[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large-scale systematic resequencing has been proposed as the key future strategy for the discovery of rare, disease-causing sequence variants across the spectrum of human complex disease. We have sequenced the coding exons of the X chromosome in 208 families with X-linked mental retardation (XLMR), the largest direct screen for constitutional disease-causing mutations thus far reported. The screen has discovered nine genes implicated in XLMR, including SYP, ZNF711 and CASK reported here, confirming the power of this strategy. The study has, however, also highlighted issues confronting whole-genome sequencing screens, including the observation that loss of function of 1% or more of X-chromosome genes is compatible with apparently normal existence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epilepsy and mental retardation limited to females (EFMR) is a disorder with an X-linked mode of inheritance and an unusual expression pattern. Disorders arising from mutations on the X chromosome are typically characterized by affected males and unaffected carrier females. In contrast, EFMR spares transmitting males and affects only carrier females. Aided by systematic resequencing of 737 X chromosome genes, we identified different protocadherin 19 (PCDH19) gene mutations in seven families with EFMR. Five mutations resulted in the introduction of a premature termination codon. Study of two of these demonstrated nonsense-mediated decay of PCDH19 mRNA. The two missense mutations were predicted to affect adhesiveness of PCDH19 through impaired calcium binding. PCDH19 is expressed in developing brains of human and mouse and is the first member of the cadherin superfamily to be directly implicated in epilepsy or mental retardation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Submicroscopic copy-number imbalances contribute significantly to the genetic etiology of human disease. Here, we report a novel microduplication hot spot at Xp11.22 identified in six unrelated families with predominantly nonsyndromic XLMR. All duplications segregate with the disease, including the large families MRX17 and MRX31. The minimal, commonly duplicated region contains three genes: RIBC1, HSD17B10, and HUWE1. RIBC1 could be excluded on the basis of its absence of expression in the brain and because it escapes X inactivation in females. For the other genes, expression array and quantitative PCR analysis in patient cell lines compared to controls showed a significant upregulation of HSD17B10 and HUWE1 as well as several important genes in their molecular pathways. Loss-of-function mutations of HSD17B10 have previously been associated with progressive neurological disease and XLMR. The E3 ubiquitin ligase HUWE1 has been implicated in TP53-associated regulation of the neuronal cell cycle. Here, we also report segregating sequence changes of highly conserved residues in HUWE1 in three XLMR families; these changes are possibly associated with the phenotype. Our findings demonstrate that an increased gene dosage of HSD17B10, HUWE1, or both contribute to the etiology of XLMR and suggest that point mutations in HUWE1 are associated with this disease too.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 03/2008; 82(2):432-43. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is of universal biological significance. It has emerged as an important global RNA, DNA and translation regulatory pathway. By systematically sequencing 737 genes (annotated in the Vertebrate Genome Annotation database) on the human X chromosome in 250 families with X-linked mental retardation, we identified mutations in the UPF3 regulator of nonsense transcripts homolog B (yeast) (UPF3B) leading to protein truncations in three families: two with the Lujan-Fryns phenotype and one with the FG phenotype. We also identified a missense mutation in another family with nonsyndromic mental retardation. Three mutations lead to the introduction of a premature termination codon and subsequent NMD of mutant UPF3B mRNA. Protein blot analysis using lymphoblastoid cell lines from affected individuals showed an absence of the UPF3B protein in two families. The UPF3B protein is an important component of the NMD surveillance machinery. Our results directly implicate abnormalities of NMD in human disease and suggest at least partial redundancy of NMD pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have identified three truncating, two splice-site, and three missense variants at conserved amino acids in the CUL4B gene on Xq24 in 8 of 250 families with X-linked mental retardation (XLMR). During affected subjects' adolescence, a syndrome emerged with delayed puberty, hypogonadism, relative macrocephaly, moderate short stature, central obesity, unprovoked aggressive outbursts, fine intention tremor, pes cavus, and abnormalities of the toes. This syndrome was first described by Cazebas et al., in a family that was included in our study and that carried a CUL4B missense variant. CUL4B is a ubiquitin E3 ligase subunit implicated in the regulation of several biological processes, and CUL4B is the first XLMR gene that encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase. The relatively high frequency of CUL4B mutations in this series indicates that it is one of the most commonly mutated genes underlying XLMR and suggests that its introduction into clinical diagnostics should be a high priority.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 03/2007; 80(2):345-52. · 11.20 Impact Factor