[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reported birth prevalences of congenital limb defects (CLD) vary between countries: from 13/10,000 in Finland for the period 1964--1977 to 30.4/10,000 births in Scotland from 1964--1968. Epidemiological studies permit the timely detection of trends in CLD and of associations with other birth defects. The aim of this study is to describe the birth prevalence of CLD in the northern Netherlands.
In a population-based, epidemiological study we investigated the birth prevalences of CLD for 1981--2010. Data were collected by the European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies in the northern Netherlands (EUROCAT-NNL). We excluded malpositions, club foot, and dislocation/dysplasia of hips or knees. Trends were analysed for the 19-year period 1992--2010 using chi2 tests, as well as CLD association with anomalies affecting other organs.
The birth prevalence of CLD was 21.1/10,000 births for 1981--2010. There was an overall decrease in non-syndromic limb defects (P = 0.023) caused by a decrease in the prevalence of non-syndromic syndactyly (P < 0.01) in 1992--2010. Of 1,048 children with CLD, 55% were males, 57% had isolated defects, 13% had multiple congenital anomalies (MCA), and 30% had a recognised syndrome. The upper:lower limb ratio was 2:1, and the left:right side ratio was 1.2:1. Cardiovascular and urinary tract anomalies were common in combination with CLD (37% and 25% of cases with MCA). Digestive-tract anomalies were significantly associated with CLD (P = 0.016).
The birth prevalence of CLD in the northern Netherlands was 21.1/10,000 births. The birth prevalence of non-syndromic syndactyly dropped from 5.2/10,000 to 1.1/10.000 in 1992--2010.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Periconceptional folic acid has been associated with a reduced risk of neural tube defects, but findings on its effect in oral clefts are largely inconclusive. This case-control study assesses the effects of periconceptional folic acid on cleft risk, using complementary data from the Dutch Oral Cleft Registry and a population-based birth defects registry (Eurocat) of children and foetuses born in the Northern Netherlands between 1997 and 2009. Cases were live-born infants with non-syndromic clefts (n = 367) and controls were infants or foetuses with chromosomal/syndromal (n = 924) or non-folate related anomalies (n = 2,021). We analyzed type/timing/duration of supplement use related to traditional cleft categories as well as to their timing (early/late embryonic periods) and underlying embryological processes (fusion/differentiation defects). Consistent supplement use during the aetiologically relevant period (weeks 0-12 postconception) was associated with an increased risk of clefts (adjusted odds ratio 1.72, 95 % confidence interval 1.19-2.49), especially of cleft lip/alveolus (3.16, 1.69-5.91). Further analysis systematically showed twofold to threefold increased risks for late differentiation defects-mainly clefts of the lip/alveolus-with no significant associations for early/late fusion defects. Effects were attributable to folic acid and not to other multivitamin components, and inclusion of partial use (not covering the complete aetiologically relevant period) generally weakened associations. In conclusion, this study presents several lines of evidence indicating that periconceptional folic acid in the Northern Netherlands is associated with an increased risk of clefts, in particular of cleft lip/alveolus. This association is strengthened by the specificity, consistency, systematic pattern, and duration of exposure-response relationship of our findings, underlining the need to evaluate public health strategies regarding folic acid and to further investigate potential adverse effects.
European Journal of Epidemiology 10/2013; · 5.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Perlman syndrome is a congenital overgrowth syndrome inherited in an autosomal recessive manner that is associated with Wilms tumor susceptibility. We mapped a previously unknown susceptibility locus to 2q37.1 and identified germline mutations in DIS3L2, a homolog of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe dis3 gene, in individuals with Perlman syndrome. Yeast dis3 mutant strains have mitotic abnormalities. Yeast Dis3 and its human homologs, DIS3 and DIS3L1, have exoribonuclease activity and bind to the core RNA exosome complex. DIS3L2 has a different intracellular localization and lacks the PIN domain found in DIS3 and DIS3L1; nevertheless, we show that DIS3L2 has exonuclease activity. DIS3L2 inactivation was associated with mitotic abnormalities and altered expression of mitotic checkpoint proteins. DIS3L2 overexpression suppressed the growth of human cancer cell lines, and knockdown enhanced the growth of these cells. We also detected evidence of DIS3L2 mutations in sporadic Wilms tumor. These observations suggest that DIS3L2 has a critical role in RNA metabolism and is essential for the regulation of cell growth and division.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A partial deletion of chromosome band 2p25.3 (2pter) is a rarely described cytogenetic aberration in patients with intellectual disability (ID). Using microarrays we identified deletions of 2p25.3, sized 0.37-3.13 Mb, in three adult siblings and three unrelated patients. All patients had ID, obesity or overweight and/or a square-shaped stature without overt facial dysmorphic features. Combining our data with phenotypic and genotypic data of three patients from the literature we defined the minimal region of overlap which contained one gene, i.e., MYT1L. MYT1L is highly transcribed in the mouse embryonic brain where its expression is restricted to postmitotic differentiating neurons. In mouse-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) models, MYT1L is essential for inducing functional mature neurons. These resemble excitatory cortical neurons of the forebrain, suggesting a role for MYT1L in development of cognitive functions. Furthermore, MYT1L can directly convert human fibroblasts into functional neurons in conjunction with other transcription factors. MYT1L duplication was previously reported in schizophrenia, indicating that the gene is dosage-sensitive and that shared neurodevelopmental pathways may be affected in ID and schizophrenia. Finally, deletion of MYT1, another member of the Myelin Transcription Factor family involved in neurogenesis and highly similar to MYT1L, was recently described in ID as well. The identification of MYT1L as candidate gene for ID justifies further molecular studies aimed at detecting mutations and for mechanistic studies on its role in neuron development and on neuropathogenic effects of haploinsufficiency.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 11/2011; 155A(11):2739-45. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The correct interpretation of copy number gains in patients with developmental delay and multiple congenital anomalies is hampered by the large number of copy number variations (CNVs) encountered in healthy individuals. The variable phenotype associated with copy number gains makes interpretation even more difficult. Literature shows that inheritence, size and presence in healthy individuals are commonly used to decide whether a certain copy number gain is pathogenic, but no general consensus has been established. We aimed to develop guidelines for interpreting gains detected by array analysis using array CGH data of 300 patients analysed with the 105K Agilent oligo array in a diagnostic setting. We evaluated the guidelines in a second, independent, cohort of 300 patients. In the first 300 patients 797 gains of four or more adjacent oligonucleotides were observed. Of these, 45.4% were de novo and 54.6% were familial. In total, 94.8% of all de novo gains and 87.1% of all familial gains were concluded to be benign CNVs. Clinically relevant gains ranged from 288 to 7912 kb in size, and were significantly larger than benign gains and gains of unknown clinical relevance (P < 0.001). Our study showed that a threshold of 200 kb is acceptable in a clinical setting, whereas heritability does not exclude a pathogenic nature of a gain. Evaluation of the guidelines in the second cohort of 300 patients revealed that the interpretation guidelines were clear, easy to follow and efficient.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 09/2011; 20(2):161-5. · 3.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiac involvement has been reported in carriers of dystrophin mutations giving rise to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD). The progress of these abnormalities during long-term follow-up is unknown. We describe the long-term follow-up of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in DMD/BMD carriers.
A long-term follow-up study was performed among Dutch DMD/BMD carriers first analyzed in 1995. A cardiac history was taken, and all carriers were assigned a functional score to assess skeletal muscle involvement. Electrocardiography and M-mode and 2-D echocardiography were performed. DCM was defined as an enlarged left ventricle with a global left ventricle dysfunction or fractional shortening less than 28%. Slow vital capacity of the lung was measured by a hand-held spirometer.
Ninety-nine carriers were monitored with a median follow-up of 9 years (range 7.0-10.6 years). Eleven carriers with DCM (10 DMD, 1 BMD) were identified. Nine of them developed DCM in the follow-up period. One of the patients with DCM reported in the 1995 study died of cardiac failure at age 57 years. DCM was more frequently found in carriers who were functionally symptomatic.
Cardiac abnormalities in DMD/BMD carriers are progressive, as in patients with DMD/BMD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inversa type of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB-I) is a rare variant of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, characterised by blistering in the body flexures, trunk, and mucosa. The cause of this specific distribution is unknown. So far, 20 COL7A1 genotypes have been described in RDEB-I and genotype-phenotype correlations have not been studied extensively. The aim of the study was to gain more insight into the pathophysiology of this intriguing RDEB-I phenotype.
Twenty Dutch and British RDEB-I patients, and full genotypes in 18 of them, were identified. The literature on RDEB-I genotypes was reviewed and an extensive genotype-phenotype correlation study for RDEB-I was conducted.
All 20 patients had generalised blistering at birth and during early infancy. In most patients, the age of transition from generalised to inversa distribution was before the age of 4 years. A spectrum of disease severity, ranging from the mildest 'mucosal only' phenotype to the severest phenotype with limited acral involvement, was noted. The 29 genotypes of these RDEB-I patients and those reported in the literature revealed that RDEB-I is associated with specific recessive arginine and glycine substitutions in the triple helix domain of type VII collagen.
Why these specific arginine and glycine substitutions cause the inversa distribution remains unknown. It was not possible to identify clear differences in location and nature of substituting amino acids between these mutations and missense mutations causing other RDEB phenotypes. It is hypothesised that the higher skin temperature in the affected areas plays an important role in the pathophysiology of RDEB-I.
Journal of Medical Genetics 03/2011; 48(3):160-7. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Matrix γ-carboxyglutamate protein (MGP), a vitamin K-dependent protein, is recognized as a potent local inhibitor of vascular calcification. Studying patients with Keutel syndrome (KS), a rare autosomal recessive disorder resulting from MGP mutations, provides an opportunity to investigate the functions of MGP. The purpose of this study was (i) to investigate the phenotype and the underlying MGP mutation of a newly identified KS patient, and (ii) to investigate MGP species and the effect of vitamin K supplements in KS patients.
The phenotype of a newly identified KS patient was characterized with specific attention to signs of vascular calcification. Genetic analysis of the MGP gene was performed. Circulating MGP species were quantified and the effect of vitamin K supplements on MGP carboxylation was studied. Finally, we performed immunohistochemical staining of tissues of the first KS patient originally described focusing on MGP species.
We describe a novel homozygous MGP mutation (c.61+1G>A) in a newly identified KS patient. No signs of arterial calcification were found, in contrast to findings in MGP knockout mice. This patient is the first in whom circulating MGP species have been characterized, showing a high level of phosphorylated MGP and a low level of carboxylated MGP. Contrary to expectations, vitamin K supplements did not improve the circulating carboxylated mgp levels. phosphorylated mgp was also found to be present in the first ks patient originally described.
Investigation of the phenotype and MGP species in the circulation and tissues of KS patients contributes to our understanding of MGP functions and to further elucidation of the difference in arterial phenotype between MGP-deficient mice and humans.
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 03/2011; 9(6):1225-35. · 6.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Holoprosencephaly is a severe malformation of the brain characterized by abnormal formation and separation of the developing central nervous system. The prevalence is 1:250 during early embryogenesis, the live-born prevalence is 1:16 000. The etiology of HPE is extremely heterogeneous and can be teratogenic or genetic. We screened four known HPE genes in a Dutch cohort of 86 non-syndromic HPE index cases, including 53 family members. We detected 21 mutations (24.4%), 3 in SHH, 9 in ZIC2 and 9 in SIX3. Eight mutations involved amino-acid substitutions, 7 ins/del mutations, 1 frame-shift, 3 identical poly-alanine tract expansions and 2 gene deletions. Pathogenicity of mutations was presumed based on de novo character, predicted non-functionality of mutated proteins, segregation of mutations with affected family-members or combinations of these features. Two mutations were reported previously. SNP array confirmed detected deletions; one spanning the ZIC2/ZIC5 genes (approx. 100 kb) the other a 1.45 Mb deletion including SIX2/SIX3 genes. The mutation percentage (24%) is comparable with previous reports, but we detected significantly less mutations in SHH: 3.5 vs 10.7% (P=0.043) and significantly more in SIX3: 10.5 vs 4.3% (P=0.018). For TGIF1 and ZIC2 mutation the rate was in conformity with earlier reports. About half of the mutations were de novo, one was a germ line mosaic. The familial mutations displayed extensive heterogeneity in clinical manifestation. Of seven familial index patients only two parental carriers showed minor HPE signs, five were completely asymptomatic. Therefore, each novel mutation should be considered as a risk factor for clinically manifest HPE, with the caveat of reduced clinical penetrance.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 09/2010; 18(9):999-1005. · 3.56 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling is a crucial component of the cell machinery orchestrating a series of physiological processes such as cell survival, proliferation, and migration. Among the plethora of roles that Wnt signaling plays, its canonical branch regulates eye organogenesis and angiogenesis. Mutations in the genes encoding the low density lipoprotein receptor protein 5 (LRP5) and frizzled 4 (FZD4), acting as coreceptors for Wnt ligands, cause familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR). Moreover, mutations in the gene encoding NDP, a ligand for these Wnt receptors, cause Norrie disease and FEVR. Both FEVR and Norrie disease share similar phenotypic characteristics, including abnormal vascularization of the peripheral retina and formation of fibrovascular masses in the eye that can lead to blindness. In this mutation update, we report 21 novel variants for FZD4, LRP5, and NDP, and discuss the putative functional consequences of missense mutations. In addition, we provide a comprehensive overview of all previously published variants in the aforementioned genes and summarize the phenotypic characteristics in mouse models carrying mutations in the orthologous genes. The increasing molecular understanding of Wnt signaling, related to ocular development and blood supply, offers more tools for accurate disease diagnosis that may be important in the development of therapeutic interventions.
Human Mutation 03/2010; 31(6):656-66. · 5.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Holoprosencephaly (HPE), the most common developmental disorder of the human forebrain, is occasionally associated with the spectrum of agnathia, or virtual absence of the mandible. This condition results in a constellation of structural cerebral and craniofacial abnormalities. Here we present two new patients and review 30 patients from the literature with HPE and variants of agnathia. The majority of these patients are female and have the most severe forms of HPE, with cyclopia present more frequently than is usually observed in cohorts of patients with HPE. Also, many patients have additional clinical findings not typical in patients with classic HPE, particularly situs abnormalities. Recent animal studies suggest that the association of HPE and agnathia may relate to alterations in signaling from forebrain and foregut endoderm organizing centers and subsequent first pharyngeal arch development, although present models are inadequate to explain all of the clinical findings of this enigmatic human syndrome. Further research is required to better elucidate the causal and pathogenic basis of this association.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C Seminars in Medical Genetics 02/2010; 154C(1):158-69. · 4.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Holoprosencephaly (HPE) and ectrodactyly represent congenital malformations of the developing forebrain and developing digits, respectively. The combination of these conditions is rare, with only 15 cases known to date (12 previously reported, and 3 new cases described here). While the findings in these patients overlap with previously described genetic conditions, the similarity in phenotypes among these patients has led to the establishment of a at least one distinct syndrome: HPE, ectrodactyly, and bilateral cleft lip-palate syndrome (OMIM 300571). There has been great interest in identifying a genetic cause for the findings in patients with HPE and ectrodactyly; however the cause(s) of this rare association still remain unknown.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C Seminars in Medical Genetics 02/2010; 154C(1):170-5. · 4.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current classification of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) comprises two major subtypes: 'severe generalized RDEB' (RDEB-sev gen) with early-onset, extensive, generalized blistering and scarring, complete absence of type VII collagen, and bi-allelic COL7A1 null mutations; milder 'generalized other RDEB' (RDEB-O) with reduced-to-normal type VII collagen expression, and non-null genotypes.
To search for previously unrecognized phenotype-genotype correlations in 33 Dutch RDEB families.
We analyzed extensive clinical follow-up data, available for all patients up to 19 years, detailed type VII collagen immunostaining and genotypes, and correlated clinical phenotype to molecular phenotype and genotype.
We identified 20 novel COL7A1 mutations. In 14 of 15 RDEB-sev gen patients type VII collagen was completely absent, one had strongly reduced type VII collagen, and all carried bi-allelic null mutations. Five of 11 RDEB-O patients developed pseudosyndactyly of the fingers preceded by skin atrophy and flexion contractures later in childhood and adolescence. All five had esophageal involvement and growth retardation. Type VII collagen immunostaining ranged from strongly reduced to slightly reduced in RDEB-O patients with pseudosyndactyly, whereas RDEB-O patients without pseudosyndactyly had slightly reduced to normal type VII collagen staining. There was no difference in genotypes between both groups, although we unexpectedly found bi-allelic null mutations in two of five RDEB-O patients with pseudosyndactyly.
Pseudosyndactyly occurs in approximately half of RDEB-O patients when type VII collagen is strongly reduced. The prognosis in RDEB cannot always be simply predicted from the COL7A1 genotype.
Journal of dermatological science 09/2009; 56(1):9-18. · 3.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Goltz-Gorlin syndrome or focal dermal hypoplasia is a highly variable, X-linked dominant syndrome with abnormalities of ectodermal and mesodermal origin. In 2007, mutations in the PORCN gene were found to be causative in Goltz-Gorlin syndrome.
A series of 17 patients with Goltz-Gorlin syndrome is reported on, and their phenotype and genotype are described.
In 14 patients (13 females and one male), a PORCN mutation was found. Mutations included nonsense (n = 5), frameshift (n = 2), aberrant splicing (n = 2) and missense (n = 5) mutations. No genotype-phenotype correlation was found. All patients with the classical features of the syndrome had a detectable mutation. In three females with atypical signs, no mutation was found. The male patient had classical features and showed mosaicism for a PORCN nonsense mutation in fibroblasts. Two affected sisters had a mutation not detectable in their parents, supporting germline mosaicism. Their father had undergone radiation for testicular cancer in the past. Two classically affected females had three severely affected female fetuses which all had midline thoracic and abdominal wall defects, resembling the pentalogy of Cantrell and the limb-body wall complex. Thoracic and abdominal wall defects were also present in two surviving patients. PORCN mutations can possibly cause pentalogy of Cantrell and limb-body wall complexes as well. Therefore, particularly in cases with limb defects, it seems useful to search for these.
PORCN mutations can be found in all classically affected cases of Goltz-Gorlin syndrome, including males. Somatic and germline mosaicism occur. There is no evident genotype-phenotype correlation.
Journal of Medical Genetics 08/2009; 46(10):716-20. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify genetic causes of COACH syndrome
COACH syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterised by Cerebellar vermis hypoplasia, Oligophrenia (developmental delay/mental retardation), Ataxia, Coloboma, and Hepatic fibrosis. The vermis hypoplasia falls in a spectrum of mid-hindbrain malformation called the molar tooth sign (MTS), making COACH a Joubert syndrome related disorder (JSRD).
In a cohort of 251 families with JSRD, 26 subjects in 23 families met criteria for COACH syndrome, defined as JSRD plus clinically apparent liver disease. Diagnostic criteria for JSRD were clinical findings (intellectual impairment, hypotonia, ataxia) plus supportive brain imaging findings (MTS or cerebellar vermis hypoplasia). MKS3/TMEM67 was sequenced in all subjects for whom DNA was available. In COACH subjects without MKS3 mutations, CC2D2A, RPGRIP1L and CEP290 were also sequenced.
19/23 families (83%) with COACH syndrome carried MKS3 mutations, compared to 2/209 (1%) with JSRD but no liver disease. Two other families with COACH carried CC2D2A mutations, one family carried RPGRIP1L mutations, and one lacked mutations in MKS3, CC2D2A, RPGRIP1L and CEP290. Liver biopsies from three subjects, each with mutations in one of the three genes, revealed changes within the congenital hepatic fibrosis/ductal plate malformation spectrum. In JSRD with and without liver disease, MKS3 mutations account for 21/232 families (9%).
Mutations in MKS3 are responsible for the majority of COACH syndrome, with minor contributions from CC2D2A and RPGRIP1L; therefore, MKS3 should be the first gene tested in patients with JSRD plus liver disease and/or coloboma, followed by CC2D2A and RPGRIP1L.
Journal of Medical Genetics 08/2009; 47(1):8-21. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Array CGH (comparative genomic hybridization) screening of large patient cohorts with mental retardation and/or multiple congenital anomalies (MR/MCA) has led to the identification of a number of new microdeletion and microduplication syndromes. Recently, a recurrent copy number variant (CNV) at chromosome 16p11.2 was reported to occur in up to 1% of autistic patients in three large autism studies. In the screening of 4284 patients with MR/MCA with various array platforms, we detected 22 individuals (14 index patients and 8 family members) with deletions in 16p11.2, which are genomically identical to those identified in the autism studies. Though some patients shared a facial resemblance and a tendency to overweight, there was no evidence for a recognizable phenotype. Autism was not the presenting feature in our series. The assembled evidence indicates that recurrent 16p11.2 deletions are associated with variable clinical outcome, most likely arising from haploinsufficiency of one or more genes. The phenotypical spectrum ranges from MR and/or MCA, autism, learning and speech problems, to a normal phenotype.
European journal of medical genetics 04/2009; 52(2-3):77-87. · 1.57 Impact Factor