Grant EP, Im K, Ahtam B, Laurentys CT, Chan W-M, Brainard M, Chew S, Drottar M, Robson CD, Drmic I, Engle EC. Altered White Matter Organization in the TUBB3 E410K Syndrome. Cereb Cortex 2018;Abstract
Seven unrelated individuals (four pediatric, three adults) with the TUBB3 E410K syndrome, harboring identical de novo heterozygous TUBB3 c.1228 G>A mutations, underwent neuropsychological testing and neuroimaging. Despite the absence of cortical malformations, they have intellectual and social disabilities. To search for potential etiologies for these deficits, we compared their brain's structural and white matter organization to 22 controls using structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. Diffusion images were processed to calculate fractional anisotropy (FA) and perform tract reconstructions. Cortical parcellation-based network analysis and gyral topology-based FA analyses were performed. Major interhemispheric, projection and intrahemispheric tracts were manually segmented. Subjects had decreased corpus callosum volume and decreased network efficiency. While only pediatric subjects had diffuse decreases in FA predominantly affecting mid- and long-range tracts, only adult subjects had white matter volume loss associated with decreased cortical surface area. All subjects showed aberrant corticospinal tract trajectory and bilateral absence of the dorsal language network long segment. Furthermore, pediatric subjects had more tracts with decreased FA compared with controls than did adult subjects. These findings define a TUBB3 E410K neuroimaging endophenotype and lead to the hypothesis that the age-related changes are due to microscopic intrahemispheric misguided axons that are pruned during maturation.
Latremoliere A, Cheng L, DeLisle M, Wu C, Chew S, Hutchinson EB, Sheridan A, Alexandre C, Latremoliere F, Sheu S-H, Golidy S, Omura T, Huebner EA, Fan Y, Whitman MC, Nguyen E, Hermawan C, Pierpaoli C, Tischfield MA, Woolf CJ, Engle EC. Neuronal-Specific TUBB3 Is Not Required for Normal Neuronal Function but Is Essential for Timely Axon Regeneration. Cell Rep 2018;24(7):1865-1879.e9.Abstract
We generated a knockout mouse for the neuronal-specific β-tubulin isoform Tubb3 to investigate its role in nervous system formation and maintenance. Tubb3 mice have no detectable neurobehavioral or neuropathological deficits, and upregulation of mRNA and protein of the remaining β-tubulin isotypes results in equivalent total β-tubulin levels in Tubb3 and wild-type mice. Despite similar levels of total β-tubulin, adult dorsal root ganglia lacking TUBB3 have decreased growth cone microtubule dynamics and a decreased neurite outgrowth rate of 22% in vitro and in vivo. The effect of the 22% slower growth rate is exacerbated for sensory recovery, where fibers must reinnervate the full volume of the skin to recover touch function. Overall, these data reveal that, while TUBB3 is not required for formation of the nervous system, it has a specific role in the rate of peripheral axon regeneration that cannot be replaced by other β-tubulins.
Hudry E, Andres-Mateos E, Lerner EP, Volak A, Cohen O, Hyman BT, Maguire CA, Vandenberghe LH. Efficient Gene Transfer to the Central Nervous System by Single-Stranded Anc80L65. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 2018;10:197-209.Abstract
Adeno-associated viral vectors (AAVs) have demonstrated potential in applications for neurologic disorders, and the discovery that some AAVs can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) after intravenous injection has further expanded these opportunities for non-invasive brain delivery. Anc80L65, a novel AAV capsid designed from reconstruction of the viral evolutionary lineage, has previously demonstrated robust transduction capabilities after local delivery in various tissues such as liver, retina, or cochlea, compared with conventional AAVs. Here, we compared the transduction efficacy of Anc80L65 with conventional AAV9 in the CNS after intravenous, intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.), or intraparenchymal injections. Anc80L65 was more potent at targeting the brain and spinal cord after intravenous injection than AAV9, and mostly transduced astrocytes and a wide range of neuronal subpopulations. Although the efficacy of Anc80L65 and AAV9 is similar after direct intraparenchymal injection in the striatum, Anc80L65's diffusion throughout the CNS was more extensive than AAV9 after i.c.v. infusion, leading to widespread expression in the cerebellum. These findings demonstrate that Anc80L65 is a highly efficient gene transfer vector for the murine CNS. Systemic injection of Anc80L65 leads to notable expression in the CNS that does not rely on a self-complementary genome. These data warrant further testing in larger animal models.
Pasquale LR, Kang JH, Fan BJ, Levkovitch-Verbin H, Wiggs JL. LOXL1 Polymorphisms: Genetic Biomarkers that Presage Environmental Determinants of Exfoliation Syndrome. J Glaucoma 2018;27 Suppl 1:S20-S23.Abstract
An agnostic high throughput search of the genome revealed a robust association between LOXL1 genetic polymorphisms and exfoliation syndrome (XFS), a discovery that likely would not have been possible with candidate or family-based gene search strategies. While questions remain regarding how LOXL1 gene variants contribute to XFS pathogenesis, it is clear that the frequencies of disease-related alleles do not track with the varying disease burden throughout the world, prompting a search for environmental risk factors. A geo-medicine approach revealed that disease load seemed to increase as a function of the distance from the equator. The exact reason for this extraequatorial disease distribution pattern remains unclear, but a greater amount of time spent outdoors is a robust risk factor for XFS, suggesting climatic factors such as ocular solar exposure and colder ambient temperature may be involved in disease pathogenesis. Prospective studies have also implicated higher coffee consumption and lower dietary folate intake in association with incident XFS. The discovery of environmental risk factors for XFS suggests that preventive measures may help to reduce ocular morbidity from XFS.
Dabul ANG, Avaca-Crusca JS, Van Tyne D, Gilmore MS, Camargo ILBC. Resistance in In Vitro Selected Tigecycline-Resistant Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Sequence Type 5 Is Driven by Mutations in mepR and mepA Genes. Microb Drug Resist 2018;24(5):519-526.Abstract
A tigecycline-susceptible (TGC-S) Sequence Type (ST) 5 clinical methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strain was cultured in escalating levels of tigecycline, yielding mutants eightfold more resistant. Their genomes were sequenced to identify genetic alterations, resulting in resistance. Alterations in rpsJ, commonly related to tigecycline resistance, were also investigated. Tigecycline resistance was mediated by loss-of-function mutations in the transcriptional repressor mepR, resulting in derepression of the efflux pump mepA. Increased levels of resistance were obtained by successive mutations in mepA itself. No alterations in RpsJ were observed in selected strains, but we observed a K57M substitution, previously correlated with resistance, among TGC-S clinical strains. Thus, the pathway to tigecycline resistance in CC5 MRSA in vitro appears to be derepression of mep operon as the result of mepR loss-of-function mutation, followed by alterations in MepA efflux pump. This shows that other evolutionary pathways, besides mutation of rpsJ, are available for evolving tigecycline resistance in CC5 MRSA.
O'Connell AE, Zhou F, Shah MS, Murphy Q, Rickner H, Kelsen J, Boyle J, Doyle JJ, Gangwani B, Thiagarajah JR, Kamin DS, Goldsmith JD, Richmond C, Breault DT, Agrawal PB. Neonatal-Onset Chronic Diarrhea Caused by Homozygous Nonsense WNT2B Mutations. Am J Hum Genet 2018;103(1):131-137.Abstract
Homozygous nonsense mutations in WNT2B were identified in three individuals from two unrelated families with severe, neonatal-onset osmotic diarrhea after whole-exome sequencing was performed on trios from the two families. Intestinal biopsy samples from affected individuals were used for histology and immunofluorescence and to generate enteroids ex vivo. Histopathologic evaluation demonstrated chronic inflammatory changes in the stomach, duodenum, and colon. Immunofluorescence demonstrated diminished staining for OLFM4, a marker for intestinal stem cells (ISCs). The enteroids generated from WNT2B-deficient intestinal epithelium could not be expanded and did not survive passage. Addition of CHIR-99021 (a GSK3A and GSK3B inhibitor and activator of canonical WNT/β-CATENIN signaling) could not rescue WNT2B-deficient enteroids. Addition of supplemental recombinant murine WNT2B was able to perpetuate small enteroids for multiple passages but failed to expand their number. Enteroids showed a 10-fold increase in the expression of LEF1 mRNA and a 100-fold reduction in TLR4 expression, compared with controls by quantitative RT-PCR, indicating alterations in canonical WNT and microbial pattern-recognition signaling. In summary, individuals with homozygous nonsense mutations in WNT2B demonstrate severe intestinal dysregulation associated with decreased ISC number and function, likely explaining their diarrheal phenotype. WNT2B deficiency should be considered for individuals with neonatal-onset diarrhea.
Gamazon ER, Segrè AV, van de Bunt M, Wen X, Xi HS, Hormozdiari F, Ongen H, Konkashbaev A, Derks EM, Aguet F, Quan J, Quan J, Nicolae DL, Eskin E, Kellis M, Getz G, McCarthy MI, Dermitzakis ET, Cox NJ, Ardlie KG. Using an atlas of gene regulation across 44 human tissues to inform complex disease- and trait-associated variation. Nat Genet 2018;50(7):956-967.Abstract
We apply integrative approaches to expression quantitative loci (eQTLs) from 44 tissues from the Genotype-Tissue Expression project and genome-wide association study data. About 60% of known trait-associated loci are in linkage disequilibrium with a cis-eQTL, over half of which were not found in previous large-scale whole blood studies. Applying polygenic analyses to metabolic, cardiovascular, anthropometric, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative traits, we find that eQTLs are significantly enriched for trait associations in relevant pathogenic tissues and explain a substantial proportion of the heritability (40-80%). For most traits, tissue-shared eQTLs underlie a greater proportion of trait associations, although tissue-specific eQTLs have a greater contribution to some traits, such as blood pressure. By integrating information from biological pathways with eQTL target genes and applying a gene-based approach, we validate previously implicated causal genes and pathways, and propose new variant and gene associations for several complex traits, which we replicate in the UK BioBank and BioVU.
Ismail AM, Cui T, Dommaraju K, Singh G, Dehghan S, Seto J, Shrivastava S, Fedorova NB, Gupta N, Stockwell TB, Madupu R, Heim A, Kajon AE, Romanowski EG, Kowalski RP, Malathi J, Therese KL, Madhavan HN, Zhang Q, Ferreyra LJ, Jones MS, Rajaiya J, Dyer DW, Chodosh J, Seto D. Genomic analysis of a large set of currently-and historically-important human adenovirus pathogens. Emerg Microbes Infect 2018;7(1):10.Abstract
Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) are uniquely important "model organisms" as they have been used to elucidate fundamental biological processes, are recognized as complex pathogens, and are used as remedies for human health. As pathogens, HAdVs may effect asymptomatic or mild and severe symptomatic disease upon their infection of respiratory, ocular, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary systems. High-resolution genomic data have enhanced the understanding of HAdV epidemiology, with recombination recognized as an important and major pathway in the molecular evolution and genesis of emergent HAdV pathogens. To support this view and to actualize an algorithm for identifying, characterizing, and typing novel HAdVs, we determined the DNA sequence of 95 isolates from archives containing historically important pathogens and collections housing currently circulating strains to be sequenced. Of the 85 samples that were completely sequenced, 18 novel recombinants within species HAdV-B and D were identified. Two HAdV-D genomes were found to contain novel penton base and fiber genes with significant divergence from known molecular types. In this data set, we found additional isolates of HAdV-D53 and HAdV-D58, two novel genotypes recognized recently using genomics. This supports the thesis that novel HAdV genotypes are not limited to "one-time" appearances of the prototype but are of importance in HAdV epidemiology. These data underscore the significance of lateral genomic transfer in HAdV evolution and reinforce the potential public health impact of novel genotypes of HAdVs emerging in the population.
Marsh AP, Edwards TJ, Galea C, Cooper HM, Engle EC, Jamuar SS, Méneret A, Moutard M-L, Nava C, Rastetter A, Robinson G, Rouleau G, Roze E, Spencer-Smith M, Trouillard O, de Villemeur TB, Walsh CA, Yu TW, Yu TW, Heron D, Sherr EH, Richards LJ, Depienne C, Leventer RJ, Lockhart PJ. DCC mutation update: Congenital mirror movements, isolated agenesis of the corpus callosum, and developmental split brain syndrome. Hum Mutat 2018;39(1):23-39.Abstract
The deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) gene encodes the netrin-1 (NTN1) receptor DCC, a transmembrane protein required for the guidance of commissural axons. Germline DCC mutations disrupt the development of predominantly commissural tracts in the central nervous system (CNS) and cause a spectrum of neurological disorders. Monoallelic, missense, and predicted loss-of-function DCC mutations cause congenital mirror movements, isolated agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC), or both. Biallelic, predicted loss-of-function DCC mutations cause developmental split brain syndrome (DSBS). Although the underlying molecular mechanisms leading to disease remain poorly understood, they are thought to stem from reduced or perturbed NTN1 signaling. Here, we review the 26 reported DCC mutations associated with abnormal CNS development in humans, including 14 missense and 12 predicted loss-of-function mutations, and discuss their associated clinical characteristics and diagnostic features. We provide an update on the observed genotype-phenotype relationships of congenital mirror movements, isolated ACC and DSBS, and correlate this to our current understanding of the biological function of DCC in the development of the CNS. All mutations and their associated phenotypes were deposited into a locus-specific LOVD (
Zhang Q, Jing S, Cheng Z, Yu Z, Dehghan S, Shamsaddini A, Yan Y, Li M, Seto D. Comparative genomic analysis of two emergent human adenovirus type 14 respiratory pathogen isolates in China reveals similar yet divergent genomes. Emerg Microbes Infect 2017;6(11):e92.Abstract
Human adenovirus type 14 (HAdV-B14p) was originally identified as an acute respiratory disease (ARD) pathogen in The Netherlands in 1955. For approximately fifty years, few sporadic infections were observed. In 2005, HAdV-B14p1, a genomic variant, re-emerged and was associated with several large ARD outbreaks across the U.S. and, subsequently, in Canada, the U.K., Ireland, and China. This strain was associated with an unusually higher fatality rate than previously reported for both this prototype and other HAdV types in general. In China, HAdV-B14 was first observed in 2010, when two unrelated HAdV-B14-associated ARD cases were reported in Southern China (GZ01) and Northern China (BJ430), followed by three subsequent outbreaks. While comparative genomic analysis, including indel analysis, shows that the three China isolates, with whole genome data available, are similar to the de Wit prototype, all are divergent from the U.S. strain (303600; 2007). Although the genomes of strains GZ01 and BJ430 are nearly identical, as per their genome type characterization and percent identities, they are subtly divergent in their genome mutation patterns. These genomes indicate possibly two lineages of HAdV-B14 and independent introductions into China from abroad, or subsequent divergence from one; CHN2012 likely represents a separate sub-lineage. Observations of these simultaneously reported emergent strains in China add to the understanding of the circulation, epidemiology, and evolution of these HAdV pathogens, as well as provide a foundation for developing effective vaccines and public health strategies, including nationwide surveillance in anticipation of larger outbreaks with potentially higher fatality rates associated with HAdV-B14p1.
Telegrafi A, Webb BD, Robbins SM, Speck-Martins CE, FitzPatrick D, Fleming L, Redett R, Dufke A, Houge G, van Harssel JJT, Verloes A, Robles A, Manoli I, Engle EC, Engle EC, Jabs EW, Valle D, Carey J, Hoover-Fong JE, Sobreira NLM. Identification of STAC3 variants in non-Native American families with overlapping features of Carey-Fineman-Ziter syndrome and Moebius syndrome. Am J Med Genet A 2017;173(10):2763-2771.Abstract
Horstick et al. (2013) previously reported a homozygous p.Trp284Ser variant in STAC3 as the cause of Native American myopathy (NAM) in 5 Lumbee Native American families with congenital hypotonia and weakness, cleft palate, short stature, ptosis, kyphoscoliosis, talipes deformities, and susceptibility to malignant hyperthermia (MH). Here we present two non-Native American families, who were found to have STAC3 pathogenic variants. The first proband and her affected older sister are from a consanguineous Qatari family with a suspected clinical diagnosis of Carey-Fineman-Ziter syndrome (CFZS) based on features of hypotonia, myopathic facies with generalized weakness, ptosis, normal extraocular movements, cleft palate, growth delay, and kyphoscoliosis. We identified the homozygous c.851G>C;p.Trp284Ser variant in STAC3 in both sisters. The second proband and his affected sister are from a non-consanguineous, Puerto Rican family who was evaluated for a possible diagnosis of Moebius syndrome (MBS). His features included facial and generalized weakness, minimal limitation of horizontal gaze, cleft palate, and hypotonia, and he has a history of MH. The siblings were identified to be compound heterozygous for STAC3 variants c.851G>C;p.Trp284Ser and c.763_766delCTCT;p.Leu255IlefsX58. Given the phenotypic overlap of individuals with CFZS, MBS, and NAM, we screened STAC3 in 12 individuals diagnosed with CFZS and in 50 individuals diagnosed with MBS or a congenital facial weakness disorder. We did not identify any rare coding variants in STAC3. NAM should be considered in patients presenting with facial and generalized weakness, normal or mildly abnormal extraocular movement, hypotonia, cleft palate, and scoliosis, particularly if there is a history of MH.
Srivastava S, Gubbels CS, Dies K, Fulton A, Yu T, Sahin M. Increased Survival and Partly Preserved Cognition in a Patient With ACO2-Related Disease Secondary to a Novel Variant. J Child Neurol 2017;32(9):840-845.Abstract
ACO2 encodes aconitase 2, catalyzing the second step of the tricarboxylic acid. To date, there are only 6 reported families with 5 unique ACO2 mutations. Affected individuals can develop intellectual disability, epilepsy, brain atrophy, hypotonia, ataxia, optic atrophy, and retinal degeneration. Here, we report an 18-year-old boy with a novel ACO2 variant discovered on whole-exome sequencing. He presented with childhood-onset ataxia, impaired self-help skills comparable to severe-profound intellectual disability, intractable epilepsy, cerebellar atrophy, peripheral neuropathy, optic atrophy, and pigmentary retinopathy. His variant is the sixth unique ACO2 mutation. In addition, compared to mild cases (isolated optic atrophy) and severe cases (infantile death), our patient may be moderately affected, evident by increased survival and some preserved cognition (ability to speak full sentences and follow commands), which is a novel presentation. This case expands the disease spectrum to include increased survival with partly spared cognition.
Wang L, Xiao R, Andres-Mateos E, Vandenberghe LH. Single stranded adeno-associated virus achieves efficient gene transfer to anterior segment in the mouse eye. PLoS One 2017;12(8):e0182473.Abstract
Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are used extensively as a gene delivery vehicle for retinal gene therapy, yet its ability to target the anterior segment of the eye, critical to unlocking therapeutic opportunities, is less characterized. Previously, self-complimentary (sc) AAV was shown to be necessary for transduction of the cornea and trabecular meshwork (TM), limiting the size of the gene transfer cassette, likely due to a block in second strand synthesis thought to be required for functional transduction. Here, we evaluated several AAV capsids in a single stranded (ss) genome conformation for their ability to overcome the need for scAAV for targeting corneal endothelium and TM. AAV2, 8, and a recently synthetically developed AAV called Anc80L65 were evaluated in vitro and in vivo by intracameral injection in mice. Results show that although scAAV2 demonstrated superior infectivity in vitro including Human Trabecular meshwork (HTM) immortalized cell lines; Anc80L65 transduced following a single intracameral injection efficiently all components of the mouse anterior segment, including the TM, corneal stroma, and endothelial cells. These results suggest that Anc80L65 is able to overcome the requirement for scAAV genomes to enable TM and corneal targeting, expanding the potential experimental and therapeutic use of AAV gene transfer in the anterior segment of the eye.
Wang T, Huang T, Heianza Y, Sun D, Zheng Y, Ma W, Jensen MK, Kang JH, Wiggs JL, Pasquale LR, Rimm EB, Manson JAE, Hu FB, Willett WC, Qi L. Genetic Susceptibility, Change in Physical Activity, and Long-term Weight Gain. Diabetes 2017;66(10):2704-2712.Abstract
Whether change in physical activity over time modifies the genetic susceptibility to long-term weight gain is unknown. We calculated a BMI-genetic risk score (GRS) based on 77 BMI-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and a body fat percentage (BF%)-GRS based on 12 BF%-associated SNPs in 9,390 women from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and 5,291 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS). We analyzed the interactions between each GRS and change in physical activity on BMI/body weight change within five 4-year intervals from 1986 to 2006 using multivariable generalized linear models with repeated-measures analyses. Both the BMI-GRS and the BF%-GRS were associated with long-term increases in BMI/weight, and change in physical activity consistently interacted with the BF%-GRS on BMI change in the NHS (P for interaction = 0.025) and HPFS (P for interaction = 0.001). In the combined cohorts, 4-year BMI change per 10-risk allele increment was -0.02 kg/m(2) among participants with greatest increase in physical activity and 0.24 kg/m(2) among those with greatest decrease in physical activity (P for interaction < 0.001), corresponding to 0.01 kg versus 0.63 kg weight changes every 4 years (P for interaction = 0.001). Similar but marginal interactions were observed for the BMI-GRS (P for interaction = 0.045). Our data indicate that the genetic susceptibility to weight gain may be diminished by increasing physical activity.
Huang X, Zhou G, Wu W, Duan Y, Ma G, Song J, Xiao R, Vandenberghe L, Zhang F, D'Amore PA, Lei H. Genome editing abrogates angiogenesis in vivo. Nat Commun 2017;8(1):112.Abstract
Angiogenesis, in which vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) 2 plays an essential role, is associated with a variety of human diseases including proliferative diabetic retinopathy and wet age-related macular degeneration. Here we report that a system of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated endonuclease (Cas)9 from Streptococcus pyogenes (SpCas9) is used to deplete VEGFR2 in vascular endothelial cells (ECs), whereby the expression of SpCas9 is driven by an endothelial-specific promoter of intercellular adhesion molecule 2. We further show that recombinant AAV serotype 1 (rAAV1) transduces ECs of pathologic vessels, and that editing of genomic VEGFR2 locus using rAAV1-mediated CRISPR/Cas9 abrogates angiogenesis in the mouse models of oxygen-induced retinopathy and laser-induced choroid neovascularization. This work establishes a strong foundation for genome editing as a strategy to treat angiogenesis-associated diseases.Abnormal angiogenesis causes many ocular diseases. Here the authors employ CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology to silence VEGFR2, a major regulator of angiogenesis, in retinal endothelium and abrogate angiogenesis in the mouse models of oxygen-induced retinopathy and laser-induced choroid neovascularization.