Next-generation sequencing in molecular diagnosis: NUBPL mutations highlight the challenges of variant detection and interpretation.
ABSTRACT Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is transitioning from being a research tool to being used in routine genetic diagnostics, where a major challenge is distinguishing which of many sequence variants in an individual are truly pathogenic. We describe some limitations of in silico analyses of NGS data that emphasize the need for experimental confirmation. Using NGS, we recently identified an apparently homozygous missense mutation in NUBPL in a patient with mitochondrial complex I deficiency. Causality was established via lentiviral correction studies with wild-type NUBPL cDNA. NGS data, however, provided an incomplete understanding of the genetic abnormality. We show that the maternal allele carries an unbalanced inversion, while the paternal allele carries a branch-site mutation in addition to the missense mutation. We demonstrate that the branch-site mutation, which is present in approximately one of 120 control chromosomes, likely contributes to pathogenicity and may be one of the most common autosomal mutations causing mitochondrial dysfunction. Had these analyses not been performed following NGS, the original missense mutation may be incorrectly annotated as pathogenic and a potentially common pathogenic variant not detected. It is important that locus-specific databases contain accurate information on pathogenic variation. NGS data, therefore, require rigorous experimental follow-up to confirm mutation pathogenicity.
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ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) is responsible for generating the majority of cellular ATP. Complex III (ubiquinol-cytochrome c oxidoreductase) is the third of five OXPHOS complexes. Complex III assembly relies on the coordinated expression of the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes, with 10 subunits encoded by nuclear DNA and one by mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Complex III deficiency is a debilitating and often fatal disorder that can arise from mutations in complex III subunit genes or one of three known complex III assembly factors. The molecular cause for complex III deficiency in about half of cases, however, is unknown and there are likely many complex III assembly factors yet to be identified. Here, we used Massively Parallel Sequencing to identify a homozygous splicing mutation in the gene encoding Ubiquinol-Cytochrome c Reductase Complex Assembly Factor 2 (UQCC2) in a consanguineous Lebanese patient displaying complex III deficiency, severe intrauterine growth retardation, neonatal lactic acidosis and renal tubular dysfunction. We prove causality of the mutation via lentiviral correction studies in patient fibroblasts. Sequence-profile based orthology prediction shows UQCC2 is an ortholog of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae complex III assembly factor, Cbp6p, although its sequence has diverged substantially. Co-purification studies show that UQCC2 interacts with UQCC1, the predicted ortholog of the Cbp6p binding partner, Cbp3p. Fibroblasts from the patient with UQCC2 mutations have deficiency of UQCC1, while UQCC1-depleted cells have reduced levels of UQCC2 and complex III. We show that UQCC1 binds the newly synthesized mtDNA-encoded cytochrome b subunit of complex III and that UQCC2 patient fibroblasts have specific defects in the synthesis or stability of cytochrome b. This work reveals a new cause for complex III deficiency that can assist future patient diagnosis, and provides insight into human complex III assembly by establishing that UQCC1 and UQCC2 are complex III assembly factors participating in cytochrome b biogenesis.PLoS Genetics 12/2013; 9(12):e1004034. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Massively parallel sequencing (MPS) has become a powerful tool for the clinical management of patients with applications in diagnosis, guidance of treatment, prediction of drug response, and carrier screening. A considerable challenge for the clinical implementation of these technologies is the management of the vast amount of sequence data generated, in particular the annotation and clinical interpretation of genomic variants. Here, we describe annotation steps that can be automated and common strategies employed for variant prioritization. The definition of best practice standards for variant annotation and prioritization is still ongoing; at present, there is limited consensus regarding an optimal clinical sequencing pipeline. We provide considerations to help define these. For the first time, clinical genetics and genomics is not limited by our ability to sequence, but our ability to clinically interpret and use genomic information in health management. We argue that the development of standardised variant annotation and interpretation approaches and software tools implementing these warrants further support. As we gain a better understanding of the significance of genomic variation through research, patients will be able to benefit from the full scope that these technologies offer. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.Human Mutation 02/2014; · 5.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Work during the past 14 years has shown that mitochondria are the primary site for the biosynthesis of iron-sulfur (Fe/S) clusters. In fact, it is this process that renders mitochondria essential for viability of virtually all eukaryotes, because they participate in the synthesis of the Fe/S clusters of key nuclear and cytosolic proteins such as DNA polymerases, DNA helicases, and ABCE1 (Rli1), an ATPase involved in protein synthesis. As a consequence, mitochondrial function is crucial for nuclear DNA synthesis and repair, ribosomal protein synthesis, and numerous other extra-mitochondrial pathways including nucleotide metabolism and cellular iron regulation. Within mitochondria, the synthesis of Fe/S clusters and their insertion into apoproteins is assisted by 17 proteins forming the ISC (iron-sulfur cluster) assembly machinery. Biogenesis of mitochondrial Fe/S proteins can be dissected into three main steps: First, a Fe/S cluster is generated de novo on a scaffold protein. Second, the Fe/S cluster is dislocated from the scaffold and transiently bound to transfer proteins. Third, the latter components, together with specific ISC targeting factors insert the Fe/S cluster into client apoproteins. Disturbances of the first two steps impair the maturation of extra-mitochondrial Fe/S proteins and affect cellular and systemic iron homeostasis. In line with the essential function of mitochondria, genetic mutations in a number of ISC genes lead to severe neurological, hematological and metabolic diseases, often with a fatal outcome in early childhood. In this review we briefly summarize our current functional knowledge on the ISC assembly machinery, and we present a comprehensive overview of the various Fe/S protein assembly diseases.Biochimie 01/2014; · 3.14 Impact Factor