[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CRISPR/Cas technology enables targeted genome editing and the rapid generation of transgenic animal models for the study of human genetic disorders. Here we describe an autosomal recessive human disease in two unrelated families characterized by a split-foot defect, nail abnormalities of the hands, and hearing loss, due to mutations disrupting the SAM domain of the protein kinase ZAK. ZAK is a member of the MAPKKK family with no known role in limb development. We show that Zak is expressed in the developing limbs and that a CRISPR/Cas-mediated knockout of the two Zak isoforms is embryonically lethal in mice. In contrast, a deletion of the SAM domain induces a complex hindlimb defect associated with down-regulation of Trp63, a known split-hand/split-foot malformation disease gene. Our results identify ZAK as a key player in mammalian limb patterning and demonstrate the rapid utility of CRISPR/Cas genome editing to assign causality to human mutations in the mouse in <10 wk.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biallelic mutations of ALS2 cause a clinical spectrum of overlapping autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorders: infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paralysis (IAHSP), juvenile primary lateral sclerosis (JPLS), and juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS2). We report on eleven individuals affected with IAHSP from two consanguineous Pakistani families. A combination of linkage analysis with homozygosity mapping and targeted sequencing identified two novel ALS2 mutations, a c.194T > C (p.Phe65Ser) missense substitution located in the first RCC-like domain of ALS2/alsin and a c.2998delA (p.Ile1000*) nonsense mutation. This study of extended families including a total of eleven affected individuals suggests that a given ALS2 mutation may lead to a phenotype with remarkable intrafamilial clinical homogeneity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early-onset hearing loss is mostly of genetic origin. The complexity of the hearing process is reflected by its extensive genetic heterogeneity, with probably many causative genes remaining to be identified. Here, we aimed at identifying the genetic basis for autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing loss (ADNSHL) in a large German family.
A panel of 66 known deafness genes was analyzed for mutations by next-generation sequencing (NGS) in the index patient. We then conducted genome-wide linkage analysis, and whole-exome sequencing was carried out with samples of two patients. Expression of Osbpl2 in the mouse cochlea was determined by immunohistochemistry. Because Osbpl2 has been proposed as a target of miR-96, we investigated homozygous Mir96 mutant mice for its upregulation.
Onset of hearing loss in the investigated ADNSHL family is in childhood, initially affecting the high frequencies and progressing to profound deafness in adulthood. However, there is considerable intrafamilial variability. We mapped a novel ADNSHL locus, DFNA67, to chromosome 20q13.2-q13.33, and subsequently identified a co-segregating heterozygous frameshift mutation, c.141_142delTG (p.Arg50Alafs*103), in OSBPL2, encoding a protein known to interact with the DFNA1 protein, DIAPH1. In mice, Osbpl2 was prominently expressed in stereocilia of cochlear outer and inner hair cells. We found no significant Osbpl2 upregulation at the mRNA level in homozygous Mir96 mutant mice.
The function of OSBPL2 in the hearing process remains to be determined. Our study and the recent description of another frameshift mutation in a Chinese ADNSHL family identify OSBPL2 as a novel gene for progressive deafness.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary microcephaly is a disorder characterized by a small head and brain associated with impaired cognitive capabilities. Mutations in 13 different genes encoding centrosomal proteins and cell cycle regulators have been reported to cause the disease. CASC5, a gene encoding a protein important for kinetochore formation and proper chromosome segregation during mitosis, has been suggested to be associated with primary microcephaly-4 (MCPH4). This was based on one mutation only and circumstantial functional evidence. By combining homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing in an MCPH family from Pakistan, we identified a second mutation (NM_170589.4;c.6673-19T>A) in CASC5. This mutation induced skipping of exon 25 of CASC5 resulting in a frameshift and the introduction of a premature stop codon (p.Met2225Ilefs*7). The C-terminally truncated protein lacks 118 amino acids that encompass the region responsible for the interaction with the hMIS12 complex, which is essential for proper chromosome alignment and segregation. Furthermore, we showed a down-regulation of CASC5 mRNA and reduction of the amount of CASC5 protein by quantitative RT-PCR and western blot analysis, respectively. As a further sign of functional deficits, we observed dispersed dots of CASC5 immunoreactive material outside the metaphase plate of dividing patient fibroblasts. Normally, CASC5 is a component of the kinetochore of metaphase chromosomes. A higher mitotic index in patient cells indicated a mitotic arrest in the cells carrying the mutation. We also observed lobulated and fragmented nuclei as well as micronuclei in the patient cells. Moreover, we detected an altered DNA damage response with higher levels of γH2AX and 53BP1 in mutant as compared to control fibroblasts. Our findings substantiate the proposed role of CASC5 for primary microcephaly and suggest that it also might be relevant for genome stability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deafblindness is part of several genetic disorders. We investigated a consanguineous Egyptian family with two siblings affected by congenital hearing loss and retinal degeneration, initially diagnosed as Usher syndrome type 1. At teenage, severe enamel dysplasia, developmental delay and microcephaly became apparent. Genome-wide homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing detected a homozygous missense mutation, c.1238G>T (p.Gly413Val), affecting a highly conserved residue of peroxisomal biogenesis factor 6, PEX6. Biochemical profiling of the siblings revealed abnormal and borderline plasma phytanic acid concentration, and cerebral imaging revealed white matter disease in both. We show that Pex6 localizes to the apical extensions of secretory ameloblasts and differentiated odontoblasts at early stages of dentin synthesis in mice, and to cilia of retinal photoreceptor cells. We propose PEX6, and possibly other peroxisomal genes, as candidate for the rare co-occurence of deafblindness and enamel dysplasia. Our study for the first time links peroxisome biogenesis disorders to retinal ciliopathies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Joubert syndrome (JBTS) is a severe recessive neurodevelopmental ciliopathy which can affect several organ systems. Mutations in known JBTS genes account for approximately half of the cases. By homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing, we identified a novel locus, JBTS23, with a homozygous splice site mutation in KIAA0586 (alias TALPID3), a known lethal ciliopathy locus in model organisms. Truncating KIAA0586 mutations were identified in two additional patients with JBTS. One mutation, c.428delG (p.Arg143Lysfs*4), is unexpectedly common in the general population and may be a major contributor to JBTS. We demonstrate KIAA0586 protein localization at the basal body in human and mouse photoreceptors, as is common for JBTS proteins, and also in pericentriolar locations. We show that loss of TALPID3 (KIAA0586) function in animal models causes abnormal tissue polarity, centrosome length and orientation, and centriolar satellites. We propose that JBTS and other ciliopathies may in part result from cell polarity defects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seckel syndrome is a heterogeneous, autosomal recessive disorder marked by prenatal proportionate short stature, severe microcephaly, intellectual disability, and characteristic facial features. Here, we describe the novel homozygous splice-site mutations c.383+1G>C and c.4005-9A>G in CDK5RAP2 in two consanguineous families with Seckel syndrome. CDK5RAP2 (CEP215) encodes a centrosomal protein which is known to be essential for centrosomal cohesion and proper spindle formation and has been shown to be causally involved in autosomal recessive primary microcephaly. We establish CDK5RAP2 as a disease-causing gene for Seckel syndrome and show that loss of functional CDK5RAP2 leads to severe defects in mitosis and spindle organization, resulting in cells with abnormal nuclei and centrosomal pattern, which underlines the important role of centrosomal and mitotic proteins in the pathogenesis of the disease. Additionally, we present an intriguing case of possible digenic inheritance in Seckel syndrome: A severely affected child of nonconsanguineous German parents was found to carry heterozygous mutations in CDK5RAP2 and CEP152. This finding points toward a potential additive genetic effect of mutations in CDK5RAP2 and CEP152.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to identify the genetic basis of a chorioretinal dystrophy with high myopia of unknown origin in a child of a consanguineous marriage. The proband and ten family members of Iranian ancestry participated in this study. Linkage analysis was carried out with DNA samples of the proband and her parents by using the Human SNP Array 6.0. Whole exome sequencing (WES) was performed with the patients’ DNA. Specific sequence alterations within the homozygous regions identified by whole exome sequencing were verified by Sanger sequencing. Upon genetic analysis, a novel homozygous frameshift mutation was found in exon 42 of the COL18A1 gene in the patient. Both parents were heterozygous for this sequence variation. Mutations in COL18A1 are known to cause Knobloch syndrome (KS). Retrospective analysis of clinical records of the patient revealed surgical removal of a meningocele present at birth. The clinical features shown by our patient were typical of KS with the exception of chorioretinal degeneration which is a rare manifestation. This is the first case of KS reported in a family of Iranian ancestry. We identified a novel disease-causing (deletion) mutation in the COL18A1 gene leading to a frameshift and premature stop codon in the last exon. The mutation was not present in SNP databases and was also not found in 192 control individuals. Its localization within the endostatin domain implicates a functional relevance of endostatin in KS. A combined approach of linkage analysis and WES led to a rapid identification of the disease-causing mutation even though the clinical description was not completely clear at the beginning.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Filippi syndrome is a rare, presumably autosomal-recessive disorder characterized by microcephaly, pre- and postnatal growth failure,
syndactyly, and distinctive facial features, including a broad nasal bridge and underdeveloped alae nasi. Some affected individuals
have intellectual disability, seizures, undescended testicles in males, and teeth and hair abnormalities. We performed homozygosity
mapping and whole-exome sequencing in a Sardinian family with two affected children and identified a homozygous frameshift
mutation, c.571dupA (p.Ile191Asnfs*6), in
, encoding the protein cytoskeleton-associated protein 2-like (CKAP2L). The func-
tion of this protein was unknown until it was rediscovered in mice as Radmis (radial fiber and mitotic spindle) and shown to play a
pivotal role in cell division of neural progenitors. Sanger sequencing of
in a further eight unrelated individuals with clinical
features consistent with Filippi syndrome revealed biallelic mutations in four subjects. In contrast to wild-type lymphoblastoid cell lines
(LCLs), dividing LCLs established from the individuals homozygous for the c.571dupA mutation did not show CKAP2L at the spindle
poles. Furthermore, in cells from the affected individuals, we observed an increase in the number of disorganized spindle microtubules
owing to multipolar configurations and defects in chromosome segregation. The observed cellular phenotypes are in keeping with data
from in vitro and in vivo knockdown studies performed in human cells and mice, respectively. Our findings show that loss-of-function
are a major cause of Filippi syndrome
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Centrioles are essential for ciliogenesis. However, mutations in centriole biogenesis genes have been reported in primary microcephaly and Seckel syndrome, disorders without the hallmark clinical features of ciliopathies. Here we identify mutations in the genes encoding PLK4 kinase, a master regulator of centriole duplication, and its substrate TUBGCP6 in individuals with microcephalic primordial dwarfism and additional congenital anomalies, including retinopathy, thereby extending the human phenotypic spectrum associated with centriole dysfunction. Furthermore, we establish that different levels of impaired PLK4 activity result in growth and cilia phenotypes, providing a mechanism by which microcephaly disorders can occur with or without ciliopathic features
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a consanguineous Iraqi family with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), Joubert syndrome (JBTS), and polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Targeted next‐generation sequencing for excluding mutations in known LCA and JBTS genes, homozygosity mapping, and whole‐exome sequencing identified a homozygous missense variant, c.317G>C (p.Arg106Pro), in POC1B, a gene essential for ciliogenesis, basal body, and centrosome integrity. In silico modeling suggested a requirement of p.Arg106 for the formation of the third WD40 repeat and a protein interaction interface. In human and mouse retina, POC1B localized to the basal body and centriole adjacent to the connecting cilium of photoreceptors and in synapses of the outer plexiform layer. Knockdown of Poc1b in zebrafish caused cystic kidneys and retinal degeneration with shortened and reduced photoreceptor connecting cilia, compatible with the human syndromic ciliopathy. A recent study describes homozygosity for p.Arg106Pro POC1B in a family with nonsyndromic cone‐rod dystrophy. The phenotype associated with homozygous p.Arg106Pro POC1B may thus be highly variable, analogous to homozygous p.Leu710Ser in WDR19 causing either isolated retinitis pigmentosa or Jeune syndrome. Our study indicates that POC1B is required for retinal integrity, and we propose POC1B mutations as a probable cause for JBTS with severe PKD. We describe a family with severe congenital retinal degeneration (LCA), Joubert syndrome and massively enlarged polycystic kidneys. It results from a homozygous missense mutation in POC1B, a gene essential for ciliogenesis, basal body and centrosome integrity. Knockdown in zebrafish evokes a corresponding ocular‐renal phenotype. In view of simultaneous studies reporting mutations in non‐syndromic cone‐rod dystrophy, our findings suggest that POC1B mutations may cause retinal ciliopathies of variable severity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Age-related degenerative and malignant diseases represent major challenges for health care systems. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis and age-associated pathologies is thus of growing biomedical relevance. We identified biallelic germline mutations in SPRTN (also called C1orf124 or DVC1) in three patients from two unrelated families. All three patients are affected by a new segmental progeroid syndrome characterized by genomic instability and susceptibility toward early onset hepatocellular carcinoma. SPRTN was recently proposed to have a function in translesional DNA synthesis and the prevention of mutagenesis. Our in vivo and in vitro characterization of identified mutations has uncovered an essential role for SPRTN in the prevention of DNA replication stress during general DNA replication and in replication-related G2/M-checkpoint regulation. In addition to demonstrating the pathogenicity of identified SPRTN mutations, our findings provide a molecular explanation of how SPRTN dysfunction causes accelerated aging and susceptibility toward carcinoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asymmetric cell division is essential for normal human brain development. Mutations in several genes encoding centrosomal
proteins that participate in accurate cell division have been reported to cause autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH).
By homozygosity mapping including three affected individuals from a consanguineous MCPH family from Pakistan, we delineated
a critical region of 18.53 Mb on Chromosome 1p21.3-1p13.1. This region contains the gene encoding HsSAS-6, a centrosomal protein
primordial for seeding the formation of new centrioles during the cell cycle. Both next-generation and Sanger sequencing revealed
a homozygous c.185T>C missense mutation in the HsSAS-6 gene, resulting in a p.Ile62Thr substitution within a highly conserved region of the PISA domain of HsSAS-6. This variant
is neither present in any single-nucleotide polymorphism or exome sequencing databases nor in a Pakistani control cohort.
Experiments in tissue culture cells revealed that the Ile62Thr mutant of HsSAS-6 is substantially less efficient than the
wild-type protein in sustaining centriole formation. Together, our findings demonstrate a dramatic impact of the mutation
p.Ile62Thr on HsSAS-6 function and add this component to the list of genes mutated in primary microcephaly.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Human Molecular Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asymmetric cell division is essential for normal human brain development. Mutations in several genes encoding centrosomal proteins that participate in accurate cell division have been reported to cause autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH). By homozygosity mapping including three affected individuals from a consanguineous MCPH family from Pakistan, we delineated a critical region of 18.53Mb on chromosome 1p21.3-1p13.1. This region contains the gene encoding HsSAS-6, a centrosomal protein primordial for seeding the formation of new centrioles during the cell cycle. Both next-generation and Sanger sequencing revealed a homozygous c.185T>C missense mutation in the HsSAS-6 gene, resulting in a p.Ile62Thr substitution within a highly conserved region of the PISA domain of HsSAS-6. This variant is neither present in any single nucleotide polymorphism or exome sequencing databases nor in a Pakistani control cohort. Experiments in tissue culture cells revealed that the Ile62Thr mutant of HsSAS-6 is substantially less efficient than the wild-type protein in sustaining centriole formation. Together, our findings demonstrate a dramatic impact of the mutation p.Ile62Thr on HsSAS-6 function and add this component to the list of genes mutated in primary microcephaly.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Human Molecular Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Athelia is a very rare entity that is defined by the absence of the nipple-areola complex. It can affect either sex and is mostly part of syndromes including other congenital or ectodermal anomalies, such as limb-mammary syndrome, scalp-ear-nipple syndrome, or ectodermal dysplasias. Here, we report on three children from two branches of an extended consanguineous Israeli Arab family, a girl and two boys, who presented with a spectrum of nipple anomalies ranging from unilateral hypothelia to bilateral athelia but no other consistently associated anomalies except a characteristic eyebrow shape. Using homozygosity mapping after single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array genotyping and candidate gene sequencing we identified a homozygous frameshift mutation in PTPRF as the likely cause of nipple anomalies in this family. PTPRF encodes a receptor-type protein phosphatase that localizes to adherens junctions and may be involved in the regulation of epithelial cell-cell contacts, peptide growth factor signaling, and the canonical Wnt pathway. Together with previous reports on female mutant Ptprf mice, which have a lactation defect, and disruption of one allele of PTPRF by a balanced translocation in a woman with amastia, our results indicate a key role for PTPRF in the development of the nipple-areola region.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
Treacher Collins syndrome is a mandibulofacial dysostosis caused by mutations in genes involved in ribosome biogenesis and synthesis. TCOF1 mutations are observed in ~80% of the patients and are inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Recently, two other genes have been reported in <2% of patients--POLR1D in patients with autosomal dominant inheritance, and POLR1C in patients with autosomal recessive inheritance.
We performed direct sequencing of TCOF1, POLR1C, and POLR1D in two unrelated consanguineous families.
The four affected children shared the same homozygous mutation in POLR1D (c.163C>G, p.Leu55Val). This mutation is localized in a region encoding the dimerization domain of the RNA polymerase. It is supposed that this mutation impairs RNA polymerase, resulting in a lower amount of mature dimeric ribosomes. A functional analysis of the transcripts of TCOF1 by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was performed in the first family, demonstrating a 50% reduction in the index case, compatible with this hypothesis.
This is the first report of POLR1D mutation being responsible for an autosomal recessive inherited Treacher Collins syndrome. These results reinforce the concept of genetic heterogeneity of Treacher Collins syndrome and underline the importance of combining clinical expertise and familial molecular analyses for appropriate genetic counseling.
No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rare single-gene disorders cause chronic disease. However, half of the 6000 recessive single gene causes of disease are still unknown. Because recessive disease genes can illuminate, at least in part, disease pathomechanism, their identification offers direct opportunities for improved clinical management and potentially treatment. Rare diseases comprise the majority of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in children but are notoriously difficult to diagnose. Whole-exome resequencing facilitates identification of recessive disease genes. However, its utility is impeded by the large number of genetic variants detected. We here overcome this limitation by combining homozygosity mapping with whole-exome resequencing in 10 sib pairs with a nephronophthisis-related ciliopathy, which represents the most frequent genetic cause of CKD in the first three decades of life. In 7 of 10 sibships with a histologic or ultrasonographic diagnosis of nephronophthisis-related ciliopathy, we detect the causative gene. In six sibships, we identify mutations of known nephronophthisis-related ciliopathy genes, while in two additional sibships we found mutations in the known CKD-causing genes SLC4A1 and AGXT as phenocopies of nephronophthisis-related ciliopathy. Thus, whole-exome resequencing establishes an efficient, noninvasive approach towards early detection and causation-based diagnosis of rare kidney diseases. This approach can be extended to other rare recessive disorders, thereby providing accurate diagnosis and facilitating the study of disease mechanisms.Kidney International advance online publication, 20 November 2013; doi:10.1038/ki.2013.450.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Kidney International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) are major causes of blindness. They result from mutations in many genes which has long hampered comprehensive genetic analysis. Recently, targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) has proven useful to overcome this limitation. To uncover "hidden mutations" such as copy number variations (CNVs) and mutations in non-coding regions, we extended the use of NGS data by quantitative readout for the exons of 55 RP and LCA genes in 126 patients, and by including non-coding 5' exons. We detected several causative CNVs which were key to the diagnosis in hitherto unsolved constellations, e.g. hemizygous point mutations in consanguineous families, and CNVs complemented apparently monoallelic recessive alleles. Mutations of non-coding exon 1 of EYS revealed its contribution to disease. In view of the high carrier frequency for retinal disease gene mutations in the general population, we considered the overall variant load in each patient to assess if a mutation was causative or reflected accidental carriership in patients with mutations in several genes or with single recessive alleles. For example, truncating mutations in RP1, a gene implicated in both recessive and dominant RP, were causative in biallelic constellations, unrelated to disease when heterozygous on a biallelic mutation background of another gene, or even non-pathogenic if close to the C-terminus. Patients with mutations in several loci were common, but without evidence for di- or oligogenic inheritance. Although the number of targeted genes was low compared to previous studies, the mutation detection rate was highest (70%) which likely results from completeness and depth of coverage, and quantitative data analysis. CNV analysis should routinely be applied in targeted NGS, and mutations in non-coding exons give reason to systematically include 5'-UTRs in disease gene or exome panels. Consideration of all variants is indispensable because even truncating mutations may be misleading.