Clinical and Molecular Genetic Analysis of 19 Wolfram Syndrome Kindreds Demonstrating a Wide Spectrum of Mutations in WFS1

Regional Genetics Services, Birmingham Women's Hospital, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The American Journal of Human Genetics (Impact Factor: 10.93). 12/1999; 65(5):1279-90. DOI: 10.1086/302609
Source: PubMed


Wolfram syndrome is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus and progressive optic atrophy. mtDNA deletions have been described, and a gene (WFS1) recently has been identified, on chromosome 4p16, encoding a predicted 890 amino acid transmembrane protein. Direct DNA sequencing was done to screen the entire coding region of the WFS1 gene in 30 patients from 19 British kindreds with Wolfram syndrome. DNA was also screened for structural rearrangements (deletions and duplications) and point mutations in mtDNA. No pathogenic mtDNA mutations were found in our cohort. We identified 24 mutations in the WFS1 gene: 8 nonsense mutations, 8 missense mutations, 3 in-frame deletions, 1 in-frame insertion, and 4 frameshift mutations. Of these, 23 were novel mutations, and most occurred in exon 8. The majority of patients were compound heterozygotes for two mutations, and there was no common founder mutation. The data were also analyzed for genotype-phenotype relationships. Although some interesting cases were noted, consideration of the small sample size and frequency of each mutation indicated no clear-cut correlations between any of the observed mutations and disease severity. There were no obvious mutation hot spots or clusters. Hence, molecular screening for Wolfram syndrome in affected families and for Wolfram syndrome-carrier status in subjects with psychiatric disorders or diabetes mellitus will require complete analysis of exon 8 and upstream exons.

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Available from: Jeremy M W Kirk, Feb 03, 2014
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    • "In 2010, 219 WS patients had been described with 172 different reported mutations in WFS1, mostly (83%) in exon 8 [7], [8], [9]. Patient genotype do not present any mutation hotspot, highlighting the need to sequence first exon 8 for molecular diagnosis [10]. WFS1 translation starts in the second exon and produces a 890 aminoacid protein named Wolframin, consisting in 9 transmembrane domains, surrounded by large N- and C-terminal regions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Wolfram syndrome is an early onset genetic disease (1/180,000) featuring diabetes mellitus and optic neuropathy, associated to mutations in the WFS1 gene. Wfs1-/- mouse model shows pancreatic beta cell atrophy, but its visual performance has not been investigated, prompting us to study its visual function and histopathology of the retina and optic nerve. Electroretinogram and visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were performed in Wfs1-/- and Wfs1+/+ mice at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of age. Fundi were pictured with Micron III apparatus. Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) abundance was determined from Brn3a immunolabeling of retinal sections. RGC axonal loss was quantified by electron microscopy in transversal optic nerve sections. Endoplasmic reticulum stress was assessed using immunoglobulin binding protein (BiP), protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) and inositol-requiring enzyme 1 alpha (Ire1α) markers. Electroretinograms amplitudes were slightly reduced and latencies increased with time in Wfs1-/- mice. Similarly, VEPs showed decreased N+P amplitudes and increased N-wave latency. Analysis of unfolded protein response signaling revealed an activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress in Wfs1-/- mutant mouse retinas. Altogether, progressive VEPs alterations with minimal neuronal cell loss suggest functional alteration of the action potential in the Wfs1-/- optic pathways.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "He harbored in-frame 3-bp deletion, nucleotides 1060_1062, in exon 8, that results in the loss of Phenylalanine 354 residue. According to the predicted structure of the Wolframin protein [17] residues 350 and 354 are likely to be located in the first transmembrane domain. However, the ultimate effect of these deletions cannot be anticipated yet. "
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    ABSTRACT: Wolfram Syndrome (WS) is an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by Diabetes Insipidus, Diabetes Mellitus, Optic Atrophy, and Deafness identified by the acronym "DIDMOAD". The WS gene, WFS1, encodes a transmembrane protein called Wolframin, which recent evidence suggests may serve as a novel endoplasmic reticulum calcium channel in pancreatic β-cells and neurons. WS is a rare disease, with an estimated prevalence of 1/550.000 children, with a carrier frequency of 1/354. The aim of our study was to determine the genotype of WS patients in order to establish a genotype/phenotype correlation. We clinically evaluated 9 young patients from 9 unrelated families (6 males, 3 females). Basic criteria for WS clinical diagnosis were coexistence of insulin-treated diabetes mellitus and optic atrophy occurring before 15 years of age. Genetic analysis for WFS1 was performed by direct sequencing. Molecular sequencing revealed 5 heterozygous compound and 3 homozygous mutations. All of them were located in exon 8, except one in exon 4. In one proband only an heterozygous mutation (A684V) was found. Two new variants c.2663 C>A and c.1381 A>C were detected. Our study increases the spectrum of WFS1 mutations with two novel variants. The male patient carrying the compound mutation [c.1060_1062delTTC]+[c.2663 C>A] showed the most severe phenotype: diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy (visual acuity 5/10), deafness with deep auditory bilaterally 8000 Hz, diabetes insipidus associated to reduced volume of posterior pituitary and pons. He died in bed at the age of 13 years. The other patient carrying the compound mutation [c.409_424dup16]+[c.1381 A>C] showed a less severe phenotype (DM, OA).
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Hundreds of sequence variations have been reported in the wolframin gene of which almost 200 appear to be mutations that cause the clinical WS in homozygotes and heterozygotes. Twenty-four mutations have been identified in the wolframin gene, most in exon 8 (Hardy et al., 1999), but dozens of variants in the coding region are benign (Cryns et al., 2003). In patients with WS who are homozygous or compound heterozygous for wolframin mutations, severe psychiatric symptoms were observed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Wolframin gene polymorphisms, including the H611R polymorphism, are reportedly associated with mood disorders and psychiatric hospitalization, but there is disagreement about the association of this specific variant with suicidality and impulsive traits. This study tested the association of the H611R polymorphism with mood disorders, suicidal behavior, and aggressive-impulsive traits. Two hundred and one subjects with mood disorders and 113 healthy volunteers were genotyped for the H611R polymorphism and underwent structured interviews for diagnosis and clinical ratings. All were Caucasians. The H611R polymorphism was associated with mood disorders but not suicidal behavior, aggressive/impulsive traits or suicidality in first-degree relatives. The HR heterozygote genotype was more frequent in mood disorder (chi(2)=7.505; df=2; p=.023). If this finding will be replicated, the H611R polymorphism may be a possible marker for mood disorders in a psychiatric population, and not just in relatives of Wolfram syndrome probands.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2009 · Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
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