Sci Rep 9 (1) 10730 [2019-07-24; online 2019-07-24]
The TATA-box binding protein associated factor 1 (TAF1) protein is a key unit of the transcription factor II D complex that serves a vital function during transcription initiation. Variants of TAF1 have been associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, but TAF1's molecular functions remain elusive. In this study, we present a five-generation family affected with X-linked intellectual disability that co-segregated with a TAF1 c.3568C>T, p.(Arg1190Cys) variant. All affected males presented with intellectual disability and dysmorphic features, while heterozygous females were asymptomatic and had completely skewed X-chromosome inactivation. We investigated the role of TAF1 and its association to neurodevelopment by creating the first complete knockout model of the TAF1 orthologue in zebrafish. A crucial function of human TAF1 during embryogenesis can be inferred from the model, demonstrating that intact taf1 is essential for embryonic development. Transcriptome analysis of taf1 zebrafish knockout revealed enrichment for genes associated with neurodevelopmental processes. In conclusion, we propose that functional TAF1 is essential for embryonic development and specifically neurodevelopmental processes.