Large-scale systematic resequencing has been proposed as the key future strategy for the discovery of rare, disease-causing sequence variants across the spectrum of human complex disease. We have sequenced the coding exons of the X chromosome in 208 families with X-linked mental retardation (XLMR), the largest direct screen for constitutional disease-causing mutations thus far reported. The screen has discovered nine genes implicated in XLMR, including SYP, ZNF711 and CASK reported here, confirming the power of this strategy. The study has, however, also highlighted issues confronting whole-genome sequencing screens, including the observation that loss of function of 1% or more of X-chromosome genes is compatible with apparently normal existence.
We describe an X-linked genetic syndrome associated with mutations in TAF1 and manifesting with global developmental delay, intellectual disability (ID), characteristic facial dysmorphology, generalized hypotonia, and variable neurologic features, all in male individuals. Simultaneous studies using diverse strategies led to the identification of nine families with overlapping clinical presentations and affected by de novo or maternally inherited single-nucleotide changes. Two additional families harboring large duplications involving TAF1 were also found to share phenotypic overlap with the probands harboring single-nucleotide changes, but they also demonstrated a severe neurodegeneration phenotype. Functional analysis with RNA-seq for one of the families suggested that the phenotype is associated with downregulation of a set of genes notably enriched with genes regulated by E-box proteins. In addition, knockdown and mutant studies of this gene in zebrafish have shown a quantifiable, albeit small, effect on a neuronal phenotype. Our results suggest that mutations in TAF1 play a critical role in the development of this X-linked ID syndrome.
In recent years several new genes for autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis (ARCI) have been identified. However, little is known about the molecular epidemiology and pathophysiology of this genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of severe disorders of keratinization. ARCI is characterized by intense scaling of the whole integument often associated with erythema. We and others have shown that mutations in ALOX12B and ALOXE3, coding for the lipoxygenases 12R-LOX and eLOX-3 predominantly synthesized in the epidermis, can underlie this rare condition. Here we have surveyed a large group of 250 patients with ARCI for mutations in these two genes. We have identified 11 different previously unreported mutations in ALOX12B and ALOXE3 in 21 ARCI patients from 19 unrelated families and demonstrated that mutations in the two genes are the second most common cause for ARCI in this cohort of patients. Examination of the molecular data revealed allelic heterogeneity for ALOX12B and two mutational hotspots in ALOXE3. Functional analysis of all missense mutations and a splice site mutation demonstrated that complete loss of function of the enzymes underlies the phenotype. Our findings further establish the pivotal role of the 12-lipoxygenase pathway during epidermal differentiation.
The developed panel proved to be efficient and suitable for the genetic diagnosis of syndromic intellectual disability in a clinical setting. Next-generation sequencing has the potential for high-throughput identification of genetic variations, although the challenges of an adequate clinical interpretation of these variants and the knowledge on further unknown genes causing intellectual disability remain to be solved.
PurposePathogenic variants in ARID1B are one of the most frequent causes of intellectual disability (ID) as determined by large-scale exome sequencing studies. Most studies published thus far describe clinically diagnosed Coffin–Siris patients (ARID1B-CSS) and it is unclear whether these data are representative for patients identified through sequencing of unbiased ID cohorts (ARID1B-ID). We therefore sought to determine genotypic and phenotypic differences between ARID1B-ID and ARID1B-CSS. In parallel, we investigated the effect of different methods of phenotype reporting.MethodsClinicians entered clinical data in an extensive web-based survey.Results79 ARID1B-CSS and 64 ARID1B-ID patients were included. CSS-associated dysmorphic features, such as thick eyebrows, long eyelashes, thick alae nasi, long and/or broad philtrum, small nails and small or absent fifth distal phalanx and hypertrichosis, were observed significantly more often (p < 0.001) in ARID1B-CSS patients. No other significant differences were identified.ConclusionThere are only minor differences between ARID1B-ID and ARID1B-CSS patients. ARID1B-related disorders seem to consist of a spectrum, and patients should be managed similarly. We demonstrated that data collection methods without an explicit option to report the absence of a feature (such as most Human Phenotype Ontology-based methods) tended to underestimate gene-related features.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) and hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP) are two inherited peripheral neuropathies. The most prevalent mutations are a reciprocal 1.5-Mb duplication and 1.5-Mb deletion, respectively, at the CMT1A/HNPP locus on chromosome 17p11.2. Point mutations in the coding region of the myelin genes, peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22), myelin protein zero (MPZ) or connexin 32 (Cx32) have been reported in CMT patients, including CMT type 1 (CMT1), CMT type 2 (CMT2) and Déjérine-Sottas neuropathy (DS) patients, and only in the coding region of PMP22 in HNPP families lacking a deletion. We have investigated point and small mutations in the MPZ, PMP22 and Cx32 genes in a series of patients of Spanish ancestry: 47 CMT patients without duplications, and 5 HNPP patients without deletions. We found 15 different mutations in 16 CMT patients (34%). Nine different mutations in ten patients were detected in the Cx32 gene, this being the most frequently involved gene in this series, whereas five mutations involved the MPZ gene and only one the PMP22 gene. Six out of nine nucleotide substitutions in the Cx32 gene involved two codons encoding arginine at positions 164 and 183, suggesting that these two codons may constitute two Cx32 regions prone to mutate in the Spanish population. Analysis of HNPP patients revealed a 5' splicing mutation in intron 1 of the PMP22 gene in a family with autosomal dominance, which confirms allelic heterogeneity in HNPP. Ectopic mRNA analysis on leukocytes suggests that this mutation might behave as a null allele.
We previously reported on nonrecurrent overlapping duplications at Xp11.22 in individuals with nonsyndromic intellectual disability (ID) harboring HSD17B10, HUWE1, and the microRNAs miR-98 and let-7f-2 in the smallest region of overlap. Here, we describe six additional individuals with nonsyndromic ID and overlapping microduplications that segregate in the families. High-resolution mapping of the 12 copy-number gains reduced the minimal duplicated region to the HUWE1 locus only. Consequently, increased mRNA levels were detected for HUWE1, but not HSD17B10. Marker and SNP analysis, together with identification of two de novo events, suggested a paternally derived intrachromosomal duplication event. In four independent families, we report on a polymorphic 70 kb recurrent copy-number gain, which harbors part of HUWE1 (exon 28 to 3' untranslated region), including miR-98 and let-7f-2. Our findings thus demonstrate that HUWE1 is the only remaining dosage-sensitive gene associated with the ID phenotype. Junction and in silico analysis of breakpoint regions demonstrated simple microhomology-mediated rearrangements suggestive of replication-based duplication events. Intriguingly, in a single family, the duplication was generated through nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR) with the use of HUWE1-flanking imperfect low-copy repeats, which drive this infrequent NAHR event. The recurrent partial HUWE1 copy-number gain was also generated through NAHR, but here, the homologous sequences used were identified as TcMAR-Tigger DNA elements, a template that has not yet been reported for NAHR. In summary, we showed that an increased dosage of HUWE1 causes nonsyndromic ID and demonstrated that the Xp11.22 region is prone to recombination- and replication-based rearrangements.
Intellectual disability (ID) is a heterogeneous disorder with an unknown molecular etiology in many cases. Previously, X-linked ID (XLID) studies focused on males due to the hemizygous state of their X chromosome. Carrier females are generally unaffected due to the presence of a second normal allele, or inactivation of the mutant X chromosome in most of their cells (skewing). However, in female ID patients, we hypothesized that the presence of skewing of X-inactivation would be an indicator for an X chromosomal ID cause. We analysed the X-inactivation patterns of 288 females with ID, and found that 22 (7.6%) had extreme skewing (>90%), which is significantly higher than observed in the general population (3.6%; p=0.029). Whole exome sequencing of 19 females with extreme skewing revealed causal variants in 6 females in the XLID genes DDX3X, NHS, WDR45, MECP2 and SMC1A. Interestingly, variants in genes escaping X-inactivation presumably cause both XLID and skewing of X-inactivation in 3 of these patients. Moreover, variants likely accounting for skewing only, were detected in MED12, HDAC8 and TAF9B. All tested candidate causative variants were de novo events. Hence, extreme skewing is a good indicator for the presence of X-linked variants in female patients.
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