Targeted next-generation sequencing identifies a homozygous nonsense mutation in ABHD12, the gene underlying PHARC, in a family clinically diagnosed with Usher syndrome type 3

Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases (Impact Factor: 3.36). 09/2012; 7(1):59. DOI: 10.1186/1750-1172-7-59
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Usher syndrome (USH) is an autosomal recessive genetically heterogeneous disorder with congenital sensorineural hearing impairment and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). We have identified a consanguineous Lebanese family with two affected members displaying progressive hearing loss, RP and cataracts, therefore clinically diagnosed as USH type 3 (USH3). Our study was aimed at the identification of the causative mutation in this USH3-like family.

Candidate loci were identified using genomewide SNP-array-based homozygosity mapping followed by targeted enrichment and next-generation sequencing.

Using a capture array targeting the three identified homozygosity-by-descent regions on chromosomes 1q43-q44, 20p13-p12.2 and 20p11.23-q12, we identified a homozygous nonsense mutation, p.Arg65X, in ABHD12 segregating with the phenotype.

Mutations of ABHD12, an enzyme hydrolyzing an endocannabinoid lipid transmitter, cause PHARC (polyneuropathy, hearing loss, ataxia, retinitis pigmentosa, and early-onset cataract). After the identification of the ABHD12 mutation in this family, one patient underwent neurological examination which revealed ataxia, but no polyneuropathy. ABHD12 is not known to be related to the USH protein interactome. The phenotype of our patient represents a variant of PHARC, an entity that should be taken into account as differential diagnosis for USH3. Our study demonstrates the potential of comprehensive genetic analysis for improving the clinical diagnosis.

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Available from: Rima Slim, Mar 07, 2014
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    • "Among the six USH2 families, two genes, USH2A and GPR98, were found mutated in four and two families, respectively (Figure 3). The remaining family was originally diagnosed as USH3, but the diagnosis was revised to PHARC (a neurodegenerative disease characterized by polyneuropathy, hearing loss, ataxia, retinitis pigmentosa, and early-onset cataract) after the identification of a homozygous mutation in ABHD12 and clinical re-evaluation [47]. Our current and previous data on the 11 Lebanese families indicate that USH2A mutations (40%) are the most frequent cause of USH in the Lebanese population, followed by GPR98 mutations (20%) while mutations in all the other USH genes seem to be rarer (Figure 3). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Usher syndrome (USH) is a genetically heterogeneous condition with ten disease-causing genes. The spectrum of genes and mutations causing USH in the Lebanese and Middle Eastern populations has not been described. Consequently, diagnostic approaches designed to screen for previously reported mutations were unlikely to identify the mutations in 11 unrelated families, eight of Lebanese and three of Middle Eastern origins. In addition, six of the ten USH genes consist of more than 20 exons, each, which made mutational analysis by Sanger sequencing of PCR-amplified exons from genomic DNA tedious and costly. The study was aimed at the identification of USH causing genes and mutations in 11 unrelated families with USH type I or II. Methods Whole exome sequencing followed by expanded familial validation by Sanger sequencing. Results We identified disease-causing mutations in all the analyzed patients in four USH genes, MYO7A, USH2A, GPR98 and CDH23. Eleven of the mutations were novel and protein truncating, including a complex rearrangement in GPR98. Conclusion Our data highlight the genetic diversity of Usher syndrome in the Lebanese population and the time and cost-effectiveness of whole exome sequencing approach for mutation analysis of genetically heterogeneous conditions caused by large genes.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0107326 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Advances in human genetics are leading to the discovery of new disease-causing mutations at a remarkable rate. Many such mutations, however, occur in genes that encode for proteins of unknown function, which limits our molecular understanding of, and ability to devise treatments for, human disease. Here, we use untargeted metabolomics combined with a genetic mouse model to determine that the poorly characterized serine hydrolase α/β-hydrolase domain-containing (ABHD)12, mutations in which cause the human neurodegenerative disorder PHARC (polyneuropathy, hearing loss, ataxia, retinosis pigmentosa, and cataract), is a principal lysophosphatidylserine (LPS) lipase in the mammalian brain. ABHD12(-/-) mice display massive increases in a rare set of very long chain LPS lipids that have been previously reported as Toll-like receptor 2 activators. We confirm that recombinant ABHD12 protein exhibits robust LPS lipase activity, which is also substantially reduced in ABHD12(-/-) brain tissue. Notably, elevations in brain LPS lipids in ABHD12(-/-) mice occur early in life (2-6 mo) and are followed by age-dependent increases in microglial activation and auditory and motor defects that resemble the behavioral phenotypes of human PHARC patients. Taken together, our data provide a molecular model for PHARC, where disruption of ABHD12 causes deregulated LPS metabolism and the accumulation of proinflammatory lipids that promote microglial and neurobehavioral abnormalities.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2013; 110(4). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1217121110 · 9.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysregulation of lipid metabolism underlies many chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Therefore, understanding enzymatic mechanisms controlling lipid synthesis and degradation is imperative for successful drug discovery for these human diseases. Genes encoding α/β hydrolase fold domain (ABHD) proteins are present in virtually all reported genomes, and conserved structural motifs shared by these proteins predict common roles in lipid synthesis and degradation. However, the physiological substrates and products for these lipid metabolizing enzymes and their broader role in metabolic pathways remain largely uncharacterized. Recently, mutations in several members of the ABHD protein family have been implicated in inherited inborn errors of lipid metabolism. Furthermore, studies in cell and animal models have revealed important roles for ABHD proteins in lipid metabolism, lipid signal transduction, and metabolic disease. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary surrounding the current state of knowledge regarding mammalian ABHD protein family members. In particular, we will discuss how ABHD proteins are ideally suited to act at the interface of lipid metabolism and signal transduction. Although, the current state of knowledge regarding mammalian ABHD proteins is still in its infancy, this review highlights the potential for the ABHD enzymes as being attractive targets for novel therapies targeting metabolic disease.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 01/2013; 1831(4). DOI:10.1016/j.bbalip.2013.01.002 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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