N K Spurr

University of Crete, Retimo, Crete, Greece

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Publications (263)1734.03 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Tylosis esophageal cancer (TOC) is an autosomal-dominant syndrome characterized by palmoplantar keratoderma, oral precursor lesions, and a high lifetime risk of esophageal cancer. We have previously localized the TOC locus to a small genomic interval within chromosomal region 17q25. Using a targeted capture array and next-generation sequencing, we have now identified missense mutations (c.557T>C [p.Ile186Thr] and c.566C>T [p.Pro189Leu] in RHBDF2, which encodes the inactive rhomboid protease RHBDF2 (also known as iRhom2), as the underlying cause of TOC. We show that the distribution of RHBDF2 in tylotic skin is altered in comparison with that in normal skin, and immortalized tylotic keratinocytes have decreased levels of total epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and display an increased proliferative and migratory potential relative to normal cells, even when normal cells are stimulated with exogenous epidermal growth factor. It would thus appear that EGFR signaling is dysregulated in tylotic cells. Furthermore, we also show an altered localization of RHBDF2 in both tylotic and sporadic squamous esophageal tumors. The elucidation of a role of RHBDF2 in growth-factor signaling in esophageal cancer will help to determine whether targeting this pathway in chemotherapy for this and other squamous cell carcinomas will be effective.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 02/2012; 90(2):340-6. · 11.20 Impact Factor
  • David P. Kelsell, Nigel K. Spurr
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    ABSTRACT: Human-rodent somatic cell hybrids have proven to be a useful tool for mapping expressed gene products (1,2) and, in particular, DNA sequences. The accuracy of the method is dependent on the identification of a species difference between the human and rodent species. This chapter details methods for DNA-based gene mapping techniques using somatic cell hybrids.
    02/2008: pages 45-52;
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    ABSTRACT: With the completion of the first draft of the human genome sequence, the next major challenge is assigning function to genes. One approach is genome-wide random chemical mutagenesis, followed by screening for mutant phenotypes of interest and subsequent mapping and identification of the mutated genes in question. We (a consortium made up of GlaxoSmithKline, the MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit and Mouse Genome Centre, Harwell, Imperial College, London, and the Royal London Hospital) have used ENU mutagenesis in the mouse for the rapid generation of novel mutant phenotypes for use as animal models of human disease and for gene function assignment (Nolan et al., 2000). As of 2003, 35,000 mice have been produced to date in a genome-wide screen for dominant mutations and screened using a variety of screening protocols. Nearly 200 mutants have been confirmed as heritable and added to the mouse mutant catalogue and, overall, we can extrapolate that we have recovered over 700 mutants from the screening programme. For further information on the project and details of the data, see http://www.mgu.har.mrc.ac.uk/mutabase. Keywords: ENU mutagenesis; mouse mutants
    11/2007: pages 47-49;
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    ABSTRACT: Meiotic breakpoint panels for human chromosomes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20 and X were constructed from genotypes from the CEPH reference families. Each recombinant chromosome included has a breakpoint well-supported with reference to defined quantitative criteria. The panels were constructed at both a low- resolution, useful for a first-pass localization, and high-resolution, for a more precise placement. The availability of such panels will reduce the number of genotyping experiments necessary to order new polymorphisms with respect to existing genetic markers. This paper shows only a representative sample of the breakpoints detected. The complete data are available on the World Wide Web URL (http:www.icnet.ukaxphgreurogemHTMLdata.html) or by anonymous ftp (ftp.gene.ucl.ac.uk inpubeurogemmapsbreakpoints).
    Annals of Human Genetics 09/2007; 60(6):447 - 486. · 2.22 Impact Factor
  • Human Molecular Genetics 10/2005; 14(17):2485-8. · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interindividual variability in drug response, ranging from no therapeutic benefit to life-threatening adverse reactions, is influenced by variation in genes that control the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs1. We genotyped 904 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 55 such genes in two population samples (European and Japanese) and identified a set of tagging SNPs that represents the common variation in these genes, both known and unknown. Extensive empirical evaluations, including a direct assessment of association with candidate functional SNPs in a new, larger population sample, validated the performance of these tagging SNPs and confirmed their utility for linkage-disequilibrium mapping in pharmacogenetics. The analyses also suggest that rare variation is not amenable to tagging strategies.
    Nature Genetics 02/2005; · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) and cathepsin K (CTSK) genes lie in a tandem head-to-tail arrangement on human chromosome 1. The two genes are in extremely close proximity; the usual CTSK transcription start site is less than 1.4 kb downstream of the end of the longest reported ARNT transcript. By generating an RT-PCR product that overlaps both the 3' end of ARNT and the 5' end of CTSK, we show that ARNT transcripts may extend through the ARNT-CTSK intergenic region and progress into the CTSK gene. Furthermore, by using quantitative RT-PCR from several tissues to detect the ARNT expression signature in CTSK introns, we show that ARNT transcripts can read through into CTSK as far as CTSK intron 3, extending approximately 3.7 kb downstream of the end of the longest previously described ARNT mRNA. Given that ARNT and CTSK are expressed in an overlapping range of tissues, ARNT read-through may have a negative impact on CTSK transcript levels by interfering with CTSK expression. We also present evidence for novel CTSK transcripts following sequence analysis of CTSK-derived ESTs and RT-PCR products. These transcripts show alternate 5' splicing and or 5' extension and are sometimes initiated from a cryptic alternative promoter which is upstream of the known CTSK promoter and possibly in the 3' UTR of ARNT.
    Comparative and Functional Genomics 01/2005; 6(5-6):268-76. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: With the completion of the first draft of the human genome sequence, the next major challenge is assigning function to genes. One approach is genome-wide random chemical mutagenesis, followed by screening for mutant phenotypes of interest and subsequent mapping and identification of the mutated genes in question. We (a consortium made up of GlaxoSmithKline, the MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit and Mouse Genome Centre, Harwell, Imperial College, London, and the Royal London Hospital) have used ENU mutagenesis in the mouse for the rapid generation of novel mutant phenotypes for use as animal models of human disease and for gene function assignment (Nolan et al., 2000). As of 2003, 35,000 mice have been produced to date in a genome-wide screen for dominant mutations and screened using a variety of screening protocols. Nearly 200 mutants have been confirmed as heritable and added to the mouse mutant catalogue and, overall, we can extrapolate that we have recovered over 700 mutants from the screening programme. For further information on the project and details of the data, see http://www.mgu.har.mrc.ac.uk/mutabase.
    Genetica 10/2004; 122(1):47-9. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) introduces mutations throughout the mouse genome at relatively high efficiency. Successful high-throughput phenotype screens have been reported and alternative screens using sequence-based approaches have been proposed. For the purpose of generating an allelic series in selected genes by a sequence-based approach, we have constructed an archive of over 4000 DNA samples from individual F1 ENU-mutagenized mice paralleled by frozen sperm samples. Together with our previously reported archive, the total size now exceeds 6000 individuals. A gene-based screen of 27.4 Mbp of DNA, carried out using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC), found a mutation rate of 1 in 1.01 Mbp of which 1 in 1.82 Mbp were potentially functional. Screening of whole or selected regions of genes on subsets of the archive has allowed us to identify 15 new alleles from 9 genes out of 15 tested. This is a powerful adjunct to conventional mutagenesis strategies and has the advantage of generating a variety of alleles with potentially different phenotypic outcomes that facilitate the investigation of gene function. It is now available to academic collaborators as a community resource.
    Mammalian Genome 09/2004; 15(8):585-91. · 2.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we report the first cloned N-ethyl-nitrosourea (ENU)-derived mouse model of diabetes. GENA348 was identified through free-fed plasma glucose measurement, being more than 2 SDs above the population mean of a cohort of >1,201 male ENU mutant mice. The underlying gene was mapped to the maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY2) homology region of mouse chromosome 11 (logarithm of odds 6.0). Positional candidate gene analyses revealed an A to T transversion mutation in exon 9 of the glucokinase gene, resulting in an isoleucine to phenylalanine change at amino acid 366 (I366F). Heterozygous mutants have 67% of the enzyme activity of wild-type littermates (P < 0.0012). Homozygous mutants have less enzyme activity (14% of wild-type activity) and are even less glucose tolerant. The GENA348 allele is novel because no mouse or human diabetes studies have described a mutation in the corresponding amino acid position. It is also the first glucokinase missense mutation reported in mice and is homozygous viable, unlike the global knockout mutations. This work demonstrates that ENU mutagenesis screens can be used to generate models of complex phenotypes, such as type 2 diabetes, that are directly relevant to human disease.
    Diabetes 06/2004; 53(6):1577-83. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Three mutant mice with pigmentation phenotypes were recovered from a genome-wide random mouse chemical mutagenesis study. White toes (Whto; MGI:1861986), Belly spot and white toes (Bswt; MGI:2152776) and Dark footpads 2 (Dfp2; MGI:1861991) were identified following visual inspection of progeny from a male exposed to the point mutagen ethylnitrosourea (ENU). In order to rapidly localize the causative mutations, genome-wide linkage scans were performed on pooled DNA samples from backcross animals for each mutant line. Whto was mapped to proximal mouse chromosome (Mmu) 7 between Cen (the centromere) and D7Mit112 (8.0 cM from the centromere), Bswt was mapped to centric Mmul between D1Mit214 (32.1 cM) and D1Mit480 (32.8 cM) and Dfp2 was mapped to proximal Mmu4 between Cen and D4Mit18 (5.2 cM). Whto, Bswt and Dfp2 may provide novel starting points in furthering the elucidation of genetic and biochemical pathways relevant to pigmentation and associated biological processes. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Comparative and Functional Genomics 02/2004; 5(2):123 - 127. · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tranilast (N-(3'4'-demethoxycinnamoyl)-anthranilic acid (N-5)) is an investigational drug for the prevention of restenosis following percutaneous transluminal coronary revascularization. An increase in bilirubin levels was observed in 12% of patients upon administration of tranilast in a phase III clinical trial. To identify the potential genetic factors that may account for the drug-induced hyperbilirubinemia, we examined polymorphisms in the uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) gene in over a thousand patients. Our results suggested that the TA repeat polymorphism in UGT1A1, which predisposes some individuals to Gilbert's syndrome, predicted the susceptibility to tranilast-induced hyperbilirubinemia. The (TA)(7)/(TA)(7) genotype was present in 39% of the 127 hyperbilirubinemic patients vs 7% of the 909 controls (P=2 x 10(-22)). Rapid identification of genetic factors accounting for the observed adverse effect during the course of a double-blind clinical trial demonstrated the potential application of pharmacogenetics in the clinical development of safe and effective medicines.
    The Pharmacogenomics Journal 02/2004; 4(1):49-53. · 5.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BMD values in approximately 3000 perimenopausal Scottish women were adjusted by regression to identify and account for nongenetic factors. Adjusted BMD values were not associated with simple tandem repeat (STR) markers or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at the Cathepsin K (CTSK) locus. We present a thorough analysis of common CTSK polymorphisms and genetic relatedness among CTSK haplotypes. CTSK is a cysteine protease of the papain family and is thought to play a critical role in osteoclast-mediated bone degradation. Rare, inactivating mutations in CTSK cause pychodysostosis, an autosomal recessive osteochondrodysplasia characterized by osteosclerosis and short stature. However, there have been no studies of common genetic variants in CTSK and their possible association with bone density in the general population. To identify common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and simple tandem repeat (STR) polymorphisms in and around CTSK, we screened all CTSK exons, intron A, all intron-exon boundaries, and the putative CTSK promoter region in 130 random whites using both high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and DNA sequencing. CTSK markers were genotyped in approximately 3000 perimenopausal Scottish women whose hip and spine bone mineral density (BMD) had been measured by DXA. We performed linear regression analysis to identify and adjust for nongenetic predictors of BMD, and adjusted BMD values (regression residuals) were tested for association with individual CTSK markers and haplotypes by ANOVA and the composite haplotype method of Zaykin et al. We discovered two intronic SNPs (8% and 9% frequency), but no common exonic SNPs (> 1% frequency), and found that three STRs at the immediate 5' end of the CTSK locus are highly polymorphic. The population frequencies of haplotypes defined by these five polymorphisms were estimated, and a cladogram was derived showing proximity of relationship and likely descent of the 30 most common CTSK haplotypes. Regression analyses revealed that approximately 39% of spine and 19% of hip rate of change in BMD was accounted for by nongenetic factors. For baseline BMD values in premenopausal women, nongenetic predictors explained 11% of the variance at the spine and 13% at the hip. Adjusted BMD values showed no statistically significant association with any of the individual CTSK polymorphisms or CTSK haplotypes.
    Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 01/2004; 19(1):31-41. · 6.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The semi-dominantly inherited mouse mutation pardon (Pdo) was isolated due to the lack of a Preyer reflex (ear flick) in response to sound from a large-scale N -ethyl- N -nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenesis programme. Dissection of the middle ear revealed malformations in all three ossicles, rendering the ossicular chain incomplete. Hair cell counts in the apical turn of the organ of Corti revealed a significant 22.7% increase in the number of outer hair cells. Raised compound action potential thresholds in Pdo/+ mutants suggested a combined sensorineural/conductive hearing loss. We show that a missense mutation in the homeobox gene Emx2 is responsible for these defects, identifying a new function for this gene in the development of specific structures in the ear.
    Journal of Neurocytology 12/2003; 32(9):1143-54. · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We identified two novel mouse mutants with abnormal head-shaking behavior and neural tube defects during the course of independent ENU mutagenesis experiments. The heterozygous and homozygous mutants exhibit defects in the orientation of sensory hair cells in the organ of Corti, indicating a defect in planar cell polarity. The homozygous mutants exhibit severe neural tube defects as a result of failure to initiate neural tube closure. We show that these mutants, spin cycle and crash, carry independent missense mutations within the coding region of Celsr1, encoding a large protocadherin molecule [1]. Celsr1 is one of three mammalian homologs of Drosophila flamingo/starry night, which is essential for the planar cell polarity pathway in Drosophila together with frizzled, dishevelled, prickle, strabismus/van gogh, and rhoA. The identification of mouse mutants of Celsr1 provides the first evidence for the function of the Celsr family in planar cell polarity in mammals and further supports the involvement of a planar cell polarity pathway in vertebrate neurulation.
    Current Biology 08/2003; 13(13):1129-33. · 9.49 Impact Factor
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    Nigel K Spurr
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    ABSTRACT: The skeleton contains over 200 bones, with the regulation of calcium being vital for maintaining this dynamic tissue. The calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of calcium both systemically through the parathyroid and locally in specific tissues. Recent studies have identified several sites of expression and further functions for the CASR gene, which include a role in the epidermis, tooth development and fluid regulation. In addition, genetic studies have identified gain-of-function mutations in the CASR gene, leading to a greater understanding of the pathogenesis of Bartter's syndrome, an inherited nephropathy that results in deficiency of sodium and chloride absorption.
    Current Opinion in Pharmacology 07/2003; 3(3):291-4. · 5.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The robotic mouse is an autosomal dominant mutant that arose from a large-scale chemical mutagenesis program. It has a jerky, ataxic gait and develops adult-onset Purkinje cell loss in the cerebellum in a striking region-specific pattern, as well as cataracts. Genetic and physical mapping of the disease locus led to the identification of a missense mutation in a highly conserved region of Af4, a putative transcription factor that has been previously implicated in leukemogenesis. We demonstrate that Af4 is specifically expressed in Purkinje cells, and we hypothesize that the expression of mutant Af4 leads to neurodegeneration. This function was not identified through knock-out studies, highlighting the power of phenotype-driven mutagenesis in the mouse to identify new pathways involved in neurological disease.
    Journal of Neuroscience 04/2003; 23(5):1631-7. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Studies in mice have shown that genetic disruption of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 or its receptor, the C-C chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2), inhibits atherosclerosis, but few data exist in humans to suggest that the monocyte chemotactic protein-1-CCR2 interaction is important in atherogenesis. A common polymorphism in the human CCR2 gene resulting in a substitution of isoleucine for valine (Val64Ile) has been associated with other disease phenotypes in humans. A cohort of first-degree relatives of persons with premature coronary artery disease was recruited and quantitatively phenotyped for the extent of CAC, a marker of coronary atherosclerosis, by using electron beam CT. The extent of CAC was significantly lower in subjects with the CCR2-Ile64 variant (Val/Ile and Ile/Ile genotypes) than in subjects carrying 2 Val64 alleles, even after adjustment for traditional risk factors. This study provides genetic evidence linking CCR2 with coronary atherosclerosis in humans.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 12/2002; 22(11):1924-8. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: English and German nuclear families containing multiple asthmatic children and asthmatic parents were analysed to retest a recently reported association between resistance to asthma and the delta32 allele of chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5). Analysis of the families by the transmission-disequilibrium test (TDT) revealed a non-significant trend in the English families that provided marginal confirmation of the association (P < 0.125), but no similar trend was observed in the German families. Case-control comparison of delta32 allele and genotype frequencies in asthmatic vs. non-asthmatic parents revealed a significantly lower frequency of delta32 in asthmatic English parents (P < 0.009) and a similar but non-significant trend in German parents (P < 0.265). Taken together, the pattern of results provides confirmation for the previously observed delta32-asthma association and indicates that susceptibility to asthma may be influenced by CCR5 or another gene in chromosomal region 3p21.
    International Journal of Immunogenetics 12/2002; 29(6):525-8. · 1.36 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

9k Citations
1,734.03 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007
    • University of Crete
      Retimo, Crete, Greece
  • 2004
    • Research Triangle Park Laboratories, Inc.
      Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
  • 2003
    • Park University
      Parkville, Missouri, United States
    • GlaxoSmithKline plc.
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1997–2000
    • Saint James School Of Medicine
      Park Ridge, Illinois, United States
  • 1998
    • National Institute of Molecular Genetics (INGM)
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Genetics
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1990–1997
    • University College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • Imperial College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1996
    • University of Bonn
      • Institute of Human Genetics
      Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 1990–1996
    • University of Leicester
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Leicester, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1993
    • Stony Brook University
      • Department of Medicine
      Stony Brook, NY, United States
    • Ninewells Hospital
      Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1992–1993
    • MRC National Institute for Medical Research
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1990–1993
    • University of Dundee
      • Institute for Medical Science and Technology (IMSaT)
      Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1991–1992
    • Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
    • Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
      Moskva, Moscow, Russia
  • 1990–1992
    • The University of Edinburgh
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 1986–1992
    • Cancer Research UK
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1990–1991
    • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 1989
    • University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Miami, FL, United States
  • 1988
    • Western General Hospital
      Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom