[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim Numerous genes are known to cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). However, until now technological limitations have hindered elucidation of the contribution of all clinically relevant disease genes to DCM phenotypes in larger cohorts. We now utilized next-generation sequencing to overcome these limitations and screened all DCM disease genes in a large cohort.
Methods and results In this multi-centre, multi-national study, we have enrolled 639 patients with sporadic or familial DCM. To all samples, we applied a standardized protocol for ultra-high coverage next-generation sequencing of 84 genes, leading to 99.1% coverage of the target region with at least 50-fold and a mean read depth of 2415. In this well characterized cohort, we find the highest number of known cardiomyopathy mutations in plakophilin-2, myosin-binding protein C-3, and desmoplakin. When we include yet unknown but predicted disease variants, we find titin, plakophilin-2, myosin-binding protein-C 3, desmoplakin, ryanodine receptor 2, desmocollin-2, desmoglein-2, and SCN5A variants among the most commonly mutated genes. The overlap between DCM, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and channelopathy causing mutations is considerably high. Of note, we find that >38% of patients have compound or combined mutations and 12.8% have three or even more mutations. When comparing patients recruited in the eight participating European countries we find remarkably little differences in mutation frequencies and affected genes.
Conclusion This is to our knowledge, the first study that comprehensively investigated the genetics of DCM in a large-scale cohort and across a broad gene panel of the known DCM genes. Our results underline the high analytical quality and feasibility of Next-Generation Sequencing in clinical genetic diagnostics and provide a sound database of the genetic causes of DCM.
European Heart Journal 08/2014; · 14.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for aneuploidies is now available through commercial companies in many countries, including through private practice in the United Kingdom (UK). Thorough evaluation of service delivery requirements are needed to facilitate NIPT being offered more widely within state funded healthcare systems such as the UK's National Health Service (NHS). Successful implementation will require the development of laboratory standards, consideration of stakeholder views, an analysis of costs and development of patient and health professional educational materials.Methods/design: NIPT will be offered in an NHS setting as a contingent screening test. Pregnant woman will be recruited through six maternity units in England and Scotland. Women eligible for Down's syndrome screening (DSS) will be informed about the study at the time of booking. Women that choose routine DSS will be offered NIPT if they have a screening risk >=1:1000. NIPT results for trisomy 21, 18, 13 will be reported within 7-10 working days. Data on DSS, NIPT and invasive testing uptake, pregnancy outcomes and test efficacy will be collected. Additional data will be gathered though questionnaires to a) determine acceptability to patients and health professionals, b) evaluate patient and health professional education, c) assess informed choice in women accepting or declining testing and d) gauge family expenses. Qualitative interviews will also be conducted with a sub-set of participating women and health professionals.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 07/2014; 14(1):229. · 2.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) of fetal aneuploidy using cell-free fetal DNA is becoming part of routine clinical practice. RAPIDR is an easy to use, open source R package that implements several published NIPT analysis methods. The input to RAPIDR is a set of sequence alignment files in the BAM format, and the outputs are calls for aneuploidy, including trisomies 13, 18, 21 and monosomy X as well as fetal sex. RAPIDR has been extensively tested with a large sample set as part of the RAPID project in the UK. The package contains quality control steps to make it robust for use in the clinical setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is an autosomal dominant disease of lipid metabolism, which leads to early coronary heart disease. Mutations in LDLR, APOB and PCSK9 can be detected in 80% of definite FH (DFH) patients. This study aimed to identify novel FH-causing genetic variants in patients with no detectable mutation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a subset of inherited retinal degenerations (including cone, cone-rod, and macular dystrophies), cone photoreceptors are more severely affected than rods; ABCA4 mutations are the most common cause of this heterogeneous class of disorders. To identify retinal-disease-associated genes, we performed exome sequencing in 28 individuals with "cone-first" retinal disease and clinical features atypical for ABCA4 retinopathy. We then conducted a gene-based case-control association study with an internal exome data set as the control group. TTLL5, encoding a tubulin glutamylase, was highlighted as the most likely disease-associated gene; 2 of 28 affected subjects harbored presumed loss-of-function variants: c.[1586_1589delAGAG];[1586_1589delAGAG], p.[Glu529Valfs(∗)2];[Glu529Valfs(∗)2], and c.[401delT(;)3354G>A], p.[Leu134Argfs(∗)45(;)Trp1118(∗)]. We then inspected previously collected exome sequence data from individuals with related phenotypes and found two siblings with homozygous nonsense variant c.1627G>T (p.Glu543(∗)) in TTLL5. Subsequently, we tested a panel of 55 probands with retinal dystrophy for TTLL5 mutations; one proband had a homozygous missense change (c.1627G>A [p.Glu543Lys]). The retinal phenotype was highly similar in three of four families; the sibling pair had a more severe, early-onset disease. In human and murine retinae, TTLL5 localized to the centrioles at the base of the connecting cilium. TTLL5 has been previously reported to be essential for the correct function of sperm flagella in mice and play a role in polyglutamylation of primary cilia in vitro. Notably, genes involved in the polyglutamylation and deglutamylation of tubulin have been associated with photoreceptor degeneration in mice. The electrophysiological and fundus autofluorescence imaging presented here should facilitate the molecular diagnosis in further families.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 05/2014; 94(5):760-9. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for type 1 diabetes (T1D) have successfully identified more than 40 independent T1D associated tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). However, owing to technical limitations of copy number variants (CNVs) genotyping assays, the assessment of the role of CNVs has been limited to the subset of these in high linkage disequilibrium with tag SNPs. The contribution of untagged CNVs, often multi-allelic and difficult to genotype using existing assays, to the heritability of T1D remains an open question. To investigate this issue, we designed a custom comparative genetic hybridization array (aCGH) specifically designed to assay untagged CNV loci identified from a variety of sources. To overcome the technical limitations of the case control design for this class of CNVs, we genotyped the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (T1DGC) family resource (representing 3,903 transmissions from parents to affected offspring) and used an association testing strategy that does not necessitate obtaining discrete genotypes. Our design targeted 4,309 CNVs, of which 3,410 passed stringent quality control filters. As a positive control, the scan confirmed the known T1D association at the INS locus by direct typing of the 5' variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) locus. Our results clarify the fact that the disease association is indistinguishable from the two main polymorphic allele classes of the INS VNTR, class I-and class III. We also identified novel technical artifacts resulting into spurious associations at the somatically rearranging loci, T cell receptor, TCRA/TCRD and TCRB, and Immunoglobulin heavy chain, IGH, loci on chromosomes 14q11.2, 7q34 and 14q32.33, respectively. However, our data did not identify novel T1D loci. Our results do not support a major role of untagged CNVs in T1D heritability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic association studies, in particular the genome-wide association study (GWAS) design, have provided a wealth of novel insights into the aetiology of a wide range of human diseases and traits, in particular cardiovascular diseases and lipid biomarkers. The next challenge consists of understanding the molecular basis of these associations. The integration of multiple association datasets, including gene expression datasets, can contribute to this goal. We have developed a novel statistical methodology to assess whether two association signals are consistent with a shared causal variant. An application is the integration of disease scans with expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) studies, but any pair of GWAS datasets can be integrated in this framework. We demonstrate the value of the approach by re-analysing a gene expression dataset in 966 liver samples with a published meta-analysis of lipid traits including >100,000 individuals of European ancestry. Combining all lipid biomarkers, our re-analysis supported 26 out of 38 reported colocalisation results with eQTLs and identified 14 new colocalisation results, hence highlighting the value of a formal statistical test. In three cases of reported eQTL-lipid pairs (SYPL2, IFT172, TBKBP1) for which our analysis suggests that the eQTL pattern is not consistent with the lipid association, we identify alternative colocalisation results with SORT1, GCKR, and KPNB1, indicating that these genes are more likely to be causal in these genomic intervals. A key feature of the method is the ability to derive the output statistics from single SNP summary statistics, hence making it possible to perform systematic meta-analysis type comparisons across multiple GWAS datasets (implemented online at http://coloc.cs.ucl.ac.uk/coloc/). Our methodology provides information about candidate causal genes in associated intervals and has direct implications for the understanding of complex diseases as well as the design of drugs to target disease pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exome sequencing was performed in three index cases with bone marrow failure and neurological dysfunction and whose parents are first-degree cousins. Homozygous truncating mutations were identified in ERCC6L2 in two of the individuals. Both of these mutations affect the subcellular localization and stability of ERCC6L2. We show here that knockdown of ERCC6L2 in human A549 cells significantly reduced their viability upon exposure to the DNA-damaging agents mitomycin C and Irofulven, but not etoposide and camptothecin, suggesting a role in nucleotide excision repair. ERCC6L2-knockdown cells also displayed H2AX phosphorylation, which significantly increased upon genotoxic stress, suggesting an early DNA-damage response. Intriguingly, ERCC6L2 was seen to translocate to the mitochondria and the nucleus in response to DNA damage, and ERCC6L2 knockdown induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Treatment with the ROS scavenger N-acetyl cysteine attenuated the Irofulven-induced cytotoxicity in ERCC6L2-knockdown cells and abolished ERCCGL2 traffic to the mitochondria and nucleus in response to this DNA-damaging agent. Collectively, these observations identify a distinct bone-marrow-failure syndrome due to mutations in ERCC6L2, a gene implicated in DNA repair and mitochondrial function.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 02/2014; 94(2):246-56. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GTP cyclohydrolase 1, encoded by the GCH1 gene, is an essential enzyme for dopamine production in nigrostriatal cells. Loss-of-function mutations in GCH1 result in severe reduction of dopamine synthesis in nigrostriatal cells and are the most common cause of DOPA-responsive dystonia, a rare disease that classically presents in childhood with generalized dystonia and a dramatic long-lasting response to levodopa. We describe clinical, genetic and nigrostriatal dopaminergic imaging ([123I]N-omega-fluoropropyl-2beta-carbomethoxy-3beta-(4-iodophenyl) tropane single photon computed tomography) findings of four unrelated pedigrees with DOPA-responsive dystonia in which pathogenic GCH1 variants were identified in family members with adult-onset parkinsonism. Dopamine transporter imaging was abnormal in all parkinsonian patients, indicating Parkinson's disease-like nigrostriatal dopaminergic denervation. We subsequently explored the possibility that pathogenic GCH1 variants could contribute to the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, even in the absence of a family history for DOPA-responsive dystonia. The frequency of GCH1 variants was evaluated in whole-exome sequencing data of 1318 cases with Parkinson's disease and 5935 control subjects. Combining cases and controls, we identified a total of 11 different heterozygous GCH1 variants, all at low frequency. This list includes four pathogenic variants previously associated with DOPA-responsive dystonia (Q110X, V204I, K224R and M230I) and seven of undetermined clinical relevance (Q110E, T112A, A120S, D134G, I154V, R198Q and G217V). The frequency of GCH1 variants was significantly higher (Fisher's exact test P-value 0.0001) in cases (10/1318 = 0.75%) than in controls (6/5935 = 0.1%; odds ratio 7.5; 95% confidence interval 2.4-25.3). Our results show that rare GCH1 variants are associated with an increased risk for Parkinson's disease. These findings expand the clinical and biological relevance of GTP cycloydrolase 1 deficiency, suggesting that it not only leads to biochemical striatal dopamine depletion and DOPA-responsive dystonia, but also predisposes to nigrostriatal cell loss. Further insight into GCH1-associated pathogenetic mechanisms will shed light on the role of dopamine metabolism in nigral degeneration and Parkinson's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe novel CHRDL1 mutations in ten families with X-linked megalocornea (MGC1). Our mutation-positive cohort enabled us to establish ultrasonography as a reliable clinical diagnostic tool to distinguish between MGC1 and primary congenital glaucoma (PCG). Megalocornea is also a feature of Neuhäuser or megalocornea-mental retardation (MMR) syndrome, a rare condition of unknown etiology. In a male patient diagnosed with MMR, we performed targeted and whole exome sequencing (WES) and identified a novel missense mutation in CHRDL1 that accounts for his MGC1 phenotype but not his non-ocular features. This finding suggests that MMR syndrome, in some cases, may be di- or multigenic. MGC1 patients have reduced central corneal thickness (CCT); however no X-linked loci have been associated with CCT, possibly because the majority of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) overlook the X-chromosome. We therefore explored whether variants on the X-chromosome are associated with CCT. We found rs149956316, in intron 6 of CHRDL1, to be the most significantly associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (p = 6.81×10-6) on the X-chromosome. However, this association was not replicated in a smaller subset of whole genome sequenced samples. This study highlights the importance of including X-chromosome SNP data in GWAS to identify potential loci associated with quantitative traits or disease risk.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(8):e104163. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TDP43 protein mislocalization is a hallmark of the neurodegenerative diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia, and mutations in the gene encoding TDP43 cause both disorders, further highlighting its role in disease pathogenesis. TDP43 is a heterogenous ribonucleoprotein, therefore suggesting that alterations in RNA metabolism play a role in these disorders, although direct evidence in patients is lacking. Sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) is the most common acquired myopathy occurring in adults aged older than 50 years and abnormal cytoplasmic accumulations of TDP43 have been consistently described in sIBM myofibers. Here, we exploit high quality RNA from frozen sIBM muscle biopsies for transcriptomic studies on TDP43-proteinopathy patient tissue. Surprisingly, we found widespread sIBM-specific changes in the RNA metabolism pathways themselves. Consistent with this finding, we describe novel RNA binding proteins to mislocalize in the cytoplasm of sIBM myofibers and splicing changes in MAPT, a gene previously shown to play a role in sIBM. Our data indicate widespread alterations of RNA metabolism are a novel aspect of disease pathogenesis in sIBM. These findings also document an association, in TDP43-proteinopathy patients, between heterogenous ribonucleoprotein pathology and RNA metabolism alterations and carry importance for neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia.
Neurobiology of aging 12/2013; · 5.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are progressive neurodegenerative disorders that share significant clinical, pathological and genetic overlap and are considered to represent different ends of a common disease spectrum. Mutations in Profilin1 have recently been described as a rare cause of familial ALS. The PFN1 E117G missense variant has been described in familial and sporadic cases, and also found in controls, casting doubt on its pathogenicity. Interpretation of such variants represents a significant clinical-genetics challenge.
Here, we combine a screen of a new cohort of 383 ALS patients with multiple-sequence datasets to refine estimates of the ALS and FTD risk associated with PFN1 E117G. Together, our cohorts add up to 5118 ALS and FTD cases and 13 089 controls. We estimate a frequency of E117G of 0.11% in controls and 0.25% in cases. Estimated odds after population stratification is 2.44 (95% CI 1.048 to ∞, Mantel-Haenszel test p=0.036).
Our results show an association between E117G and ALS, with a moderate effect size.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 12/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inherited retinal dystrophies are a major cause of childhood blindness. Here, we describe the identification of a homozygous frameshift mutation (c.1194_1195delAG, p.Arg398Serfs*9) in TUB in a child from a consanguineous UK Caucasian family investigated using autozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing. The proband presented with obesity, night blindness, decreased visual acuity, and electrophysiological features of a rod cone dystrophy. The mutation was also found in two of the proband's siblings with retinal dystrophy and resulted in mislocalization of the truncated protein. In contrast to known forms of retinal dystrophy, including those caused by mutations in the tubby-like protein TULP-1, loss of function of TUB in the proband and two affected family members was associated with early-onset obesity, consistent with an additional role for TUB in energy homeostasis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The autosomal-recessive cerebellar ataxias (ARCA) are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders. The large number of ARCA genes leads to delay and difficulties obtaining an exact diagnosis in many patients and families. Ubiquinone (CoQ10) deficiency is one of the potentially treatable causes of ARCAs as some patients respond to CoQ10 supplementation. The AarF domain containing kinase 3 gene (ADCK3) is one of several genes associated with CoQ10 deficiency. ADCK3 encodes a mitochondrial protein which functions as an electron-transfer membrane protein complex in the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC).
We report two siblings from a consanguineous Pakistani family who presented with cerebellar ataxia and severe myoclonus from adolescence. Whole exome sequencing and biochemical assessment of fibroblasts were performed in the index patient.
A novel homozygous frameshift mutation in ADCK3 (p.Ser616Leufs*114), was identified in both siblings. This frameshift mutation results in the loss of the stop codon, extending the coding protein by 81 amino acids. Significant CoQ10 deficiency and reduced MRC enzyme activities in the index patient's fibroblasts suggested that the mutant protein may reduce the efficiency of mitochondrial electron transfer. CoQ10 supplementation was initiated following these genetic and biochemical analyses. She gained substantial improvement in myoclonic movements, ataxic gait and dysarthric speech after treatment.
This study highlights the importance of diagnosing ADCK3 mutations and the potential benefit of treatment for patients. The identification of this new mutation broadens the phenotypic spectrum associated with ADCK3 mutations and provides further understanding of their pathogenic mechanism.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 11/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic mutations cause primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs), which predispose to infections. Here we describe Activated PI3K-δ Syndrome (APDS), a PID associated with a dominant gain-of-function mutation in which lysine replaced glutamic acid at residue 1021 (E1021K) in the p110δ protein, the catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide 3-kinase δ (PI3Kδ), encoded by the PIK3CD gene. We found E1021K in 17 patients from seven unrelated families, but not among 3346 healthy subjects. APDS was characterized by recurrent respiratory infections, progressive airway damage, lymphopenia, increased circulating transitional B cells, increased immunoglobulin M and reduced immunoglobulin G2 levels in serum and impaired vaccine responses. The E1021K mutation enhanced membrane association and kinase activity of p110δ. Patient-derived lymphocytes had increased levels of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate and phosphorylated AKT protein and were prone to activation-induced cell death. Selective p110δ inhibitors IC87114 and GS-1101 reduced the activity of the mutant enzyme in vitro, which suggested a therapeutic approach for patients with APDS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Short-rib polydactyly syndromes (SRPS I–V) are a group of lethal congenital disorders characterized by shortening of the ribs and long
bones, polydactyly, and a range of extraskeletal phenotypes. A number of other disorders in this grouping, including Jeune and Ellis-van
Creveld syndromes, have an overlapping but generally milder phenotype. Collectively, these short-rib dysplasias (with or without polydactyly)
share a common underlying defect in primary cilium function and form a subset of the ciliopathy disease spectrum. By using
whole-exome capture and massive parallel sequencing of DNA from an affected Australian individual with SRPS type III, we detected two
novel heterozygous mutations in WDR60, a relatively uncharacterized gene. These mutations segregated appropriately in the unaffected
parents and another affected family member, confirming compound heterozygosity, and both were predicted to have a damaging effect
on the protein. Analysis of an additional 54 skeletal ciliopathy exomes identified compound heterozygous mutations in WDR60 in a
Spanish individual with Jeune syndrome of relatively mild presentation. Of note, these two families share one novel WDR60 missense
mutation, although haplotype analysis suggested no shared ancestry. We further show that WDR60 localizes at the base of the primary cilium in wild-type human chondrocytes, and analysis of fibroblasts from affected individuals revealed a defect in ciliogenesis and aberrant accumulation of the GLI2 transcription factor at the centrosome or basal body in the absence of an obvious axoneme. These findings show that WDR60 mutations can cause skeletal ciliopathies and suggest a role for WDR60 in ciliogenesis.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2013; · 11.20 Impact Factor