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2.  Exploring Concordance and Discordance for Return of Incidental Findings from Clinical Sequencing 
To explore specific conditions and types of genetic variants that specialists in genetics recommend should be returned as incidental findings in clinical sequencing.
Sixteen specialists in clinical genetics and/or molecular medicine selected variants in 99 common conditions to return to the ordering physician if discovered incidentally through whole genome sequencing. For most conditions, the specialists independently considered 3 molecular scenarios for both adults and minor children: a known pathogenic mutation, a truncating variant presumed pathogenic (where other truncating variants were known to be pathogenic), or a missense variant predicted in silico to be pathogenic.
On average, for adults and children respectively, each specialist selected 83.5 and 79.0 conditions or genes out of 99 in the known pathogenic mutation categories, 57.0 and 53.5 out of 72 in the truncating variant categories, and 33.4 and 29.7 out of 72 in the missense variant categories. Concordance in favor of disclosure within the adult/known pathogenic mutation category was 100% for 21 conditions or genes and 80% or higher for 64 conditions or genes.
Specialists were highly concordant for the return of findings in 64 conditions or genes if discovered incidentally during whole exome or whole genome sequencing.
PMCID: PMC3763716  PMID: 22422049
whole genome sequencing; incidental findings
3.  Successful immune tolerance induction to enzyme replacement therapy in CRIM-negative infantile Pompe disease 
Infantile Pompe disease resulting from a deficiency of lysosomal acid α-glucosidase (GAA) requires enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with recombinant human GAA (rhGAA). Cross-reactive immunologic material negative (CRIM-negative) Pompe patients develop high-titer antibody to the rhGAA and do poorly. We describe successful tolerance induction in CRIM-negative patients.
Two CRIM-negative patients with preexisting anti-GAA antibodies were treated therapeutically with rituximab, methotrexate, and gammaglobulins. Two additional CRIM-negative patients were treated prophylactically with a short course of rituximab and methotrexate, in parallel with initiating rhGAA.
In both patients treated therapeutically, anti-rhGAA was eliminated after 3 and 19 months. All four patients are immune tolerant to rhGAA, off immune therapy, showing B-cell recovery while continuing to receive ERT at ages 36 and 56 months (therapeutic) and 18 and 35 months (prophylactic). All patients show clinical response to ERT, in stark contrast to the rapid deterioration of their nontolerized CRIM-negative counterparts.
The combination of rituximab with methotrexate ± intravenous gammaglobulins (IVIG) is an option for tolerance induction of CRIM-negative Pompe to ERT when instituted in the naïve setting or following antibody development. It should be considered in other conditions in which antibody response to the therapeutic protein elicits robust antibody response that interferes with product efficacy.
PMCID: PMC3711224  PMID: 22237443
immune tolerance; methotrexate; Pompe disease; rituximab
4.  Whole-exome sequencing supports genetic heterogeneity in childhood apraxia of speech 
Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a rare, severe, persistent pediatric motor speech disorder with associated deficits in sensorimotor, cognitive, language, learning and affective processes. Among other neurogenetic origins, CAS is the disorder segregating with a mutation in FOXP2 in a widely studied, multigenerational London family. We report the first whole-exome sequencing (WES) findings from a cohort of 10 unrelated participants, ages 3 to 19 years, with well-characterized CAS.
As part of a larger study of children and youth with motor speech sound disorders, 32 participants were classified as positive for CAS on the basis of a behavioral classification marker using auditory-perceptual and acoustic methods that quantify the competence, precision and stability of a speaker’s speech, prosody and voice. WES of 10 randomly selected participants was completed using the Illumina Genome Analyzer IIx Sequencing System. Image analysis, base calling, demultiplexing, read mapping, and variant calling were performed using Illumina software. Software developed in-house was used for variant annotation, prioritization and interpretation to identify those variants likely to be deleterious to neurodevelopmental substrates of speech-language development.
Among potentially deleterious variants, clinically reportable findings of interest occurred on a total of five chromosomes (Chr3, Chr6, Chr7, Chr9 and Chr17), which included six genes either strongly associated with CAS (FOXP1 and CNTNAP2) or associated with disorders with phenotypes overlapping CAS (ATP13A4, CNTNAP1, KIAA0319 and SETX). A total of 8 (80%) of the 10 participants had clinically reportable variants in one or two of the six genes, with variants in ATP13A4, KIAA0319 and CNTNAP2 being the most prevalent.
Similar to the results reported in emerging WES studies of other complex neurodevelopmental disorders, our findings from this first WES study of CAS are interpreted as support for heterogeneous genetic origins of this pediatric motor speech disorder with multiple genes, pathways and complex interactions. We also submit that our findings illustrate the potential use of WES for both gene identification and case-by-case clinical diagnostics in pediatric motor speech disorders.
PMCID: PMC3851280  PMID: 24083349
Apraxia of speech; Developmental verbal dyspraxia; Next-generation sequencing; Speech disorder; Whole-exome sequencing
7.  Correction of Hyperbilirubinemia in Gunn Rats Using Clinically Relevant Low Doses of Helper-Dependent Adenoviral Vectors 
Human Gene Therapy  2010;22(4):483-488.
Crigler–Najjar syndrome type I is a severe inborn error of bilirubin metabolism caused by a complete deficiency of uridine diphospho-glucuronosyl transferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) and results in life-threatening unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia. Lifelong correction of hyperbilirubinemia by liver-directed gene therapy using a helper-dependent adenoviral (HDAd) vector has been previously reported in the Gunn rat, a model of Crigler–Najjar syndrome, but was only achieved using high doses (≥3 × 1012 viral particles [vp]/kg), which are likely to elicit a severe toxic response in humans. Therefore, in this study, we investigate strategies to achieve correction of hyperbilirubinemia in the Gunn rat using clinically relevant low HDAd doses. We have found that correction of hyperbilirubinemia in the Gunn rat can be achieved with a low dose of 5 × 1011 vp/kg by using an HDAd vector bearing a more potent UGT1A1 expression cassette. Furthermore, by using hydrodynamic injection of the improved HDAd vector, correction of hyperbilirubinemia in the Gunn rat can be achieved using an even lower dose of 5 × 1010 vp/kg. Although hydrodynamic injection as performed in rats is not acceptable in humans, clinically attractive, minimally invasive methods have been successfully developed to mimic hydrodynamic injection of HDAd vector in non-human primates. Therefore, using an improved expression cassette combined with a more efficient method of vector delivery permits correction of hyperbilirubinemia in the Gunn rat using clinically relevant low HDAd doses and may thus pave the way to clinical application of HDAd vectors for Crigler–Najjar syndrome gene therapy.
Crigler-Najjar syndrome is an autosomal recessive inborn error of bilirubin metabolism caused by the lack of hepatic uridine diphosphoglucuronosyltransferase 1A1 (UGT1A1) activity. In this study, Dimmock and colleagues demonstrate that hydrodynamic injection of a helper-dependent adenoviral (HDAd) vector encoding UGT1A1 leads to correction of hyperbilirubinemia in the Gunn at doses as low as 5 × 1010 VP/kg.
PMCID: PMC3073075  PMID: 20973621
8.  The Role of Molecular Testing and Enzyme Analysis in the Management of Hypomorphic Citrullinemia 
Expanded newborn screening detects patients with modest elevations in citrulline; however it is currently unclear how to treat these patients and how to counsel their parents. In order to begin to address these issues, we compared the clinical, biochemical and molecular features of 10 patients with mildly elevated citrulline levels. Three patients presented with clinical illness whereas seven came to attention as a result of expanded newborn screening. One patient presented during pregnancy and responded promptly to IV sodium phenylacetate/sodium benzoate and arginine therapy with no long-term adverse effects on mother or fetus. Two children presented with neurocognitive dysfunction, one of these responded dramatically to dietary protein reduction. ASS enzyme activity was not deficient in all patients with biallelic mutations suggesting this test cannot exclude the ASS1 locus in patients with mildly elevated plasma citrulline. Conversely, all symptomatic patients who were tested had deficient activity. We describe four unreported mutations (p.Y291S, p.R272H, p.F72L and p.L88I), as well as the common p.W179R mutation. In Silico algorithms were inconsistent in predicting the pathogenicity of mutations. The cognitive benefit in one patient of protein restriction and the lack of adverse outcome in 7 others restricted from birth, suggest a role for protein restriction and continued monitoring to prevent neurocognitive dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC2597641  PMID: 18925679
ASS1; Liver Failure; Drug Therapy; Pregnancy; DNA Diagnosis; Newborn Screening

Results 1-8 (8)