Copy number variation (CNV) is an important source of genomic diversity in humans, and influences disease susceptibility. The immunoglobulin-receptor genes FCGR3A and FCGR3B on chromosome 1q23.3 show CNV, and CNV of the FCGR3B gene is associated with glomerulonephritis in systemic lupus erythematosus and organ-specific autoimmunity. Large-scale case-control association studies of CNV require technologies that are amenable to high-throughput analysis with low error rates. Here we propose an integrated suite of five assays, four of them duplexed to reduce DNA usage, that assays for copy number variation at FCGR3A and FCGR3B, and genotype the polymorphic neutrophil antigen HNA1. We show how a maximum-likelihood approach to combining the results from these five assays allows estimation of statistical confidence for each individual copy number, and therefore an appropriate significance threshold to be set, controlling the error rate. This approach results in a high-throughput copy number genotyping system, with demonstrable precision and accuracy, that can be applied to large case-control cohort studies. We demonstrate Mendelian inheritance of this CNV, variation in frequency between Europeans and East Asians, and a lack of strong association between the CNV and flanking SNP genotypes, with important consequences for genome-wide association studies.
Fc receptor; copy number variation; lupus; paralogue ratio test
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that allow for allelic heterogeneity may facilitate the discovery of novel genes not detectable by models that require replication of a single variant site. One strategy to accomplish this is to focus on genes rather than markers as units of association, and so potentially capture a spectrum of causal alleles that differ across populations. Here, we conducted a GWAS of Alzheimer disease (AD) in 2586 Swedes and performed gene-based meta-analysis with three additional studies from France, Canada, and the United States, in total encompassing 4259 cases and 8284 controls. Implementing a newly designed gene-based algorithm, we identified two loci apart from the region around APOE that achieved study-wide significance in combined samples, the strongest finding being for FRMD6 on chromosome 14q (p = 2.6 × 10−14) and a weaker signal for NARS2 that is immediately adjacent to GAB2 on chromosome 11q (p = 7.8 × 10−9). Ontology-based pathway analyses revealed significant enrichment of genes involved in glycosylation. Results suggest that gene-based approaches that accommodate allelic heterogeneity in GWAS can provide a complementary avenue for gene discovery and may help to explain a portion of the missing heritability not detectable with SNPs derived from marker-specific meta-analysis.
Alzheimer; GWAS; association; gene-based; FRMD6; GAB2
The complement C4 locus is in the class III region of the MHC, and exhibits copy number variation. Complement C4 null alleles have shown association with a number of diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, most studies to date have used protein immunophenotyping and not direct interrogation of the genome to determine C4 null allele status. Moreover, a lack of accurate C4 gene copy number (GCN) estimation and tight linkage disequilibrium across the disease-associated MHC haplotypes has confounded attempts to establish whether or not these associations are causal. We have therefore developed a high through-put paralog ratio test (PRT) in association with two restriction enzyme digest variant ratio tests (REDVRs) to determine total C4 GCN, C4A GCN, and C4B GCN. In the densely genotyped CEU cohort we show that this method is accurate and reproducible when compared to gold standard Southern blot copy number estimation with a discrepancy rate of 9%. We find a broad range of C4 GCNs in the CEU and the 1958 British Birth Cohort populations under study. In addition, SNP-C4 CNV analyses show only moderate levels of correlation and therefore do not support the use of SNP genotypes as proxies for complement C4 GCN.
complement C4; CNV; lupus; paralog ratio test
Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposons comprise 17% of the human genome, and move by a potentially mutagenic “copy and paste” mechanism via an RNA intermediate. Recently, the retrotransposition-mediated insertion of a new transcript was described as a novel cause of genetic disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, in a Japanese male. The inserted sequence was presumed to derive from a single-copy, non-coding RNA transcribed from chr. 11q22.3 that retrotransposed into the dystrophin gene. Here we demonstrate that a non-reference full-length LINE-1 is situated in the proband and maternal genome at chr. 11q22.3, directly upstream of the sequence, whose copy was inserted into the dystrophin gene. This LINE-1 is highly active in a cell culture assay. LINE-1 insertions are often associated with 3’ transduction of adjacent genomic sequences. Thus, the likely explanation for the mutagenic insertion is a LINE-1-mediated 3’ transduction with severe 5’ truncation. This is the first example of LINE-1-induced human disease caused by an “orphan” 3’ transduction.
LINE-1; retrotransposon; 3’ transduction; dystrophin; Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Mutations in the CRB1 gene are associated with variable phenotypes of severe retinal dystrophies, ranging from Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA) to rod-cone dystrophy (also called retinitis pigmentosa (RP)). Moreover, retinal dystrophies resulting from CRB1 mutations may be accompanied by specific fundus features: preservation of the para-arteriolar retinal pigment epithelium (PPRPE) and retinal telangiectasia with exudation (also referred to as Coats-like vasculopathy). In this publication we report seven novel mutations and classify over 150 reported CRB1 sequence variants that were found in more that 240 patients. The data from previous reports was used to analyse a potential correlation between CRB1 variants and the clinical features of respective patients. This meta-analysis suggests that the differential phenotype of patients with CRB1 mutations is due to additional modifying factors rather than particular mutant allele combination.
CRB1; LCA; Retinitis Pigmentosa; rod-cone dystrophy
Vax1 and Vax2 have been implicated in eye development and the closure of the choroid fissure in mice and zebrafish. We sequenced the coding exons of VAX1 and VAX2 in 70 patients with anophthalmia/microphthalmia. In VAX1, we observed homozygosity for two successive nucleotide substitutions c.453G>A and c.454C>A, predicting p.Arg152Ser, in a proband of Egyptian origin with microphthalmia, small optic nerves, cleft lip/palate and corpus callosum agenesis. This mutation affects an invariant residue in the homeodomain of VAX1 and was absent from 96 Egyptian controls. It is likely that the mutation results in a loss of function, as the mutation results in a phenotype similar to the Vax1 homozygous null mouse. We did not identify any mutations in VAX2. This is the first description of a phenotype associated with a VAX1 mutation in humans and establishes VAX1 as a new causative gene for anophthalmia/microphthalmia.
Anophthalmia/microphthalmia; VAX1; VAX2; coloboma
Most hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) patients inherit a defective allele of a mismatch repair (MMR) gene, usually MLH1 or MSH2, resulting in high levels of microsatellite instability (MSIH) in the tumors. Presence of MSI in the normal tissues of mutation carriers has been controversial. Here we directly compare MSI in the peripheral blood leukocyte (PBL) DNA of seven HNPCC patients carrying different types of pathogenic MMR mutations in MLH1 and MSH2 genes with the PBL DNA of normal age-matched controls and of patients with sporadic colorectal cancer (SCRC). Small pool PCR (SP-PCR) was used studying three microsatellite loci for at least 100 alleles each in most samples. The average frequencies of mutant microsatellite fragments in each HNPCC patient (0.04–0.24) were significantly higher (p<0.01) relative to their age-matched normal controls with mutant frequencies (MF) from 0.00 to 0.06, or SCRC patients (MF from 0.01–0.03). The data support the conclusions that higher MF in the PBL DNA of HNPCC patients is real and reproducible, may vary in extent according to the type of germline MMR mutation and the age of the individual, and provide a possible genetic explanation for anticipation in HNPCC families.
microsatellite instability; genomic instability; HNPCC; Lynch Syndrome; colorectal cancer; MLH1; MSH2; single molecule PCR; somatic mutation; variants of uncertain significance
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies can be a boon to human mutation detection given their high throughput: consequently, many genes and samples may be simultaneously studied with high coverage for accurate detection of heterozygotes. In circumstances requiring the intensive study of a few genes, particularly in clinical applications, a rapid turn-around is another desirable goal. To this end, we assessed the performance of the bench-top 454 GS Junior platform as an optimized solution for mutation detection by amplicon sequencing of three type 3 semaphorin genes SEMA3A, SEMA3C and SEMA3D implicated in Hirschsprung disease (HSCR). We performed mutation detection on 39 PCR amplicons totaling 14,014bp in 47 samples studied in pools of 12 samples. Each 10-hour run was able to generate ∼75,000 reads and ∼28 million high-quality bases at an average read length of 371bp. The overall sequencing error was 0.26 changes per kb at a coverage depth of ≥20 reads. Altogether, 37 sequence variants were found in this study of which 10 were unique to HSCR patients. We identified five missense mutations in these three genes that may potentially be involved in the pathogenesis of HSCR and need to be studied in larger patient samples.
Mutation detection; Bench-top sequencer; HSCR; Semaphorin
Primary carnitine deficiency is caused by defective OCTN2 carnitine transporters encoded by the SLC22A5 gene. Lack of carnitine impairs fatty acid oxidation resulting in hypoketotic hypoglycemia, hepatic encephalopathy, skeletal and cardiac myopathy. Recently, asymptomatic mothers with primary carnitine deficiency were identified by low carnitine levels in their infant by newborn screening. Here we evaluate mutations in the SLC22A5 gene and carnitine transport in fibroblasts from symptomatic patients and asymptomatic women. Carnitine transport was significantly reduced in fibroblasts obtained from all patients with primary carnitine deficiency, but was significantly higher in the asymptomatic women’s than in the symptomatic patients’ fibroblasts (p<0.01). By contrast, ergothioneine transport (a selective substrate of the OCTN1 transporter, tested here as a control) was similar in cells from controls and patients with carnitine deficiency. DNA sequencing indicated an increased frequency of nonsense mutations in symptomatic patients (p<0.001). Expression of the missense mutations in CHO cells indicated that many mutations retained residual carnitine transport activity, with no difference in the average activity of missense mutations identified in symptomatic versus asymptomatic patients. These results indicate that cells from asymptomatic women have on average higher levels of residual carnitine transport activity as compared to that of symptomatic patients due to the presence of at least one missense mutation.
carnitine deficiency; SLC22A5; OCTN2
As genetic testing for predisposition to human diseases has become an increasingly common practice in medicine, the need for clear interpretation of the test results is apparent. However, for many disease genes, including the breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, a significant fraction of tests result in the detection of a genetic variant for which disease association is not known. The finding of an ‘unclassified’ variant (UV)/variant of uncertain significance (VUS) complicates genetic test reporting and counseling. As these variants are individually rare, a large collaboration of researchers and clinicians will facilitate studies to assess their association with cancer predisposition. It was with this in mind that the ENIGMA consortium (www.enigmaconsortium.org) was initiated in 2009. The membership is both international and interdisciplinary, and currently includes more than 100 research scientists and clinicians from 19 countries. Within ENIGMA there are presently six working groups focused on the following topics: analysis, clinical, database, functional, tumor histopathology, and mRNA splicing. ENIGMA provides a mechanism to pool resources, exchange methods and data, and coordinately develop and apply algorithms for classification of variants in BRCA1 and BRCA2. It is envisaged that the research and clinical application of models developed by ENIGMA will be relevant to the interpretation of sequence variants in other disease genes.
Unclassified Variant; Consortium; BRCA1/BRCA2; International Collaboration
Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease comprises a heterogeneous group of peripheral neuropathies characterized by muscle weakness and wasting, and impaired sensation in the extremities. Four genes encoding an aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (ARS) have been implicated in CMT disease. ARSs are ubiquitously expressed, essential enzymes that ligate amino acids to cognate tRNA molecules. Recently, a p.Arg329His variant in the alanyl-tRNA synthetase (AARS) gene was found to segregate with dominant axonal CMT type 2N (CMT2N) in two French families; however, the functional consequence of this mutation has not been determined. To investigate the role of AARS in CMT, we performed a mutation screen of the AARS gene in patients with peripheral neuropathy. Our results showed that p.Arg329His AARS also segregated with CMT disease in a large Australian family. Aminoacylation and yeast viability assays showed that p.Arg329His AARS severely reduces enzyme activity. Genotyping analysis indicated that this mutation arose on three distinct haplotypes, and the results of bisulfite sequencing suggested that methylation-mediated deamination of a CpG dinucleotide gives rise to the recurrent p.Arg329His AARS mutation. Together, our data suggest that impaired tRNA charging plays a role in the molecular pathology of CMT2N, and that patients with CMT should be directly tested for the p.Arg329His AARS mutation.
AARS; Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease; CMT2N; Peripheral Neuropathy; Axonopathy
In 1994, the field of bone biology was significantly advanced by the discovery that activating mutations in the FGFR3 receptor tyrosine kinase account for the common genetic form of dwarfism in humans, achondroplasia. Other conditions soon followed, with the list of human disorders caused by FGFR3 mutations now reaching at least 10. An array of vastly different diagnoses is caused by similar mutations in FGFR3, including syndromes affecting skeletal development (hypochondroplasia, achondroplasia, thanatophoric dysplasia), skin (epidermal nevi, seborrhaeic keratosis, acanthosis nigricans) and cancer (multiple myeloma, prostate and bladder carcinoma, seminoma). Despite many years of research, several aspects of FGFR3 function in disease remain obscure or controversial. As FGFR3-related skeletal dysplasias are caused by growth attenuation of the cartilage, chondrocytes appear to be unique in their response to FGFR3 activation. However, the reasons why FGFR3 inhibits chondrocyte growth while causing excessive cellular proliferation in cancer are not clear. Likewise, the full spectrum of molecular events by which FGFR3 mediates its signaling is just beginning to emerge. This article describes the challenging journey to unravel the mechanisms of FGFR3 function in skeletal dysplasias, the extraordinary cellular manifestations of FGFR3 signaling in chondrocytes, and finally, the progress towards therapy for achondroplasia and cancer.
FGFR3; chondrocyte; skeletal dysplasia; MAP kinase; FGF
Mutations in the chromatin remodeling gene ARID1A have recently been identified in the majority of ovarian clear cell carcinomas. To determine the prevalence of mutations in other tumor types, we evaluated 759 malignant neoplasms including those of the pancreas, breast, colon, stomach, lung, prostate, brain and blood (leukemias). We identified truncating mutations in 6% of the neoplasms studied; non-truncating somatic mutations were identified in an additional 0.4% of neoplasms. Mutations were most commonly found in gastrointestinal samples with 12 of 119 (10%) colorectal and 10 of 100 (10%) gastric neoplasms, respectively, harboring changes. More than half of the mutated colorectal and gastric cancers displayed microsatellite instability and the mutations in these tumors were out-of-frame insertions or deletions at mononucleotide repeats. Mutations were also identified in 2% to 8% of tumors of the pancreas, breast, brain (medulloblastomas), prostate, and lung, and none of these tumors displayed microsatellite instability. These findings suggest that the aberrant chromatin remodeling consequent to ARID1A inactivation contributes to a variety of different types of neoplasms.
ARID1A; cancer; chromatin remodeling
Ionizing radiation is a breast carcinogen that induces DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), and variation in genes involved in the DNA DSB response has been implicated in radiation-induced breast cancer. The Women’s Environmental, Cancer and Radiation Epidemiology (WECARE) Study is a population-based study of cases with contralateral breast cancer (CBC) and matched controls with unilateral breast cancer. The location-specific radiation dose received to the contralateral breast was estimated from radiotherapy records and mathematical models. 152 SNPs in six genes (CHEK2, MRE11A, MDC1, NBN, RAD50, TP53BP1) involved in the DNA DSBs response were genotyped. No variants or haplotypes were associated with CBC risk (649 cases, 1284 controls) and no variants were found to interact with radiation dose. Carriers of a RAD50 haplotype exposed to ≥1Gy had an increased risk of CBC compared with unexposed carriers (RR=4.31 (95% CI 1.93-9.62)); with an excess relative risk (ERR)/Gy = 2.13 (95% CI 0.61-5.33)). Although the results of this study were largely null, carriers of a haplotype in RAD50 treated with radiation, had a greater CBC risk than unexposed carriers. This suggests that carriers of this haplotype may be susceptible to the DNA-damaging effects of radiation therapy associated with radiation-induced breast cancer.
DNA repair; haplotypes; polymorphisms; radiation; contralateral breast cancer
Clinical mutation screening of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes for the presence of germline inactivating mutations is used to identify individuals at elevated risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Variants identified during screening are usually classified as pathogenic (increased risk of cancer) or not pathogenic (no increased risk of cancer). However, a significant proportion of genetic tests yield variants of uncertain significance (VUS) that have undefined risk of cancer. Individuals carrying these VUS cannot benefit from individualized cancer risk assessment. Recently a quantitative “posterior probability model” for assessing the clinical relevance of VUS in BRCA1 or BRCA2 that integrates multiple forms of genetic evidence has been developed. Here we provide a detailed review of this model. We describe the components of the model and explain how these can be combined to calculate a posterior probability of pathogenicity for each VUS. We explain how the model can be applied to public data and provide Tables that list the VUS that have been classified as not pathogenic or pathogenic using this method. While we use BRCA1 and BRCA2 VUS as examples, the method can be used as a framework for classification of the pathogenicity of VUS in other cancer genes.
BRCA1; BRCA2; VUS classification; missense mutations
A recent challenge for investigators studying the progressive neurological disease ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is to identify mutations whose effects might be alleviated by mutation-targeted therapies. We studied ATM mutations in eight families of Japanese A-T patients (JPAT) and were able to identify all 16 mutations. The probands were compound heterozygotes in seven families, and one (JPAT2) was homozygous for a frameshift mutation. All mutations - four frameshift, two nonsense, four large genomic deletions, and six affecting splicing - were novel except for c.748C>T found in family JPAT6 and c.2639−384A>G found in family JPAT11/12. Using an established lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL) of patient JPAT11, ATM protein was restored to levels approaching wildtype by exposure to an antisense morpholino oligonucleotide designed to correct a pseudoexon splicing mutation. In addition, in an LCL from patient JPAT8/9, a heterozygous carrier of a nonsense mutation, ATM levels could also be partially restored by exposure to readthrough compounds (RTC): an aminoglycoside, G418, and a novel small molecule identified in our laboratory, RTC13. Taken together, our results suggest that screening and functional characterization of the various sorts of mutations affecting the ATM gene can lead to better identification of A-T patients who are most likely to benefit from rapidly developing mutation-targeted therapeutic technologies.
ataxia-telangiectasia; ATM; large genomic deletions; functional analysis of DNA variants; mutation-targeted therapy; Japanese ATM mutation
Unclassified sequence variants (UV) arising from clinical mutation screening of cancer susceptibility genes present a frustrating issue to clinical genetics services and the patients that they serve. We created an open-access database holding missense substitutions from the breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. The main inclusion criterion is that each variant should have been assessed in a published work that used the Bayesian integrated evaluation of unclassified BRCA gene variants. Transfer of data on these substitutions from the original publications to our database afforded an opportunity to analyze the missense substitutions under a single model and to remove inconsistencies that arose during the evolution of the integrated evaluation over the last decade. This analysis also afforded the opportunity to re-classify these missense substitutions according to the recently published IARC 5-Class system. From an initial set of 248 missense substitutions, 31 were set aside due to non-negligible probability to interfere with splicing. Of the remaining substitutions, 28 fell into one of the two pathogenic classes (IARC Classes 4 or 5), 174 fell into one of the two non-pathogenic classes (IARC Classes 1 or 2), and 15 remain in IARC Class 3, “Uncertain”. The database is available at .
Unclassified variant; UV; VUS; BRCA1; BRCA2; database
Heritable arrhythmia syndromes, including Brugada syndrome (BrS) and idiopathic ventricular fibrillation (IVF), may serve as the pathogenic basis for autopsy-negative sudden unexplained death (SUD) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Emerging evidence has linked perturbations in the transient outward current (Ito) conducted by the KCND3-encoded Kv4.3 pore-forming α-subunit to BrS or IVF. However, the contribution of KCND3 mutations to autopsy-negative SUD/SIDS is unknown. To investigate the potential association between KCND3 and SUD/SIDS, mutational analysis of KCND3 was conducted in 123 SUDS and 292 SIDS victims using polymerase chain reaction, denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography, and direct sequencing. Overall, one SIDS case (<1.0%) and two SUDS cases (1.6%) harbored potentially pathogenic mutations in KCND3. The novel p.Val392Ile, p.Ser530Pro, and p.Gly600Arg mutations involved highly conserved residues and were absent in 1,560 reference alleles. Although the SIDS-associated p.Ser530Pro mutation demonstrated a wild-type (WT) electrophysiological phenotype when heterologously expressed, the SUDS-associated p.Val392Ile and p.Gly600Arg mutations significantly increased peak current density at +40 mV in comparison with WT by 100.4% (P < 0.05) and 50.4% (P < 0.05), respectively. p.Val392Ile also slowed recovery from inactivation 3.6-fold, indicating a mixed electrophysiological phenotype. This is the first report indicating that KCND3 may serve as a rare genetic substrate in the pathogenesis of SUDS but not SIDS cases.
KCND3; arrhythmia; sudden death; ion channels; pediatrics
The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway controls the process of convergent extension (CE) during gastrulation and neural tube closure and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects (NTDs) in animal models and human cohorts. In this study, we analyzed the role of one core PCP gene PRICKLE1 in these malformations. We screened this gene in 810 unrelated NTD patients and identified 7 rare missense heterozygous mutations that were absent in all controls analyzed and predicted to be functionally deleterious using bioinformatics. Functional validation of 5 PRICKLE1 variants in a zebrafish model demonstrated that one variant, p.Arg682Cys, antagonized the CE phenotype induced by the wild-type zebrafish prickle1a in a dominant fashion. Our study demonstrates that PRICKLE1 could act as a predisposing factor to human NTDs and further expands our knowledge of the role of PCP genes in the pathogenesis of these malformations.
PRICKLE1; Planar cell polarity; PCP; neural tube defects; NTD; rare mutations
Variants of Unknown Significance (VUS) in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are common, and present significant challenges for genetic counseling. We observed that BRCA2: c.6853A>G (p.I2285V) (Brest cancer Information Core [BIC] name: 7081A>G; http://nhgri.nih.gov/bic/) co-occurs in trans with the founder mutation c.5946delT (p.S1982RfsX22) (BIC name: 6174delT), supporting the published classification of p.I2285V as a neutral variant. However, we also noted that when compared with wild-type BRCA2, p.I2285V resulted in increased exclusion of exon 12. Functional assay using allelic complementation in Brca2-null mouse embryonic stem cells revealed that p.I2285V, an allele with exon 12 deleted and wild-type BRCA2 were all phenotypically indistinguishable, as measured by sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents, effect on irradiation-induced Rad51 foci formation, homologous recombination and overall genomic integrity. An allele frequency study showed the p.I2285V variant was identified in 15/722 (2.1%) Ashkenazi Jewish cases and 10/475 (2.1%) ethnically-matched controls, odds ratio: 0.99 (95% confidence interval: 0.44–2.21), P = 0.97. Thus the p.I2285V variant is not associated with an increased risk for breast cancer. Taken together, our clinical and functional studies strongly suggest that exon 12 is functionally redundant and therefore missense variants in this exon are likely to be neutral. Such comprehensive functional studies will be important adjuncts to genetic studies of variants.
BRCA2; unclassified variants; co-occurrence; exon splicing enhancer; exon skipping; in-frame deletion; neutral variant; Embryonic Stem (ES) cells
The ACTN3 R577X (rs1815739) genotype has been associated with athletic status and muscle phenotypes, though not consistently. Our objective was to conduct a meta-analysis of the published literature on athletic status and investigate its associations with physical capability in several new population-based studies. Relevant data were extracted from studies in the literature, comparing genotype frequencies between controls and sprint/power and endurance athletes. For lifecourse physical capability, data were used from two studies of adolescents and seven studies in the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) collaborative research programme, involving individuals aged between 53 and 90+ years. We found evidence from the published literature to support the hypothesis that in Europeans the RR genotype is more common among sprint/power athletes compared with their controls. There is currently no evidence that the X allele is advantageous to endurance athleticism. We found no association between R577X and grip strength (p-value=0.09, n=7672 in males; p-value=0.90, n=7839 in females), standing balance, timed get up and go or chair rises in our studies of physical capability. The ACTN3 R577X genotype is associated with sprint/power athletic status in Europeans, but does not appear to be associated with objective measures of physical capability in the general population.
ACTN3; Actinin-3; athlete; aging; SNP; grip strength
Recessive osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is caused by defects in genes whose products interact with type I collagen for modification and/or folding. We identified a Palestinian pedigree with moderate and lethal forms of recessive OI caused by mutations in FKBP10 or PPIB, which encode endoplasmic reticulum resident chaperone/isomerases FKBP65 and CyPB, respectively. In one pedigree branch, both parents carry a deletion in PPIB (c.563_566delACAG), causing lethal type IX OI in their two children. In another branch, a child with moderate type XI OI has a homozygous FKBP10 mutation (c.1271_1272delCCinsA). Proband FKBP10 transcripts are 4% of control and FKBP65 protein is absent from proband cells. Proband collagen electrophoresis reveals slight band broadening, compatible with ≈10% overmodification. Normal chain incorporation, helix folding, and collagen Tm support a minimal general collagen chaperone role for FKBP65. However, there is a dramatic decrease in collagen deposited in culture despite normal collagen secretion. Mass spectrometry reveals absence of hydroxylation of the collagen telopeptide lysine involved in cross-linking, suggesting that FKBP65 is required for lysyl hydroxylase activity or access to type I collagen telopeptide lysines, perhaps through its function as a peptidylprolyl isomerase. Proband collagen to organics ratio in matrix is approximately 30% of normal in Raman spectra. Immunofluorescence shows sparse, disorganized collagen fibrils in proband matrix.
osteogenesis imperfecta; Bruck syndrome; FKBP65; FKBP10; PPIB; peptidylprolyl isomerase
Choline acetyltransferase (ChAT; EC 126.96.36.199) catalyzes synthesis of acetylcholine from acetyl-CoA and choline in cholinergic neurons. Mutations in CHAT (MIM # 118490) cause potentially lethal congenital myasthenic syndromes associated with episodic apnea (ChAT-CMS) (MIM # 254210). Here we analyze the functional consequences of 12 missense and 1 nonsense mutations of CHAT in 11 patients. Nine of the mutations are novel. We examine expression of the recombinant missense mutants in Bosc 23 cells, determine their kinetic properties and thermal stability, and interpret the functional effects of 11 mutations in the context of the atomic structural model of human ChAT. Five mutations (p.Trp421Ser, p.Ser498Pro, p.Thr553Asn, p.Ala557Thr, p.Ser572Trp) reduce enzyme expression to <50% of wild-type. Mutations with severe kinetic effects are located in the active-site tunnel (p.Met202Arg, p.Thr553Asn and p.Ala557Thr) or adjacent to the substrate binding site (p.Ser572Trp), or exert their effect allosterically (p.Trp421Ser and p.Ile689Ser). Two mutations with milder kinetic effects (p.Val136Met, p.Ala235Thr) are also predicted to act allosterically. One mutation (p.Thr608Asn) below the nucleotide binding site of CoA enhances dissociation of AcCoA from the enzyme-substrate complex. Two mutations introducing a proline residue into an α-helix (p.Ser498Pro and p.Ser704Pro) impair the thermal stability of ChAT.
Choline acetyltransferase; congenital myasthenic syndrome; enzyme kinetics; atomic structural model; thermal stability
FAS/FASL system plays a central role in maintaining peripheral immune tolerance. Human SLE is a prototypic systemic autoimmune disease characterized by expansion of autoreactive lymphocytes. It remains unclear whether a defective FAS/FASL system is involved in the pathogenesis of SLE. In this study, we have discovered a novel nucleotide insertion in FAS mRNA. We demonstrate that this novel FAS mutation occurs at mRNA levels, likely through a site-specific mRNA editing process. The mRNA editing mutation is unique for human FAS because the similar mRNA editing event is absent in other human TNFR family genes with death domains (DR5, DR6, and TNFR1) and in murine FAS. The adenine insertion mutation in the coding region message causes the alteration of human FAS mRNA reading frame. Functionally, cells expressing the edited FAS (edFAS) were refractory to FAS-mediated apoptosis. Surprisingly, cells from SLE patients produced significantly more edFAS products compared to cells from normal healthy controls. Additionally, we demonstrated that persistent engagement of T cell receptor increases human FAS mRNA editing in human T cells. Our data suggest that the site-specific FAS mRNA editing mutation may play a critical role in human immune responses and in the pathogenesis of human chronic inflammatory diseases.
FAS; mRNA editing; apoptosis; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Lysosomal integral membrane protein type 2 (LIMP-2) is responsible for proper sorting and lysosomal targeting of glucocerebrosidase, the enzyme deficient in Gaucher disease (GD). Mutations in the gene for LIMP-2, SCARB2, are implicated in inherited forms of myoclonic epilepsy, and myoclonic epilepsy is part of the phenotypic spectrum associated with GD. We investigated whether SCARB2 mutations impact the Gaucher phenotype focusing on patients with myoclonic epilepsy, including a pair of siblings with GD who were discordant for myoclonic seizures. Sequencing of SCARB2 genomic and cDNA identified a heterozygous, maternally-inherited novel mutation, c.1412A>G (p.Glu471Gly), in the brother with GD and myoclonic epilepsy, absent from his sibling and controls. Glucocerebrosidase activity, Western blots, real-time PCR, and immunofluorescence studies demonstrated markedly decreased LIMP-2 and glucocerebrosidase in cells from the sibling with (p.Glu471Gly) LIMP-2, and diminished glucocerebrosidase in lysosomes. The cells secreted highly-glycosylated enzyme and showed mis-trafficking of glucocerebrosidase. Sequencing of SCARB2 in 13 other subjects with GD and myoclonic epilepsy and 40 controls failed to identify additional mutations. The study provides further evidence for the association of LIMP-2 and myoclonic epilepsy, explains the drastically different phenotypes encountered in the siblings, and demonstrates that LIMP-2 can serve as a modifier in Gaucher disease.
Gaucher disease; myoclonic epilepsy; LIMP-2; SCARB2; glucocerebrosidase