[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inactivating mutations in chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 7 (CHD7) cause CHARGE syndrome, a severe multiorgan system disorder of which Isolated gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) deficiency (IGD) is a minor feature. Recent reports have described predominantly missense CHD7 alleles in IGD patients, but it is unclear if these alleles are relevant to causality or overall genetic burden of Kallmann syndrome (KS) and normosmic form of IGD. To address this question, we sequenced CHD7 in 783 well-phenotyped IGD patients lacking full CHARGE features; we identified nonsynonymous rare sequence variants in 5.2% of the IGD cohort (73% missense and 27% splice variants). Functional analyses in zebrafish using a surrogate otolith assay of a representative set of these CHD7 alleles showed that rare sequence variants observed in controls showed no altered function. In contrast, 75% of the IGD-associated alleles were deleterious and resulted in both KS and normosmic IGD. In two families, pathogenic mutations in CHD7 coexisted with mutations in other known IGD genes. Taken together, our data suggest that rare deleterious CHD7 alleles contribute to the mutational burden of patients with both KS and normosmic forms of IGD in the absence of full CHARGE syndrome. These findings (i) implicate a unique role or preferential sensitivity for CHD7 in the ontogeny of GnRH neurons, (ii) reiterate the emerging genetic complexity of this family of IGD disorders, and (iii) demonstrate how the coordinated use of well-phenotyped cohorts, families, and functional studies can inform genetic architecture and provide insights into the developmental biology of cellular systems.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 12/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Congenital disorders of glycosylation are often associated with muscle weakness in apparent isolation or as part of a multi-systemic disorder. We report here the clinical and pathological features resulting from a homozygous mutation of ALG2 in an extended family. Phenotypic heterogeneity is observed among the small cohort of patients reported to date and is highlighted by our study. Linkage analysis, homozygozity mapping and whole exome sequencing followed clinical and pathological characterization of patients who presented with a congenital limb girdle pattern of weakness with no ocular or bulbar involvement. Nerve stimulation studies were consistent with a congenital myasthenic syndrome. Severity and progression of disease was variable. Muscle biopsies showed myopathic features, ragged red fibers and a sub-sarcolemmal accumulation of structurally normal mitochondria. Whole exome sequencing revealed an indel mutation c.214_224delGGGGACTGGCTdelinsAGTCCCCG, p.72_75delGDWLinsSPR in exon 1 of ALG2. Mutation of ALG2 manifested as a limb girdle pattern of muscle weakness with defects at both the neuromuscular junction and sarcomere. In addition the accumulation and distribution of mitochondria in the diseased muscle and the presence of ragged red fibers were supportive of a mitochondrial myopathy. ALG2 mutation results in a heterogeneous phenotype and care should be taken in categorization and treatment of these patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Context:The complexity of genetic testing in Kallmann syndrome (KS) is growing and costly. Thus, it is important to leverage the clinical evaluations of KS patients to prioritize genetic screening.Objective:The objective of the study was to determine which reproductive and nonreproductive phenotypes of KS subjects have implications for specific gene mutations.Subjects:Two hundred nineteen KS patients were studied: 151 with identified rare sequence variants (RSVs) in 8 genes known to cause KS (KAL1, NELF, CHD7, HS6ST1, FGF8/FGFR1, or PROK2/PROKR2) and 68 KS subjects who remain RSV negative for all 8 genes.Main Outcome Measures:Reproductive and nonreproductive phenotypes within each genetic group were measured.Results:Male KS subjects with KAL1 RSVs displayed the most severe reproductive phenotype with testicular volumes (TVs) at presentation of 1.5 ± 0.1 mL vs 3.7 ± 0.3 mL, P < .05 vs all non-KAL1 probands. In both sexes, synkinesia was enriched but not unique to patients with KAL1 RSVs compared with KAL1-negative probands (43% vs 12%; P < .05). Similarly, dental agenesis and digital bone abnormalities were enriched in patients with RSVs in the FGF8/FGFR1 signaling pathway compared with all other gene groups combined (39% vs 4% and 23% vs 0%; P < .05, respectively). Hearing loss marked the probands with CHD7 RSVs (40% vs 13% in non-CHD7 probands; P < .05). Renal agenesis and cleft lip/palate did not emerge as statistically significant phenotypic predictors.Conclusions:Certain clinical features in men and women are highly associated with genetic causes of KS. Synkinesia (KAL1), dental agenesis (FGF8/FGFR1), digital bony abnormalities (FGF8/FGFR1), and hearing loss (CHD7) can be useful for prioritizing genetic screening.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 03/2013; · 6.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Birth weight within the normal range is associated with a variety of adult-onset diseases, but the mechanisms behind these associations are poorly understood. Previous genome-wide association studies of birth weight identified a variant in the ADCY5 gene associated both with birth weight and type 2 diabetes and a second variant, near CCNL1, with no obvious link to adult traits. In an expanded genome-wide association meta-analysis and follow-up study of birth weight (of up to 69,308 individuals of European descent from 43 studies), we have now extended the number of loci associated at genome-wide significance to 7, accounting for a similar proportion of variance as maternal smoking. Five of the loci are known to be associated with other phenotypes: ADCY5 and CDKAL1 with type 2 diabetes, ADRB1 with adult blood pressure and HMGA2 and LCORL with adult height. Our findings highlight genetic links between fetal growth and postnatal growth and metabolism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Copy number variants are an important source of human genome diversity. The widespread distribution of hemizygous copy number variants in the DNA of healthy humans suggests that haploinsufficiency is largely tolerated. However, little is known about the extent to which corresponding nullizygosity (two-copy deletion) is similarly tolerated.
We analyzed a cohort of first cousin unions to enrich for shared parental hemizygous events and tested their Mendelian inheritance in offspring.
Analysis of autozygous DNA blocks (autozygome) in the offspring not only proved an efficient method of mapping "dispensable" DNA but also revealed potential selective bias against the occurrence of nullizygous changes. This bias was not restricted to genic copy number variants and was not accounted for by a high rate of miscarriages.
The autozygome is an efficient way to map dispensable segments of DNA and may reveal selective bias against nullizygosity in healthy individuals.
Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 01/2012; 14(5):515-9. · 3.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The MEN1 syndrome is associated with parathyroid, pancreatic and pituitary tumours and is caused by mutations in the MEN1 gene. In general, there is no genotype-phenotype correlation.
To characterize a large family with MEN1 with aggressive tumour behaviour: malignant pancreatic endocrine tumours were present in five affected subjects and were the presenting features in three subjects.
The coding region of MEN1 was sequenced. Gene copy number analysis was performed by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). Loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in tumour tissue was studied by microsatellite analysis. Insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) and CDKN1C/p57KIP2 expression were investigated by immunohistochemistry.
Mutation screening by conventional PCR sequence analysis of patients' peripheral blood DNA did not reveal any mutation in the MEN1 or CDKN1B gene. Gene copy number analysis by MLPA and aCGH demonstrated a novel monoallelic deletion of 5 kb genomic DNA involving the MEN1 promoter and exons 1 and 2. LOH analysis indicated somatic deletion of maternal chromosome 11, including MEN1 locus (11q13) and 11p15 imprinting control regions (ICR). Methylation analysis of ICR demonstrated ICR1 hypermethylation and ICR2 hypomethylation in the tumour specimens. ICR1 and ICR2 control the expression of IGF-2 and CDKN1C/p57KIP2, respectively. Immunohistochemistry showed that expression of paternally expressed IGF-2 was up-regulated and the maternally expressed CDKN1C/p57KIP2 was lost in the pancreatic endocrine tumours.
Gene copy number analysis by MLPA should be considered in patients with negative conventional mutation screening. Although large MEN1 deletion causes MEN1, disruption of imprinted CDKN1C/p57KIP2 and IGF-2 gene expression may contribute to tumour progression and aggressive phenotype.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increased frequency of rare autosomal recessive conditions in genetically isolated populations is a well-established phenomenon. This genetic isolation is invoked as an explanation when one particular mutation is the sole or most frequent mutation observed in a given population and is referred to as the founder effect. This trend of allelic homogeneity is contrasted by an opposite trend when the consanguinity factor is in play. Independent of endogamy at the population level, a consanguineous union is sufficient to render homozygous a percentage of the genome that is directly correlated with the degree of consanguinity. Assuming the gene in question has a normal mutation rate, the resulting homozygosity will inevitably include different defective alleles of that gene. By reporting four novel alleles, we use Alström disease to exemplify the interesting observation of allelic heterogeneity for a very rare autosomal recessive disorder in a highly inbred population. While we frequently assume founder effect in inbred populations, this report should serve to remind us of the powerful effect of the consanguinity factor, a common confounding variable among some of those populations.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 03/2009; 149A(4):662-5. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whole genome amplification (WGA) is a practical solution to eliminate molecular analysis limitations associated with genomic DNA (gDNA) quantity. Different methods have been developed to amplify the whole genome, including primer extension preamplification (PEP), degenerate oligonucleotide primed PCR (DOP-PCR), and multiple displacement amplification (MDA). Each of these methods has its own merits and limitations.
Effects of primer length and composition on amplification quality and quantity were explored in this study at two different temperatures (30 degrees C & 40 degrees C). New primer designs combined with elevated amplification temperature has significantly improved MDA as measured by amplification yield, genome coverage, and allele drop out (ADO) analysis. A remarkable finding was the comprehensive amplification, at 30 degrees C & 40 degrees C, of the human whole genome via the use of GGGCAGGA*N*G hotspot recombination consensus primer. Amplification was characterized by Affymetrix 10K SNP chip analysis. Finally, the use of new primer designs has suppressed the template-independent DNA amplification (TIDA) both at 30 degrees C and 40 degrees C.
The use of new primers in this study combined with elevated incubation temperatures in MDA has remarkably improved the specificity, amplification yield, and suppressed TIDA.