2015 Volume 4 Issue 1 Pages 17-23
Mutations in the gene encoding AT-rich interactive domain-containing protein 1B (ARID1B) were recently associated with multiple syndromes characterized by developmental delay and intellectual disability, in addition to nonsyndromic intellectual disability. While the majority of ARID1B mutations identified to date are predicted to result in haploinsufficiency, the underlying pathogenic mechanisms have yet to be fully understood. ARID1B is a DNA-binding subunit of the Brahma-associated factor chromatin remodelling complexes, which play a key role in the regulation of gene activity. The function of remodelling complexes can be regulated by their subunit composition, and there is some evidence that ARID1B is a component of the neuron-specific chromatin remodelling complex. This complex is involved in the regulation of stem/progenitor cells exiting the cell cycle and differentiating into postmitotic neurons. Recent research has indicated that alterations in the cell cycle contribute to the underlying pathogenesis of syndromes associated with ARID1B haploinsufficiency in fibroblasts derived from affected individuals. This review describes studies linking ARID1B to neurodevelopmental disorders and it summarizes the function of ARID1B to provide insights into the pathogenic mechanisms underlying ARID1B-mediated disorders. In conclusion, ARID1B is likely to play a key role in neurodevelopment and reduced levels of wild-type protein compromise normal brain development. Additional studies are required to determine the mechanisms by which impaired neural development contributes to the intellectual disability and speech impairment that are consistently observed in individuals with ARID1B haploinsufficiency.