Jordan P Lerner-Ellis

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (14)156.54 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Medical sequencing for diseases with locus and allelic heterogeneities has been limited by the high cost and low throughput of traditional sequencing technologies. "Second-generation" sequencing (SGS) technologies allow the parallel processing of a large number of genes and, therefore, offer great promise for medical sequencing; however, their use in clinical laboratories is still in its infancy. Our laboratory offers clinical resequencing for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) using an array-based platform that interrogates 19 of more than 30 genes known to cause DCM. We explored both the feasibility and cost effectiveness of using PCR amplification followed by SGS technology for sequencing these 19 genes in a set of five samples enriched for known sequence alterations (109 unique substitutions and 27 insertions and deletions). While the analytical sensitivity for substitutions was comparable to that of the DCM array (98%), SGS technology performed better than the DCM array for insertions and deletions (90.6% versus 58%). Overall, SGS performed substantially better than did the current array-based testing platform; however, the operational cost and projected turnaround time do not meet our current standards. Therefore, efficient capture methods and/or sample pooling strategies that shorten the turnaround time and decrease reagent and labor costs are needed before implementing this platform into routine clinical applications.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2010 · The Journal of molecular diagnostics: JMD
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    ABSTRACT: Methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria, cblC type, is a rare disorder of intracellular vitamin B(12) (cobalamin [Cbl]) metabolism caused by mutations in the MMACHC gene. MMACHC was sequenced from the gDNA of 118 cblC individuals. Eleven novel mutations were identified, as well as 23 mutations that were observed previously. Six sequence variants capture haplotype diversity in individuals across the MMACHC interval. Genotype-phenotype correlations of common mutations were apparent; individuals with c.394C>T tend to present with late-onset disease whereas patients with c.331C>T and c.271dupA tend to present in infancy. Other missense variants were also associated with late- or early-onset disease. Allelic expression analysis was carried out on human cblC fibroblasts compound heterozygous for different combinations of mutations including c.271dupA, c.331C>T, c.394C>T, and c.482G>A. The early-onset c.271dupA mutation was consistently underexpressed when compared to control alleles and the late-onset c.394C>T and c.482G>A mutations. The early-onset c.331C>T mutation was also underexpressed when compared to control alleles and the c.394C>T mutation. Levels of MMACHC mRNA transcript in cell lines homozygous for c.271dupA, c.331C>T, and c.394C>T were assessed using quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Cell lines homozygous for the late onset c.394C>T mutation had significantly higher levels of transcript when compared to cell lines homozygous for the early-onset mutations. Differential or preferential MMACHC transcript levels may provide a clue as to why individuals carrying c.394C>T generally present later in life.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Human Mutation
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    ABSTRACT: Methionine dependence, the inability of cells to grow when the amino acid methionine is replaced in culture medium by its metabolic precursor homocysteine, is characteristic of many cancer cell lines and some tumors in situ. Most cell lines proliferate normally under these conditions. The methionine dependent tumorigenic human melanoma cell line MeWo-LC1 was derived from the methionine independent non-tumorigenic line, MeWo. MeWo-LC1 has a cellular phenotype identical to that of cells from patients with the cblC inborn error of cobalamin metabolism, with decreased synthesis of cobalamin coenzymes and decreased activity of the cobalamin-dependent enzymes methionine synthase and methylmalonylCoA mutase. Inability of cblC cells to complement the defect in MeWo-LC1 suggested that it was caused by decreased activity of the MMACHC gene. However, no potentially disease causing mutations were detected in the coding sequence of MMACHC in MeWo-LC1. No MMACHC expression was detected in MeWo-LC1 by quantitative or non-quantitative PCR. There was virtually complete methylation of a CpG island at the 5'-end of the MMACHC gene in MeWo-LC1, consistent with inactivation of the gene by methylation. The CpG island was partially methylated (30-45%) in MeWo and only lightly methylated (2-11%) in control fibroblasts. Infection of MeWo-LC1 with wild type MMACHC resulted in correction of the defect in cobalamin metabolism and restoration of the ability of cells to grow in medium containing homocysteine. We conclude that epigenetic inactivation of the MMACHC gene is responsible for methionine dependence in MeWo-LC1.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2009 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential cofactor in several metabolic pathways. Intracellular conversion of cobalamin to its two coenzymes, adenosylcobalamin in mitochondria and methylcobalamin in the cytoplasm, is necessary for the homeostasis of methylmalonic acid and homocysteine. Nine defects of intracellular cobalamin metabolism have been defined by means of somatic complementation analysis. One of these defects, the cblD defect, can cause isolated methylmalonic aciduria, isolated homocystinuria, or both. Affected persons present with multisystem clinical abnormalities, including developmental, hematologic, neurologic, and metabolic findings. The gene responsible for the cblD defect has not been identified. We studied seven patients with the cblD defect, and skin fibroblasts from each were investigated in cell culture. Microcell-mediated chromosome transfer and refined genetic mapping were used to localize the responsible gene. This gene was transfected into cblD fibroblasts to test for the rescue of adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin synthesis. The cblD gene was localized to human chromosome 2q23.2, and a candidate gene, designated MMADHC (methylmalonic aciduria, cblD type, and homocystinuria), was identified in this region. Transfection of wild-type MMADHC rescued the cellular phenotype, and the functional importance of mutant alleles was shown by means of transfection with mutant constructs. The predicted MMADHC protein has sequence homology with a bacterial ATP-binding cassette transporter and contains a putative cobalamin binding motif and a putative mitochondrial targeting sequence. Mutations in a gene we designated MMADHC are responsible for the cblD defect in vitamin B12 metabolism. Various mutations are associated with each of the three biochemical phenotypes of the disorder.
    Full-text · Article · May 2008 · New England Journal of Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: We report on the case of a 36-year-old Hispanic woman with a spinal cord infarct, who was subsequently diagnosed with methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria, cblC type (cblC). Mutation analysis revealed c.271dupA and c.482G > A mutations in the MMACHC gene. The patient had a past medical history significant for joint hypermobility, arthritis, bilateral cataracts, unilateral hearing loss, anemia, frequent urinary tract infections, and mental illness. There was no significant past history of mental retardation, failure to thrive, or seizure disorder as reported in classic cases of cblC. Prior to the thrombotic incident, the patient experienced increased paresthesia in the lower extremities, myelopathy, and impaired gait. Given her previous psychiatric history, she was misdiagnosed with malingering until hemiplegia and incontinence became apparent. The authors would like to emphasize the recognition of a neuropsychiatric presentation in late onset cblC. Ten other reported late onset cases with similar presentations are also reviewed.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2007 · American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A
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    ABSTRACT: Methylmalonyl-CoA epimerase (MCE) catalyzes the interconversion of D- and L-methylmalonyl-CoA in the pathway responsible for the degradation of branched chain amino acids, odd chain-length fatty acids, and other metabolites. Despite the occurrence of metabolic disorders in the enzymatic step occurring immediately upstream of MCE (propionyl-CoA carboxylase) and downstream of MCE (adenosylcobalamin-dependent methylmalonyl-CoA mutase), no disease-causing mutations have been described affecting MCE itself. A patient, formerly identified as belonging to the cblA complementation group of vitamin B12 disorders but lacking mutations in the affected gene, MMAA, was tested for mutations in the MCEE gene. The patient's fibroblasts had normal levels of adenosylcobalamin compared to controls, whereas other cblA cell lines typically had reduced levels of the cofactor. As well, this patient had a milder form of methylmalonic aciduria than usually observed in cblA patients. The patient was found to be homozygous for a c.139C>T (p.R47X) mutation in MCEE by sequence analysis that was confirmed by restriction digestion of PCR products. One sibling, also with mild methylmalonic aciduria, was homozygous for the mutation. Both parents and one other sibling were heterozygous. A nearby insertion polymorphism, c.41-160_161insT, heterozygous in both parents, showed the wild-type configuration on the mutant alleles. To assess the impact of isolated MCE deficiency in cultured cells, HeLa cells were transfected with a selectable vector containing MCEE-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) to suppress gene expression. The reduced level of MCEE mRNA resulted in the reduction of [14C]-propionate incorporation into cellular macromolecules. However, siRNA only led to a small reduction in pathway activity, suggesting that previously postulated non-enzymatic conversion of D- to L-methylmalonyl-CoA may contribute to some flux through the pathway. We conclude that the patient's MCEE defect was responsible for the mild methylmalonic aciduria, confirming a partial requirement for the enzymatic activity in humans.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2006 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism
  • Chantal F Morel · Jordan P Lerner-Ellis · David S Rosenblatt
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    ABSTRACT: Methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria, cblC type (MIM 277400), is the most frequent inborn error of vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) metabolism, caused by an inability of the cell to convert Cbl to both of its active forms (MeCbl, AdoCbl). Although considered a disease of infancy, some patients develop symptoms in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. The gene responsible for cblC, MMACHC, was recently identified. We studied phenotype-genotype correlations in 37 patients from published case-reports, representing most of the landmark descriptions of this disease. 25/37 had early-onset disease, presenting in the first 6 months of life: 17/25 were found to be either homozygous for the c.271dupA mutation (n=9) or for the c.331C>T mutation (n=3), or compound heterozygotes for these 2 mutations (n=5). 9/12 late-onset cases presented with acute neurological symptoms: 4/9 were homozygous for the c.394C>T mutation, 2/9 were compound heterozygotes for the c.271dupA and c.394C>T mutations, and 3/9, for the c.271dupA mutation and a missense mutation. Several observations on ethnic origins were noted: the c.331C>T mutation is seen in Cajun and French-Canadian patients and the c.394C>T mutation is common in the Asiatic-Indian/Pakistani/Middle Eastern populations. The recognition of phenotype-genotype correlations and the association of mutations with specific ethnicities will be useful for identification of disease-causing mutations in cblC patients, for carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis in families where mutations are known, and in setting up initial screening programs in molecular diagnostic laboratories. Further study into disease mechanism of specific mutations will help to understand phenotypic presentations and the overall pathogenesis in cblC patients.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2006 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: ATP:cob(I)alamin adenosyltransferase (MMAB protein; methylmalonic aciduria type B) is an enzyme of vitamin B(12) metabolism that converts reduced cob(I)alamin to the adenosylcobalamin co-factor required for the functional activity of methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Mutations in the human MMAB gene result in a block in adenosylcobalamin synthesis and are responsible for the cblB complementation group of inherited vitamin B(12) disorders. In this study, we examined the impact of several mutations, previously identified in cblB patients and clustered within a small, highly conserved region in MMAB. We confirmed mitochondrial expression of MMAB in human cells and showed that two mutations, R186W and E193K, were associated with absent protein by Western blot, while one, R191W, coupled with another point mutation, produced a protein in patient fibroblasts. Wild type MMAB and all four mutant proteins were stably expressed at high level as GST-fusion proteins, but only the R191W protein was enzymatically active. It showed an elevated K(m) of 320 microM (vs 6.8 microM for wild type enzyme) for ATP and 60 microM (vs 3.7 microM) for cob(I)alamin, with a reduction in k(cat) for both substrates. Circular dichroism spectroscopy revealed that three mutant proteins examined retained a alpha-helical structure as for the wild type protein. Characterization of MMAB will contribute to our understanding of cobalamin processing in mammalian cells and of disease mechanisms in the genetic disorders.
    No preview · Article · May 2006 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: Methylmalonic aciduria, cblB type (OMIM 251110) is an inborn error of vitamin B(12) metabolism that occurs due to mutations in the MMAB gene. MMAB encodes the enzyme ATP:cobalamin adenosyltransferase, which catalyzes the synthesis of the coenzyme adenosylcobalamin required for the activity of the mitochondrial enzyme methylmalonyl CoA mutase (MCM). MCM catalyzes the isomerization of methylmalonyl CoA to succinyl CoA. Deficient MCM activity results in methylmalonic aciduria and a susceptibility to life-threatening acidotic crises. The MMAB gene was sequenced from genomic DNA from a panel of 35 cblB patients, including five patients previously investigated. Nineteen MMAB mutations were identified, including 13 previously unknown mutations. These included 11 missense mutations, two duplications, one deletion, four splice-site mutations, and one nonsense mutation. None of these mutations was identified in 100 control alleles. Most of the missense mutations (9/11) were clustered in exon 7; many of these affected amino acid residues that are part of the probable active site of the enzyme. One previously described mutation, c.556C >T (p.R186W), was particularly common, accounting for 33% of pathogenic alleles. It was seen almost exclusively in patients of European background and was typically associated with presentation in the first year of life.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2006 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: Methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria, cblC type (OMIM 277400), is the most common inborn error of vitamin B(12) (cobalamin) metabolism, with about 250 known cases. Affected individuals have developmental, hematological, neurological, metabolic, ophthalmologic and dermatologic clinical findings. Although considered a disease of infancy or childhood, some individuals develop symptoms in adulthood. The cblC locus was mapped to chromosome region 1p by linkage analysis. We refined the chromosomal interval using homozygosity mapping and haplotype analyses and identified the MMACHC gene. In 204 individuals, 42 different mutations were identified, many consistent with a loss of function of the protein product. One mutation, 271dupA, accounted for 40% of all disease alleles. Transduction of wild-type MMACHC into immortalized cblC fibroblast cell lines corrected the cellular phenotype. Molecular modeling predicts that the C-terminal region of the gene product folds similarly to TonB, a bacterial protein involved in energy transduction for cobalamin uptake.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2006 · Nature Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: The original article to which this Erratum refers was published in Human Mutation 24:509–516 Human Mutation(2004) 24(6) 509–516
    No preview · Article · Mar 2005 · Human Mutation
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2005 · Nature Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the MMAA gene on human chromosome 4q31.21 result in vitamin B12-responsive methylmalonic aciduria (cblA complementation group) due to deficiency in the synthesis of adenosylcobalamin. Genomic DNA from 37 cblA patients, diagnosed on the basis of cellular adenosylcobalamin synthesis, methylmalonyl-coenzyme A (CoA) mutase function, and complementation analysis, was analyzed for deleterious mutations in the MMAA gene by DNA sequencing of exons and flanking sequences. A total of 18 novel mutations were identified, bringing the total number of mutations identified in 37 cblA patients to 22. A total of 13 mutations result in premature stop codons; three are splice site defects; and six are missense mutations that occur at highly conserved residues. Eight of these mutations were common to two or more individuals. One mutation, c.433C>T (R145X), represents 43% of pathogenic alleles and a common haplotype was identified. Restriction endonuclease or heteroduplex diagnostic tests were designed to confirm mutations. None of the sequence changes identified in cblA patients were found in 100 alleles from unrelated control individuals.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2004 · Human Mutation
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    ABSTRACT: The methylmalonic acidurias are metabolic disorders resulting from deficient methylmalonyl-CoA mutase activity, a vitamin B(12)-dependent enzyme. We have cloned the gene for the cblB complementation group caused by deficient activity of a cob(I)alamin adenosyltransferase. This was accomplished by searching bacterial genomes for genes in close proximity to the methylmalonyl-CoA mutase gene that might encode a protein with the properties of an adenosyltransferase. A candidate was identified in the Archaeoglobus fulgidus genome and was used to probe the human genome database. It yielded a gene on chromosome 12q24 that encodes a predicted protein of 250 amino acids with 45% similarity to PduO in Salmonella enterica, a characterized cob(I)alamin adenosyltransferase. A northern blot revealed an RNA species of 1.1 kb predominating in liver and skeletal muscle. The gene was evaluated for deleterious mutations in cblB patient cell lines. Several mutations were identified including a 5 bp deletion (5del572gggcc576), two splice site mutations (IVS2-1G>T, IVS3-1G>A), andt several point mutations (A135T, R186W, R191W and E193K). Two additional amino acid substitutions (R19Q and M239K) were found in several patient cell lines but were found to be common polymorphisms (36% and 46%) in control alleles. The R186W mutation, which we suggest is disease-linked, is present in four of the six patient cell lines examined (homoallelic in two) and in 4 of 240 alleles in control samples. These data confirm that the identified gene, MMAB, corresponds to the cblB complementation group and has the appearance of a cob(I)alamin adenosyltransferase, as predicted from biochemical data.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2002 · Human Molecular Genetics

Publication Stats

617 Citations
156.54 Total Impact Points


  • 2010
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2004-2009
    • McGill University
      • • Department of Human Genetics
      • • Department of Medicine
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2008
    • University Children's Hospital Basel
      Bâle, Basel-City, Switzerland