC9 cause mild-to-moderate intellectual disability, seizures, speech and language impairment, hypoplasia of the corpus callosum and reduced volume of sub-cortical structures. In this study, we have undertaken behavioural phenotyping, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and isolation of S-acylated proteins to investigate the effect of disruption of the Zdhhc9 gene in mice in a C57BL/6 genetic background. Zdhhc9 mutant male mice exhibit a range of abnormalities compared with their wild-type littermates: altered behaviour in the open-field test, elevated plus maze and acoustic startle test that is consistent with a reduced anxiety level; a reduced hang time in the hanging wire test that suggests underlying hypotonia but which may also be linked to reduced anxiety; deficits in the Morris water maze test of hippocampal-dependent spatial learning and memory; and a 36% reduction in corpus callosum volume revealed by MRI. Surprisingly, membrane association and S-acylation of H-Ras was not disrupted in either whole brain or hippocampus of Zdhhc9 mutant mice, suggesting that other substrates of this enzyme are linked to the observed changes. Overall, this study highlights a key role for zDHHC9 in brain development and behaviour, and supports the utility of the Zdhhc9 mutant mouse line to investigate molecular and cellular changes linked to intellectual disability and other deficits in the human population.