Mutation frequencies of X‐linked mental retardation genes in families from the EuroMRX consortium
ABSTRACT The EuroMRX family cohort consists of about 400 families with non-syndromic and 200 families with syndromic X-linked mental retardation (XLMR). After exclusion of Fragile X (Fra X) syndrome, probands from these families were tested for mutations in the coding sequence of 90 known and candidate XLMR genes. In total, 73 causative mutations were identified in 21 genes. For 42% of the families with obligate female carriers, the mental retardation phenotype could be explained by a mutation. There was no difference between families with (lod score >2) or without (lod score <2) significant linkage to the X chromosome. For families with two to five affected brothers (brother pair=BP families) only 17% of the MR could be explained. This is significantly lower (P=0.0067) than in families with obligate carrier females and indicates that the MR in about 40% (17/42) of the BP families is due to a single genetic defect on the X chromosome. The mutation frequency of XLMR genes in BP families is lower than can be expected on basis of the male to female ratio of patients with MR or observed recurrence risks. This might be explained by genetic risk factors on the X chromosome, resulting in a more complex etiology in a substantial portion of XLMR patients. The EuroMRX effort is the first attempt to unravel the molecular basis of cognitive dysfunction by large-scale approaches in a large patient cohort. Our results show that it is now possible to identify 42% of the genetic defects in non-syndromic and syndromic XLMR families with obligate female carriers. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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ABSTRACT: Several computational candidate gene selection and prioritization methods have recently been developed. These in silico selection and prioritization techniques are usually based on two central approaches--the examination of similarities to known disease genes and/or the evaluation of functional annotation of genes. Each of these approaches has its own caveats. Here we employ a previously described method of candidate gene prioritization based mainly on gene annotation, in accompaniment with a technique based on the evaluation of pertinent sequence motifs or signatures, in an attempt to refine the gene prioritization approach. We apply this approach to X-linked mental retardation (XLMR), a group of heterogeneous disorders for which some of the underlying genetics is known. The gene annotation-based binary filtering method yielded a ranked list of putative XLMR candidate genes with good plausibility of being associated with the development of mental retardation. In parallel, a motif finding approach based on linear discriminatory analysis (LDA) was employed to identify short sequence patterns that may discriminate XLMR from non-XLMR genes. High rates (>80%) of correct classification was achieved, suggesting that the identification of these motifs effectively captures genomic signals associated with XLMR vs. non-XLMR genes. The computational tools developed for the motif-based LDA is integrated into the freely available genomic analysis portal Galaxy (http://main.g2.bx.psu.edu/). Nine genes (APLN, ZC4H2, MAGED4, MAGED4B, RAP2C, FAM156A, FAM156B, TBL1X, and UXT) were highlighted as highly-ranked XLMR methods. The combination of gene annotation information and sequence motif-orientated computational candidate gene prediction methods highlight an added benefit in generating a list of plausible candidate genes, as has been demonstrated for XLMR.Biology Direct 06/2011; 6:30. · 2.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Menkes disease (MD) is an X-linked, fatal neurodegenerative disorder of copper metabolism, caused by mutations in the ATP7A gene. Thirty-three Menkes patients in whom no mutation had been detected with standard diagnostic tools were screened for exon duplications in the ATP7A gene. The ATP7A gene was screened for exon duplications using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). The expression level of ATP7A was investigated by real-time PCR and detailed analysis of the ATP7A mRNA was performed by RT-PCR followed by sequencing. In order to investigate whether the identified duplicated fragments originated from a single or from two different X-chromosomes, polymorphic markers located in the duplicated fragments were analyzed. Partial ATP7A gene duplication was identified in 20 unrelated patients including one patient with Occipital Horn Syndrome (OHS). Duplications in the ATP7A gene are estimated from our material to be the disease causing mutation in 4% of the Menkes disease patients. The duplicated regions consist of between 2 and 15 exons. In at least one of the cases, the duplication was due to an intra-chromosomal event. Characterization of the ATP7A mRNA transcripts in 11 patients revealed that the duplications were organized in tandem, in a head to tail direction. The reading frame was disrupted in all 11 cases. Small amounts of wild-type transcript were found in all patients as a result of exon-skipping events occurring in the duplicated regions. In the OHS patient with a duplication of exon 3 and 4, the duplicated out-of-frame transcript coexists with an almost equally represented wild-type transcript, presumably leading to the milder phenotype. In general, patients with duplication of only 2 exons exhibit a milder phenotype as compared to patients with duplication of more than 2 exons. This study provides insight into exon duplications in the ATP7A gene.Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 11/2011; 6:73. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Intellectual disability (ID) has a prevalence of 2-3% with 0.3% of the population being severely retarded. Etiology is heterogeneous, owing to numerous genetic and environmental factors. Underlying etiology remains undetermined in 75-80% of mildly disabled patients and 20-50% of those severely disabled. Twelve percent of all ID is thought to be X-linked (XLID). This study covers copy number analysis of some of the known XLID genes, using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) in 100 nonsyndromic patients. One of the patients was found to have duplication in all exons of MECP2 gene, and another had duplication in the fifth exon of TM4SF2/TSPAN7 gene. Affymetrix® 6.0 whole-genome SNP microarray confirmed the duplication in MECP2 and showed duplication of exons 2-7 in TM4SF2/TSPAN7, respectively. MECP2 duplication has recently been recognized as a syndromic cause of XLID in males, whereas duplications in TM4SF2/TSPAN7 are yet to be determined as a cause of XLID. Being an efficient, rapid, easy-to-perform, easy-to-interpret, and cost-effective method of copy number analysis of specific DNA sequences, MLPA presents wide clinical utility and may be included in diagnostic workup of ID, particularly when microarrays are unavailable as a first-line approach.Molecular syndromology 01/2012; 2(2):64-71.