[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common birth defect worldwide and are a leading cause of neonatal mortality. Nonsyndromic atrioventricular septal defects (AVSDs) are an important subtype of CHDs for which the genetic architecture is poorly understood. We performed exome sequencing in 13 parent-offspring trios and 112 unrelated individuals with nonsyndromic AVSDs and identified five rare missense variants (two of which arose de novo) in the highly conserved gene NR2F2, a very significant enrichment (p = 7.7 × 10(-7)) compared to 5,194 control subjects. We identified three additional CHD-affected families with other variants in NR2F2 including a de novo balanced chromosomal translocation, a de novo substitution disrupting a splice donor site, and a 3 bp duplication that cosegregated in a multiplex family. NR2F2 encodes a pleiotropic developmental transcription factor, and decreased dosage of NR2F2 in mice has been shown to result in abnormal development of atrioventricular septa. Via luciferase assays, we showed that all six coding sequence variants observed in individuals significantly alter the activity of NR2F2 on target promoters.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 04/2014; 94(4):574-85. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: -Association between the C677T polymorphism of the methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene and congenital heart disease (CHD) is contentious.
-We compared genotypes between CHD cases and controls, and between mothers of CHD cases and controls. We placed our results in context by conducting meta-analyses of previously published studies. Among 5,814 cases with primary genotype data and 10,056 controls, there was no evidence of association between MTHFR C677T genotype and CHD risk (OR 0.96 [95% CI 0.87-1.07]). A random-effects meta-analysis of all studies (involving 7,697 cases and 13,125 controls) suggested the presence of association (OR 1.25 [95% CI 1.03-1.51]; p=0.022), but with substantial heterogeneity among contributing studies (I(2)=64.4%), and evidence of publication bias. Meta-analysis of large studies only (defined by a variance of the log OR less than 0.05), which together contributed 83% of all cases, yielded no evidence of association (OR 0.97 [95% CI 0.91-1.03]), without significant heterogeneity (I(2)=0). Moreover, meta-analysis of 1,781 mothers of CHD cases (829 of whom were genotyped in this study) and 19,861 controls revealed no evidence of association between maternal C677T genotype and risk of CHD in offspring (OR 1.13 [95% CI 0.87-1.47]). There was no significant association between MTHFR genotype and CHD risk in large studies from regions with different levels of dietary folate.
-The MTHFR C677T polymorphism, which directly influences plasma folate levels, is not associated with CHD risk. Publication biases appear to substantially contaminate the literature with regard to this genetic association.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of congenital heart disease (CHD). Our discovery cohort comprised 1,995 CHD cases and 5,159 controls and included affected individuals from each of the 3 major clinical CHD categories (with septal, obstructive and cyanotic defects). When all CHD phenotypes were considered together, no region achieved genome-wide significant association. However, a region on chromosome 4p16, adjacent to the MSX1 and STX18 genes, was associated (P = 9.5 × 10(-7)) with the risk of ostium secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) in the discovery cohort (N = 340 cases), and this association was replicated in a further 417 ASD cases and 2,520 controls (replication P = 5.0 × 10(-5); odds ratio (OR) in replication cohort = 1.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.19-1.65; combined P = 2.6 × 10(-10)). Genotype accounted for ∼9% of the population-attributable risk of ASD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a genome-wide association study to search for risk alleles associated with Tetralogy of Fallot, using a northern European discovery set of 835 cases and 5159 controls. A region on chromosome 12q24 was associated (P=1.4×10(-7)) and replicated convincingly (P=3.9×10(-5)) in 798 cases and 2931 controls (per allele OR=1.27 in replication cohort, P=7.7×10(-11) in combined populations). SNPs in the glypican 5 gene (GPC5) on chromosome 13q32 were also associated (P=1.7×10(-7)) and replicated convincingly (P=1.2×10(-5)) in 789 cases and 2927 controls (per allele OR=1.31 in replication cohort, P=3.03×10(-11) in combined populations). Four additional regions on chromosomes 10, 15 and 16 showed suggestive association accompanied by nominal replication. This study, the first genome-wide association study of a congenital heart malformation phenotype, provides evidence that common genetic variation influences the risk of Tetralogy of Fallot.
Human Molecular Genetics 01/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have shown that copy-number variants (CNVs) contribute to the risk of complex developmental phenotypes. However, the contribution of global CNV burden to the risk of sporadic congenital heart disease (CHD) remains incompletely defined. We generated genome-wide CNV data by using Illumina 660W-Quad SNP arrays in 2,256 individuals with CHD, 283 trio CHD-affected families, and 1,538 controls. We found association of rare genic deletions with CHD risk (odds ratio [OR] = 1.8, p = 0.0008). Rare deletions in study participants with CHD had higher gene content (p = 0.001) with higher haploinsufficiency scores (p = 0.03) than they did in controls, and they were enriched with Wnt-signaling genes (p = 1 × 10(-5)). Recurrent 15q11.2 deletions were associated with CHD risk (OR = 8.2, p = 0.02). Rare de novo CNVs were observed in ∼5% of CHD trios; 10 out of 11 occurred on the paternally transmitted chromosome (p = 0.01). Some of the rare de novo CNVs spanned genes known to be involved in heart development (e.g., HAND2 and GJA5). Rare genic deletions contribute ∼4% of the population-attributable risk of sporadic CHD. Second to previously described CNVs at 1q21.1, deletions at 15q11.2 and those implicating Wnt signaling are the most significant contributors to the risk of sporadic CHD. Rare de novo CNVs identified in CHD trios exhibit paternal origin bias.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2012; 91(3):489-501. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The proximal region of the long arm of chromosome 22 is rich in low copy repeats (LCR). Non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) between these substrates explains the high prevalence of recurrent rearrangements within this region. We have performed array comparative genomic hybridization in a normally developing girl with growth delay, microcephaly, and truncus arteriosus, and have identified a novel recurrent 22q11 deletion that spans LCR22-4 and partially affects the common 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and the distal 22q11 deletion syndrome. This deletion is atypical as it did not occur by NAHR between any of the major LCRs found on 22q11.2. However, the breakpoint containing regions coincide with highly homologous regions. An identical imbalance was reported previously in a patient with striking phenotypic similarity. Computational gene prioritization methods and biological evidence denote the genes CRKL and MAPK1 as the highest ranking candidates for causing congenital heart disease within the deleted region.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 03/2012; 158A(3):574-80. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies addressing the role of somatic copy number variation (CNV) in the genesis of congenital heart defects (CHDs) are scarce, as cardiac tissue is difficult to obtain, especially in non-affected individuals. We explored the occurrence of copy number differences in monozygotic (MZ) twins discordant for the presence of a CHD, as an illustrative model for chromosomal mosaicism in CHDs. Array comparative genomic hybridization was performed on peripheral blood-derived DNA obtained from 6 discordant MZ twin pairs and on sex-matched reference samples. To identify CNV differences between both twin members as well as potential CNVs in both twins contributing to the phenotype, DNA from each twin was hybridized against its co-twin, and against a normal control. Three copy number differences in 1 out of 6 MZ twin pairs were detected, confirming the occurrence of somatic CNV events in MZ twins. Further investigation by copy number and (epi)genome sequencing analyses in MZ twins, discordant for the presence of CHDs, is required to improve our knowledge on how postzygotic genetic, environmental and stochastic factors can affect human heart development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microduplication 22q11.2 is a recently discovered genomic disorder. So far, targeted research on the cognitive and behavioral characteristics of individuals with this microduplication is limited. Therefore, 11 Flemish children (3-13 years old) with a microduplication 22q 1.2 were investigated in order to describe their clinical, developmental and behavioral characteristics. We measured their general intelligence, visual-motor capacities, attention, behavioral problems and characteristics of autism. In addition, there was an interview with the parents on developmental history and we reviewed available information from other specialists. The results show that the cognitive and behavioral phenotype of the children with microduplication 22q.11.2 is very wide and heterogeneous. Some of the children have a cognitively nearly normal development whereas others are more severely affected. All children had some degree of developmental delay and some of them have an intellectual disability. The most common clinical features include congenital malformations such as heart defects and cleft lip, feeding problems, hearing impairment and facial dysmorphism. The most common non-medical problems are learning difficulties, motor impairment, attention deficits, social problems and behavioral problems. There is no correlation between the size of the duplication and the phenotype.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recurrent rearrangements of chromosome 1q21.1 that occur via non-allelic homologous recombination have been associated with variable phenotypes exhibiting incomplete penetrance, including congenital heart disease (CHD). However, the gene or genes within the ~1 Mb critical region responsible for each of the associated phenotypes remains unknown. We examined the 1q21.1 locus in 948 patients with tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), 1488 patients with other forms of CHD and 6760 ethnically matched controls using single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping arrays (Illumina 660W and Affymetrix 6.0) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. We found that duplication of 1q21.1 was more common in cases of TOF than in controls [odds ratio (OR) 30.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 8.9-107.6); P = 2.2 × 10(-7)], but deletion was not. In contrast, deletion of 1q21.1 was more common in cases of non-TOF CHD than in controls [OR 5.5 (95% CI 1.4-22.0); P = 0.04] while duplication was not. We also detected rare (n = 3) 100-200 kb duplications within the critical region of 1q21.1 in cases of TOF. These small duplications encompassed a single gene in common, GJA5, and were enriched in cases of TOF in comparison to controls [OR = 10.7 (95% CI 1.8-64.3), P = 0.01]. These findings show that duplication and deletion at chromosome 1q21.1 exhibit a degree of phenotypic specificity in CHD, and implicate GJA5 as the gene responsible for the CHD phenotypes observed with copy number imbalances at this locus.
Human Molecular Genetics 12/2011; 21(7):1513-20. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congenital heart defects (CHD) are associated with the recurrent 10q22q23 deletion syndrome and with partially overlapping distal 10q23.2.q23.31 microdeletions. We report on a de novo intragenic deletion of the BMPR1A gene in a normally developing adolescent boy with short stature, delayed puberty, facial dysmorphism and an atrioventricular septal defect. Based on this finding, complemented with computational prioritization data and molecular evidence in literature, the critical region for CHD on 10q23 can be downsized to a single gene, BMPR1A. Although loss-of-function mutations in BMPR1A typically result in juvenile polyposis syndrome, none of the patients with the typical 10q22q23 microdeletion syndrome, comprising this gene, were reported to have juvenile polyposis thus far. We reason that, even in the absence of juvenile polyposis syndrome, sequencing and copy number analysis of BMPR1A should be considered in patients with (atrioventricular) septal defects, especially when associated with facial dysmorphism and anomalous growth.
European journal of medical genetics 10/2011; 55(1):12-6. · 1.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) has led to an increased detection of causal chromosomal imbalances in individuals with congenital heart defects (CHD). The introduction of aCGH as a diagnostic tool in a clinical cardiogenetic setting entails numerous challenges. Based on our own experience as well as those of others described in the literature, we outline the state of the art and attempt to answer a number of outstanding questions such as the detection frequency of causal imbalances in different patient populations, the added value of higher-resolution arrays, and the existence of predictive factors in syndromic cases. We introduce a step-by-step approach for clinical interpretation of copy number variants (CNV) detected in CHD, which is primarily based on gene content and overlap with known chromosomal syndromes, rather than on CNV inheritance and size. Based on this algorithm, we have reclassified the detected aberrations in aCGH studies for their causality for syndromic and non-syndromic CHD. From this literature overview, supplemented with own investigations in a cohort of 46 sporadic patients with severe non-syndromic CHD, it seems clear that the frequency of causal CNVs in non-syndromic CHD populations is lower than that in syndromic CNV populations (3.6 vs. 19%). Moreover, causal CNVs in non-syndromic CHD mostly involve imbalances with a moderate effect size and reduced penetrance, whereas the majority of causal imbalances in syndromic CHD consistently affects human development and significantly reduces reproductive fitness.
Cytogenetic and Genome Research 09/2011; 135(3-4):251-9. · 1.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haploinsufficiency of TBX1, encoding a T-box transcription factor, is largely responsible for the physical malformations in velo-cardio-facial /DiGeorge/22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) patients. Cardiovascular malformations in these patients are highly variable, raising the question as to whether DNA variations in the TBX1 locus on the remaining allele of 22q11.2 could be responsible. To test this, a large sample size is needed. The TBX1 gene was sequenced in 360 consecutive 22q11DS patients. Rare and common variations were identified. We did not detect enrichment in rare SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) number in those with or without a congenital heart defect. One exception was that there was increased number of very rare SNPs between those with normal heart anatomy compared to those with right-sided aortic arch or persistent truncus arteriosus, suggesting potentially protective roles in the SNPs for these phenotype-enrichment groups. Nine common SNPs (minor allele frequency, MAF > 0.05) were chosen and used to genotype the entire cohort of 1,022 22q11DS subjects. We did not find a correlation between common SNPs or haplotypes and cardiovascular phenotype. This work demonstrates that common DNA variations in TBX1 do not explain variable cardiovascular expression in 22q11DS patients, implicating existence of modifiers in other genes on 22q11.2 or elsewhere in the genome.
Human Mutation 07/2011; 32(11):1278-89. · 5.21 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common major developmental anomalies and the most frequent cause for perinatal mortality, but their etiology remains often obscure. We identified a locus for CHDs on 6q24-q25. Genotype-phenotype correlations in 12 patients carrying a chromosomal deletion on 6q delineated a critical 850 kb region on 6q25.1 harboring five genes. Bioinformatics prioritization of candidate genes in this locus for a role in CHDs identified the TGF-beta-activated kinase 1/MAP3K7 binding protein 2 gene (TAB2) as the top-ranking candidate gene. A role for this candidate gene in cardiac development was further supported by its conserved expression in the developing human and zebrafish heart. Moreover, a critical, dosage-sensitive role during development was demonstrated by the cardiac defects observed upon titrated knockdown of tab2 expression in zebrafish embryos. To definitively confirm the role of this candidate gene in CHDs, we performed mutation analysis of TAB2 in 402 patients with a CHD, which revealed two evolutionarily conserved missense mutations. Finally, a balanced translocation was identified, cosegregating with familial CHD. Mapping of the breakpoints demonstrated that this translocation disrupts TAB2. Taken together, these data clearly demonstrate a role for TAB2 in human cardiac development.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/2010; 86(6):839-49. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 1989, Tsukahara and colleagues described a single female with a provisionally unique pattern of malformation consisting of low intelligence, short stature, brachydactyly type A1, and characteristic facial features. We report on a second patient confirming Tsukahara syndrome as an established entity.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 04/2010; 152A(4):947-9. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How to efficiently integrate the daily practice of molecular biologists, geneticists, and clinicians with the emerging computational strategies from systems biology is still much of an open question.
We built on the recent advances in Wiki-based technologies to develop a collaborative knowledge base and gene prioritization portal aimed at mapping genes and genomic regions, and untangling their relations with corresponding human phenotypes, congenital heart defects (CHDs). This portal is not only an evolving community repository of current knowledge on the genetic basis of CHDs, but also a collaborative environment for the study of candidate genes potentially implicated in CHDs - in particular by integrating recent strategies for the statistical prioritization of candidate genes. It thus serves and connects the broad community that is facing CHDs, ranging from the pediatric cardiologist and clinical geneticist to the basic investigator of cardiogenesis.
This study describes the first specialized portal to collaboratively annotate and analyze gene-phenotype networks. Of broad interest to the biological community, we argue that such portals will play a significant role in systems biology studies of numerous complex biological processes.CHDWiki is accessible at http://www.esat.kuleuven.be/~bioiuser/chdwiki.
Genome Medicine 03/2010; 2(3):16. · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate different aspects of the introduction of array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) in clinical practice.
A total 150 patients with a syndromic congenital heart defect (CHD) of unknown cause were analyzed with aCGH at 1-Mb resolution. Twenty-nine of these patients, with normal results on 1Mb aCGH, underwent re-analysis with 244-K oligo-microarray. With a logistic regression model, we assessed the predictive value of patient characteristics for causal imbalance detection. On the basis of our earlier experience and the literature, we constructed an algorithm to evaluate the causality of copy number variants.
With 1-Mb aCGH, we detected 43 structural variants not listed as clinically neutral polymorphisms, 26 of which were considered to be causal. A systematic comparison of the clinical features of these 26 patients to the remaining 124 patients revealed dysmorphism as the only feature with a significant predictive value for reaching a diagnosis with 1-Mb aCGH. With higher resolution analysis in 29 patients, 75 variants not listed as clinically neutral polymorphisms were detected, 2 of which were considered to be causal.
Molecular karyotyping yields an etiological diagnosis in at least 18% of patients with a syndromic CHD. Higher resolution evaluation results in an increasing number of variants of unknown significance.
The Journal of pediatrics 02/2010; 156(5):810-7, 817.e1-817.e4. · 4.02 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loeys-Dietz syndrome (LDS; OMIM:609192) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by hypertelorism, bifid uvula or cleft palate, and arterial tortuosity with widespread vascular aneurysms and a high risk of aortic dissection at an early age. LDS results from mutations in the transforming growth factor beta-receptor I and II (TGFBR1 and TGFBR2) genes, altering the transmission of the subcellular TGF-β signal, mediated by increased activation of Smad2. We report on a 17-year-old boy with pubertas tarda, a bifid uvula, camptodactyly and facial dysmorphic features, suggestive of LDS. Mutation analysis of TGFBR1 and TGFBR2 was normal. By means of molecular karyotyping two previously unreported chromosomal imbalances were detected: a 120 kb deletion on chromosome 22q13.31q13.32, inherited from an unaffected parent, and a de novo 14.6 Mb duplication on chromosome 9q22.32q31.3, comprising TGFBR1. We hypothesize that copy number gain of TGFBR1 contributes to the phenotype.
European journal of medical genetics 01/2010; 53(6):408-10. · 1.57 Impact Factor