Seema R Lalani

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, United States

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Publications (61)344.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Genomic disorders resulting from deletion or duplication of genomic segments are known to be an important cause of cardiovascular malformations (CVMs). In our previous study, we identified a unique individual with a de novo 17q25.3 deletion from a study of 714 cases with CVM. To understand the contribution of this locus to cardiac malformations, we reviewed the data on 60,000 samples submitted for array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) studies to Medical Genetics Laboratories at Baylor College of Medicine, and ascertained seven individuals with segmental aneusomy of 17q25. We validated our findings by studying another individual with a de novo submicroscopic deletion of this region from Cytogenetics Laboratory at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Using bioinformatic analyses including protein-protein interaction network, human tissue expression patterns, haploinsufficiency scores, and other annotation systems, including a training set of 251 genes known to be linked to human cardiac disease, we constructed a pathogenicity score for cardiac phenotype for each of the 57 genes within the terminal 2.0 Mb of 17q25.3. We found relatively high penetrance of cardiovascular defects (~60 %) with five deletions and three duplications, observed in eight unrelated individuals. Distinct cardiac phenotypes were present in four of these subjects with non-recurrent de novo deletions (range 0.08 Mb-1.4 Mb) in the subtelomeric region of 17q25.3. These included coarctation of the aorta (CoA), total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR), ventricular septal defect (VSD) and atrial septal defect (ASD). Amongst the three individuals with variable size duplications of this region, one had patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) at 8 months of age. The distinct cardiac lesions observed in the affected patients and the bioinformatics analyses suggest that multiple genes may be plausible drivers of the cardiac phenotype within this gene-rich critical interval of 17q25.3.
    Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 06/2015; 10(1):75. DOI:10.1186/s13023-015-0291-0 · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    06/2015; 2(2):76-92. DOI:10.3390/jcdd2020076
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    ABSTRACT: HEY2 is a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor that plays an important role in the developing mammalian heart and brain. In humans, nonsynonymous mutations in HEY2 have been described in patients with atrial ventricular septal defects, and a subset of individuals with chromosomal deletions involving HEY2 have cardiac defects and cognitive impairment. Less is known about the potential effects of HEY2 overexpression. Here, we describe a female child with tetralogy of Fallot who developed severe right ventricular outflow tract obstruction due to a combination of infundibular and valvular pulmonary stenosis. She was also noted to have hypotonia, lower extremity weakness, fine motor delay and speech delay. A copy number variation (CNV) detection analysis followed by real-time quantitative PCR analysis revealed a single gene duplication of HEY2. This is the only duplication involving HEY2 identified in our database of over 70,000 individuals referred for CNV analysis. In the developing heart, overexpression of HEY2 is predicted to cause decreased expression of the cardiac transcription factor GATA4 which, in turn, has been shown to cause tetralogy of Fallot. In mice, misexpression of Hey2 in the developing brain leads to inhibition of neurogenesis and promotion of gliogenesis. Hence, duplication of HEY2 may be a contributing factor to both the congenital heart defects and the neurodevelopmental problems evident in our patient. These results suggest that individuals with HEY2 duplications should be screened for congenital heart defects and monitored closely for evidence of developmental delay and/or cognitive impairment. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 04/2015; DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.37086 · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABAT is a key enzyme responsible for catabolism of principal inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). We report an essential role for ABAT in a seemingly unrelated pathway, mitochondrial nucleoside salvage, and demonstrate that mutations in this enzyme cause an autosomal recessive neurometabolic disorder and mtDNA depletion syndrome (MDS). We describe a family with encephalomyopathic MDS caused by a homozygous missense mutation in ABAT that results in elevated GABA in subjects' brains as well as decreased mtDNA levels in subjects' fibroblasts. Nucleoside rescue and co-IP experiments pinpoint that ABAT functions in the mitochondrial nucleoside salvage pathway to facilitate conversion of dNDPs to dNTPs. Pharmacological inhibition of ABAT through the irreversible inhibitor Vigabatrin caused depletion of mtDNA in photoreceptor cells that was prevented through addition of dNTPs in cell culture media. This work reveals ABAT as a connection between GABA metabolism and nucleoside metabolism and defines a neurometabolic disorder that includes MDS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cell Metabolism 03/2015; 21(3). DOI:10.1016/j.cmet.2015.02.008 · 16.75 Impact Factor
  • American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 03/2015; 167(4). DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.36948 · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • 38th Annual Meeting of the Society-for-Inherited-Metabolic-Disorders; 03/2015
  • Journal of the American College of Cardiology 03/2015; 65(10):A490. DOI:10.1016/S0735-1097(15)60490-9 · 15.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The 7q11.23 microduplication syndrome, caused by the reciprocal duplication of the Williams-Beuren syndrome deletion region, is a genomic disorder with an emerging clinical phenotype. Dysmorphic features, congenital anomalies, hypotonia, developmental delay highlighted by variable speech delay, and autistic features are characteristic findings. Congenital heart defects, most commonly patent ductus arteriosus, have been reported in a minority of cases. Included in the duplicated region is elastin (ELN), implicated as the cause of supravalvar aortic stenosis in patients with Williams–Beuren syndrome. Here we present a series of eight pediatric patients and one adult with 7q11.23 microduplication syndrome, all of whom had aortic dilation, the opposite vascular phenotype of the typical supravalvar aortic stenosis found in Williams–Beuren syndrome. The ascending aorta was most commonly involved, while dilation was less frequently identified at the aortic root and sinotubular junction. The findings in these patients support a recommendation for cardiovascular surveillance in patients with 7q11.23 microduplication syndrome. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 11/2014; 167(2). DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.36859 · 2.05 Impact Factor
  • 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition; 10/2014
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    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; 95(2). DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.07.003 · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the case of a teenage girl who presented with neurologic symptoms suggestive of a peripheral neuropathy, prior to the development of a central arteriovenous fistula. A 15-year-old patient presented with electromyography and nerve conduction studies indicative of a peroneal motor neuropathy but negative comprehensive genetic studies for common Charcot-Marie-Tooth mutations. After two years of stable symptoms, she presented with unilateral throbbing headache and tinnitus. Magnetic resonance angiography revealed a carotid cavernous fistula, confirmed with conventional angiography. A successful coil embolization of the fistula was performed. Whole-exome sequencing demonstrated a de novo heterozygous c.3158G>A (p.G1056D) mutation in the COL31A gene, consistent with Ehlers-Danlos type IV (EDS4). To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of isolated peroneal motor neuropathy in a patient with EDS4. This case highlights the utility of whole-exome sequencing in the diagnosis of patients with neurologic symptoms who do not fit a clear phenotype.
    Seminars in Pediatric Neurology 06/2014; 21(2). DOI:10.1016/j.spen.2014.04.006 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    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; 23(2). DOI:10.1038/ejhg.2014.75 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    Seema R Lalani, John W Belmont
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    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; DOI:10.1016/j.ejmg.2014.04.010 · 1.49 Impact Factor
  • Clinical dysmorphology 03/2014; 23(3). DOI:10.1097/MCD.0000000000000032 · 0.42 Impact Factor
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    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. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085600 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    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; 22(8). DOI:10.1038/ejhg.2013.285 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    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.
    PLoS Genetics 09/2013; 9(9):e1003797. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003797 · 8.17 Impact Factor
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    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; DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.05.027 · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    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; DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddt283 · 6.68 Impact Factor