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1.  Circadian Abnormalities in Mouse Models of Smith–Magenis Syndrome: Evidence for Involvement of RAI1 
Smith–Magenis syndrome (SMS; OMIM 182290) is a genomic disorder characterized by multiple congenital anomalies, intellectual disability, behavioral abnormalities, and disordered sleep resulting froman ~3.7 Mb deletion copy number variant (CNV) on chromosome 17p11.2 or from point mutations in the gene RAI1. The reciprocal duplication of this region results in another genomic disorder, Potocki–Lupski syndrome (PTLS; OMIM 610883), characterized by autism, intellectual disability, and congenital anomalies. We previously used chromosome-engineering and gene targeting to generate mouse models for PTLS (Dp(11)17/+), and SMS due to either deletion CNV or gene knock-out (Df(11)17–2/+ and Rai1+/−, respectively) and we observed phenotypes in these mouse models consistent with their associated human syndromes. To investigate the contribution of individual genes to the circadian phenotypes observed in SMS, we now report the analysis of free-running period lengths in Rai1+/− and Df(11)17–2/+mice, as well as in mice deficient for another known circadian gene mapping within the commonly deleted/duplicated region, Dexras1, and we compare these results to those previously observed in Dp(11)17/+ mice. Reduced free-running period lengths were seen in Df(11)17–2/+, Rai1+/−, and Dexras1−/−, but not Dexras1+/− mice, suggesting that Rai1 may be the primary gene underlying the circadian defects in SMS. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that cis effects between multiple haploinsufficient genes in the SMS critical interval (e.g., RAI1 and DEXRAS1) either exacerbate the circadian phenotypes observed in SMS patients with deletions or increase their penetrance in certain environments. This study also confirms a previous report of abnormal circadian function in Dexras1−/− mice.
PMCID: PMC4086898  PMID: 23703963
Dexras1; sleep disorder; CNV; PTLS; genomic disorder
2.  Increased genome instability in human DNA segments with self-chains: homology-induced structural variations via replicative mechanisms 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(13):2642-2651.
Environmental factors including ionizing radiation and chemical agents have been known to be able to induce DNA rearrangements and cause genomic structural variations (SVs); however, the roles of intrinsic characteristics of the human genome, such as regional genome architecture, in SV formation and the potential mechanisms underlying genomic instability remain to be further elucidated. Recently, locus-specific observations showed that ‘self-chain’ (SC), a group of short low-copy repeats (LCRs) in the human genome, can induce autism-associated SV mutations of the MECP2 and NRXN1 genes. In this study, we conducted a genome-wide analysis to investigate SCs and their potential roles in genomic SV formation. Utilizing a vast amount of human SV data, we observed a significant biased distribution of human germline SV breakpoints to SC regions. Notably, the breakpoint distribution pattern is different between SV types across deletion, duplication, inversion and insertion. Our observations were coincident with a mechanism of SC-induced DNA replicative errors, whereas SC may sporadically be used as substrates of nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR). This contention was further supported by our consistent findings in somatic SV mutations of cancer genomes, suggesting a general mechanism of SC-induced genome instability in human germ and somatic cells.
PMCID: PMC3674805  PMID: 23474816
3.  Mutations in VRK1 Associated With Complex Motor and Sensory Axonal Neuropathy Plus Microcephaly 
JAMA neurology  2013;70(12):1491-1498.
Patients with rare diseases and complex clinical presentations represent a challenge for clinical diagnostics. Genomic approaches are allowing the identification of novel variants in genes for very rare disorders, enabling a molecular diagnosis. Genomics is also revealing a phenotypic expansion whereby the full spectrum of clinical expression conveyed by mutant alleles at a locus can be better appreciated.
To elucidate the molecular cause of a complex neuropathy phenotype in 3 patients by applying genomic sequencing strategies.
Three affected individuals from 2 unrelated families presented with a complex neuropathy phenotype characterized by axonal sensorimotor neuropathy and microcephaly. They were recruited into the Centers for Mendelian Genomics research program to identify the molecular cause of their phenotype. Whole-genome, targeted whole-exome sequencing, and high-resolution single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays were performed in genetics clinics of tertiary care pediatric hospitals and biomedical research institutions.
Whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing identified the variants responsible for the patients’ clinical phenotype.
We identified compound heterozygous alleles in 2 affected siblings from 1 family and a homozygous nonsense variant in the third unrelated patient in the vaccinia-related kinase 1 gene (VRK1). In the latter subject, we found a common haplotype on which the nonsense mutation occurred and that segregates in the Ashkenazi Jewish population.
We report the identification of disease-causing alleles in 3 children from 2 unrelated families with a previously uncharacterized complex axonal motor and sensory neuropathy accompanied by severe nonprogressive microcephaly and cerebral dysgenesis. Our data raise the question of whether VRK1 mutations disturb cell cycle progression and may result in apoptosis of cells in the nervous system. The application of unbiased genomic approaches allows the identification of potentially pathogenic mutations in unsuspected genes in highly genetically heterogeneous and uncharacterized neurological diseases.
PMCID: PMC4039291  PMID: 24126608
4.  Whole-Genome Sequencing in a Patient with Charcot–Marie–Tooth Neuropathy 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;362(13):1181-1191.
Whole-genome sequencing may revolutionize medical diagnostics through rapid identification of alleles that cause disease. However, even in cases with simple patterns of inheritance and unambiguous diagnoses, the relationship between disease phenotypes and their corresponding genetic changes can be complicated. Comprehensive diagnostic assays must therefore identify all possible DNA changes in each haplotype and determine which are responsible for the underlying disorder. The high number of rare, heterogeneous mutations present in all humans and the paucity of known functional variants in more than 90% of annotated genes make this challenge particularly difficult. Thus, the identification of the molecular basis of a genetic disease by means of whole-genome sequencing has remained elusive. We therefore aimed to assess the usefulness of human whole-genome sequencing for genetic diagnosis in a patient with Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease.
We identified a family with a recessive form of Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease for which the genetic basis had not been identified. We sequenced the whole genome of the proband, identified all potential functional variants in genes likely to be related to the disease, and genotyped these variants in the affected family members.
We identified and validated compound, heterozygous, causative alleles in SH3TC2 (the SH3 domain and tetratricopeptide repeats 2 gene), involving two mutations, in the proband and in family members affected by Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease. Separate subclinical phenotypes segregated independently with each of the two mutations; heterozygous mutations confer susceptibility to neuropathy, including the carpal tunnel syndrome.
As shown in this study of a family with Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease, whole-genome sequencing can identify clinically relevant variants and provide diagnostic information to inform the care of patients.
PMCID: PMC4036802  PMID: 20220177
5.  Replicative mechanisms for CNV formation are error prone 
Nature genetics  2013;45(11):10.1038/ng.2768.
We investigated 67 breakpoint junctions of gene copy number gains (CNVs) in 31 unrelated subjects. We observed a strikingly high frequency of small deletions and insertions (29%) apparently originating from polymerase-slippage events, in addition to frameshifts and point mutations in homonucleotide runs (13%), at or flanking the breakpoint junctions of complex CNVs. These simple nucleotide variants (SNV) were generated concomitantly with the de novo complex genomic rearrangement (CGR) event. Our findings implicate a low fidelity error-prone DNA polymerase in synthesis associated with DNA repair mechanisms that leads to a local increase in point mutation burden associated with human CGR.
PMCID: PMC3821386  PMID: 24056715
MMBIR; FoSTeS; MECP2; duplication; complex rearrangements; triplication; CNVs
7.  Whole-Exome Sequencing Identifies ALMS1, IQCB1, CNGA3, and MYO7A Mutations in Patients with Leber Congenital Amaurosis 
Human mutation  2011;32(12):1450-1459.
It has been well documented that mutations in the same retinal disease gene can result in different clinical phenotypes due to difference in the mutant allele and/or genetic background. To evaluate this, a set of consanguineous patient families with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) that do not carry mutations in known LCA disease genes was characterized through homozygosity mapping followed by targeted exon/whole-exome sequencing to identify genetic variations. Among these families, a total of five putative disease-causing mutations, including four novel alleles, were found for six families. These five mutations are located in four genes, ALMS1, IQCB1, CNGA3, and MYO7A. Therefore, in our LCA collection from Saudi Arabia, three of the 37 unassigned families carry mutations in retinal disease genes ALMS1, CNGA3, and MYO7A, which have not been previously associated with LCA, and 3 of the 37 carry novel mutations in IQCB1, which has been recently associated with LCA. Together with other reports, our results emphasize that the molecular heterogeneity underlying LCA, and likely other retinal diseases, may be highly complex. Thus, to obtain accurate diagnosis and gain a complete picture of the disease, it is essential to sequence a larger set of retinal disease genes and combine the clinical phenotype with molecular diagnosis.
PMCID: PMC3943164  PMID: 21901789
Leber congenital amaurosis; LCA; whole-exome sequencing; SNP; padlock
8.  Whole-Exome Sequencing as a diagnostic tool in a child with Atypical Episodic Muscle Weakness 
Clinical genetics  2012;83(5):457-461.
The advent of whole-exome next-generation sequencing (WES) has been pivotal for the molecular characterization of Mendelian disease; however, the clinical application of WES has remained relatively unexplored. We describe our experience with WES as a diagnostic tool in a three-year old female patient with a two-year history of episodic muscle weakness and paroxysmal dystonia who presented following a previous extensive but unrevealing diagnostic work-up. WES was performed on the proband and her two parents. Parental exome data was used to filter de novo genomic events in the proband and suspected mutations were confirmed using di-deoxy sequencing. WES revealed a de novo non-synonymous mutation in exon 21 of the calcium channel gene CACNA1S that has been previously reported in a single patient as a rare cause of atypical hypokalemic periodic paralysis. This was unexpected, as the proband’s original differential diagnosis had included hypokalemic periodic paralysis, but clinical and laboratory features were equivocal, and standard clinical molecular testing for hypokalemic periodic paralysis and related disorders was negative. This report highlights the potential diagnostic utility of WES in clinical practice, with implications for the approach to similar diagnostic dilemmas in the future.
PMCID: PMC3926310  PMID: 22901280
Hypokalemic periodic paralysis; CACNA1S; next generation sequencing; hypotonia
9.  Replicative mechanisms of CNV formation preferentially occur as intrachromosomal events: evidence from Potocki–Lupski duplication syndrome 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;22(4):749-756.
Copy number variations (CNVs) in the human genome contribute significantly to disease. De novo CNV mutations arise via genomic rearrangements, which can occur in ‘trans’, i.e. via interchromosomal events, or in ‘cis’, i.e. via intrachromosomal events. However, what molecular mechanisms occur between chromosomes versus between or within chromatids has not been systematically investigated. We hypothesized that distinct CNV mutational mechanisms, based on their intrinsic properties, may occur in a biased intrachromosomal versus interchromosomal manner. Here, we studied 62 genomic duplications observed in association with sporadic Potocki–Lupski syndrome (PTLS), in which multiple mutational mechanisms appear to be operative. Intriguingly, more interchromosomal than intrachromosomal events were identified in recurrent PTLS duplications mediated by non-allelic homologous recombination, whereas the reciprocal distribution was found for replicative mechanisms and non-homologous end-joining, likely reflecting the differences in spacial proximity of homologous chromosomes during different mutational processes.
PMCID: PMC3554201  PMID: 23161748
10.  Rare DNA copy number variants in cardiovascular malformations with extracardiac abnormalities 
Clinically significant cardiovascular malformations (CVMs) occur in 5–8 per 1000 live births. Recurrent copy number variations (CNVs) are among the known causes of syndromic CVMs, accounting for an important fraction of cases. We hypothesized that many additional rare CNVs also cause CVMs and can be detected in patients with CVMs plus extracardiac anomalies (ECAs). Through a genome-wide survey of 203 subjects with CVMs and ECAs, we identified 55 CNVs >50 kb in length that were not present in children without known cardiovascular defects (n=872). Sixteen unique CNVs overlapping these variants were found in an independent CVM plus ECA cohort (n=511), which were not observed in 2011 controls. The study identified 12/16 (75%) novel loci including non-recurrent de novo 16q24.3 loss (4/714) and de novo 2q31.3q32.1 loss encompassing PPP1R1C and PDE1A (2/714). The study also narrowed critical intervals in three well-recognized genomic disorders of CVM, such as the cat-eye syndrome region on 22q11.1, 8p23.1 loss encompassing GATA4 and SOX7 and 17p13.3-p13.2 loss. An analysis of protein-interaction databases shows that the rare inherited and de novo CNVs detected in the combined cohort are enriched for genes encoding proteins that are direct or indirect partners of proteins known to be required for normal cardiac development. Our findings implicate rare variants such as 16q24.3 loss and 2q31.3-q32.1 loss, and delineate regions within previously reported structural variants known to cause CVMs.
PMCID: PMC3548268  PMID: 22929023
rare copy number variations; extracardiac anomalies (ECAs); cardiovascular malformations (CVMs); 16q24.3 microdeletion; protein-interaction network
12.  Mechanisms for recurrent and complex human genomic rearrangements 
During the last two decades, the importance of human genome copy number variation (CNV) in disease has become widely recognized. However, much is not understood about underlying mechanisms. We show how, although model organism research guides molecular understanding, important insights are gained from study of the wealth of information available in the clinic. We describe progress in explaining nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR), a major cause of copy number change occurring when control of allelic recombination fails, highlight the growing importance of replicative mechanisms to explain complex events, and describe progress in understanding extreme chromosome reorganization (chromothripsis). Both non-homologous end-joining and aberrant replication have significant roles in chromothripsis. As we study CNV, the processes underlying human genome evolution are revealed.
PMCID: PMC3378805  PMID: 22440479
NAHR; FoSTeS; MMBIR; ectopic synapsis; PRDM9; triplication; chromothripsis
14.  A Loss-of-Function Variant in the Human Histidyl-tRNA Synthetase (HARS) Gene is Neurotoxic In Vivo 
Human mutation  2012;34(1):191-199.
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) are ubiquitously expressed enzymes responsible for ligating amino acids to cognate tRNA molecules. Mutations in four genes encoding an ARS have been implicated in inherited peripheral neuropathy with an axonal pathology, suggesting that all ARS genes are relevant candidates for disease in patients with related phenotypes. Here, we present results from a mutation screen of the histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HARS) gene in a large cohort of patients with peripheral neuropathy. These efforts revealed a rare missense variant (p.Arg137Gln) that resides at a highly conserved amino acid, represents a loss-of-function allele when evaluated in yeast complementation assays, and is toxic to neurons when expressed in a worm model. In addition to the patient with peripheral neuropathy, p.Arg137Gln HARS was detected in three individuals by genome-wide exome sequencing. These findings suggest that HARS is the fifth ARS locus associated with axonal peripheral neuropathy. Implications for identifying ARS alleles in human populations and assessing them for a role in neurodegenerative phenotypes are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3535524  PMID: 22930593
Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases; Peripheral Neuropathy; HARS; Neurotoxicity
15.  Human subtelomeric copy number gains suggest a DNA replication mechanism for formation: beyond breakage – fusion - bridge for telomere stabilization 
Human genetics  2012;131(12):1895-1910.
Constitutional deletions of distal 9q34 encompassing the EHMT1 (euchromatic histone methyltransferase 1) gene, or loss-of-function point mutations in EHMT1, are associated with the 9q34.3 microdeletion, also known as Kleefstra syndrome [MIM#610253]. We now report further evidence for genomic instability of the subtelomeric 9q34.3 region as evidenced by copy number gains of this genomic interval that include duplications, triplications, derivative chromosomes and complex rearrangements. Comparisons between the observed shared clinical features and molecular analyses in 20 subjects suggest that increased dosage of EHMT1 may be responsible for the neurodevelopmental impairment, speech delay, and autism spectrum disorders revealing the dosage sensitivity of yet another chromatin remodeling protein in human disease. Five patients had 9q34 genomic abnormalities resulting in complex deletion-duplication or duplication-triplication rearrangements; such complex triplications were also observed in six other subtelomeric intervals. Based on the specific structure of these complex genomic rearrangements (CGR) a DNA replication mechanism is proposed confirming recent findings in C elegans telomere healing. The end-replication challenges of subtelomeric genomic intervals may make them particularly prone to rearrangements generated by errors in DNA replication.
PMCID: PMC3493700  PMID: 22890305
chromosome 9q34.3; duplication; triplication; molecular mechanism; subtelomeric rearrangements; genomic disorder; telomere stabilization
16.  A functional role for structural variation in metabolism 
Adipocyte  2013;2(1):55-57.
A contribution of structural genomic variation to the heritability of complex metabolic phenotypes was illuminated by the recent characterization of chromosome-engineered mouse models for genomic disorders associated with metabolic dysfunction. Herein we discuss our study, “A duplication CNV that conveys traits reciprocal to metabolic syndrome and protects against diet-induced obesity in mice and men,” which describes the opposing metabolic phenotypes of mouse models for two prototypical genomic disorders,1,2 Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) and Potocki-Lupski syndrome (PTLS). SMS and PTLS are caused by reciprocal deletion or duplication copy number variations (CNVs), respectively, on chromosome 17p11.2. The implications of the results of this study and the potential relevance of these findings for future studies in the field of metabolism are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3661138  PMID: 23700554
CNV; obesity; metabolic syndrome; mouse model; structural variation; genomics
17.  Opposing phenotypes in mice with Smith-Magenis deletion and Potocki -Lupski duplication syndromes suggest gene dosage effects on fluid consumption behavior 
A quantitative long-term fluid consumption and fluid licking assay was performed in two mouse models with either an ~ 2Mb genomic deletion, Df(11)17, or the reciprocal duplication CNV, Dp(11)17, analogous to the human genomic rearrangements causing either Smith-Magenis syndrome [SMS; OMIM #182290] or Potocki-Lupski syndrome [PTLS; OMIM #610883], respectively. Both mouse strains display distinct quantitative alteration in fluid consumption compared to their wild-type littermates; several of these changes are diametrically opposing between the two chromosome engineered mouse models. Mice with duplication vs. deletion showed longer vs. shorter intervals between visits to the waterspout, generated more vs. less licks per visit and had higher vs. lower variability in the number of licks per lick-burst as compared to their respective wild-type littermates. These findings suggest that copy number variation can affect long-term fluid consumption behavior in mice. Other behavior differences were unique for either the duplication or deletion mutants; the deletion CNV resulted in increased variability of the licking rhythm, and the duplication CNV resulted in a significant slowing of the licking rhythm. Our findings document a readily quantitated complex behavioral response that can be directly and reciprocally influenced by a gene dosage effect.
PMCID: PMC3477298  PMID: 22991245
Copy number variation (CNV); fluid consumption behavior; gene dosage effect Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS); Potocki-Lupski syndrome (PTLS)
18.  Inverted Low-Copy Repeats and Genome Instability—A Genome-Wide Analysis 
Human mutation  2012;34(1):210-220.
Inverse paralogous low-copy repeats (IP-LCRs) can cause genome instability by nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR)-mediated balanced inversions. When disrupting a dosage-sensitive gene(s), balanced inversions can lead to abnormal phenotypes. We delineated the genome-wide distribution of IP-LCRs >1 kB in size with >95% sequence identity and mapped the genes, potentially intersected by an inversion, that overlap at least one of the IP-LCRs. Remarkably, our results show that 12.0% of the human genome is potentially susceptible to such inversions and 942 genes, 99 of which are on the X chromosome, are predicted to be disrupted secondary to such an inversion! In addition, IP-LCRs larger than 800 bp with at least 98% sequence identity (duplication/triplication facilitating IP-LCRs, DTIP-LCRs) were recently implicated in the formation of complex genomic rearrangements with a duplication-inverted triplication–duplication (DUP-TRP/INV-DUP) structure by a replication-based mechanism involving a template switch between such inverted repeats. We identified 1,551 DTIP-LCRs that could facilitate DUP-TRP/INV-DUP formation. Remarkably, 1,445 disease-associated genes are at risk of undergoing copy-number gain as they map to genomic intervals susceptible to the formation of DUP-TRP/INV-DUP complex rearrangements. We implicate inverted LCRs as a human genome architectural feature that could potentially be responsible for genomic instability associated with many human disease traits.
PMCID: PMC3738003  PMID: 22965494
segmental duplications; inverted repeats; genomic inversions; MMBIR
19.  Insertional Translocation Detected Using FISH Confirmation of Array-Comparative Genomic Hybridization (aCGH) Results 
Insertional translocations (ITs) are rare events that require at least three breaks in the chromosomes involved and thus qualify as complex chromosomal rearrangements (CCR). In the current study, we identified 40 ITs from approximately 18,000 clinical cases (1:500) using array-comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) in conjunction with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) confirmation of the aCGH findings, and parental follow-up studies. Both submicroscopic and microscopically visible IT events were detected. They were divided into three major categories: (1) simple intrachromosomal and interchromosomal IT resulting in pure segmental trisomy, (2) complex IT involving more than one abnormality, (3) deletion inherited from a parent with a balanced IT resulting in pure segmental monosomy. Of the cases in which follow-up parental studies were available, over half showed inheritance from an apparently unaffected parent carrying the same unbalanced rearrangement detected in the propositi, thus decreasing the likelihood that these IT events are clinically relevant. Nevertheless, we identified six cases in which small submicroscopic events were detected involving known disease-associated genes/genomic segments and are likely to be pathogenic. We recommend that copy number gains detected by clinical aCGH analysis should be confirmed using FISH analysis whenever possible in order to determine the physical location of the duplicated segment. We hypothesize that the increased use of aCGH in the clinic will demonstrate that IT occurs more frequently than previously considered but can identify genomic rearrangements with unclear clinical significance.
PMCID: PMC3726029  PMID: 20340098
array-CGH; genomic rearrangement; chromosome rearrangement; insertion; submicroscopic; FISH; segmental aneusomy
20.  Enriched rearing improves behavioral responses of an animal model for CNV-based autistic-like traits 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(14):3083-3096.
Potocki–Lupski syndrome (PTLS; MIM #610883), characterized by neurobehavioral abnormalities, intellectual disability and congenital anomalies, is caused by a 3.7-Mb duplication in 17p11.2. Neurobehavioral studies determined that ∼70–90% of PTLS subjects tested positive for autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We previously chromosomally engineered a mouse model for PTLS (Dp(11)17/+) with a duplication of a 2-Mb genomic interval syntenic to the PTLS region and identified consistent behavioral abnormalities in this mouse model. We now report extensive phenotyping with behavioral assays established to evaluate core and associated autistic-like traits, including tests for social abnormalities, ultrasonic vocalizations, perseverative and stereotypic behaviors, anxiety, learning and memory deficits and motor defects. Alterations were identified in both core and associated ASD-like traits. Rearing this animal model in an enriched environment mitigated some, and even rescued selected, neurobehavioral abnormalities, suggesting a role for gene-environment interactions in the determination of copy number variation-mediated autism severity.
PMCID: PMC3384379  PMID: 22492990
21.  The Centers for Mendelian Genomics: a new large-scale initiative to identify the genes underlying rare Mendelian conditions 
Next generation exome sequencing (ES) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) are new powerful tools for discovering the gene(s) that underlie Mendelian disorders. To accelerate these discoveries, the National Institutes of Health has established three Centers for Mendelian Genomics (CMGs): the Center for Mendelian Genomics at the University of Washington; the Center for Mendelian Disorders at Yale University; and the Baylor-Johns Hopkins Center for Mendelian Genomics at Baylor College of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University. The CMGs will provide ES/WGS and extensive analysis expertise at no cost to collaborating investigators where the causal gene(s) for a Mendelian phenotype has yet to be uncovered. Over the next few years and in collaboration with the global human genetics community, the CMGs hope to facilitate the identification of the genes underlying a very large fraction of all Mendelian disorders see
PMCID: PMC3702263  PMID: 22628075
mendelian; exome sequencing; commentary
22.  Early recurrence in standard-risk medulloblastoma patients with the common idic(17)(p11.2) rearrangement 
Neuro-Oncology  2012;14(7):831-840.
Medulloblastoma is diagnosed histologically; treatment depends on staging and age of onset. Whereas clinical factors identify a standard- and a high-risk population, these findings cannot differentiate which standard-risk patients will relapse and die. Outcome is thought to be influenced by tumor subtype and molecular alterations. Poor prognosis has been associated with isochromosome (i)17q in some but not all studies. In most instances, molecular investigations document that i17q is not a true isochromosome but rather an isodicentric chromosome, idic(17)(p11.2), with rearrangement breakpoints mapping within the REPA/REPB region on 17p11.2. This study explores the clinical utility of testing for idic(17)(p11.2) rearrangements using an assay based on fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). This test was applied to 58 consecutive standard- and high-risk medulloblastomas with a 5-year minimum of clinical follow-up. The presence of i17q (ie, including cases not involving the common breakpoint), idic(17)(p11.2), and histologic subtype was correlated with clinical outcome. Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were consistent with literature reports. Fourteen patients (25%) had i17q, with 10 (18%) involving the common isodicentric rearrangement. The presence of i17q was associated with a poor prognosis. OS and DFS were poor in all cases with anaplasia (4), unresectable disease (7), and metastases at presentation (10); however, patients with standard-risk tumors fared better. Of these 44 cases, tumors with idic(17)(p11.2) were associated with significantly worse patient outcomes and shorter mean DFS. FISH detection of idic(17)(p11.2) may be useful for risk stratification in standard-risk patients. The presence of this abnormal chromosome is associated with early recurrence of medulloblastoma.
PMCID: PMC3379796  PMID: 22573308
FISH; idic(17)(p11.2); i17q; medulloblastoma; pediatric oncology
23.  Exome sequencing resolves apparent incidental findings and reveals further complexity of SH3TC2 variant alleles causing Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy 
Genome Medicine  2013;5(6):57.
The debate regarding the relative merits of whole genome sequencing (WGS) versus exome sequencing (ES) centers around comparative cost, average depth of coverage for each interrogated base, and their relative efficiency in the identification of medically actionable variants from the myriad of variants identified by each approach. Nevertheless, few genomes have been subjected to both WGS and ES, using multiple next generation sequencing platforms. In addition, no personal genome has been so extensively analyzed using DNA derived from peripheral blood as opposed to DNA from transformed cell lines that may either accumulate mutations during propagation or clonally expand mosaic variants during cell transformation and propagation.
We investigated a genome that was studied previously by SOLiD chemistry using both ES and WGS, and now perform six independent ES assays (Illumina GAII (x2), Illumina HiSeq (x2), Life Technologies' Personal Genome Machine (PGM) and Proton), and one additional WGS (Illumina HiSeq).
We compared the variants identified by the different methods and provide insights into the differences among variants identified between ES runs in the same technology platform and among different sequencing technologies. We resolved the true genotypes of medically actionable variants identified in the proband through orthogonal experimental approaches. Furthermore, ES identified an additional SH3TC2 variant (p.M1?) that likely contributes to the phenotype in the proband.
ES identified additional medically actionable variant calls and helped resolve ambiguous single nucleotide variants (SNV) documenting the power of increased depth of coverage of the captured targeted regions. Comparative analyses of WGS and ES reveal that pseudogenes and segmental duplications may explain some instances of apparent disease mutations in unaffected individuals.
PMCID: PMC3706849  PMID: 23806086
Exome sequencing; Whole-genome sequencing; Incidental findings; SH3TC2; Personal genomes; Precision medicine
24.  Evidence for disease penetrance relating to CNV size: Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease and manifesting carriers with a familial 11 Mb duplication at Xq22 
Clinical genetics  2011;81(6):532-541.
The potential causes for the incomplete penetrance of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) in female carriers of PLP1 mutations are not well understood. We present a family with a boy having PMD in association with PLP1 duplication and three females who are apparent manifesting carriers. Custom high-resolution oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and breakpoint junction sequencing were performed and revealed a familial complex duplication consisting of a small duplicated genomic interval (~56 kb) and a large segmental duplication (~11 Mb) that results in a PLP1 CNV gain. Breakpoint junction analysis implicates a replication-based mechanism underlying the rearrangement formation. X-inactivation studies showed a random to moderate advantageous skewing pattern in peripheral blood cells but a moderate to extremely skewed (≥ 90%) pattern in buccal cells. In conclusion, our data shows that complex duplications involving PLP1 are not uncommon, can be detected at the level of genome resolution afforded by clinical aCGH and duplication and inversion can be produced in the same event. Furthermore, the observation of three manifesting carriers with a large genomic rearrangement supports the contention that duplication size along with genomic content can be an important factor for penetrance of the PMD phenotype in females.
PMCID: PMC3470482  PMID: 21623770
complex rearrangement; FoSTeS; manifesting female carriers; MMBIR; penetrance; PLP1; PMD
25.  Clinical use of array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) for prenatal diagnosis in 300 cases† 
Prenatal diagnosis  2009;29(1):29-39.
To evaluate the use of array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) for prenatal diagnosis, including assessment of variants of uncertain significance, and the ability to detect abnormalities not detected by karyotype, and vice versa.
Women undergoing amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) for karyotype were offered aCGH analysis using a targeted microarray. Parental samples were obtained concurrently to exclude maternal cell contamination and determine if copy number variants (CNVs) were de novo, or inherited prior to issuing a report.
We analyzed 300 samples, most were amniotic fluid (82%) and CVS (17%). The most common indications were advanced maternal age (N = 123) and abnormal ultrasound findings (N = 84). We detected 58 CNVs (19.3%). Of these, 40 (13.3%) were interpreted as likely benign, 15 (5.0%) were of defined pathological significance, while 3 (1.0%) were of uncertain clinical significance. For seven (~2.3% or 1/43), aCGH contributed important new information. For two of these (1% or ~1/150), the abnormality would not have been detected without aCGH analysis.
Although aCGH-detected benign inherited variants in 13.3% of cases, these did not present major counseling difficulties, and the procedure is an improved diagnostic tool for prenatal detection of chromosomal abnormalities.
PMCID: PMC3665952  PMID: 19012303
aCGH; chromosomal abnormality; chromosomal microarray analysis; prenatal; copy number variants; CVS; amniotic fluid

Results 1-25 (106)