[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: New human mutations are thought to originate in germ cells, thus making a recurrence of the same mutation in a sibling exceedingly rare. However, increasing sensitivity of genomic technologies has anecdotally revealed mosaicism for mutations in somatic tissues of apparently healthy parents. Such somatically mosaic parents might also have germline mosaicism that can potentially cause unexpected intergenerational recurrences. Here, we show that somatic mosaicism for transmitted mutations among parents of children with simplex genetic disease is more common than currently appreciated. Using the sensitivity of individual-specific breakpoint PCR, we prospectively screened 100 families with children affected by genomic disorders due to rare deletion copy-number variants (CNVs) determined to be de novo by clinical analysis of parental DNA. Surprisingly, we identified four cases of low-level somatic mosaicism for the transmitted CNV in DNA isolated from parental blood. Integrated probabilistic modeling of gametogenesis developed in response to our observations predicts that mutations in parental blood increase recurrence risk substantially more than parental mutations confined to the germline. Moreover, despite the fact that maternally transmitted mutations are the minority of alleles, our model suggests that sexual dimorphisms in gametogenesis result in a greater proportion of somatically mosaic transmitting mothers who are thus at increased risk of recurrence. Therefore, somatic mosaicism together with sexual differences in gametogenesis might explain a considerable fraction of unexpected recurrences of X-linked recessive disease. Overall, our results underscore an important role for somatic mosaicism and mitotic replicative mutational mechanisms in transmission genetics.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 07/2014; · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomic copy-number variations (CNVs) constitute an important cause of epilepsies and other human neurological disorders. Recent advancement of technologies integrating genome-wide CNV mapping and sequencing is rapidly expanding the molecular field of pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders. In a previous study, a novel epilepsy locus was identified on 6q16.3q22.31 by linkage analysis in a large pedigree. Subsequent array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) analysis of four unrelated cases narrowed this region to ∼5 Mb on 6q22.1q22.31. We sought to further narrow the critical region on chromosome 6q22. Array CGH analysis was used in genome-wide screen for CNVs of a large cohort of patients with neurological abnormalities. Long-range PCR and DNA sequencing were applied to precisely map chromosomal deletion breakpoints. Finally, real-time qPCR was used to estimate relative expression in the brain of the candidate genes. We identified six unrelated patients with overlapping microdeletions within 6q22.1q22.31 region, three of whom manifested seizures. Deletions were found to be de novo in 5/6 cases, including all subjects presenting with seizures. We sequenced the deletion breakpoints in four patients and narrowed the critical region to a ∼250-kb segment at 6q22.1 that includes NUS1, several expressed sequence tags (ESTs) that are highly expressed in the brain, and putative regulatory sequences of SLC35F1. Our findings indicate that dosage alteration in particular, of NUS1, EST AI858607, or SLC35F1 are important contributors to the neurodevelopmental phenotype associated with 6q22 deletion, including epilepsy and tremors.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 14 May 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.75.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 05/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular malformations are a singularly important class of birth defects and, due to dramatic improvements in medical and surgical care, there are now large numbers of adult survivors. The etiologies are complex, but there is strong evidence that genetic factors play a crucial role. Over the last 15 years there has been enormous progress in the discovery of causative genes for syndromic heart malformations and in rare families with Mendelian forms. The rapid characterization of genomic disorders as major contributors to congenital heart defects is also notable. The genes identified encode many transcription factors, chromatin regulators, growth factors and signal transduction pathways- all unified by their required roles in normal cardiac development. Genome-wide sequencing of the coding regions promises to elucidate genetic causation in several disorders affecting cardiac development. Such comprehensive studies evaluating both common and rare variants would be essential in characterizing gene-gene interactions, as well as in understanding the gene-environment interactions that increase the susceptibility to congenital heart defects.
European journal of medical genetics 04/2014; · 1.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular malformations and cardiomyopathy are among the most common phenotypes caused by deletions of chromosome 1p36 which affect approximately 1 in 5000 newborns. Although these cardiac-related abnormalities are a significant source of morbidity and mortality associated with 1p36 deletions, most of the individual genes that contribute to these conditions have yet to be identified. In this paper, we use a combination of clinical and molecular cytogenetic data to define five critical regions for cardiovascular malformations and two critical regions for cardiomyopathy on chromosome 1p36. Positional candidate genes which may contribute to the development of cardiovascular malformations associated with 1p36 deletions include DVL1, SKI, RERE, PDPN, SPEN, CLCNKA, ECE1, HSPG2, LUZP1, and WASF2. Similarly, haploinsufficiency of PRDM16-a gene which was recently shown to be sufficient to cause the left ventricular noncompaction-SKI, PRKCZ, RERE, UBE4B and MASP2 may contribute to the development of cardiomyopathy. When treating individuals with 1p36 deletions, or providing prognostic information to their families, physicians should take into account that 1p36 deletions which overlie these cardiac critical regions may portend to cardiovascular complications. Since several of these cardiac critical regions contain more than one positional candidate gene-and large terminal and interstitial 1p36 deletions often overlap more than one cardiac critical region-it is likely that haploinsufficiency of two or more genes contributes to the cardiac phenotypes associated with many 1p36 deletions.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85600. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Somatic chromosomal mosaicism arising from post-zygotic errors is known to cause several well-defined genetic syndromes as well as contribute to phenotypic variation in diseases. However, somatic mosaicism is often under-diagnosed due to challenges in detection. We evaluated 10 362 patients with a custom-designed, exon-targeted whole-genome oligonucleotide array and detected somatic mosaicism in a total of 57 cases (0.55%). The mosaicism was characterized and confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and/or chromosome analysis. Different categories of abnormal cell lines were detected: (1) aneuploidy, including sex chromosome abnormalities and isochromosomes (22 cases), (2) ring or marker chromosomes (12 cases), (3) single deletion/duplication copy number variations (CNVs) (11 cases), (4) multiple deletion/duplication CNVs (5 cases), (5) exonic CNVs (4 cases), and (6) unbalanced translocations (3 cases). Levels of mosaicism calculated based on the array data were in good concordance with those observed by FISH (10-93%). Of the 14 cases evaluated concurrently by chromosome analysis, mosaicism was detected solely by the array in 4 cases (29%). In summary, our exon-targeted array further expands the diagnostic capability of high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization in detecting mosaicism for cytogenetic abnormalities as well as small CNVs in disease-causing genes.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 8 January 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.285.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 01/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Curation and interpretation of copy number variants identified by genome-wide testing is challenged by the large number of events harbored in each personal genome. Conventional determination of phenotypic relevance relies on patterns of higher frequency in affected individuals versus controls; however, an increasing amount of ascertained variation is rare or private to clans. Consequently, frequency data have less utility to resolve pathogenic from benign. One solution is disease-specific algorithms that leverage gene knowledge together with variant frequency to aid prioritization. We used large-scale resources including Gene Ontology, protein-protein interactions and other annotation systems together with a broad set of 83 genes with known associations to epilepsy to construct a pathogenicity score for the phenotype. We evaluated the score for all annotated human genes and applied Bayesian methods to combine the derived pathogenicity score with frequency information from our diagnostic laboratory. Analysis determined Bayes factors and posterior distributions for each gene. We applied our method to subjects with abnormal chromosomal microarray results and confirmed epilepsy diagnoses gathered by electronic medical record review. Genes deleted in our subjects with epilepsy had significantly higher pathogenicity scores and Bayes factors compared to subjects referred for non-neurologic indications. We also applied our scores to identify a recently validated epilepsy gene in a complex genomic region and to reveal candidate genes for epilepsy. We propose a potential use in clinical decision support for our results in the context of genome-wide screening. Our approach demonstrates the utility of integrative data in medical genomics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) of the brain are important markers of aging and small-vessel disease. WMHs are rare in healthy children and, when observed, often occur with comorbid neuroinflammatory or vasculitic processes. Here, we describe a complex 4 kb deletion in 2q36.3 that segregates with early childhood communication disorders and WMH in 15 unrelated families predominantly from Southeast Asia. The premature brain aging phenotype with punctate and multifocal WMHs was observed in ∼70% of young carrier parents who underwent brain MRI. The complex deletion removes the penultimate exon 3 of TM4SF20, a gene encoding a transmembrane protein of unknown function. Minigene analysis showed that the resultant net loss of an exon introduces a premature stop codon, which, in turn, leads to the generation of a stable protein that fails to target to the plasma membrane and accumulates in the cytoplasm. Finally, we report this deletion to be enriched in individuals of Vietnamese Kinh descent, with an allele frequency of about 1%, embedded in an ancestral haplotype. Our data point to a constellation of early language delay and WMH phenotypes, driven by a likely toxic mechanism of TM4SF20 truncation, and highlight the importance of understanding and managing population-specific low-frequency pathogenic alleles.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/2013; · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) and hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) have been reported in rare individuals with large terminal deletions of chromosome 15q26. However, no single gene important for left ventricular outflow tract development has been identified in this region. Using array-comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), we identified two half-siblings with CoA with a 2.2 Mb deletion on 15q26.2, inherited from their mother, who was mosaic for this deletion. This interval contains an evolutionary conserved, protein-coding gene, MCTP2 (multiple C2-domains with two transmembrane regions 2). Using gene-specific array screening in 146 individuals with non-syndromic left ventricular outflow tract obstructive defects, another individual with HLHS and CoA was found to have a de novo 41 kb intragenic duplication within MCTP2, predicted to result in premature truncation, p.F697X. Alteration of Mctp2 gene expression in Xenopus laevis embryos by morpholino knockdown and mRNA overexpresssion resulted in failure of proper outflow tract development, confirming the functional importance of this dosage sensitive gene for cardiogenesis. Our results identify MCTP2 as a novel genetic cause of CoA and related cardiac malformations.
Human Molecular Genetics 06/2013; · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In clinical diagnostics, both array comparative genomic hybridization (array CGH) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping have proven to be powerful genomic technologies utilized for the evaluation of developmental delay, multiple congenital anomalies, and neuropsychiatric disorders. Differences in the ability to resolve genomic changes between these arrays may constitute an implementation challenge for clinicians: which platform (SNP vs array CGH) might best detect the underlying genetic cause for the disease in the patient? While only SNP arrays enable the detection of copy number neutral regions of absence of heterozygosity (AOH), they have limited ability to detect single-exon copy number variants (CNVs) due to the distribution of SNPs across the genome. To provide comprehensive clinical testing for both CNVs and copy-neutral AOH, we enhanced our custom-designed high-resolution oligonucleotide array that has exon-targeted coverage of 1860 genes with 60 000 SNP probes, referred to as Chromosomal Microarray Analysis - Comprehensive (CMA-COMP). Of the 3240 cases evaluated by this array, clinically significant CNVs were detected in 445 cases including 21 cases with exonic events. In addition, 162 cases (5.0%) showed at least one AOH region >10 Mb. We demonstrate that even though this array has a lower density of SNP probes than other commercially available SNP arrays, it reliably detected AOH events >10 Mb as well as exonic CNVs beyond the detection limitations of SNP genotyping. Thus, combining SNP probes and exon-targeted array CGH into one platform provides clinically useful genetic screening in an efficient manner.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 22 May 2013; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.77.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 05/2013; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over 1,200 recessive disease genes have been described in humans. The prevalence, allelic architecture, and per-genome load of pathogenic alleles in these genes remain to be fully elucidated, as does the contribution of DNA copy-number variants (CNVs) to carrier status and recessive disease. We mined CNV data from 21,470 individuals obtained by array comparative genomic hybridization in a clinical diagnostic setting to identify deletions encompassing or disrupting recessive disease genes. We identified 3,212 heterozygous potential carrier deletions affecting 419 unique recessive disease genes. Deletion frequency of these genes ranged from one occurrence to 1.5%. When compared with recessive disease genes never deleted in our cohort, the 419 recessive disease genes affected by at least one carrier deletion were longer and were located farther from known dominant disease genes, suggesting that the formation and/or prevalence of carrier CNVs may be affected by both local and adjacent genomic features and by selection. Some subjects had multiple carrier CNVs (307 subjects) and/or carrier deletions encompassing more than one recessive disease gene (206 deletions). Heterozygous deletions spanning multiple recessive disease genes may confer carrier status for multiple single-gene disorders, for complex syndromes resulting from the combination of two or more recessive conditions, or may potentially cause clinical phenotypes due to a multiply heterozygous state. In addition to carrier mutations, we identified homozygous and hemizygous deletions potentially causative for recessive disease. We provide further evidence that CNVs contribute to the allelic architecture of both carrier and recessive disease-causing mutations. Thus, a complete recessive carrier screening method or diagnostic test should detect CNV alleles.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We delineated and analyzed directly oriented paralogous low-copy repeats (DP-LCRs) in the most recent version of the human haploid reference genome. The computationally defined DP-LCRs were cross-referenced with our Chromosomal Microarray Analysis (CMA) database of 25,144 patients subjected to genome-wide assays. This computationally guided approach to the empirically-derived large dataset allowed us to investigate genomic rearrangement relative frequencies and identify new loci for recurrent nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR)-mediated copy-number variants (CNVs). The most commonly observed recurrent CNVs were NPHP1 duplications (233), CHRNA7 duplications (175), and 22q11.21 deletions (DiGeorge/Velocardiofacial syndrome, 166). In the ~ 25% of CMA cases for which parental studies were available, we identified 190 de novo recurrent CNVs. In this group, the most frequently observed events were deletions of 22q11.21 (48), 16p11.2 (autism, 34), and 7q11.23 (Williams-Beuren syndrome, 11). Several features of DP-LCRs, including length, distance between NAHR substrate elements, DNA sequence identity (fraction matching), GC content, and concentration of the homologous recombination (HR) hot spot motif 5'-CCNCCNTNNCCNC-3' correlate with the frequencies of the recurrent CNVs events. Four novel adjacent DP-LCR-flanked and NAHR-prone regions, involving 2q12.2q13 were elucidated in association with novel genomic disorders. Our study quantitates genome architectural features responsible for NAHR mediated genomic instability and further elucidates the role of NAHR in human disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:Chromosomal microarray analysis enables the detection of microdeletions/duplications and has become the standard in clinical diagnostic testing for individuals with congenital anomalies and developmental disabilities. In the era of genomic arrays, the value of traditional chromosome analysis needs to be reassessed.Methods:We studied 3,710 unrelated patients by chromosomal microarray analysis and chromosome analysis simultaneously and compared the results.Results:We found that chromosomal microarray analysis detected the chromosomal imbalances that were identified by chromosome analysis with the exception of six cases (0.16%) that had mosaic abnormalities. Of note, one case showed mosaicism for two abnormal cell lines, resulting in a balanced net effect and a normal chromosomal microarray analysis. Further structural abnormalities such as unbalanced translocations, rings, and complex rearrangements were subsequently clarified by chromosome analysis in 18% of the cases with abnormal chromosomal microarray analysis results. Apparently balanced rearrangements were detected by chromosome analysis in 30 cases (0.8%).Conclusion:Our data demonstrate that although chromosomal microarray analysis should be the first-tier test for clinical diagnosis of chromosome abnormalities, chromosome analysis remains valuable in the detection of mosaicism and delineation of chromosomal structural rearrangements.Genet Med advance online publication 13 December 2012Genetics in Medicine (2012); doi:10.1038/gim.2012.152.
Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 12/2012; · 3.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinically significant cardiovascular malformations (CVMs) occur in 5-8 per 1000 live births. Recurrent copy number variations (CNVs) are among the known causes of syndromic CVMs, accounting for an important fraction of cases. We hypothesized that many additional rare CNVs also cause CVMs and can be detected in patients with CVMs plus extracardiac anomalies (ECAs). Through a genome-wide survey of 203 subjects with CVMs and ECAs, we identified 55 CNVs >50 kb in length that were not present in children without known cardiovascular defects (n=872). Sixteen unique CNVs overlapping these variants were found in an independent CVM plus ECA cohort (n=511), which were not observed in 2011 controls. The study identified 12/16 (75%) novel loci including non-recurrent de novo 16q24.3 loss (4/714) and de novo 2q31.3q32.1 loss encompassing PPP1R1C and PDE1A (2/714). The study also narrowed critical intervals in three well-recognized genomic disorders of CVM, such as the cat-eye syndrome region on 22q11.1, 8p23.1 loss encompassing GATA4 and SOX7 and 17p13.3-p13.2 loss. An analysis of protein-interaction databases shows that the rare inherited and de novo CNVs detected in the combined cohort are enriched for genes encoding proteins that are direct or indirect partners of proteins known to be required for normal cardiac development. Our findings implicate rare variants such as 16q24.3 loss and 2q31.3-q32.1 loss, and delineate regions within previously reported structural variants known to cause CVMs.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 29 August 2012; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.155.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 08/2012; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heterotaxy-spectrum cardiovascular disorders are challenging for traditional genetic analyses because of clinical and genetic heterogeneity, variable expressivity, and non-penetrance. In this study, high-resolution SNP genotyping and exon-targeted array comparative genomic hybridization platforms were coupled to whole-exome sequencing to identify a novel disease candidate gene.
SNP genotyping identified absence-of-heterozygosity regions in the heterotaxy proband on chromosomes 1, 4, 7, 13, 15, 18, consistent with parental consanguinity. Subsequently, whole-exome sequencing of the proband identified 26,065 coding variants, including 18 non-synonymous homozygous changes not present in dbSNP132 or 1000 Genomes. Of these 18, only 4--one each in CXCL2, SHROOM3, CTSO, RXFP1--were mapped to the absence-of-heterozygosity regions, each of which was flanked by more than 50 homozygous SNPs, confirming recessive segregation of mutant alleles. Sanger sequencing confirmed the SHROOM3 homozygous missense mutation and it was predicted as pathogenic by four bioinformatic tools. SHROOM3 has been identified as a central regulator of morphogenetic cell shape changes necessary for organogenesis and can physically bind ROCK2, a rho kinase protein required for left-right patterning. Screening 96 sporadic heterotaxy patients identified four additional patients with rare variants in SHROOM3.
Using whole exome sequencing, we identify a recessive missense mutation in SHROOM3 associated with heterotaxy syndrome and identify rare variants in subsequent screening of a heterotaxy cohort, suggesting SHROOM3 as a novel target for the control of left-right patterning. This study reveals the value of SNP genotyping coupled with high-throughput sequencing for identification of high yield candidates for rare disorders with genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Submicroscopic deletions involving chromosome 1q43-q44 result in cognitive impairment, microcephaly, growth restriction, dysmorphic features, and variable involvement of other organ systems. A consistently observed feature in patients with this deletion are the corpus callosal abnormalities (CCAs), ranging from thinning and hypoplasia to complete agenesis. Previous studies attempting to delineate the critical region for CCAs have yielded inconsistent results. We conducted a detailed clinical and molecular characterization of seven patients with deletions of chromosome 1q43-q44. Using array comparative genomic hybridization, we mapped the size, extent, and genomic content of these deletions. Four patients had CCAs, and shared the smallest region of overlap that contains only three protein coding genes, CEP170, SDCCAG8, and ZNF238. One patient with a small deletion involving SDCCAG8 and AKT3, and another patient with an intragenic deletion of AKT3 did not have any CCA, implying that the loss of these two genes is unlikely to be the cause of CCA. CEP170 is expressed extensively in the brain, and encodes for a protein that is a component of the centrosomal complex. ZNF238 is involved in control of neuronal progenitor cells and survival of cortical neurons. Our results rule out the involvement of AKT3, and implicate CEP170 and/or ZNF238 as novel genes causative for CCA in patients with a terminal 1q deletion.
European journal of human genetics: EJHG 09/2011; 20(2):176-9. · 3.56 Impact Factor