[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Noonan syndrome (NS), a heterogeneous developmental disorder associated with variable clinical expression including short stature, congenital heart defect, unusual pectus deformity and typical facial features, is caused by activating mutations in genes involved in the RAS-MAPK signaling pathway.
Here, we present a clinical and molecular characterization of a small family with Noonan syndrome. Comprehensive mutation analysis of NF1, PTPN11, SOS1, CBL, BRAF, RAF1, SHOC2, MAP2K2, MAP2K1, SPRED1, NRAS, HRAS and KRAS was performed using targeted next-generation sequencing. The result revealed a recurrent mutation in NRAS, c.179G > A (p.G60E), in the index patient. This mutation was inherited from the index patient’s father, who also showed signs of NS.
We describe clinical features in this family and review the literature for genotype-phenotype correlations for NS patients with mutations in NRAS. Neither of affected individuals in this family presented with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), which together with previously published results suggest that the risk for NS individuals with a germline NRAS mutation developing JMML is not different from the proportion seen in other NS cases. Interestingly, 50 % of NS individuals with an NRAS mutation (including our family) present with lentigines and/or Café-au-lait spots. This demonstrates a predisposition to hyperpigmented lesions in NRAS-positive NS individuals. In addition, the affected father in our family presented with a hearing deficit since birth, which together with lentigines are two characteristics of NS with multiple lentigines (previously LEOPARD syndrome), supporting the difficulties in diagnosing individuals with RASopathies correctly. The clinical and genetic heterogeneity observed in RASopathies is a challenge for genetic testing. However, next-generation sequencing technology, which allows screening of a large number of genes simultaneously, will facilitate an early and accurate diagnosis of patients with RASopathies.
Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Medical Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Offspring of consanguineous couples are at increased risk of congenital disorders. The risk increases as parents are more closely related. Individuals that have the same degree of relatedness according to their pedigree, show variable genomic kinship coefficients. To investigate whether we can differentiate between couples with high- and low risk for offspring with congenital disorders, we have compared the genomic kinship coefficient of consanguineous parents with a child affected with an autosomal recessive disorder with that of consanguineous parents with only healthy children, corrected for the degree of pedigree relatedness.
151 consanguineous couples (73 cases and 78 controls) from 10 different ethnic backgrounds were genotyped on the Affymetrix platform and passed quality control checks. After pruning SNPs in linkage disequilibrium, 57,358 SNPs remained. Kinship coefficients were calculated using three different toolsets: PLINK, King and IBDelphi, yielding five different estimates (IBDelphi, PLINK (all), PLINK (by population), King robust (all) and King homo (by population)). We performed a one-sided Mann Whitney test to investigate whether the median relative difference regarding observed and expected kinship coefficients is bigger for cases than for controls. Furthermore, we fitted a mixed effects linear model to correct for a possible population effect.
Although the estimated degrees of genomic relatedness with the different toolsets show substantial variability, correlation measures between the different estimators demonstrated moderate to strong correlations. Controls have higher point estimates for genomic kinship coefficients. The one-sided Mann Whitney test did not show any evidence for a higher median relative difference for cases compared to controls. Neither did the regression analysis exhibit a positive association between case-control status and genomic kinship coefficient.
In this case-control setting, in which we compared consanguineous couples corrected for degree of pedigree relatedness, a higher degree of genomic relatedness was not significantly associated with a higher likelihood of having an affected child. Further translational research should focus on which parts of the genome and which pathogenic mutations couples are sharing. Looking at relatedness coefficients by determining genome-wide SNPs does not seem to be an effective measure for prospective risk assessment in consanguineous parents.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · BMC Medical Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a young boy whose mild ataxia and abnormal eye movements repeatedly deteriorated with fever, making him unable to sit or walk during fever episodes. SNP-array analysis identified a 202 kb deletion in chromosome 13q33.1 containing the fibroblast growth factor (FGF)14 gene, which is associated with spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) 27. This 13q deletion was also present in the proband's mother and grandmother. The mother was unable to perform tandem gait walking and had abnormal eye movements but had never sought medical attention. The grandmother predominantly had a postural tremor. FGF14 regulates brain sodium channels, especially in the cerebellum. Sodium channels can be fever sensitive. This family demonstrates phenotypic variability of FGF14 deletions (SCA 27), fever sensitivity of ataxia and the added value of SNP-array analysis in making a diagnosis.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · European journal of paediatric neurology: EJPN: official journal of the European Paediatric Neurology Society
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular malformations and cardiomyopathy are among the most common phenotypes caused by deletions of chromosome 1p36 which affect approximately 1 in 5000 newborns. Although these cardiac-related abnormalities are a significant source of morbidity and mortality associated with 1p36 deletions, most of the individual genes that contribute to these conditions have yet to be identified. In this paper, we use a combination of clinical and molecular cytogenetic data to define five critical regions for cardiovascular malformations and two critical regions for cardiomyopathy on chromosome 1p36. Positional candidate genes which may contribute to the development of cardiovascular malformations associated with 1p36 deletions include DVL1, SKI, RERE, PDPN, SPEN, CLCNKA, ECE1, HSPG2, LUZP1, and WASF2. Similarly, haploinsufficiency of PRDM16-a gene which was recently shown to be sufficient to cause the left ventricular noncompaction-SKI, PRKCZ, RERE, UBE4B and MASP2 may contribute to the development of cardiomyopathy. When treating individuals with 1p36 deletions, or providing prognostic information to their families, physicians should take into account that 1p36 deletions which overlie these cardiac critical regions may portend to cardiovascular complications. Since several of these cardiac critical regions contain more than one positional candidate gene-and large terminal and interstitial 1p36 deletions often overlap more than one cardiac critical region-it is likely that haploinsufficiency of two or more genes contributes to the cardiac phenotypes associated with many 1p36 deletions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: De novo germline variants in several components of the SWI/SNF-like BAF complex can cause Coffin–Siris syndrome (CSS), Nicolaides–Baraitser syndrome (NCBRS), and nonsyndromic intellectual disability. We screened 63 patients with a clinical diagnosis of CSS for these genes (ARID1A, ARID1B, SMARCA2, SMARCA4, SMARCB1, and SMARCE1) and identified pathogenic variants in 45 (71%) patients. We found a high proportion of variants in ARID1B (68%). All four pathogenic variants in ARID1A appeared to be mosaic. By using all variants from the Exome Variant Server as test data, we were able to classify variants in ARID1A, ARID1B, and SMARCB1 reliably as being pathogenic or nonpathogenic. For SMARCA2, SMARCA4, and SMARCE1 several variants in the EVS remained unclassified, underlining the importance of parental testing. We have entered all variant and clinical information in LOVD-powered databases to facilitate further genotype–phenotype correlations, as these will become increasingly important because of the uptake of targeted and untargeted next generation sequencing in diagnostics. The emerging phenotype–genotype correlation is that SMARCB1 patients have the most marked physical phenotype and severe cognitive and growth delay. The variability in phenotype seems most marked in ARID1A and ARID1B patients. Distal limbs anomalies are most marked in ARID1A patients and least in SMARCB1 patients. Numbers are small however, and larger series are needed to confirm this correlation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several genes involved in the familial appearance of thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections (FTAAD) have been characterized recently, one of which is SMAD3. Mutations of SMAD3 cause a new syndromic form of aortic aneurysms and dissections associated with skeletal abnormalities. We discovered a small interstitial deletion of chromosome 15, leading to disruption of SMAD3, in a boy with mild mental retardation, behavioral problems and revealed features of the aneurysms-osteoarthritis syndrome (AOS). Several family members carried the same deletion and showed features including aortic aneurysms and a dissection. This finding demonstrates that haploinsufficiency of SMAD3 leads to development of both thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections, and the skeletal abnormalities that form part of the aneurysms-osteoarthritis syndrome. Interestingly, the identification of this familial deletion is an example of an unanticipated result of a genomic microarray and led to the discovery of important but unrelated serious aortic disease in the proband and family members.
No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Clinical Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromothripsis represents a novel phenomenon in the structural variation landscape of cancer genomes. Here, we analyze the genomes of ten patients with congenital disease who were preselected to carry complex chromosomal rearrangements with more than two breakpoints. The rearrangements displayed unanticipated complexity resembling chromothripsis. We find that eight of them contain hallmarks of multiple clustered double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) on one or more chromosomes. In addition, nucleotide resolution analysis of 98 breakpoint junctions indicates that break repair involves nonhomologous or microhomology-mediated end joining. We observed that these eight rearrangements are balanced or contain sporadic deletions ranging in size between a few hundred base pairs and several megabases. The two remaining complex rearrangements did not display signs of DSBs and contain duplications, indicative of rearrangement processes involving template switching. Our work provides detailed insight into the characteristics of chromothripsis and supports a role for clustered DSBs driving some constitutional chromothripsis rearrangements.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deletions including chromosome 14 band q13 have been linked to variable phenotypes. With current molecular methods the authors aim to elucidate a genotype-phenotype correlation by accurately determining the size and location of the deletions and the associated phenotype.
Here the authors report the molecular karyotyping and phenotypic description of seven patients with overlapping deletions including chromosome 14q13.
The authors show that deletions including 14q13 result in a recognisable phenotype mainly due to haploinsufficiency of two genes (NKX2-1, PAX9). FOXG1 (on chromosome band 14q12) involvement seems to be the main determinant of phenotype severity. The patients in this study without FOXG1 involvement and deletions of up to 10 Mb have a relatively mild phenotype. The authors cannot explain why some patients in literature with overlapping but smaller deletions appear to have a more severe phenotype. A previously presumed association with holoprosencephaly could not be confirmed as none of the patients in this series had holoprosencephaly.
FOXG1 appears the main determinant of the severity of phenotypes resulting from deletions including 14q13. The collected data show no evidence for a locus for holoprosencephaly in the 14q13 region, but a locus for agenesis of the corpus callosum cannot be excluded.
No preview · Article · May 2012 · Journal of Medical Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We identified de novo truncating mutations in ARID1B in three individuals with Coffin-Siris syndrome (CSS) by exome sequencing. Array-based copy-number variation (CNV) analysis in 2,000 individuals with intellectual disability revealed deletions encompassing ARID1B in 3 subjects with phenotypes partially overlapping that of CSS. Taken together with published data, these results indicate that haploinsufficiency of the ARID1B gene, which encodes an epigenetic modifier of chromatin structure, is an important cause of CSS and is potentially a common cause of intellectual disability and speech impairment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excess exogenous retinoic acid (RA) has been well documented to have teratogenic effects in the limb and craniofacial skeleton. Malformations that have been observed in this context include craniosynostosis, a common developmental defect of the skull that occurs in 1 in 2500 individuals and results from premature fusion of the cranial sutures. Despite these observations, a physiological role for RA during suture formation has not been demonstrated. Here, we present evidence that genetically based alterations in RA signaling interfere with human development. We have identified human null and hypomorphic mutations in the gene encoding the RA-degrading enzyme CYP26B1 that lead to skeletal and craniofacial anomalies, including fusions of long bones, calvarial bone hypoplasia, and craniosynostosis. Analyses of murine embryos exposed to a chemical inhibitor of Cyp26 enzymes and zebrafish lines with mutations in cyp26b1 suggest that the endochondral bone fusions are due to unrestricted chondrogenesis at the presumptive sites of joint formation within cartilaginous templates, whereas craniosynostosis is induced by a defect in osteoblastic differentiation. Ultrastructural analysis, in situ expression studies, and in vitro quantitative RT-PCR experiments of cellular markers of osseous differentiation indicate that the most likely cause for these phenomena is aberrant osteoblast-osteocyte transitioning. This work reveals a physiological role for RA in partitioning skeletal elements and in the maintenance of cranial suture patency.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In several laboratories, genome-wide array analysis has been implemented as the first tier diagnostic test for the identification of copy number changes in patients with mental retardation and/or congenital anomalies. The identification of a pathogenic copy number variant (CNV) is not only important to make a proper diagnosis but also to enable the accurate estimation of the recurrence risk to family members. Upon the identification of a de novo interstitial loss or gain, the risk recurrence is considered very low. However, this risk is 50% if one of the parents is carrier of a balanced insertional translocation (IT). The apparently de novo imbalance in a patient is then the consequence of the unbalanced transmission of a derivative chromosome involved in an IT. To determine the frequency with which insertional balanced translocations would be the origin of submicroscopic imbalances, we investigated the potential presence of an IT in a consecutive series of 477 interstitial CNVs, in which the parental origin has been tested by FISH, among 14,293 patients with developmental abnormalities referred for array. We demonstrate that ITs underlie ~2.1% of the apparently de novo, interstitial CNVs, indicating that submicroscopic ITs are at least sixfold more frequent than cytogenetically visible ITs. This risk estimate should be taken into account during counseling, and warrant parental and proband FISH testing wherever possible in patients with an apparently de novo, interstitial aberration.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · European journal of human genetics: EJHG
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression in animals and plants. Studies in a variety of model organisms show that miRNAs modulate developmental processes. To our knowledge, the only hereditary condition known to be caused by a miRNA is a form of adult-onset non-syndromic deafness, and no miRNA mutation has yet been found to be responsible for any developmental defect in humans. Here we report the identification of germline hemizygous deletions of MIR17HG, encoding the miR-17∼92 polycistronic miRNA cluster, in individuals with microcephaly, short stature and digital abnormalities. We demonstrate that haploinsufficiency of miR-17∼92 is responsible for these developmental abnormalities by showing that mice harboring targeted deletion of the miR-17∼92 cluster phenocopy several key features of the affected humans. These findings identify a regulatory function for miR-17∼92 in growth and skeletal development and represent the first example of an miRNA gene responsible for a syndromic developmental defect in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Noonan syndrome is a relatively common developmental disorder that is characterized by reduced growth, wide-set eyes and congenital heart defects. Noonan syndrome is associated with dysregulation of the Ras-mitogen-activated-protein-kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Recently, two mutations in NRAS were reported to be associated with Noonan syndrome, T50I and G60E. Here, we report a mutation in NRAS, resulting in an I24N amino acid substitution, that we identified in an individual bearing typical Noonan syndrome features. The I24N mutation activates N-Ras, resulting in enhanced downstream signaling. Expression of N-Ras-I24N, N-Ras-G60E or the strongly activating mutant N-Ras-G12V, which we included as a positive control, results in developmental defects in zebrafish embryos, demonstrating that these activating N-Ras mutants are sufficient to induce developmental disorders. The defects in zebrafish embryos are reminiscent of symptoms in individuals with Noonan syndrome and phenocopy the defects that other Noonan-syndrome-associated genes induce in zebrafish embryos. MEK inhibition completely rescued the activated N-Ras-induced phenotypes, demonstrating that these defects are mediated exclusively by Ras-MAPK signaling. In conclusion, mutations in NRAS from individuals with Noonan syndrome activated N-Ras signaling and induced developmental defects in zebrafish embryos, indicating that activating mutations in NRAS cause Noonan syndrome.
Preview · Article · May 2011 · Disease Models and Mechanisms