Anna R Duncan

Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, United States

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Publications (4)9.69 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We ascertained a nuclear family in which three of four siblings were affected with an unclassified autosomal recessive myopathy characterized by severe weakness, respiratory impairment, scoliosis, joint contractures, and an unusual combination of dystrophic and myopathic features on muscle biopsy. Whole genome sequence from one affected subject was filtered using linkage data and variant databases. A single gene, MEGF10, contained nonsynonymous mutations that co-segregated with the phenotype. Affected subjects were compound heterozygous for missense mutations c.976T > C (p.C326R) and c.2320T > C (p.C774R). Screening the MEGF10 open reading frame in 190 patients with genetically unexplained myopathies revealed a heterozygous mutation, c.211C > T (p.R71W), in one additional subject with a similar clinical and histological presentation as the discovery family. All three mutations were absent from at least 645 genotyped unaffected control subjects. MEGF10 contains 17 atypical epidermal growth factor-like domains, each of which contains eight cysteine residues that likely form disulfide bonds. Both the p.C326R and p.C774R mutations alter one of these residues, which are completely conserved in vertebrates. Previous work showed that murine Megf10 is required for preserving the undifferentiated, proliferative potential of satellite cells, myogenic precursors that regenerate skeletal muscle in response to injury or disease. Here, knockdown of megf10 in zebrafish by four different morpholinos resulted in abnormal phenotypes including unhatched eggs, curved tails, impaired motility, and disorganized muscle tissue, corroborating the pathogenicity of the human mutations. Our data establish the importance of MEGF10 in human skeletal muscle and suggest satellite cell dysfunction as a novel myopathic mechanism.
    Neurogenetics 02/2012; 13(2):115-24. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many myopathies share clinical features in common, and diagnosis often requires genetic testing. We ascertained a family in which five siblings presented with distal muscle weakness of unknown etiology. We performed high-density genomewide linkage analysis and mutation screening of candidate genes to identify the genetic defect in the family. Preserved clinical biopsy material was reviewed to confirm the diagnosis, and reverse transcriptase PCR was used to determine the molecular effect of a splice site mutation. The linkage scan excluded the majority of known myopathy genes, but one linkage peak included the gene GNE, in which mutations cause autosomal recessive hereditary inclusion body myopathy type 2 (HIBM2). Muscle biopsy tissue from a patient showed myopathic features, including small basophilic fibers with vacuoles. Sequence analysis of GNE revealed affected individuals were compound heterozygous for a novel mutation in the 5' splice donor site of intron 10 (c.1816+5G>A) and a previously reported missense mutation (c.2086G>A, p.V696M), confirming the diagnosis as HIBM2. The splice site mutation correlated with exclusion of exon 10 from the transcript, which is predicted to produce an in-frame deletion (p.G545_D605del) of 61 amino acids in the kinase domain of the GNE protein. The father of the proband was heterozygous for the splice site mutation and exhibited mild distal weakness late in life. Our study expands on the extensive allelic heterogeneity of HIBM2 and demonstrates the value of linkage analysis in resolving ambiguous clinical findings to achieve a molecular diagnosis.
    BMC Medical Genetics 06/2011; 12:87. · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2 (LGMD2) is a genetically heterogeneous autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in 15 known genes. DNA sequencing of all candidate genes can be expensive and laborious, whereas a selective sequencing approach often fails to provide a molecular diagnosis. We aimed to efficiently identify pathogenic mutations via homozygosity mapping in a population in which the genetics of LGMD2 has not been well characterized. Thirteen consanguineous families containing a proband with LGMD2 were recruited from Saudi Arabia, and for 11 of these families, selected individuals were genotyped at 10,204 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Linkage analysis excluded all but one or two known genes in ten of 11 genotyped families, and haplotype comparisons between families allowed further reduction in the number of candidate genes that were screened. Mutations were identified by DNA sequencing in all 13 families, including five novel mutations in four genes, by sequencing at most two genes per family. One family was reclassified as having a different myopathy based on genetic and clinical data after linkage analysis excluded all known LGMD2 genes. LGMD2 subtypes A and B were notably absent from our sample of patients, indicating that the distribution of LGMD2 mutations in Saudi Arabian families may be different than in other populations. Our data demonstrate that homozygosity mapping in consanguineous pedigrees offers a more efficient means of discovering mutations that cause heterogeneous disorders than comprehensive sequencing of known candidate genes.
    Neurogenetics 10/2010; 11(4):449-55. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • Neuromuscular Disorders - NEUROMUSCULAR DISORD. 01/2010; 20(9):604-605.