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1.  Diagnosis and management of primary ciliary dyskinesia 
Cilia  2015;4:2.
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder with defective structure and/or function of motile cilia/flagella, causing chronic upper and lower respiratory tract infections, fertility problems, and disorders of organ laterality. Diagnosing PCD requires a combined approach utilizing characteristic phenotypes and complementary methods for detection of defects of ciliary function and ultrastructure, measurement of nasal nitric oxide and genetic testing. Currently, biallelic mutations in 31 different genes have been linked to PCD allowing a genetic diagnosis in approximately ~ 60% of cases. Management includes surveillance of pulmonary function, imaging, and microbiology of upper and lower airways in addition to daily airway clearance and prompt antibiotic treatment of infections. Early referral to specialized centers that use a multidisciplinary approach is likely to improve outcomes. Currently, evidence-based knowledge on PCD care is missing let alone management guidelines. Research and clinical investigators, supported by European and North American patient support groups, have joined forces under the name of BESTCILIA, a European Commission funded consortium dedicated to improve PCD care and knowledge. Core programs of this network include the establishment of an international PCD registry, the generation of disease specific PCD quality of life questionnaires, and the first randomized controlled trial in PCD.
doi:10.1186/s13630-014-0011-8
PMCID: PMC4300728  PMID: 25610612
2.  DYX1C1 is required for axonemal dynein assembly and ciliary motility 
Nature genetics  2013;45(9):995-1003.
SUMMARY
Dyx1c1 has been associated with dyslexia and neuronal migration in the developing neocortex. Unexpectedly, we found that deletion of Dyx1c1 exons 2–4 in mice caused a phenotype resembling primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), a genetically heterogeneous disorder characterized by chronic airway disease, laterality defects, and male infertility. This phenotype was confirmed independently in mice with a Dyx1c1c.T2A start codon mutation recovered from an ENU mutagenesis screen. Morpholinos targeting dyx1c1 in zebrafish also created laterality and ciliary motility defects. In humans, recessive loss-of-function DYX1C1 mutations were identified in twelve PCD individuals. Ultrastructural and immunofluorescence analyses of DYX1C1-mutant motile cilia in mice and humans revealed disruptions of outer and inner dynein arms (ODA/IDA). DYX1C1 localizes to the cytoplasm of respiratory epithelial cells, its interactome is enriched for molecular chaperones, and it interacts with the cytoplasmic ODA/IDA assembly factor DNAAF2/KTU. Thus, we propose that DYX1C1 is a newly identified dynein axonemal assembly factor (DNAAF4).
doi:10.1038/ng.2707
PMCID: PMC4000444  PMID: 23872636
3.  Mutations in CCDC39 and CCDC40 are the major cause of primary ciliary dyskinesia with axonemal disorganisation and absent inner dynein arms 
Human mutation  2013;34(3):462-472.
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder caused by cilia and sperm dysmotility. About 12% of cases show perturbed 9+2 microtubule cilia structure and inner dynein arm (IDA) loss, historically termed ‘radial spoke defect’. We sequenced CCDC39 and CCDC40 in 54 ‘radial spoke defect’ families, as these are the two genes identified so far to cause this defect. We discovered biallelic mutations in a remarkable 69% (37/54) of families, including identification of 25 (19 novel) mutant alleles (12 in CCDC39 and 13 in CCDC40). All the mutations were nonsense, splice and frameshift predicting early protein truncation, which suggests this defect is caused by ‘null’ alleles conferring complete protein loss. Most families (73%; 27/37) had homozygous mutations, including families from outbred populations. A major putative hotspot mutation was identified, CCDC40 c.248delC, as well as several other possible hotspot mutations. Together, these findings highlight the key role of CCDC39 and CCDC40 in PCD with axonemal disorganisation and IDA loss, and these genes represent major candidates for genetic testing in families affected by this ciliary phenotype. We show that radial spoke structures are largely intact in these patients and propose this ciliary ultrastructural abnormality be referred to as ‘IDA and nexin-dynein regulatory complex (N-DRC) defect’, rather than ‘radial spoke defect’.
doi:10.1002/humu.22261
PMCID: PMC3630464  PMID: 23255504
primary ciliary dyskinesia; cilia; CCDC39; CCDC40; radial spoke; dynein regulatory complex; nexin link
4.  The nexin-dynein regulatory complex subunit DRC 1 is essential for motile cilia function in algae and humans 
Nature genetics  2013;45(3):10.1038/ng.2533.
Summary
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is characterized by dysfunction in respiratory and reproductive cilia/flagella and random determination of visceral asymmetry. Here, we identify the DRC1 subunit of the Nexin-Dynein Regulatory Complex (N-DRC), an axonemal structure critical for regulation of the dynein motors, and demonstrate that DRC1/CCDC164 mutations are involved in the pathogenesis of PCD. Loss-of-function DRC1/CCDC164 mutations result in severe defects in assembly of the N-DRC structure and defective ciliary movement in Chlamydomonas and humans. Our results highlight the role of N-DRC integrity for regulation of ciliary beating and provide the first direct evidence that drc mutations cause human disease.
doi:10.1038/ng.2533
PMCID: PMC3818796  PMID: 23354437
cilia; dynein; primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD); Nexin-Dynein Regulatory Complex (N-DRC)
5.  High Prevalence of Respiratory Ciliary Dysfunction in Congenital Heart Disease Patients With Heterotaxy 
Circulation  2012;125(18):2232-2242.
Background
Patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) and heterotaxy show high postsurgical morbidity/mortality, with some developing respiratory complications. Although this finding is often attributed to the CHD, airway clearance and left-right patterning both require motile cilia function. Thus, airway ciliary dysfunction (CD) similar to that of primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) may contribute to increased respiratory complications in heterotaxy patients.
Methods and Results
We assessed 43 CHD patients with heterotaxy for airway CD. Videomicrocopy was used to examine ciliary motion in nasal tissue, and nasal nitric oxide (nNO) was measured; nNO level is typically low with PCD. Eighteen patients exhibited CD characterized by abnormal ciliary motion and nNO levels below or near the PCD cutoff values. Patients with CD aged >6 years show increased respiratory symptoms similar to those seen in PCD. Sequencing of all 14 known PCD genes in 13 heterotaxy patients with CD, 12 without CD, 10 PCD disease controls, and 13 healthy controls yielded 0.769, 0.417, 1.0, and 0.077 novel variants per patient, respectively. One heterotaxy patient with CD had the PCD causing DNAI1 founder mutation. Another with hyperkinetic ciliary beat had 2 mutations in DNAH11, the only PCD gene known to cause hyperkinetic beat. Among PCD patients, 2 had known PCD causing CCDC39 and CCDC40 mutations.
Conclusions
Our studies show that CHD patients with heterotaxy have substantial risk for CD and increased respiratory disease. Heterotaxy patients with CD were enriched for mutations in PCD genes. Future studies are needed to assess the potential benefit of prescreening and prophylactically treating heterotaxy patients for CD.
doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.079780
PMCID: PMC3770728  PMID: 22499950
genomic studies; heart defects; congenital; heterotaxy; nitric oxide; primary ciliary dyskinesia
6.  Next generation massively parallel sequencing of targeted exomes to identify genetic mutations in primary ciliary dyskinesia: implications for application to clinical testing 
PURPOSE
Advances in genetic sequencing technology have the potential to enhance testing for genes associated with genetically heterogeneous clinical syndromes, such as primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). The objective of this study was to investigate the performance characteristics of exon-capture technology coupled with massively parallel sequencing for clinical diagnostic evaluation.
METHODS
We performed a pilot study of four individuals with a variety of previously identified PCD mutations. We designed a custom array (NimbleGen) to capture 2089 exons from 79 genes associated with PCD or ciliary function and sequenced the enriched material using the GS FLX Titanium (Roche 454) platform. Bioinformatics analysis was performed in a blinded fashion in an attempt to detect the previously identified mutations and validate the process.
RESULTS
Three of three substitution mutations and one of three small insertion/deletion mutations were readily identified using this methodology. One small insertion mutation was clearly observed after adjusting the bioinformatics handling of previously described SNPs. This process failed to detect two known mutations: one single nucleotide insertion and a whole exon deletion. Additional retrospective bioinformatics analysis revealed strong sequence-based evidence for the insertion but failed to detect the whole exon deletion. Numerous other variants were also detected, which may represent potential genetic modifiers of the PCD phenotype.
CONCLUSIONS
We conclude that massively parallel sequencing has considerable potential for both research and clinical diagnostics, but further development is required before widespread adoption in a clinical setting.
doi:10.1097/GIM.0b013e318203cff2
PMCID: PMC3755008  PMID: 21270641
Next-generation sequencing; exon-capture; molecular diagnostic testing; primary ciliary dyskinesia; clinical genetics
7.  Mutations of DNAH11 in Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Patients with Normal Ciliary Ultrastructure 
Thorax  2011;67(5):433-441.
Rationale
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is an autosomal recessive, genetically heterogeneous disorder characterized by oto-sino-pulmonary disease and situs abnormalities (Kartagener syndrome) due to abnormal structure and/or function of cilia. Most patients currently recognized to have PCD have ultrastructural defects of cilia; however, some patients have clinical manifestations of PCD and low levels of nasal nitric oxide, but normal ultrastructure, including a few patients with biallelic mutations in DNAH11.
Objectives
In order to test further for mutant DNAH11 as a cause of PCD, we sequenced DNAH11 in patients with a PCD clinical phenotype, but no known genetic etiology.
Methods
We sequenced 82 exons and intron/exon junctions in DNAH11 in 163 unrelated patients with a clinical phenotype of PCD, including those with normal ciliary ultrastructure (n=58), defects in outer ± inner dynein arms (n=76), radial spoke/central pair defects (n=6), and 23 without definitive ultrastructural results, but who had situs inversus (n=17), or bronchiectasis and/or low nasal nitric oxide (n=6). Additionally, we sequenced DNAH11 in 13 patients with isolated situs abnormalities to see if mutant DNAH11 could cause situs defects without respiratory disease.
Results
Of the 58 unrelated PCD patients with normal ultrastructure, 13 (22%) had two (biallelic) mutations in DNAH11; plus, 2 PCD patients without ultrastructural analysis had biallelic mutations. All mutations were novel and private. None of the patients with dynein arm or radial spoke/central pair defects, or isolated situs abnormalities, had mutations in DNAH11. Of the 35 identified mutant alleles, 24 (69%) were nonsense, insertion/deletion or Ioss-of-function splice-site mutations.
Conclusions
Mutations in DNAH11 are a common cause of PCD in patients without ciliary ultrastructural defects; thus, genetic analysis can be used to ascertain the diagnosis of PCD in this challenging group of patients.
doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2011-200301
PMCID: PMC3739700  PMID: 22184204
Cilia; Dynein; Kartagener syndrome; Dextrocardia; Heterotaxy
8.  Exome capture reveals ZNF423 and CEP164 mutations, linking renal ciliopathies to DNA damage response signaling 
Chaki, Moumita | Airik, Rannar | Ghosh, Amiya K. | Giles, Rachel H. | Chen, Rui | Slaats, Gisela G. | Wang, Hui | Hurd, Toby W. | Zhou, Weibin | Cluckey, Andrew | Gee, Heon-Yung | Ramaswami, Gokul | Hong, Chen-Jei | Hamilton, Bruce A. | Červenka, Igor | Ganji, Ranjani Sri | Bryja, Vitezslav | Arts, Heleen H. | van Reeuwijk, Jeroen | Oud, Machteld M. | Letteboer, Stef J.F. | Roepman, Ronald | Husson, Hervé | Ibraghimov-Beskrovnaya, Oxana | Ysunaga, Takayuki | Walz, Gerd | Eley, Lorraine | Sayer, John A. | Schermer, Bernhard | Liebau, Max C. | Benzing, Thomas | Le Corre, Stephanie | Drummond, Iain | Joles, Jaap A. | Janssen, Sabine | Allen, Susan J. | Natarajan, Sivakumar | O Toole, John F. | Attanasio, Massimo | Saunier, Sophie | Antignac, Corinne | Koenekoop, Robert K. | Ren, Huanan | Lopez, Irma | Nayir, Ahmet | Stoetzel, Corinne | Dollfus, Helene | Massoudi, Rustin | Gleeson, Joseph G. | Andreoli, Sharon P. | Doherty, Dan G. | Lindstrad, Anna | Golzio, Christelle | Katsanis, Nicholas | Pape, Lars | Abboud, Emad B. | Al-Rajhi, Ali A. | Lewis, Richard A. | Lupski, James R. | Omran, Heymut | Lee, Eva | Wang, Shaohui | Sekiguchi, JoAnn M. | Saunders, Rudel | Johnson, Colin A. | Garner, Elizabeth | Vanselow, Katja | Andersen, Jens S. | Shlomai, Joseph | Nurnberg, Gudrun | Nurnberg, Peter | Levy, Shawn | Smogorzewska, Agata | Otto, Edgar A. | Hildebrandt, Friedhelm
Cell  2012;150(3):533-548.
SUMMARY
Nephronophthisis-related ciliopathies (NPHP-RC) are degenerative recessive diseases that affect kidney, retina and brain. Genetic defects in NPHP gene products that localize to cilia and centrosomes defined them as ‘ciliopathies’. However, disease mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we identify by whole exome resequencing, mutations of MRE11, ZNF423, and CEP164 as causing NPHP-RC. All three genes function within the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway, hitherto not implicated in ciliopathies. We demonstrate that, upon induced DNA damage, the NPHP-RC proteins ZNF423, CEP164 and NPHP10 colocalize to nuclear foci positive for TIP60, known to activate ATM at sites of DNA damage. We show that knockdown of CEP164 or ZNF423 causes sensitivity to DNA damaging agents, and that cep164 knockdown in zebrafish results in dysregulated DDR and an NPHP-RC phenotype. We identify TTBK2, CCDC92, NPHP3 and DVL3 as novel CEP164 interaction partners. Our findings link degenerative diseases of kidney and retina, disorders of increasing prevalence, to mechanisms of DDR.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2012.06.028
PMCID: PMC3433835  PMID: 22863007
9.  CCDC103 mutations cause primary ciliary dyskinesia by disrupting assembly of ciliary dynein arms 
Nature genetics  2012;44(6):714-719.
Cilia are essential for fertilization, respiratory clearance, cerebrospinal fluid circulation, and to establish laterality1. Cilia motility defects cause Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD, MIM 242650), a disorder affecting 1:15-30,000 births. Cilia motility requires the assembly of multisubunit dynein arms that drive cilia bending2. Despite progress in understanding the genetic basis of PCD, mutations remain to be identified for several PCD linked loci3. Here we show that the zebrafish cilia paralysis mutant schmalhanstn222 (smh) mutant encodes the coiled-coil domain containing 103 protein (Ccdc103), a foxj1a regulated gene. Screening 146 unrelated PCD families identified patients in six families with reduced outer dynein arms, carrying mutations in CCDC103. Dynein arm assembly in smh mutant zebrafish was rescued by wild-type but not mutant human CCDC103. Chlamydomonas Ccdc103 functions as a tightly bound, axoneme-associated protein. The results identify Ccdc103 as a novel dynein arm attachment factor that when mutated causes Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia.
doi:10.1038/ng.2277
PMCID: PMC3371652  PMID: 22581229
10.  CCDC39 is required for assembly of inner dynein arms and the dynein regulatory complex and for normal ciliary motility in humans and dogs 
Nature genetics  2010;43(1):72-78.
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is an inherited disorder characterized by recurrent infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract, reduced fertility in males and situs inversus in about 50% of affected individuals (Kartagener syndrome). It is caused by motility defects in the respiratory cilia that are responsible for airway clearance, the flagella that propel sperm cells and the nodal monocilia that determine left-right asymmetry1. Recessive mutations that cause PCD have been identified in genes encoding components of the outer dynein arms, radial spokes and cytoplasmic pre-assembly factors of axonemal dyneins, but these mutations account for only about 50% of cases of PCD. We exploited the unique properties of dog populations to positionally clone a new PCD gene, CCDC39. We found that loss-of-function mutations in the human ortholog underlie a substantial fraction of PCD cases with axonemal disorganization and abnormal ciliary beating. Functional analyses indicated that CCDC39 localizes to ciliary axonemes and is essential for assembly of inner dynein arms and the dynein regulatory complex.
doi:10.1038/ng.726
PMCID: PMC3509786  PMID: 21131972
11.  Mutations in axonemal dynein assembly factor DNAAF3 cause primary ciliary dyskinesia 
Nature genetics  2012;44(4):381-S2.
Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) most often arises from loss of the dynein motors that power ciliary beating. Here we show that PF22/DNAAF3, a previously uncharacterized protein, is essential for the preassembly of dyneins into complexes prior to their transport into cilia. We identified loss-of-function mutations in the human DNAAF3 gene in patients from families with situs inversus and defects in assembly of inner and outer dynein arms. Zebrafish dnaaf3 knockdown likewise disrupts dynein arm assembly and ciliary motility, causing PCD phenotypes including hydrocephalus and laterality malformations. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii PF22 is exclusively cytoplasmic, and a null mutant fails to assemble outer and some inner dynein arms. Altered abundance of dynein subunits in mutant cytoplasm suggests PF22/DNAAF3 acts at a similar stage to other preassembly proteins, PF13/KTU and ODA7/LRRC50, in the dynein preassembly pathway. These results support the existence of a conserved multi-step pathway for cytoplasmic formation of assembly-competent ciliary dynein complexes.
doi:10.1038/ng.1106
PMCID: PMC3315610  PMID: 22387996
Kartagener syndrome; primary ciliary dyskinesia; Chlamydomonas; flagella; dynein assembly; zebrafish
12.  The Emerging Genetics of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia 
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is an autosomal recessive, rare, genetically heterogeneous condition characterized by oto-sino-pulmonary disease together with situs abnormalities (Kartagener syndrome) owing to abnormal ciliary structure and function. Most patients are currently diagnosed with PCD based on the presence of defective ciliary ultrastructure. However, diagnosis often remains challenging due to variability in the clinical phenotype and ciliary ultrastructural changes. Some patients with PCD have normal ciliary ultrastructure, which further confounds the diagnosis. A genetic test for PCD exists but is of limited value because it investigates only a limited number of mutations in only two genes. The genetics of PCD is complicated owing to the complexity of axonemal structure that is highly conserved through evolution, which is comprised of multiple proteins. Identifying a PCD-causing gene is challenging due to locus and allelic heterogeneity. Despite genetic heterogeneity, multiple tools have been used, and there are 11 known PCD-causing genes. All of these genes combined explain approximately 50% of PCD cases; hence, more genes need to be identified. This review briefly describes the current knowledge regarding the genetics of PCD and focuses on the methodologies used to identify novel PCD-causing genes, including a candidate gene approach using model organisms, next-generation massively parallel sequencing techniques, and the use of genetically isolated populations. In conclusion, we demonstrate the multipronged approach that is necessary to circumvent challenges due to genetic heterogeneity to uncover genetic causes of PCD.
doi:10.1513/pats.201103-023SD
PMCID: PMC3209577  PMID: 21926394
cilia; dynein; Kartagener syndrome; dextrocardia; heterotaxy
13.  Ktu/PF13 is required for cytoplasmic pre-assembly of axonemal dyneins 
Nature  2008;456(7222):611-616.
Summary
Cilia/flagella are highly conserved organelles that play diverse roles in cell motility and sensing extracellular signals. Motility defects in cilia/flagella often result in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). However, the mechanisms underlying cilia formation and function, and in particular the cytoplasmic assembly of dyneins that power ciliary motility, are only poorly understood. Here we report a novel gene, kintoun (ktu), involved in this cytoplasmic process. This gene was first identified in a medaka mutant, and found to be mutated in PCD patients from two affected families as well as in the pf13 mutant of Chlamydomonas. In the absence of Ktu/PF13, both outer and inner dynein arms are missing or defective in the axoneme, leading to a loss of motility. Biochemical and immunohistochemical studies show that Ktu/PF13 is one of the long-sought proteins involved in pre-assembly of dynein arm complexes in the cytoplasm before intraflagellar transport loads them for the ciliary compartment.
doi:10.1038/nature07471
PMCID: PMC3279746  PMID: 19052621
14.  The coiled-coil domain containing protein CCDC40 is essential for motile cilia function and left-right axis formation 
Nature genetics  2010;43(1):79-84.
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a genetically heterogeneous autosomal recessive disorder characterized by recurrent infections of the respiratory tract associated with abnormal function of motile cilia. Approximately half of PCD patients also have alterations in the left-right organization of internal organ positioning including situs inversus and situs ambiguous (Kartagener’s Syndrome, KS). Here we identify an uncharacterized coiled-coil domain containing protein (CCDC40) essential for correct left-right patterning in mouse, zebrafish and humans. Ccdc40 is expressed in tissues that contain motile cilia and mutation of Ccdc40 results in cilia with reduced ranges of motility. Importantly, we demonstrate that CCDC40 deficiency causes a novel PCD variant characterized by misplacement of central pair microtubules and defective axonemal assembly of inner dynein arms (IDAs) and dynein regulator complexes (DRCs). CCDC40 localizes to motile cilia and the apical cytoplasm and is responsible for axonemal recruitment of CCDC39, which is also mutated in a similar PCD variant.
doi:10.1038/ng.727
PMCID: PMC3132183  PMID: 21131974
15.  NPHP proteins: gatekeepers of the ciliary compartment 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2010;190(5):715-717.
The cilia and the cytoplasm are separated by a region called the transition zone, where wedge-shaped structures link the microtubule doublets of the axoneme to the ciliary membrane, thereby forming a ciliary “gate.” In this issue, Craige et al. (J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.201006105) demonstrate in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii that Nphp6/cep290, which is mutated in nephronophthisis (NPHP), is an integral component of these connectors and maintains the structural integrity of this gate.
doi:10.1083/jcb.201008080
PMCID: PMC2935579  PMID: 20819931
16.  Mutation analysis of NPHP6/CEP290 in patients with Joubert syndrome and Senior–Løken syndrome 
Journal of Medical Genetics  2007;44(10):657-663.
Background
Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is an autosomal recessive cystic kidney disease that constitutes the most common genetic cause of renal failure in the first three decades of life. Using positional cloning, six genes (NPHP1‐6) have been identified as mutated in NPHP. In Joubert syndrome (JBTS), NPHP may be associated with cerebellar vermis aplasia/hypoplasia, retinal degeneration and mental retardation. In Senior–Løken syndrome (SLSN), NPHP is associated with retinal degeneration. Recently, mutations in NPHP6/CEP290 were identified as a new cause of JBTS.
Methods
Mutational analysis was performed on a worldwide cohort of 75 families with SLSN, 99 families with JBTS and 21 families with isolated nephronophthisis.
Results
Six novel and six known truncating mutations, one known missense mutation and one novel 3 bp pair in‐frame deletion were identified in a total of seven families with JBTS, two families with SLSN and one family with isolated NPHP.
doi:10.1136/jmg.2007.052027
PMCID: PMC2597962  PMID: 17617513
NPHP6/CEP290 ; Joubert syndrome; Senior–Løken syndrome; nephronophthisis; mutational analysis
17.  BRAF gene duplication constitutes a mechanism of MAPK pathway activation in low-grade astrocytomas  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2008;118(5):1739-1749.
The molecular pathogenesis of pediatric astrocytomas is still poorly understood. To further understand the genetic abnormalities associated with these tumors, we performed a genome-wide analysis of DNA copy number aberrations in pediatric low-grade astrocytomas by using array-based comparative genomic hybridization. Duplication of the BRAF protooncogene was the most frequent genomic aberration, and tumors with BRAF duplication showed significantly increased mRNA levels of BRAF and a downstream target, CCND1, as compared with tumors without duplication. Furthermore, denaturing HPLC showed that activating BRAF mutations were detected in some of the tumors without BRAF duplication. Similarly, a marked proportion of low-grade astrocytomas from adult patients also had BRAF duplication. Both the stable silencing of BRAF through shRNA lentiviral transduction and pharmacological inhibition of MEK1/2, the immediate downstream phosphorylation target of BRAF, blocked the proliferation and arrested the growth of cultured tumor cells derived from low-grade gliomas. Our findings implicate aberrant activation of the MAPK pathway due to gene duplication or mutation of BRAF as a molecular mechanism of pathogenesis in low-grade astrocytomas and suggest inhibition of the MAPK pathway as a potential treatment.
doi:10.1172/JCI33656
PMCID: PMC2289793  PMID: 18398503
18.  Heterotaxy and complex structural heart defects in a mutant mouse model of primary ciliary dyskinesia 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2007;117(12):3742-3752.
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder associated with ciliary defects and situs inversus totalis, the complete mirror image reversal of internal organ situs (positioning). A variable incidence of heterotaxy, or irregular organ situs, also has been reported in PCD patients, but it is not known whether this is elicited by the PCD-causing genetic lesion. We studied a mouse model of PCD with a recessive mutation in Dnahc5, a dynein gene commonly mutated in PCD. Analysis of homozygous mutant embryos from 18 litters yielded 25% with normal organ situs, 35% with situs inversus totalis, and 40% with heterotaxy. Embryos with heterotaxy had complex structural heart defects that included discordant atrioventricular and ventricular outflow situs and atrial/pulmonary isomerisms. Variable combinations of a distinct set of cardiovascular anomalies were observed, including superior-inferior ventricles, great artery alignment defects, and interrupted inferior vena cava with azygos continuation. The surprisingly high incidence of heterotaxy led us to evaluate the diagnosis of PCD. PCD was confirmed by EM, which revealed missing outer dynein arms in the respiratory cilia. Ciliary dyskinesia was observed by videomicroscopy. These findings show that Dnahc5 is required for the specification of left-right asymmetry and suggest that the PCD-causing Dnahc5 mutation may also be associated with heterotaxy.
doi:10.1172/JCI33284
PMCID: PMC2082149  PMID: 18037990
19.  Mutations of DNAI1 in Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia 
Rationale: Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a rare, usually autosomal recessive, genetic disorder characterized by ciliary dysfunction, sino-pulmonary disease, and situs inversus. Disease-causing mutations have been reported in DNAI1 and DNAH5 encoding outer dynein arm (ODA) proteins of cilia.
Objectives: We analyzed DNAI1 to identify disease-causing mutations in PCD and to determine if the previously reported IVS1+2_3insT (219+3insT) mutation represents a “founder” or “hot spot” mutation.
Methods: Patients with PCD from 179 unrelated families were studied. Exclusion mapping showed no linkage to DNAI1 for 13 families; the entire coding region was sequenced in a patient from the remaining 166 families. Reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed on nasal epithelial RNA in 14 families.
Results: Mutations in DNAI1 including 12 novel mutations were identified in 16 of 179 (9%) families; 14 harbored biallelic mutations. Deep intronic splice mutations were not identified by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction. The prevalence of mutations in families with defined ODA defect was 13%; no mutations were found in patients without a defined ODA defect. The previously reported IVS1+2_3insT mutation accounted for 57% (17/30) of mutant alleles, and marker analysis indicates a common founder for this mutation. Seven mutations occurred in three exons (13, 16, and 17); taken together with previous reports, these three exons are emerging as mutation clusters harboring 29% (12/42) of mutant alleles.
Conclusions: A total of 10% of patients with PCD are estimated to harbor mutations in DNAI1; most occur as a common founder IVS1+2_3insT or in exons 13, 16, and 17. This information is useful for establishing a clinical molecular genetic test for PCD.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200603-370OC
PMCID: PMC2648054  PMID: 16858015
cilia; dynein; dextrocardia; Kartagener syndrome; mutation
20.  Nuclear Factor I X Deficiency Causes Brain Malformation and Severe Skeletal Defects▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(10):3855-3867.
The transcription factor family of nuclear factor I (NFI) proteins is encoded by four closely related genes: Nfia, Nfib, Nfic, and Nfix. A potential role for NFI proteins in regulating developmental processes has been implicated by their specific expression pattern during embryonic development and by analysis of NFI-deficient mice. It was shown that loss of NFIA results in hydrocephalus and agenesis of the corpus callosum and that NFIB deficiency leads to neurological defects and to severe lung hypoplasia, whereas Nfic knockout mice exhibit specific tooth defects. Here we report the knockout analysis of the fourth and last member of this gene family, Nfix. Loss of NFIX is postnatally lethal and leads to hydrocephalus and to a partial agenesis of the corpus callosum. Furthermore, NFIX-deficient mice develop a deformation of the spine, which is due to a delay in ossification of vertebral bodies and a progressive degeneration of intervertebral disks. Impaired endochondral ossification and decreased mineralization were also observed in femoral sections of Nfix−/− mice. Consistent with the defects in bone ossification we could show that the expression level of tetranectin, a plasminogen-binding protein involved in mineralization, is specifically downregulated in bones of NFIX-deficient mice.
doi:10.1128/MCB.02293-06
PMCID: PMC1899988  PMID: 17353270
21.  DNAH5 Mutations Are a Common Cause of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia with Outer Dynein Arm Defects 
Rationale: Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is characterized by recurrent airway infections and randomization of left–right body asymmetry. To date, autosomal recessive mutations have only been identified in a small number of patients involving DNAI1 and DNAH5, which encode outer dynein arm components.
Methods: We screened 109 white PCD families originating from Europe and North America for presence of DNAH5 mutations by haplotype analyses and/or sequencing.
Results: Haplotype analyses excluded linkage in 26 families. In 30 PCD families, we identified 33 novel (12 nonsense, 8 frameshift, 5 splicing, and 8 missense mutations) and two known DNAH5 mutations. We observed clustering of mutations within five exons harboring 27 mutant alleles (52%) of the 52 detected mutant alleles. Interestingly, 6 (32%) of 19 PCD families with DNAH5 mutations from North America carry the novel founder mutation 10815delT. Electron microscopic analyses in 22 patients with PCD with mutations invariably detected outer dynein arm ciliary defects. High-resolution immunofluorescence imaging of respiratory epithelial cells from eight patients with DNAH5 mutations showed mislocalization of mutant DNAH5 and accumulation at the microtubule organizing centers. Mutant DNAH5 was absent throughout the ciliary axoneme in seven patients and remained detectable in the proximal ciliary axoneme in one patient carrying compound heterozygous splicing mutations at the 3′-end (IVS75-2A>T, IVS76+5G>A). In a preselected subpopulation with documented outer dynein arm defects (n = 47), DNAH5 mutations were identified in 53% of patients.
Conclusions: DNAH5 is frequently mutated in patients with PCD exhibiting outer dynein arm defects and mutations cluster in five exons.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200601-084OC
PMCID: PMC2662904  PMID: 16627867
cilia; DNAH5; outer dynein arm; primary ciliary dyskinesia
22.  The von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein controls ciliogenesis by orienting microtubule growth 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2006;175(4):547-554.
Cilia are specialized organelles that play an important role in several biological processes, including mechanosensation, photoperception, and osmosignaling. Mutations in proteins localized to cilia have been implicated in a growing number of human diseases. In this study, we demonstrate that the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein (pVHL) is a ciliary protein that controls ciliogenesis in kidney cells. Knockdown of pVHL impeded the formation of cilia in mouse inner medullary collecting duct 3 kidney cells, whereas the expression of pVHL in VHL-negative renal cancer cells rescued the ciliogenesis defect. Using green fluorescent protein–tagged end-binding protein 1 to label microtubule plus ends, we found that pVHL does not affect the microtubule growth rate but is needed to orient the growth of microtubules toward the cell periphery, a prerequisite for the formation of cilia. Furthermore, pVHL interacts with the Par3–Par6–atypical PKC complex, suggesting a mechanism for linking polarity pathways to microtubule capture and ciliogenesis.
doi:10.1083/jcb.200605092
PMCID: PMC2064591  PMID: 17101696
23.  Mislocalization of DNAH5 and DNAH9 in Respiratory Cells from Patients with Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia 
Rationale: Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder characterized by recurrent infections of the airways and situs inversus in half of the affected offspring. The most frequent genetic defects comprise recessive mutations of DNAH5 and DNAI1, which encode outer dynein arm (ODA) components. Diagnosis of PCD usually relies on electron microscopy, which is technically demanding and sometimes difficult to interpret. Methods: Using specific antibodies, we determined the subcellular localization of the ODA heavy chains DNAH5 and DNAH9 in human respiratory epithelial and sperm cells of patients with PCD and control subjects by high-resolution immunofluorescence imaging. We also assessed cilia and sperm tail function by high-speed video microscopy. Results: In normal ciliated airway epithelium, DNAH5 and DNAH9 show a specific regional distribution along the ciliary axoneme, indicating the existence of at least two distinct ODA types. DNAH5 was completely or only distally absent from the respiratory ciliary axoneme in patients with PCD with DNAH5− (n = 3) or DNAI1− (n = 1) mutations, respectively, and instead accumulated at the microtubule-organizing centers. In contrast to respiratory cilia, sperm tails from a patient with DNAH5 mutations had normal ODA heavy chain distribution, suggesting different modes of ODA generation in these cell types. Blinded investigation of a large cohort of patients with PCD and control subjects identified DNAH5 mislocalization in all patients diagnosed with ODA defects by electron microscopy (n = 16). Cilia with complete axonemal DNAH5 deficiency were immotile, whereas cilia with distal DNAH5 deficiency showed residual motility. Conclusions: Immunofluorescence staining can detect ODA defects, which will possibly aid PCD diagnosis.
doi:10.1164/rccm.200411-1583OC
PMCID: PMC2718478  PMID: 15750039
fluorescent antibody technique; genetics; respiratory tract diseases

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