[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a multisystem disorder with distinctive facial appearance, intellectual disability and growth failure as prominent features. Most individuals with typical CdLS have de novo heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in NIPBL with mosaic individuals representing a significant proportion. Mutations in other cohesin components, SMC1A, SMC3, HDAC8 and RAD21 cause less typical CdLS. METHODS: We screened 163 affected individuals for coding region mutations in the known genes, 90 for genomic rearrangements, 19 for deep intronic variants in NIPBL and 5 had whole-exome sequencing. RESULTS: Pathogenic mutations [including mosaic changes] were identified in: NIPBL 46  (28.2%); SMC1A 5  (3.1%); SMC3 5  (3.1%); HDAC8 6  (3.6%) and RAD21 1  (0.6%). One individual had a de novo 1.3 Mb deletion of 1p36.3. Another had a 520 kb duplication of 12q13.13 encompassing ESPL1, encoding separase, an enzyme that cleaves the cohesin ring. Three de novo mutations were i
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primrose syndrome and 3q13.31 microdeletion syndrome are clinically related disorders characterized by tall stature, macrocephaly, intellectual disability, disturbed behavior and unusual facial features, with diabetes, deafness, progressive muscle wasting and ectopic calcifications specifically occurring in the former. We report that missense mutations in ZBTB20, residing within the 3q13.31 microdeletion syndrome critical region, underlie Primrose syndrome. This finding establishes a genetic link between these disorders and delineates the impact of ZBTB20 dysregulation on development, growth and metabolism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Marshall-Smith syndrome (MSS) is a very rare malformation syndrome characterized by typical craniofacial anomalies, abnormal osseous maturation, developmental delay, failure to thrive, and respiratory difficulties. Mutations in the nuclear factor 1/X gene (NFIX) were recently identified as the cause of MSS. In our study cohort of 17 patients with a clinical diagnosis of MSS, conventional sequencing of NFIX revealed frameshift and splice-site mutations in 10 individuals. Using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis, we identified a recurrent deletion of NFIX exon 6 and 7 in five individuals. We demonstrate this recurrent deletion is the product of a recombination between AluY elements located in intron 5 and 7. Two other patients had smaller deletions affecting exon 6. These findings show that MSS is a genetically homogeneous Mendelian disorder. RT-PCR experiments with newly identified NFIX mutations including the recurrent exon 6 and 7 deletion confirmed previous findings indicating that MSS-associated mutant mRNAs are not cleared by nonsense mediated mRNA decay. Predicted MSS-associated mutant NFIX proteins consistently have a preserved DNA binding and dimerization domain, whereas they grossly vary in their C-terminal portion. This is in line with the hypothesis that MSS-associated mutations encode dysfunctional proteins that act in a dominant negative manner. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Hennekam lymphangiectasia-lymphedema syndrome is a genetically heterogeneous disorder. It can be caused by mutations in CCBE1 which are found in approximately 25 % of cases. We used homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing in the original HS family with multiple affected individuals in whom no CCBE1 mutation had been detected, and identified a homozygous mutation in the FAT4 gene. Subsequent targeted mutation analysis of FAT4 in a cohort of 24 CCBE1 mutation-negative Hennekam syndrome patients identified homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in four additional families. Mutations in FAT4 have been previously associated with Van Maldergem syndrome. Detailed clinical comparison between van Maldergem syndrome and Hennekam syndrome patients shows that there is a substantial overlap in phenotype, especially in facial appearance. We conclude that Hennekam syndrome can be caused by mutations in FAT4 and be allelic to Van Maldergem syndrome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequencing technology is increasingly demonstrating the impact of genomic copy number variation (CNV) on phenotypes. Opposing variation in growth, head size, cognition and behaviour is known to result from deletions and reciprocal duplications of some genomic regions. We propose normative inversion of face shape, opposing difference from a matched norm, as a basis for investigating the effects of gene dosage on craniofacial development. We use dense surface modelling techniques to match any face (or part of a face) to a facial norm of unaffected individuals of matched age, sex and ethnicity and then we reverse the individual’s face shape differences from the matched norm to produce the normative inversion. We demonstrate for five genomic regions, 4p16.3, 7q11.23, 11p15, 16p13.3 and 17p11.2, that such inversion for individuals with a duplication or (epi)-mutation produces facial forms remarkably similar to those associated with a deletion or opposite (epi-)mutation of the same region, and vice versa. The ability to visualise and quantify face shape effects of gene dosage is of major benefit for determining whether a CNV is the cause of the phenotype of an individual and for predicting reciprocal consequences. It enables face shape to be used as a relatively simple and inexpensive functional analysis of the gene(s) involved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dienoyl-CoA reductase (DECR) deficiency with hyperlysinemia is a rare disorder affecting the metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids and lysine. The molecular basis of this condition is currently unknown. We describe a new case with failure to thrive, developmental delay, lactic acidosis and severe encephalopathy suggestive of a mitochondrial disorder. Exome sequencing revealed a causal mutation in NADK2. NADK2 encodes the mitochondrial NAD kinase, which is crucial for NADP biosynthesis evidenced by decreased mitochondrial NADP(H) levels in patient fibroblasts. DECR and also the first step in lysine degradation are performed by NADP-dependent oxidoreductases explaining their in vivo deficiency. DECR activity was also deficient in lysates of patient fibroblasts and could only be rescued by transfecting patient cells with functional NADK2. Thus NADPH is not only crucial as a cosubstrate, but can also act as a molecular chaperone that activates and stabilizes enzymes. In addition to polyunsaturated fatty acid oxidation and lysine degradation, NADPH also plays a role in various other mitochondrial processes. We found decreased oxygen consumption and increased extracellular acidification in patient fibroblasts, which may explain why the disease course is consistent with clinical criteria for a mitochondrial disorder. We conclude that DECR deficiency with hyperlysinemia is caused by mitochondrial NADP(H) deficiency due to a mutation in NADK2.
Human Molecular Genetics 05/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In many malformation syndromes benign and malignant tumours develop more frequently than in the general population. Malformations result from an abnormal intrinsic developmental process. It can be hypothesized that disturbed regulation of cell growth as can become evident by the presence of benign and malignant tumours, which will occur at the same site of a malformation or at other sites at which the gene involved in the malformation is functioning. The present study aimed to compare the localization of malignant and benign tumours to the localization of major and minor characteristics of syndromes that have either of two malformations, i.e. microtia and hypospadias. To eliminate co-occurrence of a malformation syndrome and tumours by chance we confined evaluations to syndromes which have been described in >100 individuals. We identified 11 syndromes associated with microtia and 26 syndromes associated with hypospadias, for which co-localisation of (benign and malignant) tumours with (major and minor) syndrome characteristics was determined. In both groups of syndromes tumours were found to be localized at the same body site as the major and minor characteristics of the syndromes in two-third of the tumours. There was no significant difference in co-occurrence in site between benign and malignant tumours. We conclude that in two groups of malformation syndromes which go along with a different core malformation, benign and malignant tumours co-localize with the core malformation or with other sites at which the gene involved is functioning. This adds further proof that tumours in malformation syndromes can usually be explained by abnormal functioning of the same gene that has caused the malformation syndrome.
European journal of medical genetics 04/2014; · 1.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GGCX mutations have been reported in patients with a pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE)-like phenotype, loose redundant skin, with multiple Vitamin K-dependent coagulation factor deficiencies. We report on the clinical findings and molecular results in 13 affected members of two families who had a uniform phenotype consisting of (PXE)-like skin manifestations in neck and trunk, loose sagging skin of trunk and upper limbs, and retinitis pigmentosa (RP) confirmed by ElectroRetinoGraphies in 10 affected individuals. There were no coagulation abnormalities. Molecular investigations of the ATP-Binding Cassette subfamily C member 6 (ABCC6) did not yield causative mutations. All 13 affected family members were found to be homozygous for the splice-site mutation c.373+3 G>T in the Gamma-Glutamyl carboxylase (GGCX) gene. All tested parents were heterozygous for the mutation, and healthy siblings were either heterozygous or had the wild-type. We suggest that the present patients represent a hitherto unreported phenotype associated with GGCX mutations. Di-genic inheritance has been suggested to explain the variability in phenotype in GGCX mutation carriers. Consequently, the present phenotype may not be explained only by the GGCX mutations only but may be influenced by variants in other genes or epigenetic and environmental factors.Journal of Investigative Dermatology accepted article peview online, 16 April 2014. doi:10.1038/jid.2014.191.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology 04/2014; · 6.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: (Brain) tumors are usually a disorder of aged individuals. If a brain tumor occurs in a child, there is a possible genetic susceptibility for this. Such genetic susceptibilities often show other signs and symptoms. Therefore, every child with a brain tumor should be carefully evaluated for the presence of a "tumor predisposition syndrome." Here, we provide an overview of the various central nervous system tumors that occur in children with syndromes and of the various syndromes that occur in children with brain tumor. Our aim is to facilitate recognition of syndromes in children with a brain tumor and early diagnosis of brain tumors in children with syndromes. Diagnosing tumor predisposition syndromes in children may have important consequences for prognosis, treatment, and screening for subsequent malignancies and nontumor manifestations. We discuss pitfalls in clinical and molecular diagnoses, and the consequences of diagnosing a hereditary disorder for family members. Our improved knowledge of cancer etiology is increasingly translated into management strategies in syndromes in general and will likely lead in the near future to personalized therapeutic approaches for tumor predisposition syndromes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myhre syndrome is characterized by short stature, brachydactyly, facial features, pseudomuscular hypertrophy, joint limitation and hearing loss. We identified SMAD4 mutations as the cause of Myhre syndrome. SMAD4 mutations have also been identified in laryngotracheal stenosis, arthropathy, prognathism and short stature syndrome (LAPS). This study aimed to review the features of Myhre and LAPS patients to define the clinical spectrum of SMAD4 mutations. We included 17 females and 15 males ranging in age from 8 to 48 years. Thirty were diagnosed with Myhre syndrome and two with LAPS. SMAD4 coding sequence was analyzed by Sanger sequencing. Clinical and radiological features were collected from a questionnaire completed by the referring physicians. All patients displayed a typical facial gestalt, thickened skin, joint limitation and muscular pseudohypertrophy. Growth retardation was common (68.7%) and was variable in severity (from -5.5 to -2 SD), as was mild-to-moderate intellectual deficiency (87.5%) with additional behavioral problems in 56.2% of the patients. Significant health concerns like obesity, arterial hypertension, bronchopulmonary insufficiency, laryngotracheal stenosis, pericarditis and early death occurred in four. Twenty-nine patients had a de novo heterozygous SMAD4 mutation, including both patients with LAPS. In 27 cases mutation affected Ile500 and in two cases Arg496. The three patients without SMAD4 mutations had typical findings of Myhre syndrome. Myhre-LAPS syndrome is a clinically homogenous condition with life threatening complications in the course of the disease. Our identification of SMAD4 mutations in 29/32 cases confirms that SMAD4 is the major gene responsible for Myhre syndrome.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 15 January 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.288.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 01/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 3D analysis of facial morphology has delineated facial phenotypes in many medical conditions and detected fine grained differences between typical and atypical patients to inform genotype-phenotype studies. Next-generation sequencing techniques have enabled extremely detailed genotype-phenotype correlative analysis. Such comparisons typically employ control groups matched for age, sex and ethnicity and the distinction between ethnic categories in genotype-phenotype studies has been widely debated. The phylogenetic tree based on genetic polymorphism studies divides the world population into nine subpopulations. Here we show statistically significant face shape differences between two European Caucasian populations of close phylogenetic and geographic proximity from the UK and The Netherlands. The average face shape differences between the Dutch and UK cohorts were visualised in dynamic morphs and signature heat maps, and quantified for their statistical significance using both conventional anthropometry and state of the art dense surface modelling techniques. Our results demonstrate significant differences between Dutch and UK face shape. Other studies have shown that genetic variants influence normal facial variation. Thus, face shape difference between populations could reflect underlying genetic difference. This should be taken into account in genotype-phenotype studies and we recommend that in those studies reference groups be established in the same population as the individuals who form the subject of the study.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 8 January 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.289.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 01/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a multisystem genetic disorder with distinct facies, growth failure, intellectual disability, distal limb anomalies, gastrointestinal and neurological disease. Mutations in NIPBL, encoding a cohesin regulatory protein, account for more than 80% of cases with typical facies. Mutations in the core cohesin complex proteins, encoded by the SMC1A, SMC3 and RAD21 genes, together account for ∼5% of subjects, often with atypical CdLS features. Recently, we identified mutations in the X-linked gene HDAC8 as the cause of a small number of CdLS cases. Here we report a cohort of 35 individuals with an emerging spectrum of features caused by HDAC8 mutations. For several individuals, the diagnosis of CdLS was not considered prior to genomic testing. Most mutations identified are missense and de novo. Many cases are heterozygous females, each with marked skewing of X-inactivation in peripheral blood DNA. We also identified eight hemizygous males who are more severely affected. The craniofacial appearance caused by HDAC8 mutations overlaps that of typical CdLS but often displays delayed anterior fontanelle closure, ocular hypertelorism, hooding of the eyelids, a broader nose and dental anomalies, which may be useful discriminating features. HDAC8 encodes the lysine deacetylase for the cohesin subunit SMC3 and analysis of the functional consequences of the missense mutations indicates that all cause a loss of enzymatic function. These data demonstrate that loss of function mutations in HDAC8 cause a range of overlapping human developmental phenotypes, including a phenotypically distinct subgroup of CdLS.
Human Molecular Genetics 01/2014; · 7.69 Impact Factor