Asma Sunker

King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Jeddah, Mintaqat Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Are you Asma Sunker?

Claim your profile

Publications (6)67.22 Total impact

  • Asma Sunker, Fowzan S Alkuraya
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several neurodegenerative disorders are known to predominantly affect the white matter of the brain including vanishing white matter disease (VWMD), an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by leukodystrophy of varying severity in addition to variable systemic involvement. We report a consanguineous Arab family with three affected children, all of whom presented with severe neonatal epilepsy and profound neurodegenerative disease characterized by marked leukodystrophy with white matter cavitation mimicking VWMD. We combined autozygome and exome analysis to identify a novel variant in the gene encoding a member of the eIF2B-related family of proteins (MRI1). This is a poorly understood family of proteins of unclear function and this report. Our results represent the first link between a variant in a member of this family and a human disease, and suggest it converges with the highly homologous eIF2B, known to be mutated in VWMD, on the molecular pathogenesis of neurodegeneration.
    Gene 11/2012; · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Brittle cornea syndrome (BCS) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder characterized by extreme corneal fragility and thinning, which may lead to spontaneous or trauma-induced corneal rupture. BCS-1 and BCS-2 are caused by recessive mutations in ZNF469 and PRDM5, respectively. Both genes play a role in the regulatory pathway of corneal development and maintenance. We report a consanguineous family with five patients affected with the cardinal ocular features of BCS and significant musculoskeletal findings primarily in the form of joint hypermobility and severe kyphoscoliosis. The patients had thin velvety skin, hallux valgus, variable sensorineural hearing loss and arachnodactyly. Interestingly, one of the patients additionally had phenylketonuria and showed a milder ophthalmological and musculoskeletal phenotype than his affected siblings. The urinary pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline concentrations and their ratios were mildly elevated indicating increased bone-collagen turnover. A novel homozygous 14bp duplication in exon 2 of ZNF469 (c.8817_8830dup) was uncovered by direct sequencing. This family highlights the phenotypic overlap between BCS and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
    Gene 09/2012; · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Primordial dwarfism (PD) is a phenotype characterized by profound growth retardation that is prenatal in onset. Significant strides have been made in the last few years toward improved understanding of the molecular underpinning of the limited growth that characterizes the embryonic and postnatal development of PD individuals. These include impaired mitotic mechanics, abnormal IGF2 expression, perturbed DNA-damage response, defective spliceosomal machinery, and abnormal replication licensing. In three families affected by a distinct form of PD, we identified a founder truncating mutation in POC1A. This gene is one of two vertebrate paralogs of POC1, which encodes one of the most abundant proteins in the Chlamydomonas centriole proteome. Cells derived from the index individual have abnormal mitotic mechanics with multipolar spindles, in addition to clearly impaired ciliogenesis. siRNA knockdown of POC1A in fibroblast cells recapitulates this ciliogenesis defect. Our findings highlight a human ciliopathy syndrome caused by deficiency of a major centriolar protein.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 07/2012; 91(2):330-6. · 11.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease that causes substantial morbidity. As is typical for many other multifactorial disorders, much of the heritability of SLE remains unknown. We identified a rare autosomal recessive form of SLE, in which autozygome analysis revealed a null mutation in the DNASE1L3 gene. The DNASE1L3-related SLE we describe was always pediatric in onset and correlated with a high frequency of lupus nephritis. Our findings confirm the critical role of impaired clearance of degraded DNA in SLE pathogenesis.
    Nature Genetics 12/2011; 43(12):1186-8. · 35.21 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adams-Oliver syndrome (AOS) is defined by the combination of aplasia cutis congenita (ACC) and terminal transverse limb defects (TTLD). It is usually inherited as an autosomal-dominant trait, but autosomal-recessive inheritance has also been documented. In an individual with autosomal-recessive AOS, we combined autozygome analysis with exome sequencing to identify a homozygous truncating mutation in dedicator of cytokinesis 6 gene (DOCK6) which encodes an atypical guanidine exchange factor (GEF) known to activate two members of the Rho GTPase family: Cdc42 and Rac1. Another homozygous truncating mutation was identified upon targeted sequencing of DOCK6 in an unrelated individual with AOS. Consistent with the established role of Cdc42 and Rac1 in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton, we demonstrate a cellular phenotype typical of a defective actin cytoskeleton in patient cells. These findings, combined with a Dock6 expression profile that is consistent with an AOS phenotype as well as the very recent demonstration of dominant mutations of ARHGAP31 in AOS, establish Cdc42 and Rac1 as key molecules in the pathogenesis of AOS and suggest that other regulators of these Rho GTPase proteins might be good candidates in the quest to define the genetic spectrum of this genetically heterogeneous condition.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2011; 89(2):328-33. · 11.20 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Meckel Gruber syndrome (MKS) is an autosomal recessive multisystem disorder that represents a severe form of ciliopathy in humans and is characterized by significant genetic heterogeneity. In this article, we describe the identification of a novel MKS locus MKS8 that we map to TCTN2, in a multiplex consanguineous family. TCTN2 is a paralog of the recently identified Tectonic 1, which has been shown to modulate sonic hedgehog signaling. Expression analysis at different developmental stages of the murine ortholog revealed a spatial and temporal pattern consistent with the MKS phenotype observed in our patient. The exclusion of this and the other seven MKS genes in our collection of consanguineous Arab MKS families confirms the existence of two additional MKS loci.
    Human Mutation 04/2011; 32(6):573-8. · 5.21 Impact Factor