Whereas mutations affecting the helical domain of type I procollagen classically cause Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), helical mutations near the amino (N)-proteinase cleavage site have been suggested to result in a mixed OI/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS)-phenotype.
We performed biochemical and molecular analysis of type I (pro-) collagen in a cohort of seven patients referred with a clinical diagnosis of EDS and showing only subtle signs of OI. Transmission electron microscopy of the dermis was available for one patient.
All of these patients harboured a COL1A1 / COL1A2 mutation residing within the most N-terminal part of the type I collagen helix. These mutations affect the rate of type I collagen N-propeptide cleavage and disturb normal collagen fibrillogenesis. Importantly, patients with this type of mutation do not show a typical OI phenotype but mainly present as EDS patients displaying severe joint hyperlaxity, soft and hyperextensible skin, abnormal wound healing, easy bruising, and sometimes signs of arterial fragility. In addition, they show subtle signs of OI including blue sclerae, relatively short stature and osteopenia or fractures.
Recognition of this distinct phenotype is important for accurate genetic counselling, clinical management and surveillance, particularly in relation to the potential risk for vascular rupture associated with these mutations. Because these patients present clinical overlap with other EDS subtypes, biochemical collagen analysis is necessary to establish the correct diagnosis.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; Osteogenesis Imperfecta; Type I collagen; Arterial fragility; Genotype; Phenotype
Although microdeletions of the long arm of chromosome 17 are being reported with increasing frequency, deletions of chromosome band 17q24.2 are rare. Here we report four patients with a microdeletion encompassing chromosome band 17q24.2 with a smallest region of overlap of 713 kb containing five Refseq genes and one miRNA. The patients share the phenotypic characteristics, such as intellectual disability (4/4), speech delay (4/4), truncal obesity (4/4), seizures (2/4), hearing loss (3/4) and a particular facial gestalt. Hallucinations and mood swings were also noted in two patients. The PRKCA gene is a very interesting candidate gene for many of the observed phenotypic features, as this gene plays an important role in many cellular processes. Deletion of this gene might explain the observed truncal obesity and could also account for the hallucinations and mood swings seen in two patients, whereas deletion of a CACNG gene cluster might be responsible for the seizures observed in two patients. In one of the patients, the PRKAR1A gene responsible for Carney Complex and the KCNJ2 gene causal for Andersen syndrome are deleted. This is the first report of a patient with a whole gene deletion of the KCNJ2 gene.
17q24.2 deletion; array CGH; PRKCA; mood swings; hallucinations
Increased transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling has been implicated in the pathogenesis of syndromic presentations of aortic aneurysm, including Marfan syndrome (MFS) and Loeys-Dietz syndrome (LDS)1-4. However, the location and character of many of the causal mutations in LDS would intuitively infer diminished TGF-β signaling5. Taken together, these data have engendered controversy regarding the specific role of TGF-β in disease pathogenesis. Shprintzen-Goldberg syndrome (SGS) has considerable phenotypic overlap with MFS and LDS, including aortic aneurysm6-8. We identified causative variation in 10 patients with SGS in the proto-oncogene SKI, a known repressor of TGF-β activity9,10. Cultured patient dermal fibroblasts showed enhanced activation of TGF-β signaling cascades and increased expression of TGF-β responsive genes. Morpholino-induced silencing of SKI paralogs in zebrafish recapitulated abnormalities seen in SGS patients. These data support the conclusion that increased TGF-β signaling is the mechanism underlying SGS and contributes to multiple syndromic presentations of aortic aneurysm.
Aortic aneurysm; Shprintzen-Goldberg syndrome; Marfan syndrome; Loeys-Dietz syndrome; TGF-β signaling; SKI
Loeys-Dietz syndrome (LDS) associates with a tissue signature for high transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signaling but is often caused by heterozygous mutations in genes encoding positive effectors of TGF-β signaling, including either subunit of the TGF-β receptor or SMAD3, thereby engendering controversy regarding the mechanism of disease. Here, we report heterozygous mutations or deletions in the gene encoding the TGF-β2 ligand for a phenotype within the LDS spectrum and show upregulation of TGF-β signaling in aortic tissue from affected individuals. Furthermore, haploinsufficient Tgfb2+/− mice have aortic root aneurysm and biochemical evidence of increased canonical and noncanonical TGF-b signaling. Mice that harbor both a mutant Marfan syndrome (MFS) allele (Fbn1C1039G/+) and Tgfb2 haploinsufficiency show increased TGF-β signaling and phenotypic worsening in association with normalization of TGF-β2 expression and high expression of TGF-β1. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that compensatory autocrine and/or paracrine events contribute to the pathogenesis of TGF-β–mediated vasculopathies.
Aortic aneurysm; Marfan; Loeys-Dietz; TGFβ signaling; Transforming growth factor beta 2
Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a dominantly inherited congenital malformation disorder caused by mutations in the cohesin-loading protein NIPBL1,2 for nearly 60% of individuals with classical CdLS3-5 and in the core cohesin components SMC1A (~5%) and SMC3 (<1%) for a smaller fraction of probands6,7. In humans, the multi-subunit complex cohesin is comprised of SMC1, SMC3, RAD21 and a STAG protein to form a ring structure proposed to encircle sister chromatids to mediate sister chromatid cohesion (SCC)8 as well as play key roles in gene regulation9. SMC3 is acetylated during S-phase to establish cohesiveness of chromatin-loaded cohesin10-13 and in yeast, HOS1, a class I histone deacetylase, deacetylates SMC3 during anaphase14-16. Here we report the identification of HDAC8 as the vertebrate SMC3 deacetylase as well as loss-of-function HDAC8 mutations in six CdLS probands. Loss of HDAC8 activity results in increased SMC3 acetylation (SMC3-ac) and inefficient dissolution of the “used” cohesin complex released from chromatin in both prophase and anaphase. While SMC3 with retained acetylation is loaded onto chromatin, ChIP-Seq analysis demonstrates decreased occupancy of cohesin localization sites that results in a consistent pattern of altered transcription seen in CdLS cell lines with either NIPBL or HDAC8 mutations.
The introduction of array CGH in clinical diagnostics has led to the discovery of many new microdeletion/microduplication syndromes. Most of them are rare and often present with a variable range of clinical anomalies. In this study we report three patients with a de novo overlapping microdeletion of chromosome bands 12q15q21.1. The deletions are ∼2.5 Mb in size, with a 1.34-Mb common deleted region containing six RefSeq genes. All three patients present with learning disability or developmental delay, nasal speech and hypothyroidism. In this paper we will further elaborate on the genotype–phenotype correlation associated with this deletion and compare our patients with previously reported cases.
12q15 microdeletion; nasal speech; hypothyroidism; developmental delay
Genetic disorders involving the skeletal system arise through disturbances in the complex processes of skeletal development, growth and homeostasis and remain a diagnostic challenge because of their variety. The Nosology and Classification of Genetic Skeletal Disorders provides an overview of recognized diagnostic entities and groups them by clinical and radiographic features and molecular pathogenesis. The aim is to provide the Genetics, Pediatrics and Radiology community with a list of recognized genetic skeletal disorders that can be of help in the diagnosis of individual cases, in the delineation of novel disorders, and in building bridges between clinicians and scientists interested in skeletal biology.
In the 2010 revision, 456 conditions were included and placed in 40 groups defined by molecular, biochemical and/or radiographic criteria. Of these conditions, 316 were associated with mutations in one or more of 226 different genes, ranging from common, recurrent mutations to “private” found in single families or individuals. Thus, the Nosology is a hybrid between a list of clinically defined disorders, waiting for molecular clarification, and an annotated database documenting the phenotypic spectrum produced by mutations in a given gene.
The Nosology should be useful for the diagnosis of patients with genetic skeletal diseases, particularly in view of the information flood expected with the novel sequencing technologies; in the delineation of clinical entities and novel disorders, by providing an overview of established nosologic entities; and for scientists looking for the clinical correlates of genes, proteins and pathways involved in skeletal biology.
Stickler syndrome is an autosomal dominant connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in different collagen genes. The aim of our study was to define more precisely the phenotype and genotype of Stickler syndrome type 1 by investigating a large series of patients with a heterozygous mutation in COL2A1. In 188 probands with the clinical diagnosis of Stickler syndrome, the COL2A1 gene was analyzed by either a mutation scanning technique or bidirectional fluorescent DNA sequencing. The effect of splice site alterations was investigated by analyzing mRNA. Multiplex ligation-dependent amplification analysis was used for the detection of intragenic deletions. We identified 77 different COL2A1 mutations in 100 affected individuals. Analysis of the splice site mutations showed unusual RNA isoforms, most of which contained a premature stop codon. Vitreous anomalies and retinal detachments were found more frequently in patients with a COL2A1 mutation compared with the mutation-negative group (P<0.01). Overall, 20 of 23 sporadic patients with a COL2A1 mutation had either a cleft palate or retinal detachment with vitreous anomalies. The presence of vitreous anomalies, retinal tears or detachments, cleft palate and a positive family history were shown to be good indicators for a COL2A1 defect. In conclusion, we confirm that Stickler syndrome type 1 is predominantly caused by loss-of-function mutations in the COL2A1 gene as >90% of the mutations were predicted to result in nonsense-mediated decay. On the basis of binary regression analysis, we developed a scoring system that may be useful when evaluating patients with Stickler syndrome.
COL2A1; Stickler syndrome; genotype–phenotype correlation; type II collagenopathies; splice site mutation
This report presents the detection of a heterozygous deletion at chromosome 12q14 in three unrelated patients with a similar phenotype consisting of mild mental retardation, failure to thrive in infancy, proportionate short stature and osteopoikilosis as the most characteristic features. In each case, this interstitial deletion was found using molecular karyotyping. The deletion occurred as a de novo event and varied between 3.44 and 6 megabases (Mb) in size with a 3.44 Mb common deleted region. The deleted interval was not flanked by low‐copy repeats or segmental duplications. It contains 13 RefSeq genes, including LEMD3, which was previously shown to be the causal gene for osteopoikilosis. The observation of osteopoikilosis lesions should facilitate recognition of this new microdeletion syndrome among children with failure to thrive, short stature and learning disabilities.
osteopoikilosis; short stature; mental retardation;
Duplications and deletions in the human genome can cause disease or predispose persons to disease. Advances in technologies to detect these changes allow for the routine identification of submicroscopic imbalances in large numbers of patients.
We tested for the presence of microdeletions and microduplications at a specific region of chromosome 1q21.1 in two groups of patients with unexplained mental retardation, autism, or congenital anomalies and in unaffected persons.
We identified 25 persons with a recurrent 1.35-Mb deletion within 1q21.1 from screening 5218 patients. The microdeletions had arisen de novo in eight patients, were inherited from a mildly affected parent in three patients, were inherited from an apparently unaffected parent in six patients, and were of unknown inheritance in eight patients. The deletion was absent in a series of 4737 control persons (P = 1.1×10−7). We found considerable variability in the level of phenotypic expression of the microdeletion; phenotypes included mild-to-moderate mental retardation, microcephaly, cardiac abnormalities, and cataracts. The reciprocal duplication was enriched in the nine children with mental retardation or autism spectrum disorder and other variable features (P = 0.02). We identified three deletions and three duplications of the 1q21.1 region in an independent sample of 788 patients with mental retardation and congenital anomalies.
We have identified recurrent molecular lesions that elude syndromic classification and whose disease manifestations must be considered in a broader context of development as opposed to being assigned to a specific disease. Clinical diagnosis in patients with these lesions may be most readily achieved on the basis of genotype rather than phenotype.
We report on a patient with mental retardation, seizures and tall stature with advanced bone age in whom a de novo apparently balanced chromosomal rearrangement 46,XX,t(X;9)(q12;p13.3) was identified. Using array CGH on flow-sorted derivative chromosomes (array painting) and subsequent FISH and qPCR analysis, we mapped and sequenced both breakpoints. The Xq12 breakpoint was located within the gene coding for oligophrenin 1 (OPHN1) whereas the 9p13.3 breakpoint was assigned to a non-coding segment within a gene dense region. Disruption of OPHN1 by the Xq12 breakpoint was considered the major cause of the abnormal phenotype observed in the proband.
Translocation; OPHN1; Tall stature; Mental retardation
Skeletal dysplasias are difficult to diagnose for the nonexpert. In a previous study of patients with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED), we identified cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) mutations in only 36% of cases and suspected that the low-mutation detection rate was partially due to misdiagnosis. We therefore instituted a clinical–radiographic review system, whereby all cases were evaluated by a panel of skeletal dysplasia experts (European Skeletal Dysplasia Network). Only those patients in whom the diagnosis of MED was confirmed by the panel were screened for mutations. Under this regimen the mutation detection rate increased to 81%. When clinical–radiological diagnostic criteria were relaxed the mutation rate dropped to 67%. We conclude that expert clinical–radiological review can significantly enhance mutation detection rates and should be part of any diagnostic mutation screening protocol for skeletal dysplasias.
multiple epiphyseal dysplasia; cartilage oligomeric matrix protein; genetic diagnosis; skeletal dysplasia; clinical review
qBase, a free program for the management and automated analysis of qPCR data, is described
Although quantitative PCR (qPCR) is becoming the method of choice for expression profiling of selected genes, accurate and straightforward processing of the raw measurements remains a major hurdle. Here we outline advanced and universally applicable models for relative quantification and inter-run calibration with proper error propagation along the entire calculation track. These models and algorithms are implemented in qBase, a free program for the management and automated analysis of qPCR data.
The availability of the human genome sequence as well as the large number of physically accessible oligonucleotides, cDNA, and BAC clones across the entire genome has triggered and accelerated the use of several platforms for analysis of DNA copy number changes, amongst others microarray comparative genomic hybridization (arrayCGH). One of the challenges inherent to this new technology is the management and analysis of large numbers of data points generated in each individual experiment.
We have developed arrayCGHbase, a comprehensive analysis platform for arrayCGH experiments consisting of a MIAME (Minimal Information About a Microarray Experiment) supportive database using MySQL underlying a data mining web tool, to store, analyze, interpret, compare, and visualize arrayCGH results in a uniform and user-friendly format. Following its flexible design, arrayCGHbase is compatible with all existing and forthcoming arrayCGH platforms. Data can be exported in a multitude of formats, including BED files to map copy number information on the genome using the Ensembl or UCSC genome browser.
ArrayCGHbase is a web based and platform independent arrayCGH data analysis tool, that allows users to access the analysis suite through the internet or a local intranet after installation on a private server. ArrayCGHbase is available at .
Pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED) are relatively common skeletal dysplasias resulting in short-limbed dwarfism, joint pain, and stiffness. PSACH and the largest proportion of autosomal dominant MED (AD-MED) results from mutations in cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP); however, AD-MED is genetically heterogenous and can also result from mutations in matrilin-3 (MATN3) and type IX collagen (COL9A1, COL9A2, and COL9A3). In contrast, autosomal recessive MED (rMED) appears to result exclusively from mutations in sulphate transporter solute carrier family 26 (SLC26A2). The diagnosis of PSACH and MED can be difficult for the nonexpert due to various complications and similarities with other related diseases and often mutation analysis is requested to either confirm or exclude the diagnosis. Since 2003, the European Skeletal Dysplasia Network (ESDN) has used an on-line review system to efficiently diagnose cases referred to the network prior to mutation analysis. In this study, we present the molecular findings in 130 patients referred to ESDN, which includes the identification of novel and recurrent mutations in over 100 patients. Furthermore, this study provides the first indication of the relative contribution of each gene and confirms that they account for the majority of PSACH and MED. Hum Mutat 33:144–157, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
pseudoachondroplasia; multiple epiphyseal dysplasia; COMP; SLC26A2
Desbuquois dysplasia (DD) is characterized by antenatal and postnatal short stature, multiple dislocations, and advanced carpal ossification. Two forms have been distinguished on the basis of the presence (type 1) or the absence (type 2) of characteristic hand anomalies. We have identified mutations in calcium activated nucleotidase 1 gene (CANT1) in DD type 1. Recently, CANT1 mutations have been reported in the Kim variant of DD, characterized by short metacarpals and elongated phalanges. DD has overlapping features with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia with congenital joint dislocations (SDCD) due to Carbohydrate (chondroitin 6) Sulfotransferase 3 (CHST3) mutations. We screened CANT1 and CHST3 in 38 DD cases (6 type 1 patients, 1 Kim variant, and 31 type 2 patients) and found CANT1 mutations in all DD type 1 cases, the Kim variant and in one atypical DD type 2 expanding the clinical spectrum of hand anomalies observed with CANT1 mutations. We also identified in one DD type 2 case CHST3 mutation supporting the phenotype overlap with SDCD. To further define function of CANT1, we studied proteoglycan synthesis in CANT1 mutated patient fibroblasts, and found significant reduced GAG synthesis in presence of β-D-xyloside, suggesting that CANT1 plays a role in proteoglycan metabolism. Hum Mutat 33:1261–1266, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Desbuquois dysplasia type 1 and type 2; CANT1; CHST3; proteoglycan metabolism
Genetic disorders involving the skeletal system arise through disturbances in the complex processes of skeletal development, growth and homeostasis and remain a diagnostic challenge because of their variety. The Nosology and Classification of Genetic Skeletal Disorders provides an overview of recognized diagnostic entities and groups them by clinical and radiographic features and molecular pathogenesis. The aim is to provide the Genetics, Pediatrics and Radiology community with a list of recognized genetic skeletal disorders that can be of help in the diagnosis of individual cases, in the delineation of novel disorders, and in building bridges between clinicians and scientists interested in skeletal biology. In the 2010 revision, 456 conditions were included and placed in 40 groups defined by molecular, biochemical, and/or radiographic criteria. Of these conditions, 316 were associated with mutations in one or more of 226 different genes, ranging from common, recurrent mutations to “private” found in single families or individuals. Thus, the Nosology is a hybrid between a list of clinically defined disorders, waiting for molecular clarification, and an annotated database documenting the phenotypic spectrum produced by mutations in a given gene. The Nosology should be useful for the diagnosis of patients with genetic skeletal diseases, particularly in view of the information flood expected with the novel sequencing technologies; in the delineation of clinical entities and novel disorders, by providing an overview of established nosologic entities; and for scientists looking for the clinical correlates of genes, proteins and pathways involved in skeletal biology. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
skeletal genetics; osteochondrodysplasias; nosology; dysostoses; molecular basis of disease
Harstfield syndrome is the rare and unique association of holoprosencephaly (HPE) and ectrodactyly, with or without cleft lip and palate, and variable additional features. All the reported cases occurred sporadically. Although several causal genes of HPE and ectrodactyly have been identified, the genetic cause of Hartsfield syndrome remains unknown. We hypothesised that a single key developmental gene may underlie the co-occurrence of HPE and ectrodactyly.
We used whole exome sequencing in four isolated cases including one case-parents trio, and direct Sanger sequencing of three additional cases, to investigate the causative variants in Hartsfield syndrome.
We identified a novel FGFR1 mutation in six out of seven patients. Affected residues are highly conserved and are located in the extracellular binding domain of the receptor (two homozygous mutations) or the intracellular tyrosine kinase domain (four heterozygous de novo variants). Strikingly, among the six novel mutations, three are located in close proximity to the ATP's phosphates or the coordinating magnesium, with one position required for kinase activity, and three are adjacent to known mutations involved in Kallmann syndrome plus other developmental anomalies.
Dominant or recessive FGFR1 mutations are responsible for Hartsfield syndrome, consistent with the known roles of FGFR1 in vertebrate ontogeny and conditional Fgfr1-deficient mice. Our study shows that, in humans, lack of accurate FGFR1 activation can disrupt both brain and hand/foot midline development, and that FGFR1 loss-of-function mutations are responsible for a wider spectrum of clinical anomalies than previously thought, ranging in severity from seemingly isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, through Kallmann syndrome with or without additional features, to Hartsfield syndrome at its most severe end.
Clinical genetics; Developmental; Genetics