Improved ways to diagnose acute respiratory viral infections could decrease inappropriate antibacterial use and serve as a vital triage mechanism in the event of a potential viral pandemic. Measurement of the host response to infection is an alternative to pathogen-based diagnostic testing and may improve diagnostic accuracy. We have developed a host-based assay with a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) TaqMan low-density array (TLDA) platform for classifying respiratory viral infection. We developed the assay using two cohorts experimentally infected with influenza A H3N2/Wisconsin or influenza A H1N1/Brisbane, and validated the assay in a sample of adults presenting to the emergency department with fever (n = 102) and in healthy volunteers (n = 41). Peripheral blood RNA samples were obtained from individuals who underwent experimental viral challenge or who presented to the emergency department and had microbiologically proven viral respiratory infection or systemic bacterial infection. The selected gene set on the RT-PCR TLDA assay classified participants with experimentally induced influenza H3N2 and H1N1 infection with 100 and 87% accuracy, respectively. We validated this host gene expression signature in a cohort of 102 individuals arriving at the emergency department. The sensitivity of the RT-PCR test was 89% [95% confidence interval (CI), 72 to 98%], and the specificity was 94% (95% CI, 86 to 99%). These results show that RT-PCR–based detection of a host gene expression signature can classify individuals with respiratory viral infection and sets the stage for prospective evaluation of this diagnostic approach in a clinical setting.
Aggressive diagnosis and treatment of patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with septic shock has been shown to reduce mortality. To enhance the ability to intervene in patients with lesser illness severity, a better understanding of the natural history of the early progression from simple infection to more severe illness is needed.
The objectives were to 1) describe the clinical presentation of ED sepsis, including types of infection and causative microorganisms, and 2) determine the incidence, patient characteristics, and mortality associated with early progression to septic shock among ED patients with infection.
This was a multicenter study of adult ED patients with sepsis but no evidence of shock. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify patient factors for early progression to shock and its association with 30-day mortality.
Of 472 patients not in shock at ED presentation (systolic blood pressure > 90 mm Hg and lactate < 4 mmol / L), 84 (17.8%) progressed to shock within 72 hours. Independent factors associated with early progression to shock included older age, female sex, hyperthermia, anemia, comorbid lung disease, and vascular access device infection. Early progression to shock (vs. no progression) was associated with higher 30-day mortality (13.1% vs. 3.1%, odds ratio [OR] = 4.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.01 to 11.1; p ≤ 0.001). Among 379 patients with uncomplicated sepsis (i.e., no evidence of shock or any end-organ dysfunction), 86 (22.7%) progressed to severe sepsis or shock within 72 hours of hospital admission.
A significant portion of ED patients with less severe sepsis progress to severe sepsis or shock within 72 hours. Additional diagnostic approaches are needed to risk stratify and more effectively treat ED patients with sepsis.
sepsis; outcomes; septic shock; progression; biomarkers
Next-generation sequencing technologies have greatly lowered the cost of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and related approaches. Thus, comprehensive sequencing for diagnostic purposes may clear this financial hurdle in the near future. The report by Bainbridge and colleagues in this issue of Science Translational Medicine illustrates the diagnostic power of WGS. In this Perspective, we discuss whether and how genome sequencing might become routine for clinical diagnosis.
Schwarz et al. Validation of a Blood-Based Laboratory Test to Aid in the Confirmation of a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia. Biomarker Insights. 2010:5 39–47 doi:10.4137/BMI.S4877.
schizophrenia; biomarker; diagnosis; clinical test
Sepsis, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, is not a homogeneous disease but rather a syndrome encompassing many heterogeneous pathophysiologies. Patient factors including genetics predispose to poor outcomes, though current clinical characterizations fail to identify those at greatest risk of progression and mortality.
The Community Acquired Pneumonia and Sepsis Outcome Diagnostic study enrolled 1,152 subjects with suspected sepsis. We sequenced peripheral blood RNA of 129 representative subjects with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) or sepsis (SIRS due to infection), including 78 sepsis survivors and 28 sepsis non-survivors who had previously undergone plasma proteomic and metabolomic profiling. Gene expression differences were identified between sepsis survivors, sepsis non-survivors, and SIRS followed by gene enrichment pathway analysis. Expressed sequence variants were identified followed by testing for association with sepsis outcomes.
The expression of 338 genes differed between subjects with SIRS and those with sepsis, primarily reflecting immune activation in sepsis. Expression of 1,238 genes differed with sepsis outcome: non-survivors had lower expression of many immune function-related genes. Functional genetic variants associated with sepsis mortality were sought based on a common disease-rare variant hypothesis. VPS9D1, whose expression was increased in sepsis survivors, had a higher burden of missense variants in sepsis survivors. The presence of variants was associated with altered expression of 3,799 genes, primarily reflecting Golgi and endosome biology.
The activation of immune response-related genes seen in sepsis survivors was muted in sepsis non-survivors. The association of sepsis survival with a robust immune response and the presence of missense variants in VPS9D1 warrants replication and further functional studies.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00258869. Registered on 23 November 2005.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13073-014-0111-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Sepsis is a common cause of death, but outcomes in individual patients are difficult to predict. Elucidating the molecular processes that differ between sepsis patients who survive and those who die may permit more appropriate treatments to be deployed. We examined the clinical features, and the plasma metabolome and proteome of patients with and without community-acquired sepsis, upon their arrival at hospital emergency departments and 24 hours later. The metabolomes and proteomes of patients at hospital admittance who would die differed markedly from those who would survive. The different profiles of proteins and metabolites clustered into fatty acid transport and β-oxidation, gluconeogenesis and the citric acid cycle. They differed consistently among several sets of patients, and diverged more as death approached. In contrast, the metabolomes and proteomes of surviving patients with mild sepsis did not differ from survivors with severe sepsis or septic shock. An algorithm derived from clinical features together with measurements of seven metabolites predicted patient survival. This algorithm may help to guide the treatment of individual patients with sepsis.
next generation sequencing; FOXP3; IPEX; infections; food allergy
Hypopigmentation disorders that are associated with immunodeficiency feature both partial albinism of hair, skin and eyes together with leukocyte defects. These disorders include Chediak Higashi (CHS), Griscelli (GS), Hermansky-Pudlak (HPS) and MAPBP-interacting protein deficiency syndromes. These are heterogeneous autosomal recessive conditions in which the causal genes encode proteins with specific roles in the biogenesis, function and trafficking of secretory lysosomes. In certain specialized cells, these organelles serve as a storage compartment. Impaired secretion of specific effector proteins from that intracellular compartment affects biological activities. In particular, these intracellular granules are essential constituents of melanocytes, platelets, granulocytes, cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and natural killer (NK) cells. Thus, abnormalities affect pigmentation, primary hemostasis, blood cell counts and lymphocyte cytotoxic activity against microbial pathogens. Among eight genetically distinct types of HPS, only type 2 is characterized by immunodeficiency. Recently, a new subtype, HPS9, was defined in patients presenting with immunodeficiency and oculocutaneous albinism, associated with mutations in the pallidin-encoding gene, PLDN.
Hypopigmentation together with recurrent childhood bacterial or viral infections suggests syndromic albinism. T and NK cell cytotoxicity are generally impaired in patients with these disorders. Specific clinical and biochemical phenotypes can allow differential diagnoses among these disorders before molecular testing. Ocular symptoms, including nystagmus, that are usually evident at birth, are common in patients with HPS2 or CHS. Albinism with short stature is unique to MAPBP-interacting protein (MAPBPIP) deficiency, while hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) mainly suggests a diagnosis of CHS or GS type 2 (GS2). Neurological disease is a long-term complication of CHS, but is uncommon in other syndromic albinism. Chronic neutropenia is a feature of HPS2 and MAPBPIP-deficiency syndrome, whereas it is usually transient in CHS and GS2. In every patient, an accurate diagnosis is required for prompt and appropriate treatment, particularly in patients who develop HLH or in whom bone marrow transplant is required. This review describes the molecular and pathogenetic mechanisms of these diseases, focusing on clinical and biochemical aspects that allow early differential diagnosis.
Primary immunodeficiency; Natural killer cells; Hemophagocytosis; Partial albinism
Currently, diagnosis of affected individuals with rare genetic disorders can be lengthy and costly, resulting in a diagnostic odyssey and in many patients a definitive molecular diagnosis is never achieved despite extensive clinical investigation. The recent advent and use of genomic medicine has resulted in a paradigm shift in the clinical molecular genetics of rare diseases and has provided insight into the causes of numerous rare genetic conditions. In particular, whole exome and genome sequencing of families has been particularly useful in discovering de novo germline mutations as the cause of both rare diseases and complex disorders.
We present a six year old, nonverbal African American female with microcephaly, autism, global developmental delay, and metopic craniosynostosis. Exome sequencing of the patient and her two parents revealed a heterozygous two base pair de novo deletion, c.1897_1898delCA, p.Gln633ValfsX13 in ASXL3, predicted to result in a frameshift at codon 633 with substitution of a valine for a glutamine and introduction of a premature stop codon.
We provide additional evidence that, truncating and frameshifting mutations in the ASXL3 gene are the cause of a newly recognized disorder characterized by severe global developmental delay, short stature, microcephaly, and craniofacial anomalies. Furthermore, we expand the knowledge about disease causing mutations and the genotype-phenotype relationships in ASXL3 and provide evidence that rare, nonsynonymous, damaging mutations are not associated with developmental delay or microcephaly.
ASXL3; Bohring-Opitz syndrome; Global developmental delay; Microcephaly; Craniofacial anomalies; de novo frameshift; Exome sequencing
Of 7028 disorders with suspected Mendelian inheritance, 1139 are recessive and have an established molecular basis. Although individually uncommon, Mendelian diseases collectively account for ~20% of infant mortality and ~10% of pediatric hospitalizations. Preconception screening, together with genetic counseling of carriers, has resulted in remarkable declines in the incidence of several severe recessive diseases including Tay-Sachs disease and cystic fibrosis. However, extension of preconception screening to most severe disease genes has hitherto been impractical. Here, we report a preconception carrier screen for 448 severe recessive childhood diseases. Rather than costly, complete sequencing of the human genome, 7717 regions from 437 target genes were enriched by hybrid capture or microdroplet polymerase chain reaction, sequenced by next-generation sequencing (NGS) to a depth of up to 2.7 gigabases, and assessed with stringent bioinformatic filters. At a resultant 160× average target coverage, 93% of nucleotides had at least 20× coverage, and mutation detection/genotyping had ~95% sensitivity and ~100% specificity for substitution, insertion/deletion, splicing, and gross deletion mutations and single-nucleotide polymorphisms. In 104 unrelated DNA samples, the average genomic carrier burden for severe pediatric recessive mutations was 2.8 and ranged from 0 to 7. The distribution of mutations among sequenced samples appeared random. Twenty-seven percent of mutations cited in the literature were found to be common polymorphisms or misannotated, underscoring the need for better mutation databases as part of a comprehensive carrier testing strategy. Given the magnitude of carrier burden and the lower cost of testing compared to treating these conditions, carrier screening by NGS made available to the general population may be an economical way to reduce the incidence of and ameliorate suffering associated with severe recessive childhood disorders.
Circulating biomarkers can facilitate sepsis diagnosis enabling early management and improved outcomes. Procalcitonin (PCT) has been suggested to have superior diagnostic utility compared to other biomarkers.
Adults with suspected sepsis in the Emergency Department were enrolled. PCT, CRP, and IL-6 were correlated with infection likelihood, sepsis severity, and septicemia. Multivariable models were constructed for length-of-stay and discharge to a higher level of care.
Of 336 enrolled subjects, 60% had definite infection, 13% possible infection and 27% no infection. Of those with infection, 202 presented with sepsis, 28 with severe sepsis, and 17 with septic shock. Overall, 21% of subjects were septicemic. PCT, IL6, and CRP levels were significantly higher in septicemia (median PCT 2.3 vs. 0.2ng/mL; IL-6 178 vs. 72pg/mL; CRP 106 vs. 62mg/dL, p<0.001). Biomarker concentrations increased with greater likelihood of infection and sepsis severity. Using ROC analysis, PCT best predicted septicemia (0.78 vs. IL-6 0.70 and CRP 0.67) but CRP better identified clinical infection (0.75 vs. PCT 0.71 and IL-6 0.69). A PCT cut-off of 0.5ng/mL had 72.6% sensitivity and 69.5% specificity for bacteremia as well as 40.7% sensitivity and 87.2% specificity for diagnosing infection. A combined clinical-biomarker model revealed that CRP was marginally associated with length-of-stay (p=0.015), but no biomarker independently predicted discharge to a higher level of care.
In adult Emergency Department patients with suspected sepsis, PCT, IL-6, and CRP highly correlate with several infection parameters, but do not meaningfully predict length-of-stay or need for discharge to a higher level of care.
Sepsis; Procalcitonin; Interleukin-6; C-Reactive Protein; Sensitivity and Specificity
Orphan diseases are individually uncommon but collectively contribute significantly to pediatric morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. Current molecular testing for rare genetic disorders is often a lengthy and costly endeavor, and in many cases a molecular diagnosis is never achieved despite extensive testing. Diseases with locus heterogeneity or overlapping signs and symptoms are especially challenging owing to the number of potential targets. Consequently, there is immense need for scalable, economical, rapid, multiplexed diagnostic testing for rare Mendelian diseases. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing and bioinformatic technologies have the potential to change the standard of care for the diagnosis of rare genetic disorders. These advances will be reviewed in the setting of a recently developed test for 592 autosomal recessive and X-linked diseases.
bioinformatics; carrier screening; Mendelian diseases; molecular diagnostics; next-generation sequencing; orphan diseases
Novel, comprehensive approaches for biomarker discovery and validation are urgently needed. One particular area of methodologic need is for discovery of novel genetic biomarkers in complex diseases and traits. Here, we review recent successes in the use of genome wide association (GWA) approaches to identify genetic biomarkers in common human diseases and traits. Such studies are yielding initial insights into the allelic architecture of complex traits. In general, it appears that complex diseases are associated with many common polymorphisms, implying profound genetic heterogeneity between affected individuals.
Genome-wide association studies; Complex diseases; Complex traits; Genetic biomarkers; Population genetics
A recent report by the World Health Organization calls for implementation of community genetics programs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Their focus is prevention of congenital disorders and genetic diseases at the population level, in addition to providing genetics services, including diagnosis and counseling. The proposed strategies include both newborn screening and population screening for carrier detection, in addition to lowering the incidence of congenital disorders and genetic diseases through the removal of environmental factors. In this article, we consider the potential impact of such testing on global health and highlight the near-term relevance of next-generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatic approaches to their implementation. Key attributes of NGS for community genetics programs are homogeneous approach, high multiplexing of diseases and samples, as well as rapidly falling costs of new technologies. In the near future, we estimate that appropriate use of population-specific test panels could cost as little as $10 for 10 Mendelian disorders and could have a major impact on diseases that currently affect 2% of children worldwide. However, the successful deployment of this technological innovation in LMICs will require high value for human life, thoughtful implementation, and autonomy of individual decisions, supported by appropriate genetic counseling and community education.
Community genetics; low income countries; Mendelian disease; multiplexing; newborn screening; next-generation sequencing; preconception carrier testing
The oomycete vegetable pathogen Phytophthora capsici has shown remarkable adaptation to fungicides and new hosts. Like other members of this destructive genus, P. capsici has an explosive epidemiology, rapidly producing massive numbers of asexual spores on infected hosts. In addition, P. capsici can remain dormant for years as sexually-recombined oospores, making it difficult to produce crops at infested sites, and allowing outcrossing populations to maintain significant genetic variation. Genome sequencing, development of a high-density genetic map, and integrative genomic/genetic characterization of P. capsici field isolates and intercross progeny revealed significant mitotic loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and higher levels of SNVs than those reported for humans, plants, and P. infestans. LOH was detected in clonally propagated field isolates and sexual progeny, cumulatively affecting >30% of the genome. LOH altered genotypes for more than 11,000 single nucleotide variant (SNV) sites and showed a strong association with changes in mating type and pathogenicity. Overall, it appears that LOH may provide a rapid mechanism for fixing alleles and may be an important component of adaptability for P. capsici.
Staphylococcus aureus causes a spectrum of human infection. Diagnostic delays and uncertainty lead to treatment delays and inappropriate antibiotic use. A growing literature suggests the host’s inflammatory response to the pathogen represents a potential tool to improve upon current diagnostics. The hypothesis of this study is that the host responds differently to S. aureus than to E. coli infection in a quantifiable way, providing a new diagnostic avenue. This study uses Bayesian sparse factor modeling and penalized binary regression to define peripheral blood gene-expression classifiers of murine and human S. aureus infection. The murine-derived classifier distinguished S. aureus infection from healthy controls and Escherichia coli-infected mice across a range of conditions (mouse and bacterial strain, time post infection) and was validated in outbred mice (AUC>0.97). A S. aureus classifier derived from a cohort of 94 human subjects distinguished S. aureus blood stream infection (BSI) from healthy subjects (AUC 0.99) and E. coli BSI (AUC 0.84). Murine and human responses to S. aureus infection share common biological pathways, allowing the murine model to classify S. aureus BSI in humans (AUC 0.84). Both murine and human S. aureus classifiers were validated in an independent human cohort (AUC 0.95 and 0.92, respectively). The approach described here lends insight into the conserved and disparate pathways utilized by mice and humans in response to these infections. Furthermore, this study advances our understanding of S. aureus infection; the host response to it; and identifies new diagnostic and therapeutic avenues.
There is great potential for host-based gene expression analysis to impact the early diagnosis of infectious diseases. In particular, the influenza pandemic of 2009 highlighted the challenges and limitations of traditional pathogen-based testing for suspected upper respiratory viral infection. We inoculated human volunteers with either influenza A (A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1) or A/Wisconsin/67/2005 (H3N2)), and assayed the peripheral blood transcriptome every 8 hours for 7 days. Of 41 inoculated volunteers, 18 (44%) developed symptomatic infection. Using unbiased sparse latent factor regression analysis, we generated a gene signature (or factor) for symptomatic influenza capable of detecting 94% of infected cases. This gene signature is detectable as early as 29 hours post-exposure and achieves maximal accuracy on average 43 hours (p = 0.003, H1N1) and 38 hours (p-value = 0.005, H3N2) before peak clinical symptoms. In order to test the relevance of these findings in naturally acquired disease, a composite influenza A signature built from these challenge studies was applied to Emergency Department patients where it discriminates between swine-origin influenza A/H1N1 (2009) infected and non-infected individuals with 92% accuracy. The host genomic response to Influenza infection is robust and may provide the means for detection before typical clinical symptoms are apparent.
Monozygotic (MZ) or “identical” twins have been widely studied to dissect the relative contributions of genetics and environment in human diseases. In multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune demyelinating disease and common cause of neurodegeneration and disability in young adults, disease discordance in MZ twins has been interpreted to indicate environmental importance in its pathogenesis1–8. However, genetic and epigenetic differences between MZ twins have been described, challenging the accepted experimental paradigm in disambiguating effects of nature and nurture.9–12 Here, we report the genome sequences of one MS-discordant MZ twin pair and messenger RNA (mRNA) transcriptome and epigenome sequences of CD4+ lymphocytes from three MS-discordant, MZ twin pairs. No reproducible differences were detected between co-twins among ~3.6 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) or ~0.2 million insertion-deletion polymorphisms (indels). Nor were any reproducible differences observed between siblings of the three twin pairs in HLA haplotypes, confirmed MS-susceptibility SNPs, copy number variations, mRNA and genomic SNP and indel genotypes, or expression of ~19,000 genes in CD4+ T cells. Only two to 176 differences in methylation of ~2 million CpG dinucleotides were detected between siblings of the three twin pairs, in contrast to ~800 methylation differences between T cells of unrelated individuals and several thousand differences between tissues or normal and cancerous tissues. In the first systematic effort to estimate sequence variation among MZ co-twins, we did not find evidence for genetic, epigenetic or transcriptome differences that explained disease discordance. These are the first female, twin and autoimmune disease individual genome sequences reported.
Sepsis is caused by a heterogeneous group of infectious etiologies. Early diagnosis and the provision of appropriate antimicrobial therapy correlate with positive clinical outcomes. Current microbiological techniques are limited in their diagnostic capacities and timeliness. Multiplex PCR has the potential to rapidly identify bloodstream infections and fill this diagnostic gap. We identified patients from two large academic hospital emergency departments with suspected sepsis. The results of a multiplex PCR that could detect 25 bacterial and fungal pathogens were compared to those of blood culture. The results were analyzed with respect to the likelihood of infection, sepsis severity, the site of infection, and the effect of prior antibiotic therapy. We enrolled 306 subjects with suspected sepsis. Of these, 43 were later determined not to have infectious etiologies. Of the remaining 263 subjects, 70% had sepsis, 16% had severe sepsis, and 14% had septic shock. The majority had a definite infection (41.5%) or a probable infection (30.7%). Blood culture and PCR performed similarly with samples from patients with clinically defined infections (areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves, 0.64 and 0.60, respectively). However, blood culture identified more cases of septicemia than PCR among patients with an identified infectious etiology (66 and 46, respectively; P = 0.0004). The two tests performed similarly when the results were stratified by sepsis severity or infection site. Blood culture tended to detect infections more frequently among patients who had previously received antibiotics (P = 0.06). Conversely, PCR identified an additional 24 organisms that blood culture failed to detect. Real-time multiplex PCR has the potential to serve as an adjunct to conventional blood culture, adding diagnostic yield and shortening the time to pathogen identification.
Vesicular transport to and from the lysosome and late endosome is defective in patients with Chediak–Higashi syndrome (CHS) and in mutant beige (bg) mice1–4. CHS and bg cells have giant, perinuclear vesicles with characterises of late endosomes and lysosomes that arise from dysregulated homotypic fusion3–5. CHS and bg lysosomes also exhibit compartmental missorting of proteins, such as elastase, glucuronidase and cathepsin G2,3,6,7. Lyst, a candidate gene for bg, was identified by direct complementary DNA selection from a yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) clone containing a 650-kilobase segment of the bg-critical region on mouse chromosome 13. Lyst is disrupted by a 5-kilobase deletion in bg11J mice, and Lyst messenger RNA is markedly reduced in bg2J homozygotes. The homologous human gene, LYST, is highly conserved with mouse Lyst, and contains a frame-shift mutation at nucleotides 117–118 of the coding domain in a CHS patient. Thus bg mice and human CHS patients have homologous disorders associated with Lyst mutations. Lyst encodes a protein with a carboxy-terminal prenylation motif and multiple potential phosphorylation sites. Lyst protein is predicted to form extended helical domains, and has a region of sequence similar to stathmin, a coiled-coil phosphoprotein thought to act as a relay integrating cellular signal response coupling8–10.
Chediak–Higashi syndrome is an autosomal recessive, immune deficiency disorder of human (CHS) and mouse (beige, bg) that is characterized by abnormal intracellular protein transport to, and from, the lysosome. Recent reports have described the identification of homologous genes that are mutated in human CHS and bg mice. Here we report the sequences of two major mRNA isoforms of the CHS gene in human and mouse. These isoforms differ both in size and in sequence at the 3′ end of their coding domains, with the smaller isoform (~5.8 kb) arising from incomplete splicing and reading through an intron. These mRNAs also differ in tissue distribution of transcription and in predicted biological properties. Novel mutations were identified within the region of the coding domain common to both isoforms in three CHS patients: C→T transitions that generated stop codons (R50X and Q1029X) were found in two patients, and a novel frame-shift mutation (deletion of nucleotides 3073 and 3074 of the coding domain) was found in a third. Northern blots of lymphoblastoid mRNA from CHS patients revealed loss of the largest transcript (~13.5 kb) in two of seven CHS patients, while the small mRNA was undiminished in abundance. These results suggest that the small isoform alone cannot complement Chediak–Higashi syndrome.
Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS; MIM 203300) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder characterized by oculocutaneous albinism, prolonged bleeding and pulmonary fibrosis due to abnormal vesicle trafficking to lysosomes and related organelles, such as melanosomes and platelet dense granules1–3. In mice, at least 16 loci are associated with HPS4–6, including sandy (sdy; ref. 7). Here we show that the sdy mutant mouse expresses no dysbindin protein owing to a deletion in the gene Dtnbp1 (encoding dysbindin) and that mutation of the human ortholog DTNBP1 causes a novel form of HPS called HPS-7. Dysbindin is a ubiquitously expressed protein that binds to α- and β-dystrobrevins, components of the dystrophin-associated protein complex (DPC) in both muscle and nonmuscle cells8. We also show that dysbindin is a component of the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex 1 (BLOC-1; refs. 9–11), which regulates trafficking to lysosome-related organelles and includes the proteins pallidin, muted and cappuccino, which are associated with HPS in mice. These findings show that BLOC-1 is important in producing the HPS phenotype in humans, indicate that dysbindin has a role in the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles and identify unexpected interactions between components of DPC and BLOC-1.
Recent advances in sequencing technologies have initiated an era of personal genome sequences. To date, human genome sequences have been reported for individuals with ancestry in three distinct geographical regions: a Yoruba African, two individuals of north-west European origin, and a person from China1–4. Here we provide a highly annotated, whole-genome sequence for a Korean individual, known as AK1. The genome of AK1 was determined by an exacting, combined approach that included whole-genome shotgun sequencing (27.8× coverage), targeted bacterial artificial chromosome sequencing, and high-resolution comparative genomic hybridization using custom microarrays featuring more than 24 million probes. Alignment to the NCBI reference, a composite of several ethnic clades5,6, disclosed nearly 3.45 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including 10,162 non-synonymous SNPs, and 170,202 deletion or insertion polymorphisms (indels). SNP and indel densities were strongly correlated genome-wide. Applying very conservative criteria yielded highly reliable copy number variants for clinical considerations. Potential medical phenotypes were annotated for non-synonymous SNPs, coding domain indels, and structural variants. The integration of several human whole-genome sequences derived from several ethnic groups will assist in understanding genetic ancestry, migration patterns and population bottlenecks.