Nicholas Katsanis

Indiana Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

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Publications (241)3033.94 Total impact

  • Akira Sawa · Koko Ishizuka · Nicholas Katsanis

    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
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    ABSTRACT: Advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, with limited therapeutic options. Here we report on a study of >12 million variants, including 163,714 directly genotyped, mostly rare, protein-altering variants. Analyzing 16,144 patients and 17,832 controls, we identify 52 independently associated common and rare variants (P < 5 [times] 10-8) distributed across 34 loci. Although wet and dry AMD subtypes exhibit predominantly shared genetics, we identify the first genetic association signal specific to wet AMD, near MMP9 (difference P value = 4.1 [times] 10-10). Very rare coding variants (frequency <0.1%) in CFH, CFI and TIMP3 suggest causal roles for these genes, as does a splice variant in SLC16A8. Our results support the hypothesis that rare coding variants can pinpoint causal genes within known genetic loci and illustrate that applying the approach systematically to detect new loci requires extremely large sample sizes.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Nature Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Circumferential skin creases Kunze type (CSC-KT) is a specific congenital entity with an unknown genetic cause. The disease phenotype comprises characteristic circumferential skin creases accompanied by intellectual disability, a cleft palate, short stature, and dysmorphic features. Here, we report that mutations in either MAPRE2 or TUBB underlie the genetic origin of this syndrome. MAPRE2 encodes a member of the microtubule end-binding family of proteins that bind to the guanosine triphosphate cap at growing microtubule plus ends, and TUBB encodes a β-tubulin isotype that is expressed abundantly in the developing brain. Functional analyses of the TUBB mutants show multiple defects in the chaperone-dependent tubulin heterodimer folding and assembly pathway that leads to a compromised yield of native heterodimers. The TUBB mutations also have an impact on microtubule dynamics. For MAPRE2, we show that the mutations result in enhanced MAPRE2 binding to microtubules, implying an increased dwell time at microtubule plus ends. Further, in vivo analysis of MAPRE2 mutations in a zebrafish model of craniofacial development shows that the variants most likely perturb the patterning of branchial arches, either through excessive activity (under a recessive paradigm) or through haploinsufficiency (dominant de novo paradigm). Taken together, our data add CSC-KT to the growing list of tubulinopathies and highlight how multiple inheritance paradigms can affect dosage-sensitive biological systems so as to result in the same clinical defect.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Meier-Gorlin syndrome (MGS) is a genetically heterogeneous primordial dwarfism syndrome known to be caused by biallelic loss-of-function mutations in one of five genes encoding pre-replication complex proteins: ORC1, ORC4, ORC6, CDT1, and CDC6. Mutations in these genes cause disruption of the origin of DNA replication initiation. To date, only an autosomal-recessive inheritance pattern has been described in individuals with this disorder, with a molecular etiology established in about three-fourths of cases. Here, we report three subjects with MGS and de novo heterozygous mutations in the 5′ end of GMNN, encoding the DNA replication inhibitor geminin. We identified two truncating mutations in exon 2 (the 1st coding exon), c.16A>T (p.Lys6∗) and c.35-38delTCAA (p.Ile12Lysfs∗4), and one missense mutation, c.50A>G (p.Lys17Arg), affecting the second-to-last nucleotide of exon 2 and possibly RNA splicing. Geminin is present during the S, G2, and M phases of the cell cycle and is degraded during the metaphase-anaphase transition by the anaphase-promoting complex (APC), which recognizes the destruction box sequence near the 5′ end of the geminin protein. All three GMNN mutations identified alter sites 5′ to residue Met28 of the protein, which is located within the destruction box. We present data supporting a gain-of-function mechanism, in which the GMNN mutations result in proteins lacking the destruction box and hence increased protein stability and prolonged inhibition of replication leading to autosomal-dominant MGS.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: We describe an X-linked genetic syndrome associated with mutations in TAF1 and manifesting with global developmental delay, intellectual disability (ID), characteristic facial dysmorphology, generalized hypotonia, and variable neurologic features, all in male individuals. Simultaneous studies using diverse strategies led to the identification of nine families with overlapping clinical presentations and affected by de novo or maternally inherited single-nucleotide changes. Two additional families harboring large duplications involving TAF1 were also found to share phenotypic overlap with the probands harboring single-nucleotide changes, but they also demonstrated a severe neurodegeneration phenotype. Functional analysis with RNA-seq for one of the families suggested that the phenotype is associated with downregulation of a set of genes notably enriched with genes regulated by E-box proteins. In addition, knockdown and mutant studies of this gene in zebrafish have shown a quantifiable, albeit small, effect on a neuronal phenotype. Our results suggest that mutations in TAF1 play a critical role in the development of this X-linked ID syndrome.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
  • Ludmila Francescatto · Nicholas Katsanis
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    ABSTRACT: Across the span of the last 75+ years, technological and conceptual advances in genetics have found rapid implementation at the beginning of human life. From karyotype testing, to molecular cytogenetics, to gene panel testing, and now to whole exome and whole genome sequencing, each iterative expansion of our capability to acquire genetic data on the next generation has been implemented quickly in the clinical setting. In tandem, our continuously expanding ability to acquire large volumes of genetic data has generated its own challenges in terms of interpretation, clinical utility of the information, and concerns over privacy and discrimination; for the first time, we are faced with the possibility of having complete access to our genetic data from birth, if not shortly after conception. Here, we discuss the evolution of the field toward this new reality and we consider the potentially far-reaching consequences and, at present, an unclear path toward developing best practices for implementation.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Seminars in perinatology
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    ABSTRACT: Joubert syndrome (JBTS) is a primarily autosomal-recessive disorder characterized by a distinctive mid-hindbrain and cerebellar malformation, oculomotor apraxia, irregular breathing, developmental delay, and ataxia. JBTS is a genetically heterogeneous ciliopathy. We sought to characterize the genetic landscape associated with JBTS in the French Canadian (FC) population. We studied 43 FC JBTS subjects from 35 families by combining targeted and exome sequencing. We identified pathogenic (n = 32 families) or possibly pathogenic (n = 2 families) variants in genes previously associated with JBTS in all of these subjects, except for one. In the latter case, we found a homozygous splice-site mutation (c.735+2T>C) in CEP104. Interestingly, we identified two additional non-FC JBTS subjects with mutations in CEP104; one of these subjects harbors a maternally inherited nonsense mutation (c.496C>T [p.Arg166(∗)]) and a de novo splice-site mutation (c.2572-2A>G), whereas the other bears a homozygous frameshift mutation (c.1328_1329insT [p.Tyr444fs(∗)3]) in CEP104. Previous studies have shown that CEP104 moves from the mother centriole to the tip of the primary cilium during ciliogenesis. Knockdown of CEP104 in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE1) cells resulted in severe defects in ciliogenesis. These observations suggest that CEP104 acts early during cilia formation by regulating the conversion of the mother centriole into the cilia basal body. We conclude that disruption of CEP104 causes JBTS. Our study also reveals that the cause of JBTS has been elucidated in the great majority of our FC subjects (33/35 [94%] families), even though JBTS shows substantial locus and allelic heterogeneity in this population.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: The endothelial receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) Tie1 was discovered over 20 years ago, yet its precise function and mode of action remain enigmatic. To shed light on Tie1's role in endothelial cell biology, we investigated a potential threonine phosphorylation site within the juxtamembrane domain of Tie1. Expression of a non-phosphorylatable mutant of this site (T794A) in zebrafish (Danio rerio) significantly disrupted vascular development, resulting in fish with stunted and poorly branched intersomitic vessels. Similarly, T794A-expressing human umbilical vein endothelial cells formed significantly shorter tubes with fewer branches in three-dimensional Matrigel cultures. However, mutation of T794 did not alter Tie1 or Tie2 tyrosine phosphorylation or downstream signaling in any detectable way, suggesting that T794 phosphorylation may regulate a Tie1 function independent of its RTK properties. Although T794 is within a consensus Akt phosphorylation site, we were unable to identify a physiological activator of Akt that could induce T794 phosphorylation, suggesting that Akt is not the physiological Tie1-T794 kinase. However, the small GTPase Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1), which is required for angiogenesis and capillary morphogenesis, was found to associate with phospho-T794 but not the non-phosphorylatable T794A mutant. Pharmacological activation of Rac1 induced downstream activation of p21-activated kinase (PAK1) and T794 phosphorylation in vitro, and inhibition of PAK1 abrogated T794 phosphorylation. Our results provide the first demonstration of a signaling pathway mediated by Tie1 in endothelial cells, and they suggest that a novel feedback loop involving Rac1/PAK1 mediated phosphorylation of Tie1 on T794 is required for proper angiogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Laterality in the vertebrate embryo is determined by left-right asymmetric gene expression driven by the flow of extraembryonic fluid across the embryonic node. Defects in these processes cause heterotaxy, the abnormal formation and arrangement of visceral organs that can range from complete inversion of symmetry to the selective misarrangement of organs. However, our understanding of the genetic causality for laterality defects in human beings remains relatively limited. Methods: We performed whole exome sequencing in a consanguineous family with heterotaxia. To interrogate the pathogenic potential of the discovered variant, we used an in vivo system in which the potential of the candidate gene to induce L-R asymmetry was tested by transient suppression and CRISPR/Cas9-induced deletions. We also used in vitro assays to test a possible link between our exome-derived candidate and Notch signaling. Results: We identified a homozygous 2 bp deletion in MMP21, encoding matrix metalloproteinase-21, as the sole coding mutation that segregated with the phenotype. Transient suppression or CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of mmp21 in zebrafish embryos induced cardiac looping defects, with concomitant disruption of laterality markers in the lateral plate mesoderm and disrupted notch signalling in vitro and in vivo. Conclusions: Our data implicate loss of MMP21 as a cause of heterotaxy in humans with concomitant defects in Notch signaling. In support of this finding, a homozygous missense mutation in MMP21 was identified previously in mice with N-Ethyl-N-Nitrosourea (ENU)-induced heterotaxy. Taken together, these observations suggest a role of matrix metalloproteinases in the establishment of asymmetric organ development, likely through the regulation of morphogenetic signals.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Medical Genetics

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Author Summary Unlike mammals, adult teleost fish and urodele amphibians can fully regenerate lost appendages. Understanding what initiates regeneration in these vertebrates is of great interest to the scientific community. It has long been known that the epidermis that forms quickly over an amputated limb stump is critical for initiating regenerative programs. Yet, little of understood of the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which a simple adult epithelium transforms into this key signaling source. Here, we performed a large-scale, unbiased genetic screen for epithelial signaling deficiencies during the regeneration of amputated adult zebrafish fins, from which we identified several new mutants. One gene identified from this screen disrupts a specific component of the extracellular matrix material Laminin, Laminin beta 1a, a factor that we find to be dispensable in uninjured adult animals but required for all stages fin regeneration. Transient induction of this component by amputation polarizes the basal layer of the nascent epithelium, and, in turn, facilitates the synthesis of signaling factors, the positioning of ligand receptors, and the patterning of new bone cells. We also find that normal induction of Laminin beta 1a by injury relies on the function of Fibroblast growth factors, secreted polypeptide signals that are released early upon injury. Our results identify key early steps in the endogenous program for vertebrate appendage regeneration.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · PLoS Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: The genetic disorder Kabuki syndrome (KS) is characterized by developmental delay and congenital anomalies. Dominant mutations in the chromatin regulators lysine (K)-specific methyltransferase 2D (KMT2D) (also known as MLL2) and lysine (K)-specific demethylase 6A (KDM6A) underlie the majority of cases. Although the functions of these chromatin-modifying proteins have been studied extensively, the physiological systems regulated by them are largely unknown. Using whole-exome sequencing, we identified a mutation in RAP1A that was converted to homozygosity as the result of uniparental isodisomy (UPD) in a patient with KS and a de novo, dominant mutation in RAP1B in a second individual with a KS-like phenotype. We elucidated a genetic and functional interaction between the respective KS-associated genes and their products in zebrafish models and patient cell lines. Specifically, we determined that dysfunction of known KS genes and the genes identified in this study results in aberrant MEK/ERK signaling as well as disruption of F-actin polymerization and cell intercalation. Moreover, these phenotypes could be rescued in zebrafish models by rebalancing MEK/ERK signaling via administration of small molecule inhibitors of MEK. Taken together, our studies suggest that the KS pathophysiology overlaps with the RASopathies and provide a potential direction for treatment design.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · The Journal of clinical investigation
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    ABSTRACT: Intellectual disability (ID) affects approximately 1%–3% of humans with a gender bias toward males. Previous studies have identified mutations in more than 100 genes on the X chromosome in males with ID, but there is less evidence for de novo mutations on the X chromosome causing ID in females. In this study we present 35 unique deleterious de novo mutations in DDX3X identified by Whole exome sequencing in 38 females with ID and various other features including hypotonia, movement disorders, behavior problems,corpus callosum hypoplasia, and epilepsy. Based on our findings, mutations in DDX3X are one of the more common causes of ID, accounting for 1%–3% of unexplained ID in females. Although no de novo DDX3X mutations were identified in males, we present three families with segregating missense mutations in DDX3X, suggestive of an X-linked recessive inheritance pattern. In these families, all males with the DDX3X variant had ID, whereas carrier females were unaffected. To explore the pathogenic mechanisms Accounting for the differences in disease transmission and phenotype between affected females and affected males with DDX3X missense variants, we used canonical Wnt defects in zebrafish as a surrogate measure of DDX3X function in vivo.We demonstrate a consistent loss-of-function effect of all tested de novo mutations on the Wnt pathway, and we further show a differential effect by gender. The differential activity possibly reflects a dose-dependent effect of DDX3X expression in the context of functional mosaic females versus one-copy males, which reflects the complex biological nature of DDX3X mutations.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous distal symmetric polyneuropathy. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) of 40 individuals from 37 unrelated families with CMT-like peripheral neuropathy refractory to molecular diagnosis identified apparent causal mutations in ∼45% (17/37) of families. Three candidate disease genes are proposed, supported by a combination of genetic and in vivo studies. Aggregate analysis of mutation data revealed a significantly increased number of rare variants across 58 neuropathy-associated genes in subjects versus controls, confirmed in a second ethnically discrete neuropathy cohort, suggesting that mutation burden potentially contributes to phenotypic variability. Neuropathy genes shown to have highly penetrant Mendelizing variants (HPMVs) and implicated by burden in families were shown to interact genetically in a zebrafish assay exacerbating the phenotype established by the suppression of single genes. Our findings suggest that the combinatorial effect of rare variants contributes to disease burden and variable expressivity. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Cell Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Essential tremor (ET) is a common movement disorder with an estimated prevalence of 5% of the population aged over 65 years. In spite of intensive efforts, the genetic architecture of ET remains unknown. We used a combination of whole exome sequencing and targeted resequencing in three ET families. In vitro and in vivo experiments in oligodendrocyte precursor cells and zebrafish were performed to test our findings. Whole exome sequencing revealed a missense mutation in TENM4 segregating in an autosomal dominant fashion in an ET family. Subsequent targeted resequencing of TENM4 led to the discovery of two novel missense mutations. Not only did these two mutations segregate with ET in two additional families, but we also observed significant over transmission of pathogenic TENM4 alleles across the three families. Consistent with a dominant mode of inheritance, in vitro analysis in oligodendrocyte precursor cells showed that mutant proteins mislocalize. Finally, expression of human mRNA harboring any of three patient mutations in zebrafish embryos induced defects in axon guidance, confirming a dominant-negative mode of action for these mutations. Our genetic and functional data, which is corroborated by the existence of a Tenm4 knock-out mouse displaying an essential tremor phenotype, implicates TENM4 in ET. Together with previous studies of TENM4 in model organisms, our studies intimate that processes regulating myelination in the central nervous system and axon guidance might be significant contributors to the genetic burden of this disorder. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Human Molecular Genetics
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    Preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Cilia
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    Preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Cilia
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    ABSTRACT: African Americans have a disproportionate risk for developing nephropathy. This disparity has been attributed to coding variants (G1 and G2) in apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1); however, there is little functional evidence supporting the role of this protein in renal function. Here, we combined genetics and in vivo modeling to examine the role of apol1 in glomerular development and pronephric filtration and to test the pathogenic potential of APOL1 G1 and G2. Translational suppression or CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing of apol1 in zebrafish embryos results in podocyte loss and glomerular filtration defects. Complementation of apol1 morphants with wild-type human APOL1 mRNA rescues these defects. However, the APOL1 G1 risk allele does not ameliorate defects caused by apol1 suppression and the pathogenicity is conferred by the cis effect of both individual variants of the G1 risk haplotype (I384M/S342G). In vivo complementation studies of the G2 risk allele also indicate that the variant is deleterious to protein function. Moreover, APOL1 G2, but not G1, expression alone promotes developmental kidney defects, suggesting a possible dominant-negative effect of the altered protein. In sickle cell disease (SCD) patients, we reported previously a genetic interaction between APOL1 and MYH9. Testing this interaction in vivo by co-suppressing both transcripts yielded no additive effects. However, upon genetic or chemical induction of anemia, we observed a significantly exacerbated nephropathy phenotype. Furthermore, concordant with the genetic interaction observed in SCD patients, APOL1 G2 reduces myh9 expression in vivo, suggesting a possible interaction between the altered APOL1 and myh9. Our data indicate a critical role for APOL1 in renal function that is compromised by nephropathy-risk encoding variants. Moreover, our interaction studies indicate that the MYH9 locus is also relevant to the phenotype in a stressed microenvironment and suggest that consideration of the context-dependent functions of both proteins will be required to develop therapeutic paradigms.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · PLoS Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze the expansion of CTG18.1 allele associated with Fuchs' corneal dystrophy (FCD) in our large cohort of late-onset FCD cases. CTG repeats within the CTG18.1 allele were estimated by short tandem repeat (STR) and triplet primed PCR (TP-PCR) assays in our large cohort of 574 late-onset FCD cases and 354 controls and large multigeneration familial cases. The age versus severity relationships were analyzed in FCD genotypes, namely, nonexpanded (N/N), monoallelic expansion (N/X), and biallelic expansion (X/X) with N ≤ 40 CTG monomers. The threshold for causality conferred by an expansion of CTG18.1 was identified by excluding the population of FCD cases who harbored an allele length equivalent to the maximum CTG monomers observed in the controls. The expanded CTG18.1 for (CTG)n>40 showed a strong association (P = 1.56 × 10-82) with FCD. Importantly, we delineated the threshold of expansion to 103 CTG repeats above which the allele confers causality in 17.8% of FCD cases. Regression analyses demonstrated a significant correlation between disease severity and age in individuals who harbor either a monoallelic expansion or a biallelic expansion at (CTG)n>40. These analyses helped predict FCD in two previously unaffected individuals based on their CTG18.1 expansion genotype. A monoallelic expansion of CTG18.1 contributes to increased disease severity and is causal at (CTG)n>103, whereas a biallelic expansion is sufficient to be causal for FCD at (CTG)n>40. This study highlights the largest contributory causal allele for FCD.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Investigative ophthalmology & visual science
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    ABSTRACT: Patterns of amino acid conservation have served as a tool for understanding protein evolution. The same principles have also found broad application in human genomics, driven by the need to interpret the pathogenic potential of variants in patients. Here we performed a systematic comparative genomics analysis of human disease-causing missense variants. We found that an appreciable fraction of disease-causing alleles are fixed in the genomes of other species, suggesting a role for genomic context. We developed a model of genetic interactions that predicts most of these to be simple pairwise compensations. Functional testing of this model on two known human disease genes revealed discrete cis amino acid residues that, although benign on their own, could rescue the human mutations in vivo. This approach was also applied to ab initio gene discovery to support the identification of a de novo disease driver in BTG2 that is subject to protective cis-modification in more than 50 species. Finally, on the basis of our data and models, we developed a computational tool to predict candidate residues subject to compensation. Taken together, our data highlight the importance of cis-genomic context as a contributor to protein evolution; they provide an insight into the complexity of allele effect on phenotype; and they are likely to assist methods for predicting allele pathogenicity.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Nature

Publication Stats

14k Citations
3,033.94 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • Indiana Blood and Marrow Transplantation
      Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • 2010-2015
    • Duke University Medical Center
      • Department of Cell Biology
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2009-2015
    • Duke University
      • Department of Medicine
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2002-2010
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
      • • McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine
      • • Wilmer Eye Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2006
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2000-2001
    • Baylor College of Medicine
      • Department of Molecular & Human Genetics
      Houston, Texas, United States