Caroline Astbury

Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, United States

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Publications (22)87.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Current practice by clinical diagnostic laboratories is to utilize online prediction programs to help determine the significance of novel variants in a given gene sequence. However, these programs vary widely in their methods and ability to correctly predict the pathogenicity of a given sequence change. The performance of 17 publicly available pathogenicity prediction programs was assayed using a dataset consisting of 122 credibly pathogenic and benign variants in genes associated with the RASopathy family of disorders and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. Performance metrics were compared between the programs to determine the most accurate program for loss-of-function and gain-of-function mechanisms. No one program correctly predicted the pathogenicity of all variants analyzed. A major hindrance to the analysis was the lack of output from a significant portion of the programs. The best performer was MutPred, which had a weighted accuracy of 82.6% in the full dataset. Surprisingly, combining the results of the top three programs did not increase the ability to predict pathogenicity over the top performer alone. As the increasing number of sequence changes in larger datasets will require interpretation, the current study demonstrates that extreme caution must be taken when reporting pathogenicity based on statistical online protein prediction programs in the absence of functional studies.
    Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Campomelic dysplasia (CD) is a skeletal dysplasia characterized by Pierre Robin sequence (PRS), shortened and bowed long bones, airway instability, and the potential for sex reversal. A subtype of CD, acampomelic CD (ACD), is seen in approximately 10% of cases and preserves long bone straightness. Both syndromes are caused by alterations in SOX9, with translocations and missense mutations being overrepresented in ACD cases. We report a term infant with PRS, severe cervical spine abnormalities, eleven rib pairs, hypoplastic scapulae, and female genitalia. Chromosome analysis identified a 46,XY,t(6;17)(q25;q24) karyotype. FISH analysis with a series of BAC probes localized the translocation breakpoints to 6q27 and a region at 17q24.3 in the range of 459-379 kb upstream of SOX9. Therefore, this case extends the region classified as the proximal breakpoint cluster. In addition, the comorbidity of acampomelia, complete sex reversal, and severe spinal anomalies in our patient underscores the variability in the level of malformation in the CD/ACD family of disorders.
    European journal of medical genetics 05/2014; · 1.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A newborn with severe microcephaly and a history of parental consanguinity was referred for cytogenetic analysis and subsequently for genetic evaluation. While a 46,XY karyotype was eventually obtained, premature chromosome condensation was observed. A head MRI confirmed primary microcephaly. This combination of features focused clinical interest on the MCPH1 gene and directed genetic testing by sequence analysis and duplication / deletion studies disclosed a homozygous deletion of exons 1-11 of the MCPH1 gene. This case illustrates a strength of standard cytogenetic evaluation in directing molecular testing to a single target gene in this disorder, allowing much more rapid diagnosis at a substantial cost savings for this family.
    European journal of medical genetics 09/2013; · 1.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Short tandem repeat (STR) loci are commonly used in forensic casework, familial analysis for human identification, and for monitoring hematopoietic cell engraftment after bone marrow transplant. Unexpected genetic variation leading to sequence and length differences in STR loci can complicate STR typing, and presents challenges in casework interpretation. Copy number variation (CNV) is a relatively recently identified form of genetic variation consisting of genomic regions present at variable copy numbers within an individual compared to a reference genome. Large scale population studies have demonstrated that likely all individuals carry multiple regions with CNV of 1kb in size or greater in their genome. To date, no study correlating genomic regions containing STR loci with CNV has been conducted. In this study, we analyzed results from 32,850 samples sent for clinical array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analysis for the presence of CNV at regions containing the 13 CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) STR, and the Amelogenin X (AMELX) and Amelogenin Y (AMELY) loci. Thirty-two individuals with CNV involving STR loci on chromosomes 2, 4, 7, 11, 12, 13, 16, and 21, and twelve with CNV involving the AMELX/AMELY loci were identified. These results were correlated with data from publicly available databases housing information on CNV identified in normal populations and additional clinical cases. These collective results demonstrate the presence of CNV in regions containing 9 of the 13 CODIS STR and AMELX/Y loci. Further characterization of STR profiles within regions of CNV, additional cataloging of these variants in multiple populations, and contributing such examples to the public domain will provide valuable information for reliable use of these loci.
    Forensic Science International: Genetics 09/2013; 7(5):475-81. · 3.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deletions of the long arm of chromosome 4 are rare but have been previously reported to be associated with craniofacial anomalies, digital anomalies, developmental delay, growth failure, and cardiovascular anomalies [1-6]. Strehle et al [1] previously presented 20 patients with 4q deletions and began to construct a phenotype-genotype map for chromosome 4q. This report follows up on that work by providing clinical and molecular cytogenetic data on a three generation pedigree including seven patients with short stature, dysmorphic features, and developmental delay identified to have a 4q27-q28.1 microdeletion of approximately 5.68 Mb by oligonucleotide chromosomal microarray. This family represents a rare report of an inherited interstitial deletion of the long arm of chromosome 4. To our knowledge, only two cases have been previously reported [7-8]. The contribution of candidate genes in the region is discussed.
    European journal of medical genetics 07/2013; · 1.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe an 11 month old female with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) resulting from an atypically large deletion of proximal 15q due to a de novo 3;15 unbalanced translocation. The 10.6 megabase deletion extends from the chromosome 15 short arm and is not situated in a region previously reported as a common distal breakpoint for unbalanced translocations. There was no deletion of the reciprocal chromosome 3q subtelomeric region detected by either chromosomal microarray or FISH. The patient has hypotonia, failure to thrive, and typical dysmorphic facial features for PWS. The patient also has profound global developmental delay consistent with an expanded, more severe, phenotype.
    European journal of medical genetics 07/2013; · 1.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that certain copy number variations (CNV) are associated with a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders (ASD), bipolar disorder and intellectual disabilities. Implicated regions and genes have comprised a variety of post synaptic complex proteins and neurotransmitter receptors, including gamma-amino butyric acid A (GABAA). Clusters of GABAA receptor subunit genes are found on chromosomes 4p12, 5q34, 6q15 and 15q11-13. Maternally inherited 15q11-13 duplications among individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders are well described, but few case reports exist for the other regions. We describe a family with a 2.42 Mb duplication at chromosome 4p13 to 4p12, identified in the index case and other family members by oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization, that contains 13 genes including a cluster of four GABAA receptor subunit genes. Fluorescent in-situ hybridization was used to confirm the duplication. The duplication segregates with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders in this family, including ASD (index case), developmental delay, dyspraxia and ADHD (brother), global developmental delays (brother), learning disabilities (mother) and bipolar disorder (maternal grandmother). In addition, we identified and describe another individual unrelated to this family, with a similar duplication, who was diagnosed with ASD, ADHD and borderline intellectual disability. The 4p13 to 4p12 duplication appears to confer a susceptibility to a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders in these two families. We hypothesize that the duplication acts through a dosage effect of GABAA receptor subunit genes, adding evidence for alterations in the GABAergic system in the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 22 May 2013; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.99.
    European journal of human genetics: EJHG 05/2013; · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genomic rearrangements involving AUTS2 (7q11.22) are associated with autism and intellectual disability (ID), although evidence for causality is limited. By combining the results of diagnostic testing of 49,684 individuals, we identified 24 microdeletions that affect at least one exon of AUTS2, as well as one translocation and one inversion each with a breakpoint within the AUTS2 locus. Comparison of 17 well-characterized individuals enabled identification of a variable syndromic phenotype including ID, autism, short stature, microcephaly, cerebral palsy, and facial dysmorphisms. The dysmorphic features were more pronounced in persons with 3'AUTS2 deletions. This part of the gene is shown to encode a C-terminal isoform (with an alternative transcription start site) expressed in the human brain. Consistent with our genetic data, suppression of auts2 in zebrafish embryos caused microcephaly that could be rescued by either the full-length or the C-terminal isoform of AUTS2. Our observations demonstrate a causal role of AUTS2 in neurocognitive disorders, establish a hitherto unappreciated syndromic phenotype at this locus, and show how transcriptional complexity can underpin human pathology. The zebrafish model provides a valuable tool for investigating the etiology of AUTS2 syndrome and facilitating gene-function analysis in the future.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 01/2013; · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type 1 pseudohypoaldosteronism (PHA1) is a salt wasting syndrome caused by renal resistance to aldosterone. Primary renal PHA1 or autosomal dominant PHA1 is caused by mutations in mineralocorticoids receptor gene (NR3C2), while secondary PHA1 is frequently associated with urinary tract infection (UTI) and/or urinary tract malformations (UTM). We report a 14-day-old male infant presenting with severe hyperkalemia, hyponatremic dehydration, metabolic acidosis, and markedly elevated serum aldosterone level, initially thought to have secondary PHA1 due to the associated UTI and posterior urethral valves. His serum aldosterone remained elevated at 5 months of age, despite resolution of salt wasting symptoms. Chromosomal microarray analysis revealed a deletion of exons 3-5 in NR3C2 in the patient and his asymptomatic mother who also had elevated serum aldosterone level, confirming that he had primary or autosomal dominant PHA1. Our case raises the possibility that some patients with secondary PHA1 attributed to UTI and/or UTM may instead have primary autosomal dominant PHA1, for which genetic testing should be considered to identify the cause, determine future recurrence risk, and possibly prevent the life-threatening salt wasting in a subsequent family member. Future clinical research is needed to investigate the potential overlapping between secondary PHA1 and primary autosomal dominant PHA1.
    Case reports in endocrinology. 01/2013; 2013:524647.
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    ABSTRACT: Genomic rearrangements involving AUTS2 (7q11.22) are associated with autism and intellectual disability (ID), although evidence for causality is limited. By combining the results of diagnostic testing of 49,684 individuals, we identified 24 microdeletions that affect at least one exon of AUTS2, as well as one translocation and one inversion each with a breakpoint within the AUTS2 locus. Comparison of 17 well-characterized individuals enabled identification of a variable syndromic phenotype including ID, autism, short stature, microcephaly, cerebral palsy, and facial dysmorphisms. The dysmorphic features were more pronounced in persons with 3'AUTS2 deletions. This part of the gene is shown to encode a C-terminal isoform (with an alternative transcription start site) expressed in the human brain. Consistent with our genetic data, suppression of auts2 in zebrafish embryos caused microcephaly that could be rescued by either the full-length or the C-terminal isoform of AUTS2. Our observations demonstrate a causal role of AUTS2 in neurocognitive disorders, establish a hitherto unappreciated syndromic phenotype at this locus, and show how transcriptional complexity can underpin human pathology. The zebrafish model provides a valuable tool for investigating the etiology of AUTS2 syndrome and facilitating gene-function analysis in the future.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 01/2013; · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The 12q14 microdeletion syndrome is a rare condition that has previously been characterized by pre- and postnatal growth restriction, proportionate short stature, failure to thrive, developmental delay, and osteopoikilosis. Previously reported microdeletions within this region have ranged in size from 1.83 to 10.12 Mb with a proposed 2.61 Mb smallest region of overlap containing the LEMD3, HMGA2, and GRIP1 genes. Here, we report on the identification of a 12q14 microdeletion in a female child presenting with proportionate short stature, failure to thrive, and speech delay. The genomic loss (minimum size 4.17 Mb, maximum size 4.21 Mb) contained 25 RefSeq genes including IRAK3, GRIP1, and the 3' portion of the HMGA2 gene. This is the first partial deletion of HMGA2 associated with the 12q14 microdeletion syndrome. This case further clarifies the association of LEMD3 deletions with the 12q14 microdeletion syndrome and provides additional support for the role of the HMGA2 gene in human growth. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 09/2012; 158A(11):2925-30. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Recent in vitro studies suggest that CAPN3 deficiency leads initially to accelerated myofiber formation followed by depletion of satellite cells (SC). In normal muscle, up-regulation of miR-1 and miR-206 facilitates transition from proliferating SCs to differentiating myogenic progenitors. Methods: We examined the histopathological stages, Pax7 SC content, and muscle-specific microRNA expression in biopsy specimens from well-characterized LGMD 2A patients to gain insight into disease pathogenesis. Results: Three distinct stages of pathological changes were identified that represented the continuum of the dystrophic process from prominent inflammation with necrosis and regeneration to prominent fibrosis, which correlated with age and disease duration. Pax7-positive SCs were highest in the fibrotic group and correlated with down-regulation of miR-1, miR-133a, and miR-206. Conclusions: These observations, and other published reports, are consistent with microRNA dysregulation leading to inability of Pax7-positive SCs to transit from proliferation to differentiation. This results in impaired regeneration and fibrosis. Muscle Nerve, 2013.
    Muscle & Nerve 09/2012; · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of more than one cell line in an individual may often be missed by classical cytogenetic analysis due to a low percentage of affected cells or analysis of cells from an unaffected or less affected germ layer. Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) from whole blood or tissue is an important adjunct to standard karyotyping due to its ability to detect genomic imbalances that are below the resolution of karyotype analysis. We report results from three unrelated patients in whom aCGH revealed mosaicism not identified by peripheral blood chromosome analysis. This study further illustrates the important application of aCGH in detecting tissue-specific mosaicism, thereby leading to an improvement in the ability to provide a diagnosis for patients with normal chromosome analysis and dysmorphic features, congenital anomalies, and/or developmental delay.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 07/2012; 158A(8):1924-33. · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • Robert E Pyatt, Caroline Astbury
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    ABSTRACT: Many copy number alterations (CNA) currently interpreted as variants of unknown significance (VUS) will ultimately be determined to be benign; however, their classification requires a more extensive characterization of the human genome than currently exists. There is no definitive set of rules or level of evidence required to define a CNA as benign. The information needed to accurately assess the pathogenic impact of CNA is beginning to be assembled. Although the lack of understanding of the human genome can make clinical array-comparative genomic hybridization interpretation frustrating, it is precisely why clinical human genetics is an exciting arena in which to work.
    Clinics in laboratory medicine 12/2011; 31(4):565-80, viii. · 1.17 Impact Factor
  • Caroline Astbury
    Clinics in laboratory medicine 12/2011; 31(4):xiii-xv. · 1.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Persons with neurodevelopmental disorders or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often harbor chromosomal microdeletions, yet the individual genetic contributors within these regions have not been systematically evaluated. We established a consortium of clinical diagnostic and research laboratories to accumulate a large cohort with genetic alterations of chromosomal region 2q23.1 and acquired 65 subjects with microdeletion or translocation. We sequenced translocation breakpoints; aligned microdeletions to determine the critical region; assessed effects on mRNA expression; and examined medical records, photos, and clinical evaluations. We identified a single gene, methyl-CpG-binding domain 5 (MBD5), as the only locus that defined the critical region. Partial or complete deletion of MBD5 was associated with haploinsufficiency of mRNA expression, intellectual disability, epilepsy, and autistic features. Fourteen alterations, including partial deletions of noncoding regions not typically captured or considered pathogenic by current diagnostic screening, disrupted MBD5 alone. Expression profiles and clinical characteristics were largely indistinguishable between MBD5-specific alteration and deletion of the entire 2q23.1 interval. No copy-number alterations of MBD5 were observed in 7878 controls, suggesting MBD5 alterations are highly penetrant. We surveyed MBD5 coding variations among 747 ASD subjects compared to 2043 non-ASD subjects analyzed by whole-exome sequencing and detected an association with a highly conserved methyl-CpG-binding domain missense variant, p.79Gly>Glu (c.236G>A) (p = 0.012). These results suggest that genetic alterations of MBD5 cause features of 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome and that this epigenetic regulator significantly contributes to ASD risk, warranting further consideration in research and clinical diagnostic screening and highlighting the importance of chromatin remodeling in the etiology of these complex disorders.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 10/2011; 89(4):551-63. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The limb-girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMDs) are a heterogenous group of diseases characterized by shoulder-girdle and pelvic muscle weakness and wasting. LGMD 2E is an autosomal recessively inherited form of the disease caused by mutations in the β-sarcoglycan (SGCB) gene located at 4q12. In this report, we describe a patient who demonstrates non-Mendelian inheritance of a homozygous missense mutation in SGCB resulting in disease expression. A combination of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array technology and microsatellite analysis revealed the occurrence of maternal uniparental disomy (UPD) for chromosome 4 in the patient. As a consequence of segmental isodisomy at 4q12, the patient inherited two identical SGCB alleles carrying a missense mutation predicted to result in abnormal protein function. SNP array technology proved to be an elegant means to determine the most probable mechanism of UPD formation in this case, and enabled us to determine the location of recombination events along chromosome 4. In our patient, UPD likely arose from a trisomy rescue event due to maternal meiotic non-disjunction that we speculate may have been caused by abnormal recombination at the pericentromeric region. Maternal UPD 4 is a rare finding, and to our knowledge this is the first reported case of UPD in association with LGMD.
    Clinical Genetics 04/2011; 81(6):578-83. · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to attain long-lasting alpha-sarcoglycan gene expression in limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, type 2D (LGMD2D) subjects mediated by adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene transfer under control of a muscle specific promoter (tMCK). rAAV1.tMCK.hSGCA (3.25 × 10¹¹ vector genomes) was delivered to the extensor digitorum brevis muscle of 3 subjects with documented SGCA mutations via a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial. Control sides received saline. The blind was not broken until the study was completed at 6 months and all results were reported to the oversight committee. Persistent alpha-sarcoglycan gene expression was achieved for 6 months in 2 of 3 LGMD2D subjects. Markers for muscle fiber transduction other than alpha-sarcoglycan included expression of major histocompatibility complex I, increase in muscle fiber size, and restoration of the full sarcoglycan complex. Mononuclear inflammatory cells recruited to the site of gene transfer appeared to undergo programmed cell death, demonstrated by terminal deoxynucleotide transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling and caspase-3 staining. A patient failing gene transfer demonstrated an early rise in neutralizing antibody titers and T-cell immunity to AAV, validated by enzyme-linked immunospot on the second day after gene injection. This was in clear distinction to other participants with satisfactory gene expression. The findings of this gene replacement study in LGMD2D subjects have important implications not previously demonstrated in muscular dystrophy. Long-term, sustainable gene expression of alpha-sarcoglycan was observed following gene transfer mediated by AAV. The merit of a muscle-specific tMCK promoter, not previously used in a clinical trial, was evident, and the potential for reversal of disease was displayed.
    Annals of Neurology 11/2010; 68(5):629-38. · 11.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Array comparative genomic hybridization has increasingly become the standard of care to evaluate patients for genomic imbalance. As the patient population evaluated by microarray expands, there is certain to be an increase in the detection of unexpected, yet common diseases. When array results predict a late-onset disorder or cancer predisposition, it becomes a challenge for physicians and counselors to adequately address with patients. Included in this study were three patients described with nonspecific phenotypic findings who underwent microarray testing to better define their disease etiology. An unexpected deletion within the dystrophin gene was observed in each case, despite that no patient was suspected of a dystrophinopathy at the time of testing. The patients included an 8-day-old male with a dystrophin deletion predictive of Becker muscular dystrophy, an 18-month old female found to be the carrier of deletion, and a 4-year-8-month-old male with a deletion predictive of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In this circumstance it becomes difficult to counsel the family, as well as to predict disease course when underlying medical conditions may exist. However, early detection may enable the patient to receive proactive treatment, and allows for screening of at-risk family members. Ultimately, it is up to the clinician to promote informed decision-making within the family prior to testing, and ensure that adequate counseling is provided during follow-up.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 09/2010; 152A(9):2301-7. · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reports of dysferlinopathy have suggested a clinically heterogeneous group of patients. We identified specific novel molecular and phenotypic features that help distinguish dysferlinopathies from other forms of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD). A detailed history, physical exam, and protein and mutation analysis of genomic DNA was done for all subjects. Five of 21 confirmed DYSF gene mutations were not previously reported. A distinct "bulge" of the deltoid muscle in combination with other findings was a striking feature in all patients. Six subjects had atypical calf enlargement, and 3 of these exhibited a paradoxical pattern of dysferlin expression: severely reduced by direct immunofluorescence with overexpression on Western blots. Six patients showed amyloid deposits in muscle that extended these findings to new domains of the dysferlin gene, including the C2G domain. Correlative studies showed colocalization of amyloid with deposition of dysferlin. The present data further serve to guide clinicians facing the expensive task of molecular characterization of patients with an LGMD phenotype.
    Muscle & Nerve 07/2010; 42(1):14-21. · 2.31 Impact Factor