Neurologic Features and Genotype-Phenotype Correlation in Wolfram Syndrome
ABSTRACT Wolfram syndrome (WS) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder characterized by juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus and optic atrophy. Our aim was to describe the nature and the frequency of the neurologic manifestations, which had been poorly studied until now.
We performed a detailed clinical study with genotype-phenotype correlation in a series of 59 patients with WS.
The onset of neurologic symptoms, with a median age of 15 years, was much earlier than previously reported. Cognitive impairment, which was not frequent in previous reports, was observed in 32% of patients with neurologic signs. Like epilepsy, it was mainly found in patients who developed neurologic signs before 15 years of age. In contrast to previous series, we also found malformations of cortical development on magnetic resonance imaging in epileptic children and white matter involvement, including diffuse leukoencephalopathy, in adult patients. We identified 109 mutated alleles corresponding to 56 different mutations of the WFS1 gene, among which 10 were novel. Homozygosity or compound heterozygosity for missense mutation does not seem to influence the age of onset and the occurrence of neurologic complications. However, an interesting point concerns a possible correlation between the location of the mutations and the development of the neurologic manifestations.
This series concerns the largest cohort of WS patients reported to date. It illustrates the wide variety of neurologic signs in this syndrome and the necessity of rapid therapeutic coverage to improve the prognosis.
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ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial dysfunction in Wolfram Syndrome (WS) is controversial and optic neuropathy, a cardinal clinical manifestation, is poorly characterized. We here describe the histopathological features in postmortem retinas and optic nerves (ONs) from one patient with WS testing the hypothesis that mitochondrial dysfunction underlies the pathology. Eyes and retrobulbar ONs were obtained at autopsy from a WS patient, and compared with those of a Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) patient and one healthy control. Retinas were stained with hematoxylin & eosin for general morphology and ONs were immunostained for myelin basic protein (MBP). Immunostained ONs were examined in four "quadrants": superior, inferior, nasal, and temporal. The WS retinas displayed a severe loss of retinal ganglion cells in the macular region similar to the LHON retina, but not in the control. The WS ONs, immunostained for MBP, revealed a zone of degeneration in the inferior and temporal quadrants. This pattern was similar to that seen in the LHON ONs but not in the control. Thus, the WS patient displayed a distinct pattern of optic atrophy observed bilaterally in the temporal and inferior quadrants of the ONs. This arrangement of axonal degeneration, involving primarily the papillomacular bundle, closely resembled LHON and other mitochondrial optic neuropathies, supporting that mitochondrial dysfunction underlies its pathogenesis.Mitochondrion 06/2013; 13(6). DOI:10.1016/j.mito.2013.05.013 · 3.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Wolfram Syndrome (WS) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by Diabetes Insipidus, Diabetes Mellitus, Optic Atrophy, and Deafness identified by the acronym "DIDMOAD". The WS gene, WFS1, encodes a transmembrane protein called Wolframin, which recent evidence suggests may serve as a novel endoplasmic reticulum calcium channel in pancreatic β-cells and neurons. WS is a rare disease, with an estimated prevalence of 1/550.000 children, with a carrier frequency of 1/354. The aim of our study was to determine the genotype of WS patients in order to establish a genotype/phenotype correlation. We clinically evaluated 9 young patients from 9 unrelated families (6 males, 3 females). Basic criteria for WS clinical diagnosis were coexistence of insulin-treated diabetes mellitus and optic atrophy occurring before 15 years of age. Genetic analysis for WFS1 was performed by direct sequencing. Molecular sequencing revealed 5 heterozygous compound and 3 homozygous mutations. All of them were located in exon 8, except one in exon 4. In one proband only an heterozygous mutation (A684V) was found. Two new variants c.2663 C>A and c.1381 A>C were detected. Our study increases the spectrum of WFS1 mutations with two novel variants. The male patient carrying the compound mutation [c.1060_1062delTTC]+[c.2663 C>A] showed the most severe phenotype: diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy (visual acuity 5/10), deafness with deep auditory bilaterally 8000 Hz, diabetes insipidus associated to reduced volume of posterior pituitary and pons. He died in bed at the age of 13 years. The other patient carrying the compound mutation [c.409_424dup16]+[c.1381 A>C] showed a less severe phenotype (DM, OA).PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e29150. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0029150 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial diseases comprise a diverse set of clinical disorders that affect multiple organ systems with varying severity and age of onset. Due to their clinical and genetic heterogeneity, these diseases are difficult to diagnose. We have developed a targeted exome sequencing approach to improve our ability to properly diagnose mitochondrial diseases and apply it here to an individual patient. Our method targets mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the exons of 1,600 nuclear genes involved in mitochondrial biology or Mendelian disorders with multi-system phenotypes, thereby allowing for simultaneous evaluation of multiple disease loci. Targeted exome sequencing was performed on a patient initially suspected to have a mitochondrial disorder. The patient presented with diabetes mellitus, diffuse brain atrophy, autonomic neuropathy, optic nerve atrophy, and a severe amnestic syndrome. Further work-up revealed multiple heteroplasmic mtDNA deletions as well as profound thiamine deficiency without a clear nutritional cause. Targeted exome sequencing revealed a homozygous c.1672C > T (p.R558C) missense mutation in exon 8 of WFS1 that has previously been reported in a patient with Wolfram syndrome. This case demonstrates how clinical application of next-generation sequencing technology can enhance the diagnosis of patients suspected to have rare genetic disorders. Furthermore, the finding of unexplained thiamine deficiency in a patient with Wolfram syndrome suggests a potential link between WFS1 biology and thiamine metabolism that has implications for the clinical management of Wolfram syndrome patients.BMC Medical Genetics 01/2012; 13:3. DOI:10.1186/1471-2350-13-3 · 2.45 Impact Factor