Mutations in CLN7/MFSD8 are a common cause of variant late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics, Department of Medical Genetics and Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki, Finland.
Brain (Impact Factor: 10.23). 02/2009; 132(Pt 3):810-9. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awn366
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs), the most common neurodegenerative disorders of childhood, are characterized by the accumulation of autofluorescent storage material mainly in neurons. Although clinically rather uniform, variant late-infantile onset NCL (vLINCL) is genetically heterogeneous with four major underlying genes identified so far. We evaluated the genetic background underlying vLINCL in 119 patients, and specifically analysed the recently reported CLN7/MFSD8 gene for mutations in 80 patients. Clinical data were collected from the CLN7/MFSD8 mutation positive patients. Eight novel CLN7/MFSD8 mutations and seven novel mutations in the CLN1/PPT1, CLN2/TPP1, CLN5, CLN6 and CLN8 genes were identified in patients of various ethnic origins. A significant group of Roma patients originating from the former Czechoslovakia was shown to bear the c.881C>A (p.Thr294Lys) mutation in CLN7/MFSD8, possibly due to a founder effect. With one exception, the CLN7/MFSD8 mutation positive patients present a phenotype indistinguishable from the other vLINCL forms. In one patient with an in-frame amino acid substitution mutation in CLN7/MFSD8, the disease onset was later and the disease course less aggressive than in variant late-infantile NCL. Our findings raise the total number of CLN7/MFSD8 mutations to 14 with the majority of families having private mutations. Our study confirms that CLN7/MFSD8 defects are not restricted to the Turkish population, as initially anticipated, but are a relatively common cause of NCL in different populations. CLN7/MFSD8 should be considered a diagnostic alternative not only in variant late-infantile but also later onset NCL forms with a more protracted disease course. A significant number of NCL patients in Turkey exist, in which the underlying genetic defect remains to be determined.

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    ABSTRACT: Background The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are heritable lysosomal storage diseases characterized by progressive neurological impairment and the accumulation of autofluorescent storage granules in neurons and other cell types. Various forms of human neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis have been attributed to mutations in at least 13 different genes. So far, mutations in the canine orthologs of 7 of these genes have been identified in DNA from dogs with neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. The identification of new causal mutations could lead to the establishment of canine models to investigate the pathogenesis of the corresponding human neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses and to evaluate and optimize therapeutic interventions for these fatal human diseases.Case presentationWe obtained blood and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded brain sections from a rescue dog that was reported to be a young adult Chinese Crested. The dog was euthanized at approximately 19 months of age as a consequence of progressive neurological decline that included blindness, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. A diagnosis of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis was made based on neurological signs, magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, and fluorescence microscopic and electron microscopic examination of brain sections. We isolated DNA from the blood and used it to generate a whole genome sequence with 33-fold average coverage. Among the 7.2 million potential sequence variants revealed by aligning the sequence reads to the canine genome reference sequence was a homozygous single base pair deletion in the canine ortholog of one of 13 known human NCL genes: MFSD8:c.843delT. MFSD8:c.843delT is predicted to cause a frame shift and premature stop codon resulting in a truncated protein, MFSD8:p.F282Lfs13*, missing its 239 C-terminal amino acids. The MFSD8:c.843delT allele is absent from the whole genome sequences of 101 healthy canids or dogs with other diseases. The genotyping of archived DNA from 1478 Chinese Cresteds did not identify any additional MFSD8:c.843delT homozygotes and found only one heterozygote.Conclusion We conclude that the neurodegenerative disease of the Chinese Crested rescue dog was neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and that homozygosity for the MFSD8:c.843delT sequence variant was very likely to be the molecular-genetic cause of the disease.
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the major facilitator superfamily domain containing 8 (MFSD8) gene coding for the lysosomal CLN7 membrane protein result in CLN7 disease, a lysosomal storage disease of childhood. CLN7 disease belongs to a group of inherited disorders, called neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL), which are characterized by the accumulation of autofluorescent ceroid lipopigments, neuroinflammation, photoreceptor- and neurodegeneration. We have disrupted the Mfsd8 gene by insertion of a lacZ gene-trap cassette between exon 1 and 2 in mice and have analysed the impact of Cln7 depletion on neuronal and visceral tissues. Analysis of lacZ reporter gene activity in heterozygous Mfsd8((wt/tm1a)) mice showed strong Mfsd8 mRNA expression in the cerebral cortex, in the hippocampus and in the kidney. Homozygous Mfsd8((tm1a/tm1a)) mice were viable and fertile and resembled biochemically the NCL-phenotype of human CLN7 patients including the accumulation of autofluorescent material in the brain and peripheral tissues and of subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase in the cerebellum and nuclei of distinct brain regions, and the degeneration of photoreceptor cells in the retina. Lysosomal storage was found in large neurons of the medulla, the hippocampus and in Purkinje cells of the cerebellum in mutant mice. The ultrastructure of the storage material revealed dense lamellar bodies with irregular forms within cerebellar and hippocampal neurons. In the brain loss of Cln7 was accompanied by mild reactive microgliosis and subtle astrogliosis by 10 months of age, respectively. In summary we have generated a mouse model which is partly valuable as some but not all neuropathological features of human CLN7 disease are recapitulated thus representing an animal model to study CLN7-specific disease mechanisms.
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