Germline mutations of regulator of telomere elongation helicase 1, RTEL1, in Dyskeratosis congenita
ABSTRACT Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition syndrome caused by aberrant telomere biology. The classic triad of dysplastic nails, abnormal skin pigmentation, and oral leukoplakia is diagnostic of DC, but substantial clinical heterogeneity exists; the clinically severe variant Hoyeraal Hreidarsson syndrome (HH) also includes cerebellar hypoplasia, severe immunodeficiency, enteropathy, and intrauterine growth retardation. Germline mutations in telomere biology genes account for approximately one-half of known DC families. Using exome sequencing, we identified mutations in RTEL1, a helicase with critical telomeric functions, in two families with HH. In the first family, two siblings with HH and very short telomeres inherited a premature stop codon from their mother who has short telomeres. The proband from the second family has HH and inherited a premature stop codon in RTEL1 from his father and a missense mutation from his mother, who also has short telomeres. In addition, inheritance of only the missense mutation led to very short telomeres in the proband's brother. Targeted sequencing identified a different RTEL1 missense mutation in one additional DC proband who has bone marrow failure and short telomeres. Both missense mutations affect the helicase domain of RTEL1, and three in silico prediction algorithms suggest that they are likely deleterious. The nonsense mutations both cause truncation of the RTEL1 protein, resulting in loss of the PIP box; this may abrogate an important protein-protein interaction. These findings implicate a new telomere biology gene, RTEL1, in the etiology of DC.
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ABSTRACT: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an age-related disease featuring progressive lung scarring. To elucidate the molecular basis of IPF, we performed exome sequencing of familial kindreds with pulmonary fibrosis. Gene burden analysis comparing 78 European cases and 2,816 controls implicated PARN, an exoribonuclease with no previous connection to telomere biology or disease, with five new heterozygous damaging mutations in unrelated cases and none in controls (P = 1.3 × 10(-8)); mutations were shared by all affected relatives (odds in favor of linkage = 4,096:1). RTEL1, an established locus for dyskeratosis congenita, harbored significantly more new damaging and missense variants at conserved residues in cases than in controls (P = 1.6 × 10(-6)). PARN and RTEL1 mutation carriers had shortened leukocyte telomere lengths, and we observed epigenetic inheritance of short telomeres in family members. Together, these genes explain ∼7% of familial pulmonary fibrosis and strengthen the link between lung fibrosis and telomere dysfunction.Nature Genetics 04/2015; 47(5). DOI:10.1038/ng.3278 · 29.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome and telomere biology disorder characterized by dysplastic nails, reticular skin pigmentation and oral leucoplakia. Androgens are a standard therapeutic option for bone marrow failure in those patients with DC who are unable to undergo haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, but there are no systematic data on its use in those patients. We evaluated haematological response and side effects of androgen therapy in 16 patients with DC in our observational cohort study. Untreated DC patients served as controls. Seventy percent of treated DC patients had a haematological response with red blood cell and/or platelet transfusion independence. The expected age-related decline in telomere length was noted in androgen-treated patients. All treated DC patients had at least one significant lipid abnormality. Additional treatment-related findings included a significant decrease in thyroid binding globulin, accelerated growth in pre-pubertal children and splenic peliosis in two patients. Liver enzymes were elevated in both androgen-treated and untreated patients, suggesting underlying liver involvement in DC. This study suggests that androgen therapy can be effectively used to treat bone marrow failure in DC, but that side effects need to be closely monitored.British Journal of Haematology 02/2014; DOI:10.1111/bjh.12748 · 4.96 Impact Factor
- American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 03/2015; 191(6):608-610. DOI:10.1164/rccm.201501-0119ED · 11.99 Impact Factor