A systematic, large-scale resequencing screen of X-chromosome coding exons in mental retardation.
ABSTRACT 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.
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ABSTRACT: Comparisons of DNA polymorphism within species to divergence between species enables the discovery of molecular adaptation in evolutionarily constrained genes as well as the differentiation of weak from strong purifying selection. The extent to which weak negative and positive darwinian selection have driven the molecular evolution of different species varies greatly, with some species, such as Drosophila melanogaster, showing strong evidence of pervasive positive selection, and others, such as the selfing weed Arabidopsis thaliana, showing an excess of deleterious variation within local populations. Here we contrast patterns of coding sequence polymorphism identified by direct sequencing of 39 humans for over 11,000 genes to divergence between humans and chimpanzees, and find strong evidence that natural selection has shaped the recent molecular evolution of our species. Our analysis discovered 304 (9.0%) out of 3,377 potentially informative loci showing evidence of rapid amino acid evolution. Furthermore, 813 (13.5%) out of 6,033 potentially informative loci show a paucity of amino acid differences between humans and chimpanzees, indicating weak negative selection and/or balancing selection operating on mutations at these loci. We find that the distribution of negatively and positively selected genes varies greatly among biological processes and molecular functions, and that some classes, such as transcription factors, show an excess of rapidly evolving genes, whereas others, such as cytoskeletal proteins, show an excess of genes with extensive amino acid polymorphism within humans and yet little amino acid divergence between humans and chimpanzees.Nature 11/2005; 437(7062):1153-7. · 36.28 Impact Factor
Article: Array-based comparative genomic hybridization for the genomewide detection of submicroscopic chromosomal abnormalities.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Microdeletions and microduplications, not visible by routine chromosome analysis, are a major cause of human malformation and mental retardation. Novel high-resolution, whole-genome technologies can improve the diagnostic detection rate of these small chromosomal abnormalities. Array-based comparative genomic hybridization allows such a high-resolution screening by hybridizing differentially labeled test and reference DNAs to arrays consisting of thousands of genomic clones. In this study, we tested the diagnostic capacity of this technology using approximately 3,500 flourescent in situ hybridization-verified clones selected to cover the genome with an average of 1 clone per megabase (Mb). The sensitivity and specificity of the technology were tested in normal-versus-normal control experiments and through the screening of patients with known microdeletion syndromes. Subsequently, a series of 20 cytogenetically normal patients with mental retardation and dysmorphisms suggestive of a chromosomal abnormality were analyzed. In this series, three microdeletions and two microduplications were identified and validated. Two of these genomic changes were identified also in one of the parents, indicating that these are large-scale genomic polymorphisms. Deletions and duplications as small as 1 Mb could be reliably detected by our approach. The percentage of false-positive results was reduced to a minimum by use of a dye-swap-replicate analysis, all but eliminating the need for laborious validation experiments and facilitating implementation in a routine diagnostic setting. This high-resolution assay will facilitate the identification of novel genes involved in human mental retardation and/or malformation syndromes and will provide insight into the flexibility and plasticity of the human genome.The American Journal of Human Genetics 01/2004; 73(6):1261-70. · 10.60 Impact Factor