Genomics

Genomics Publications

Patak J, Gilfert J, Byler M, Neerukonda V, Thiffault I, Cross L, Amudhavalli S, Pacio-Miguez M, Palomares-Bralo M, Garcia-Minaur S, Santos-Simarro F, Powis Z, Alcaraz W, Tang S, Jurgens J, Barry B, England E, Engle E, Hess J, Lebel RR. MAGEL2-related disorders: A study and case series. Clin Genet 2019;Abstract
Pathogenic MAGEL2 variants result in the phenotypes of Chitayat-Hall syndrome (CHS), Schaaf-Yang syndrome (SYS) and Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). We present five patients with mutations in MAGEL2, including the first patient reported with a missense variant, adding to the limited literature. Further, we performed a systematic review of the CHS and SYS literature, assess the overlap between CHS, SYS and PWS, and analyze genotype-phenotype correlations among them. We conclude that there is neither a clinical nor etiological difference between CHS and SYS, and propose that the two syndromes simply be referred to as MAGEL2-related disorders.
Peter VG, Quinodoz M, Pinto-Basto J, Sousa SB, Di Gioia SA, Soares G, Ferraz Leal G, Silva ED, Pescini Gobert R, Miyake N, Matsumoto N, Engle EC, Unger S, Shapiro F, Superti-Furga A, Rivolta C, Campos-Xavier B. The Liberfarb syndrome, a multisystem disorder affecting eye, ear, bone, and brain development, is caused by a founder pathogenic variant in the PISD gene. Genet Med 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: We observed four individuals in two unrelated but consanguineous families from Portugal and Brazil affected by early-onset retinal degeneration, sensorineural hearing loss, microcephaly, intellectual disability, and skeletal dysplasia with scoliosis and short stature. The phenotype precisely matched that of an individual of Azorean descent published in 1986 by Liberfarb and coworkers. METHODS: Patients underwent specialized clinical examinations (including ophthalmological, audiological, orthopedic, radiological, and developmental assessment). Exome and targeted sequencing was performed on selected individuals. Minigene constructs were assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and Sanger sequencing. RESULTS: Affected individuals shared a 3.36-Mb region of autozygosity on chromosome 22q12.2, including a 10-bp deletion (NM_014338.3:c.904-12_904-3delCTATCACCAC), immediately upstream of the last exon of the PISD (phosphatidylserine decarboxylase) gene. Sequencing of PISD from paraffin-embedded tissue from the 1986 case revealed the identical homozygous variant. In HEK293T cells, this variant led to aberrant splicing of PISD transcripts. CONCLUSION: We have identified the genetic etiology of the Liberfarb syndrome, affecting brain, eye, ear, bone, and connective tissue. Our work documents the migration of a rare Portuguese founder variant to two continents and highlights the link between phospholipid metabolism and bone formation, sensory defects, and cerebral development, while raising the possibility of therapeutic phospholipid replacement.
Thomas MG, Maconachie GDE, Constantinescu CS, Chan W-M, Barry B, Hisaund M, Sheth V, Kuht HJ, Dineen RA, Harieaswar S, Engle EC, Gottlob I. Congenital monocular elevation deficiency associated with a novel gene variant. Br J Ophthalmol 2019;Abstract
BACKGROUND: The genetic basis of monocular elevation deficiency (MED) is unclear. It has previously been considered to arise due to a supranuclear abnormality. METHODS: Two brothers with MED were referred to Leicester Royal Infirmary, UK from the local opticians. Their father had bilateral ptosis and was unable to elevate both eyes, consistent with the diagnosis of congenital fibrosis of extraocular muscles (CFEOM). Candidate sequencing was performed in all family members. RESULTS: Both affected siblings (aged 7 and 12 years) were unable to elevate the right eye. Their father had bilateral ptosis, left esotropia and bilateral limitation of elevation. Chin up head posture was present in the older sibling and the father. Bell's phenomenon and vertical rotational vestibulo-ocular reflex were absent in the right eye for both children. Mild bilateral facial nerve palsy was present in the older sibling and the father. Both siblings had slight difficulty with tandem gait. MRI revealed hypoplastic oculomotor nerve. Left anterior insular focal cortical dysplasia was seen in the older sibling. Sequencing of revealed a novel heterozygous variant (c.1263G>C, p.E421D) segregating with the phenotype. This residue is in the C-terminal H12 α-helix of β-tubulin and is one of three putative kinesin binding sites. CONCLUSION: We show that familial MED can arise from a variant and could be considered a limited form of CFEOM. Neurological features such as mild facial palsy and cortical malformations can be present in patients with MED. Thus, in individuals with congenital MED, consideration may be made for mutation screening.
Frints SGM, Hennig F, Colombo R, Jacquemont S, Terhal P, Zimmerman HH, Hunt D, Mendelsohn BA, Kordaß U, Webster R, Sinnema M, Abdul-Rahman O, Suckow V, Suckow V, Fernández-Jaén A, van Roozendaal K, Stevens SJC, Macville MVE, Al-Nasiry S, van Gassen K, Utzig N, Koudijs SM, McGregor L, Maas SM, Baralle D, Dixit A, Wieacker P, Lee M, Lee AS, Engle EC, Houge G, Gradek GA, Douglas AGL, Longman C, Joss S, Velasco D, Hennekam RC, Hirata H, Kalscheuer VM. Deleterious de novo variants of X-linked ZC4H2 in females cause a variable phenotype with neurogenic arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. Hum Mutat 2019;Abstract
Pathogenic variants in the X-linked gene ZC4H2, which encodes a zinc-finger protein, cause an infrequently described syndromic form of arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC) with central and peripheral nervous system involvement. We present genetic and detailed phenotypic information on 23 newly identified families and simplex cases that include 19 affected females from 18 families and 14 affected males from 9 families. Of note, the 15 females with deleterious de novo ZC4H2 variants presented with phenotypes ranging from mild to severe, and their clinical features overlapped with those seen in affected males. By contrast, of the 9 carrier females with inherited ZC4H2 missense variants that were deleterious in affected male relatives, 4 were symptomatic. We also compared clinical phenotypes with previously published cases of both sexes and provide an overview on 48 males and 57 females from 42 families. The spectrum of ZC4H2 defects comprises novel and recurrent mostly inherited missense variants in affected males, and de novo splicing, frameshift, nonsense and partial ZC4H2 deletions in affected females. Pathogenicity of two newly identified missense variants was further supported by studies in zebrafish. We propose ZC4H2 as a good candidate for early genetic testing of males and females with a clinical suspicion of fetal hypo-/akinesia and/or (neurogenic) AMC. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Mathys H, Davila-Velderrain J, Peng Z, Gao F, Mohammadi S, Young JZ, Menon M, He L, Abdurrob F, Jiang X, Martorell AJ, Ransohoff RM, Hafler BP, Bennett DA, Kellis M, Tsai L-H. Author Correction: Single-cell transcriptomic analysis of Alzheimer's disease. Nature 2019;571(7763):E1.Abstract
Change history: In this Article, the Acknowledgements section should have included that the work was supported in part by the Cure Alzheimer's Fund (CAF), and the final NIH grant acknowledged should have been 'U01MH119509' instead of 'RF1AG054012'. In Supplementary Table 2, the column labels 'early.pathology.mean' and 'late.pathology.mean' were reversed in each worksheet (that is, columns Y and Z). These errors have been corrected online.
Whitman MC, Miyake N, Nguyen EH, Bell JL, Matos Ruiz PM, Chan W-M, Di Gioia SA, Mukherjee N, Barry BJ, Bosley TM, Khan AO, Engle EC. Decreased ACKR3 (CXCR7) function causes oculomotor synkinesis in mice and humans. Hum Mol Genet 2019;Abstract
Oculomotor synkinesis is the involuntary movement of the eyes or eyelids with a voluntary attempt at a different movement. The chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its ligand CXCL12 regulate oculomotor nerve development; mice with loss of either molecule have oculomotor synkinesis. In a consanguineous family with congenital ptosis and elevation of the ptotic eyelid with ipsilateral abduction, we identified a co-segregating homozygous missense variant (c.772G > A) in ACKR3, which encodes an atypical chemokine receptor that binds CXCL12 and functions as a scavenger receptor, regulating levels of CXCL12 available for CXCR4 signaling. The mutant protein (p.V258M) is expressed and traffics to the cell surface but has a lower binding affinity for CXCL12. Mice with loss of Ackr3 have variable phenotypes that include misrouting of the oculomotor and abducens nerves. All embryos show oculomotor nerve misrouting, ranging from complete misprojection in the midbrain, to aberrant peripheral branching, to a thin nerve which aberrantly innervates the lateral rectus (as seen in Duane syndrome). The abducens nerve phenotype ranges from complete absence, to aberrant projections within the orbit, to a normal trajectory. Loss of ACKR3 in the midbrain leads to downregulation of CXCR4 protein, consistent with reports that excess CXCL12 causes ligand-induced degradation of CXCR4. Correspondingly, excess CXCL12 applied to ex vivo oculomotor slices causes axon misrouting, similar to inhibition of CXCR4. Thus, ACKR3, through its regulation of CXCL12 levels, is an important regulator of axon guidance in the oculomotor system; complete loss causes oculomotor synkinesis in mice while reduced function causes oculomotor synkinesis in humans.
Unzu C, Planet E, Brandenberg N, Fusil F, Cassano M, Perez-Vargas J, Friedli M, Cosset F-L, Lutolf MP, Wildhaber BE, Trono D. Pharmacological Induction of a Progenitor State for the Efficient Expansion of Primary Human Hepatocytes. Hepatology 2019;69(5):2214-2231.Abstract
The liver is an organ with strong regenerative capacity, yet primary hepatocytes have a low amplification potential in vitro, a major limitation for the cell-based therapy of liver disorders and for ex vivo biological screens. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) may help to circumvent this obstacle but often harbor genetic and epigenetic abnormalities, limiting their potential. Here, we describe the pharmacological induction of proliferative human hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs) through a cocktail of growth factors and small molecules mimicking the signaling events involved in liver regeneration. Human HPCs from healthy donors and pediatric patients proliferated vigorously while maintaining their genomic stability and could be redifferentiated in vitro into metabolically competent cells that supported the replication of hepatitis B and delta viruses. Redifferentiation efficiency was boosted by three-dimensional culture. Finally, transcriptome analysis showed that HPCs were more closely related to mature hepatocytes than iPSC-derived hepatocyte-like cells were. Conclusion: HPC induction holds promise for a variety of applications such as ex vivo disease modeling, personalized drug testing or metabolic studies, and development of a bioartificial liver.
Goldstein JM, Tabebordbar M, Zhu K, Wang LD, Messemer KA, Peacker B, Ashrafi Kakhki S, Gonzalez-Celeiro M, Shwartz Y, Cheng JKW, Xiao R, Barungi T, Albright C, Hsu Y-C, Vandenberghe LH, Wagers AJ. In Situ Modification of Tissue Stem and Progenitor Cell Genomes. Cell Rep 2019;27(4):1254-1264.e7.Abstract
In vivo delivery of genome-modifying enzymes holds significant promise for therapeutic applications and functional genetic screening. Delivery to endogenous tissue stem cells, which provide an enduring source of cell replacement during homeostasis and regeneration, is of particular interest. Here, we use a sensitive Cre/lox fluorescent reporter system to test the efficiency of genome modification following in vivo transduction by adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) in tissue stem and progenitor cells. We combine immunophenotypic analyses with in vitro and in vivo assays of stem cell function to reveal effective targeting of skeletal muscle satellite cells, mesenchymal progenitors, hematopoietic stem cells, and dermal cell subsets using multiple AAV serotypes. Genome modification rates achieved through this system reached >60%, and modified cells retained key functional properties. This study establishes a powerful platform to genetically alter tissue progenitors within their physiological niche while preserving their native stem cell properties and regulatory interactions.
Wan A, Place E, Pierce EA, Comander J. Characterizing variants of unknown significance in rhodopsin: A functional genomics approach. Hum Mutat 2019;40(8):1127-1144.Abstract
Characterizing the pathogenicity of DNA sequence variants of unknown significance (VUS) is a major bottleneck in human genetics, and is increasingly important in determining which patients with inherited retinal diseases could benefit from gene therapy. A library of 210 rhodopsin (RHO) variants from literature and in-house genetic diagnostic testing were created to efficiently detect pathogenic RHO variants that fail to express on the cell surface. This study, while focused on RHO, demonstrates a streamlined, generalizable method for detecting pathogenic VUS. A relatively simple next-generation sequencing-based readout was developed so that a flow cytometry-based assay could be performed simultaneously on all variants in a pooled format, without the need for barcodes or viral transduction. The resulting dataset characterized the surface expression of every RHO library variant with a high degree of reproducibility (r  = 0.92-0.95), recategorizing 37 variants. For example, three retinitis pigmentosa pedigrees were solved by identifying VUS which showed low expression levels (p.G18D, p.G101V, and p.P180T). Results were validated across multiple assays and correlated with clinical disease severity. This study presents a parallelized, higher-throughput cell-based assay for the functional characterization of VUS in RHO, and can be applied more broadly to other inherited retinal disease genes and other disorders.
Khateb S, Nassisi M, Bujakowska KM, Méjécase C, Condroyer C, Antonio A, Foussard M, Démontant V, Mohand-Saïd S, Sahel J-A, Zeitz C, Audo I. Longitudinal Clinical Follow-up and Genetic Spectrum of Patients With Rod-Cone Dystrophy Associated With Mutations in PDE6A and PDE6B. JAMA Ophthalmol 2019;Abstract
Importance: A precise phenotypic characterization of retinal dystrophies is needed for disease modeling as a basis for future therapeutic interventions. Objective: To compare genotype, phenotype, and structural changes in patients with rod-cone dystrophy (RCD) associated with mutations in PDE6A or PDE6B. Design, Setting, and Participants: In a retrospective cohort study conducted in Paris, France, from January 2007 to September 2017, 54 patients from a cohort of 1095 index patients with RCD underwent clinical examination, including personal and familial history, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), color vision, slitlamp examination, full-field electroretinography, kinetic visual fields (VFs), retinophotography, optical coherence tomography, near-infrared fundus autofluorescence, and short-wavelength fundus autofluorescence imaging. Genotyping was performed using microarray analysis, targeted next-generation sequencing, and Sanger sequencing validation with familial segregation when possible. Data were analyzed from September 1, 2017, to February 1, 2018. Clinical variables were subsequently analyzed in 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures: Phenotype and genotype comparison of patients carrying mutations in PDE6A or PDE6B. Results: Of the 54 patients included in the study, 19 patients of 17 families (11 women [58%]; mean [SD] age at diagnosis, 14.83 [10.63] years) carried pathogenic mutations in PDE6A, and 35 patients of 26 families (17 women [49%]; mean [SD] age at diagnosis, 21.10 [11.56] years) had mutations in PDE6B, accounting for prevalences of 1.6% and 2.4%, respectively. Among 49 identified genetic variants, 14 in PDE6A and 15 in PDE6B were novel. Overall, phenotypic analysis revealed no substantial differences between the 2 groups except for night blindness as a presenting symptom that was noted to be more prevalent in the PDE6A than PDE6B group (80% vs 37%, respectively; P = .005). The mean binocular BCVA and VF decrease over time (measured as mean individual slopes coefficients) was comparable between patients with PDE6A and PDE6B mutations: 0.04 (0.12) vs 0.02 (0.05) for BCVA (P = .89) and 14.33 (7.12) vs 13.27 (6.77) for VF (P = .48). Conclusions and Relevance: Mutations in PDE6A and PDE6B accounted for 1.6% and 2.4%, respectively, in a cohort of French patients with RCD. The functional and structural findings reported may constitute the basis of disease modeling that might be used for better prognostic estimation and candidate selection for photoreceptor therapeutic rescue.
Williams LB, Javed A, Sabri A, Morgan DJ, Huff CD, Grigg JR, Heng XT, Khng AJ, Hollink IHIM, Morrison MA, Owen LA, Anderson K, Kinard K, Greenlees R, Novacic D, Nida Sen H, Zein WM, Rodgers GM, Vitale AT, Haider NB, Hillmer AM, Ng PC, Ng PC, Cheng A, Zheng L, Gillies MC, van Slegtenhorst M, van Hagen MP, Missotten TOAR, Farley GL, Polo M, Malatack J, Curtin J, Martin F, Arbuckle S, Alexander SI, Chircop M, Davila S, Digre KB, Jamieson RV, Deangelis MM. ALPK1 missense pathogenic variant in five families leads to ROSAH syndrome, an ocular multisystem autosomal dominant disorder. Genet Med 2019;Abstract
PURPOSE: To identify the molecular cause in five unrelated families with a distinct autosomal dominant ocular systemic disorder we called ROSAH syndrome due to clinical features of retinal dystrophy, optic nerve edema, splenomegaly, anhidrosis, and migraine headache. METHODS: Independent discovery exome and genome sequencing in families 1, 2, and 3, and confirmation in families 4 and 5. Expression of wild-type messenger RNA and protein in human and mouse tissues and cell lines. Ciliary assays in fibroblasts from affected and unaffected family members. RESULTS: We found the heterozygous missense variant in the ɑ-kinase gene, ALPK1, (c.710C>T, [p.Thr237Met]), segregated with disease in all five families. All patients shared the ROSAH phenotype with additional low-grade ocular inflammation, pancytopenia, recurrent infections, and mild renal impairment in some. ALPK1 was notably expressed in retina, retinal pigment epithelium, and optic nerve, with immunofluorescence indicating localization to the basal body of the connecting cilium of the photoreceptors, and presence in the sweat glands. Immunocytofluorescence revealed expression at the centrioles and spindle poles during metaphase, and at the base of the primary cilium. Affected family member fibroblasts demonstrated defective ciliogenesis. CONCLUSION: Heterozygosity for ALPK1, p.Thr237Met leads to ROSAH syndrome, an autosomal dominant ocular systemic disorder.
Hudry E, Vandenberghe LH. Therapeutic AAV Gene Transfer to the Nervous System: A Clinical Reality. Neuron 2019;101(5):839-862.Abstract
Gene transfer has long been a compelling yet elusive therapeutic modality. First mainly considered for rare inherited disorders, gene therapy may open treatment opportunities for more challenging and complex diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Today, examples of striking clinical proof of concept, the first gene therapy drugs coming onto the market, and the emergence of powerful new molecular tools have broadened the number of avenues to target neurological disorders but have also highlighted safety concerns and technology gaps. The vector of choice for many nervous system targets currently is the adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector due to its desirable safety profile and strong neuronal tropism. In aggregate, the clinical success, the preclinical potential, and the technological innovation have made therapeutic AAV drug development a reality, particularly for nervous system disorders. Here, we discuss the rationale, opportunities, limitations, and progress in clinical AAV gene therapy.
Chung DC, Bertelsen M, Lorenz B, Pennesi ME, Leroy BP, Hamel CP, Pierce E, Sallum J, Larsen M, Stieger K, Preising M, Weleber R, Yang P, Place E, Liu E, Schaefer G, DiStefano-Pappas J, Elci OU, McCague S, Wellman JA, High KA, Reape KZ. The Natural History of Inherited Retinal Dystrophy Due to Biallelic Mutations in the RPE65 Gene. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;199:58-70.Abstract
PURPOSE: To delineate the natural history of visual parameters over time in individuals with biallelic RPE65 mutation-associated inherited retinal dystrophy (IRD); describe the range of causative mutations; determine potential genotype/phenotype relationships; and describe the variety of clinical diagnoses. DESIGN: Global, multicenter, retrospective chart review. METHODS: Study Population: Seventy individuals with biallelic RPE65 mutation-associated IRD. PROCEDURES: Data were extracted from patient charts. MEASUREMENTS: Visual acuity (VA), Goldmann visual field (GVF), optical coherence tomography, color vision testing, light sensitivity testing, and electroretinograms (retinal imaging and fundus photography were collected and analyzed when available). RESULTS: VA decreased with age in a nonlinear, positive-acceleration relationship (P < .001). GVF decreased with age (P < .0001 for both V4e and III4e), with faster GVF decrease for III4e stimulus vs V4e (P = .0114, left eye; P = .0076, right eye). On average, a 1-year increase in age decreased III4e GVF by ∼25 sum total degrees in each eye while V4e GVF decreased by ∼37 sum total degrees in each eye, although individual variability was observed. A total of 78 clinical diagnoses and 56 unique RPE65 mutations were recorded, without discernible RPE65 mutation genotype/phenotype relationships. CONCLUSIONS: The number of clinical diagnoses and lack of a consistent RPE65 mutation-to-phenotype correlation underscore the need for genetic testing. Significant relationships between age and worsening VA and GVF highlight the progressive loss of functional retina over time. These data may have implications for optimal timing of treatment for IRD attributable to biallelic RPE65 mutations.
Chan W, Wiggs JL, Sobrin L. The Genetic Influence on Corticosteroid-Induced Ocular Hypertension: A Field Positioned for Discovery. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;202:1-5.Abstract
PURPOSE: To provide evidence that corticosteroid-induced ocular hypertension has a genetic component. DESIGN: Evidence-based perspective. METHODS: We conducted a comprehensive literature search for studies exploring genetic influences on intraocular pressure responses to corticosteroid treatment. RESULTS: Studies demonstrating increased risk of corticosteroid-induced ocular hypertension among first-degree relatives of affected individuals support a genetic contribution to the disease. Family and personal history of primary open-angle glaucoma also increases the risk of corticosteroid-induced intraocular pressure elevation, suggesting common genetic etiologies. A number of studies have attempted to identify predisposing genetic factors; however, reproducible findings have not yet been reported. The recent availability of large data sets with clinical and genetic data for patients affected by corticosteroid-induced ocular hypertension and glaucoma provides new opportunities to study the genetic underpinnings of this important condition. CONCLUSIONS: There is substantial evidence suggesting a genetic component to corticosteroid-related ocular hypertension and glaucoma, but specific genetic risk factors have yet to be identified. The current confluence of large genetic data sets and affordable genetic sequencing technologies has great potential for discovering the genes that increase risk for this blinding complication of corticosteroid therapy.
Iglesias AI, Mishra A, Vitart V, Bykhovskaya Y, Höhn R, Springelkamp H, Cuellar-Partida G, Gharahkhani P, Bailey JCN, Willoughby CE, Li X, Yazar S, Nag A, Khawaja AP, Polašek O, Siscovick D, Mitchell P, Tham YC, Haines JL, Kearns LS, Hayward C, Shi Y, van Leeuwen EM, Taylor KD, Taylor KD, Bonnemaijer P, Rotter JI, Martin NG, Zeller T, Mills RA, Souzeau E, Staffieri SE, Jonas JB, Schmidtmann I, Boutin T, Kang JH, Lucas SEM, Wong TY, Beutel ME, Wilson JF, Wilson JF, Wilson JF, Uitterlinden AG, Vithana EN, Foster PJ, Hysi PG, Hewitt AW, Khor CC, Pasquale LR, Montgomery GW, Klaver CCW, Aung T, Pfeiffer N, Mackey DA, Hammond CJ, Cheng C-Y, Craig JE, Rabinowitz YS, Wiggs JL, Burdon KP, van Duijn CM, Macgregor S. Author Correction: Cross-ancestry genome-wide association analysis of corneal thickness strengthens link between complex and Mendelian eye diseases. Nat Commun 2019;10(1):155.Abstract
Emmanuelle Souzeau, who contributed to analysis of data, was inadvertently omitted from the author list in the originally published version of this Article. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.

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