[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cowpox virus (CPXV), a rodent-borne Orthopoxvirus (OPV) that is indigenous to Eurasia can infect humans, cattle, felidae and other animals. Molecular characterization of CPXVs isolated from different geographic locations is important for the understanding of their biology, geographic distribution, classification and evolution. Our aim was to characterize CPXVs isolated from Fennoscandia on the basis of A-type inclusion (ATI) phenotype, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) profiles of atip gene fragment amplicon, and phylogenetic tree topology in conjunction with the patristic and genetic distances based on full length DNA sequence of the atip and p4c genes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of disease causing, or putative disease causing, mutations in index patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) allows for genetic testing of family members. Relevant variants identified in index patients are of either definite, likely or uncertain pathogenicity. The main objective of this study was to make an evaluation of the family investigations performed as part of the assessment of genetic variants of unknown clinical significance (VUS).
Between 2004 and 2010 molecular genetic family investigations were requested for 87 family members from 41 families harbouring PMP22dup or genetic variants in GJB1, MPZ, MFN2 and NEFL. Relatives were tested for the family mutation and data from the requisitions were evaluated by means of statistical tools.
The results within each indication category are presented and discussed in detail. Twenty-two relatives (9 affected) from eight families were included in the segregation analyses, which invoked reclassification of three MFN2 mutations, two of which were de novo substitutions (c.2146_2148dup, c.692C > T). One MFN2 substitution was downgraded due to non-segregation (c.1709 A > G), and a MPZ substitution (c.103 G > A) upgraded due to segregation with the phenotype in the family.
The results allow for the evaluation of the patient phenotypes ascertained in families, as opposed to the phenotypic descriptions of index patients. They indicate that de novo MFN2 mutations are regularly found in patients with a classical CMT2 phenotype. They also demonstrate the importance of a precise clinical and neurophysiologic diagnosis of affected family members. This particularly applies for the examination of variants of uncertain clinical significance. Finally, the fact that 14,6 % of affected relatives tested for (probable or certain) pathogenic mutations were mutation negative, demonstrates that clinical evaluation alone is not always sufficient in order to determine their diagnosis. We believe that the results will aid in the estimation and planning of resources required for the various aspects of family evaluations in CMT.
BMC Medical Genetics 01/2014; 15(1):12. · 2.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current genetic test algorithms for Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) disease are based on family details and comprehensive clinical and neurophysiological data gathered under ideal conditions for clinical assessment. However, in a diagnostic laboratory setting relying on external test requisitions and patient samples, such conditions are not always met. Our objective was therefore to perform a retrospective evaluation of the data given in laboratory request forms and to assess their quality and applicability with regard to the recommended algorithms for CMT diagnostics. As we are the main test centre for CMT in Norway our results also provide an overview of the spectrum of gene defects in the Norwegian CMT population.
Genetic testing was performed according to polyneuropathy type; demyelinating/mixed: PMP22 duplication, MPZ, EGR2, LITAF, NEFL, PMP22, GJB1, axonal: MFN2, MPZ, NEFL, and GJB1.
Diagnostic testing of index patients was requested in 435 of the 549 cases. Seventy-two (16.6%) positive molecular genetic findings were made. The majority (94.6%) of mutation positive cases showed disease onset before 50 years of age. PMP22 (duplication), MPZ, GJB1 and MFN2 mutations constituted 95.8% of the positive findings. Within the nerve conduction study groups, mutation detection rates were; demyelinating 33.8%; mixed 29.0%; axonal 8.8%; unspecified 16.5%.
We suggest a simplified algorithm intended for referral centres, dealing with DNA/blood samples, which involves the assessment of age at onset and neurophysiological data followed by testing of four genes; PMP22 (duplication), MPZ, GJB1 and MFN2. Patients negative for mutations in those four genes should be subjected to evaluation at an interdisciplinary inherited neuropathy clinic with the capacity for extended molecular genetic analysis by next generation sequencing.
BMC Medical Genetics 09/2013; 14(1):94. · 2.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most alpha-mannosidosis patients described have been children and information on the natural course of the disorder has been based on a very limited number of observations. In order to assess the disease presentation in detail and to study disease characteristics, a study was started in 1991 and has been ongoing for over 20 years. Patients with confirmed alpha-mannosidosis were recruited through The International Society for Mannosidosis and Related Diseases (ISMRD) where families affected with alpha-mannosidosis received a questionnaire on general clinical information to be filled out by the responsible physician. The questionnaire was returned by 125 patients (64 %). Of these, 45 patients were 15 years old or older at the time of evaluation. The questionnaire allowed us to assess the following features: Facial dysmorphism, columnar disease, arthritis, myopathy, hearing impairment, mental impairment, psychosis, bone disease and motor function as well as general health. This study describes the progression of alpha-mannosidosis and may be helpful in determining the clinical characteristics for assessments of prognosis.
Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 06/2013; · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Alpha-mannosidosis (OMIM 248500) is a rare lysosomal storage disease (LSD) caused by alpha-mannosidase deficiency. Manifestations include intellectual disabilities, facial characteristics and hearing impairment. A recombinant human alpha-mannosidase (rhLAMAN) has been developed for weekly intravenous enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). We present the preliminary data after 12 months of treatment. METHODS: This is a phase I-II study to evaluate safety and efficacy of rhLAMAN. Ten patients (7-17 y) were treated. We investigated efficacy by testing motor function (6-minutes-Walk-Test (6-MWT), 3-min-Stair-Climb-Test (3-MSCT), The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT2), cognitive function (Leiter-R), oligosaccharides in serum, urine and CSF and Tau- and GFA-protein in CSF. RESULTS: Oligosaccharides: S-, U- and CSF-oligosaccharides decreased 88.6 % (CI -92.0 -85.2, p < 0.001), 54.1 % (CI -69.5- -38.7, p < 0,001), and 25.7 % (CI -44.3- -7.1, p < 0.05), respectively. Biomarkers: CSF-Tau- and GFA-protein decreased 15 %, p < 0.009) and 23.1 % (CI -54.4 -8.2, NS), respectively. Motor function: Improvements in 3MSCT (31 steps (CI 6.8-40.5, p < 0.01) and in 6MWT (60.4 m (CI -8.9 -51.1, NS) were achieved. Cognitive function: Improvement in the total Equivalence Age of 4 months (0.34) was achieved in the Leiter R test (CI -0.2-0.8, NS). CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that rhLAMAN may be an encouraging new treatment for patients with alpha-mannosidosis.The study is designed to continue for a total of 18 months. Longer-term follow-up of patients in this study and the future placebo-controlled phase 3 trial are needed to provide greater support for the findings in this study.
Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 03/2013; · 4.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutant genes associated with Charcot Marie Tooth type 2, distal hereditary motor neuropathy and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may cause overlapping clinical phenotypes. We performed whole genome linkage analysis, haplotype analysis, sequencing and detailed clinical and neurophysiological investigations in a large Norwegian kindred with a condition that clinically had been classified as Charcot Marie Tooth type 2. The mutation c.140A>G, p.His47Arg (alias p.His46Arg or H46R) in the superoxide dismutase 1 gene (SOD1) segregated with the disease. The patients present a hereditary motor neuropathy-like clinical picture and long survival (mean 29years). To our knowledge, this is the first extensive report describing a large non-Japanese kindred. The prognostic implications of the condition seen in this family have little in common with what is normally associated with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and illustrates the complexity of the genetic etiology of lower motor neuron disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The lysosomal storage disorder alpha-mannosidosis is caused by deficiency of the enzyme lysosomal alpha-mannosidase (MAN2B1). In this study, 96 disease-associated sequence variants were identified in 130 unrelated alpha-mannosidosis patients from 30 countries. Eighty-three novel variants were detected, extending the mutation spectrum from 42 to 125. In total, 256 of the 260 mutant alleles (98.5%) were identified. Most of the variants were unique to each family, however, c.2248C>T (p.Arg750Trp) was detected in 50 patients from 16 countries, and accounted for 27.3% of the disease alleles. Haplotype analysis revealed that the c.2248T variant was present on four MAN2B1 haplotype backgrounds, where one major haplotype accounted for 95% of the alleles. The distribution of the c.2248T-associated haplotypes differed remarkably from those of the control populations, suggesting that c.2248C>T has occurred on a few ancestral haplotypes where the major haplotype subsequently has spread by founder effects. The disease-associated missense mutations were introduced into the human MAN2B1 cDNA, expressed in cell culture and assayed for MAN2B1 activity. The majority of the variants were inactive, however, ten showed MAN2B1 activity above background, and more detailed studies are necessary to further evaluate the pathogenicity of these variants.
Human Mutation 12/2011; 33(3):511-20. · 5.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: α-Mannosidosis is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the MAN2B1 gene. The clinical presentation of α-mannosidosis is variable, but typically includes mental retardation, skeletal abnormalities and immune deficiency. In order to understand the molecular aetiology of α-mannosidosis, we describe here the subcellular localization and intracellular processing of 35 MAN2B1 variants, including 29 novel missense mutations. In addition, we have analysed the impact of the individual mutations on the three-dimensional structure of the human MAN2B1. We categorize the MAN2B1 missense mutations into four different groups based on their intracellular processing, transport and secretion in cell culture. Impaired transport to the lysosomes is a frequent cause of pathogenicity and correlates with a lack of protein processing (groups 1 and 3). Mutant MAN2B1 proteins that find their way to the lysosomes are processed, but less efficiently than the wild-types (groups 2 and 4). The described four categories of missense mutations likely represent different pathogenic mechanisms. We demonstrate that the severity of individual mutations cannot be determined based only on their position in the sequence. Pathogenic mutations cluster into amino acids which have an important role on the domain interface (arginines) or on the folding of the enzyme (prolines, glycines, cysteines). Tolerated mutations generally include surface mutations and changes without drastic alteration of residue volume. The expression system and structural details presented here provide opportunities for the development of pharmacological therapy by screening or design of small molecules that might assist MAN2B1 folding and hence, transport and activity.
Human Molecular Genetics 07/2011; 20(13):2651-61. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy type 2I (LGMD2I) is an inheritable autosomal, recessive disorder caused by mutations in the FuKutin-Related Protein (FKRP) gene (FKRP) located on chromosome 19 (19q13.3). Mutations in FKRP are also associated with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy (MDC1C), Walker-Warburg Syndrome (WWS) and Muscle Eye Brain disease (MEB). These four disorders share in common an incomplete/aberrant O-glycosylation of the membrane/extracellular matrix (ECM) protein α-dystroglycan. However, further knowledge on the FKRP structure and biological function is lacking, and its intracellular location is controversial. Based on immunogold electron microscopy of human skeletal muscle sections we demonstrate that FKRP co-localises with the middle-to-trans-Golgi marker MG160, between the myofibrils in human rectus femoris muscle fibres. Chemical cross-linking experiments followed by pairwise yeast 2-hybrid experiments, and co-immune precipitation, demonstrate that FKRP can exist as homodimers as well as in large multimeric protein complexes when expressed in cell culture. The FKRP homodimer is kept together by a disulfide bridge provided by the most N-terminal cysteine, Cys6. FKRP contains N-glycan of high mannose and/or hybrid type; however, FKRP N-glycosylation is not required for FKRP homodimer or multimer formation. We propose a model for FKRP which is consistent with that of a Golgi resident type II transmembrane protein.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(8):e22968. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myotonia is characterized by hyperexcitability of the muscle cell membrane. Myotonic disorders are divided into two main categories: non-dystrophic and dystrophic myotonias. The non-dystrophic myotonias involve solely the muscle system, whereas the dystrophic myotonias are characterized by multisystem involvement and additional muscle weakness. Each category is further subdivided into different groups according to additional clinical features or/and underlying genetic defects. However, the phenotypes and the pathological mechanisms of these myotonic disorders are still not entirely understood. Currently, four genes are identified to be involved in myotonia: the muscle voltage-gated sodium and chloride channel genes SCN4A and CLCN1, the myotonic dystrophy protein kinase (DMPK) gene, and the CCHC-type zinc finger, nucleic acid binding protein gene CNBP. Additional gene(s) and/or modifying factor(s) remain to be identified. In this study, we investigated a large Norwegian family with clinically different presentations of myotonic disorders. Molecular analysis revealed CCTG repeat expansions in the CNBP gene in all affected members, confirming that they have myotonic dystrophy type 2. However, a CLCN1 mutation c.1238C>G, causing p.Phe413Cys, was also identified in several affected family members. Heterozygosity for p.Phe413Cys seems to exaggerate the severity of myotonia and thereby, to some degree, contributing to the pronounced variability in the myotonic phenotype in this family.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the FKRP (Fukutin Related Protein) gene produce a range of phenotypes including Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2I (LGMD2I). In order to investigate the prevalence, the mutation spectrum and possible genotype-phenotype correlation, we studied a cohort of Norwegian patients with LGMD2I, ascertained in a 4-year period. In this retrospective study of genetically tested patients, we identified 88 patients from 69 families, who were either homozygous or compound heterozygous for FKRP mutations. This gives a minimum prevalence of 1/54,000 and a corresponding carrier frequency of 1/116 in the Norwegian population. Seven different FKRP mutations, including three novel changes, were detected. Seventy-six patients were homozygous for the common c.826C>A mutation. These patients had later disease onset than patients who were compound heterozygous - 14.0 vs. 6.1 years. We detected substantial variability in disease severity among homozygous patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cowpox virus (CPXV), a member of the genus Orthopoxvirus (OPV), has reservoirs in small mammals and may cause disease in humans, felidae and other animals. In this study we compared CPXVs isolated from humans and cats in Fennoscandia by restriction enzyme and DNA sequence analysis. The HindIII restriction profiles clearly distinguished geographically distinct CPXV isolates, whereas only minor differences were found between the profiles of geographically linked isolates. The complete gene sequences encoding the cytokine response modifier B, the hemagglutinin and the Chinese hamster ovary host range protein were determined for the same isolates and included in phylogenetic analysis. By including representative OPV sequences from GenBank, detailed comparative analyses were performed showing pronounced heterogeneity among CPXVs compared to members of other OPV species. However, a close relationship between the Norwegian (3 of 4 isolates) and Swedish isolates was detected, whereas the isolate from Finland was more closely related to a Russian isolate for all three genes compared. We infer that the investigated CPXVs have distinct evolutionary histories in different rodent lineages.
Archives of Virology 08/2009; 154(8):1293-302. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some orthopoxviruses produce large proteinaceous intracellular bodies, known as A-type inclusions (ATIs) during infection of host cells. Virions associate with ATIs resulting in distinct phenotypes referred to as V+, V+/ and V⁻. The phenotype V+ has the virions embedded in the ATI matrix; V⁻ has no virions embedded within or on the surface of the ATI matrix, whereas an aberrant phenotype, the V+/ has virions only on the surface of ATIs. Viruses that do not produce ATI are designated as V⁰. Recombinant viruses generated from a V+ cowpox virus (CPXV) and a V⁰ transgenic vaccinia virus (VACV) produced aberrant V+/ ATIs. ATI phenotype is dependent on the A-type inclusion protein (Atip) and the P4c protein. We sequenced the atip and p4c genes of parental and progeny recombinant viruses as well as their flanking sequences. The atip and p4c open reading frames were identical in parental V+ CPXV and hybrid V+/ progenies. Our results suggest that additional viral gene(s) are required for the formation of wild type V+ ATI.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Poxvirus-vectored vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer are currently under development. We hypothesized that the extensive use of poxvirus-vectored vaccine in future might result in co-infection and recombination between the vaccine virus and naturally occurring poxviruses, resulting in hybrid viruses with unpredictable characteristics. Previously, we confirmed that co-infecting in vitro a Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) strain engineered to express influenza virus haemagglutinin (HA) and nucleoprotein (NP) genes with a naturally occurring cowpox virus (CPXV-NOH1) resulted in recombinant progeny viruses (H Hansen, MI Okeke, Ø Nilssen, T Traavik, Vaccine 23: 499-506, 2004). In this study we analyzed the biological properties of parental and progeny hybrid viruses.
Five CPXV/MVA progeny viruses were isolated based on plaque phenotype and the expression of influenza virus HA protein. Progeny hybrid viruses displayed in vitro cell line tropism of CPXV-NOH1, but not that of MVA. The HA transgene or its expression was lost on serial passage of transgenic viruses and the speed at which HA expression was lost varied with cell lines. The HA transgene in the progeny viruses or its expression was stable in African Green Monkey derived Vero cells but became unstable in rat derived IEC-6 cells. Hybrid viruses lacking the HA transgene have higher levels of virus multiplication in mammalian cell lines and produced more enveloped virions than the transgene positive progenitor virus strain. Analysis of the subcellular localization of the transgenic HA protein showed that neither virus strain nor cell line have effect on the subcellular targets of the HA protein. The influenza virus HA protein was targeted to enveloped virions, plasma membrane, Golgi apparatus and cytoplasmic vesicles.
Our results suggest that homologous recombination between poxvirus-vectored vaccine and naturally circulating poxviruses, genetic instability of the transgene, accumulation of non-transgene expressing vectors or hybrid virus progenies, as well as cell line/type specific selection against the transgene are potential complications that may result if poxvirus vectored vaccines are extensively used in animals and man.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Usher syndrome type II (USH2) is an autosomal recessive disorder, characterised by moderate to severe high-frequency hearing impairment, normal balance function and progressive visual impairment due to retinitis pigmentosa. Usher syndrome type IIa, the most common subtype, is defined by mutations in the USH2A gene encoding a short and a recently discovered long usherin isoform comprising 21 and 73 exons, respectively. More than 120 different disease-causing mutations have been reported, however, most of the previous reports concern mutations restricted to exons 1-21 of the USH2A gene. To explore the spectrum of USH2A disease-causing mutations among Scandinavian USH2 cases, patients from 118 unrelated families of which 27 previously had been found to carry mutations in exons 1-21 were subjected to extensive DNA sequence analysis of the full size USH2A gene. Altogether, 122 USH2A DNA sequence alterations were identified of which 57 were predicted to be disease-causing, 7 were considered to be of uncertain pathogenicity and 58 were predicted to be benign variants. Of 36 novel pathogenic USH2A mutations 31 were located in exons 22-73, specific to the long isoform. USH2A mutations were identified in 89/118 (75.4%) families. In 79/89 (88.8%) of these families two pathogenic mutations were identified whereas in 10/89 (11.2%) families the second mutation remained unidentified. In 5/118 (4.2%) families the USH phenotype could be explained by mutations in the USH3A gene. The results presented here provide a comprehensive picture of the genetic aetiology of Usher syndrome type IIA in Scandinavia as it is known to date.
Human Mutation 04/2008; 29(3):451. · 5.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phenotypic expression of disorders caused by point mutations, deletions or depletions within the mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) is heterogeneous. This relates to the phenomena of heteroplasmy, tissue threshold as well as the distribution of mutant DNA among tissues. Hence, the diagnostics of these disorders demands highly specific, sensitive and quantitative methods.
We have developed an allele-specific quantitative real-time PCR method for the detection of two of the most prevalent disease causing mitochondrial mutations, m.3243A>G (MELAS) and m.8993T>G (NARP). Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA) modified primers were used to obtain high allele specificity. In order to monitor mtDNA depletion a real-time method for mtDNA/nuclear DNA copy number ratio determination was developed.
Rapid and sensitive detection and quantification of MELAS and NARP mtDNA alleles were achieved. Heteroplasmy levels as low as 0.01% could be detected, and the mtDNA/nuclear DNA ratio could be determined.
The present method that allows simultaneous determination of heteroplasmy levels and mtDNA/nuclear DNA copy number ratio, will provide a useful tool in molecular diagnostics and in future epidemiological studies of mitochondrial diseases.