Transposable elements in human dopaminergic neurons: the impact of Parkinson’s mutations on the retrotransposome

Natalia Savytska

Natalia Savytska, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Germany


In our study, we aimed to characterize active transposable elements (TEs) in control and mutant human iPSC-derived dopaminergic (mDA) neurons and expand the catalogue of confirmed active TE transcripts in human somatic cells. To achieve these goals, we used the Oxford Nanopore Technologies PromethION to perform cDNA sequencing on 10 iPSC lines differentiated into mDA neurons from healthy controls, idiopathic Parkinson Disease (PD) patients, and individuals carrying known disease-linked mutations. The result of this study will contribute to our understanding of the TEs transcriptional activity and its functional role in mDA neurons under normal conditions, and its relation to the pathogenesis of PD.


Natalia Savytska is a Ph.D. student at the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Tübingen under supervision of Prof. Peter Heutink. Her work is dedicated to investigating the transcriptional activity of transposable elements in the human brain and how it changes in pathological conditions. In 2018 she received a master’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience from Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, Tübingen University. Her studies at the time were fully funded by the DAAD Scholarship for Graduates of All Disciplines.