Publications by authors named "Alexandre Reymond"

136 Publications

Biallelic truncation variants in ATP9A are associated with a novel autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder.

NPJ Genom Med 2021 Nov 11;6(1):94. Epub 2021 Nov 11.

Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, University of Geneva Medical Faculty, Geneva, 1211, Switzerland.

Intellectual disability (ID) is a highly heterogeneous disorder with hundreds of associated genes. Despite progress in the identification of the genetic causes of ID following the introduction of high-throughput sequencing, about half of affected individuals still remain without a molecular diagnosis. Consanguineous families with affected individuals provide a unique opportunity to identify novel recessive causative genes. In this report, we describe a novel autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder. We identified two consanguineous families with homozygous variants predicted to alter the splicing of ATP9A which encodes a transmembrane lipid flippase of the class II P4-ATPases. The three individuals homozygous for these putatively truncating variants presented with severe ID, motor and speech impairment, and behavioral anomalies. Consistent with a causative role of ATP9A in these patients, a previously described Atp9a-/- mouse model showed behavioral changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41525-021-00255-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8586153PMC
November 2021

Differentially expressed genes reflect disease-induced rather than disease-causing changes in the transcriptome.

Nat Commun 2021 09 24;12(1):5647. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Comparing transcript levels between healthy and diseased individuals allows the identification of differentially expressed genes, which may be causes, consequences or mere correlates of the disease under scrutiny. We propose a method to decompose the observational correlation between gene expression and phenotypes driven by confounders, forward- and reverse causal effects. The bi-directional causal effects between gene expression and complex traits are obtained by Mendelian Randomization integrating summary-level data from GWAS and whole-blood eQTLs. Applying this approach to complex traits reveals that forward effects have negligible contribution. For example, BMI- and triglycerides-gene expression correlation coefficients robustly correlate with trait-to-expression causal effects (r= 0.11, P= 2.0 × 10 and r= 0.13, P= 1.1 × 10), but not detectably with expression-to-trait effects. Our results demonstrate that studies comparing the transcriptome of diseased and healthy subjects are more prone to reveal disease-induced gene expression changes rather than disease causing ones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25805-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8463674PMC
September 2021

Alpha satellite insertion close to an ancestral centromeric region.

Mol Biol Evol 2021 Aug 31. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Human centromeres are mainly composed of alpha satellite DNA hierarchically organized as higher-order repeats (HORs). Alpha satellite dynamics is shown by sequence homogenization in centromeric arrays and by its transfer to other centromeric locations, for example during the maturation of new centromeres. We identified during prenatal aneuploidy diagnosis by FISH a de novo insertion of alpha satellite DNA from the centromere of chromosome 18 (D18Z1) into cytoband 15q26. Although bound by CENP-B, this locus did not acquire centromeric functionality as demonstrated by lack of constriction and absence of CENP-A binding. The insertion was associated with a 2.8 kbp deletion and likely occurred in the paternal germline. The site was enriched in long terminal repeats (LTRs) and located ∼10 Mbp from the location where a centromere was ancestrally seeded and became inactive in the common ancestor of humans and apes 20-25 million years ago. Long-read mapping to the T2T-CHM13 human genome assembly revealed that the insertion derives from a specific region of chromosome 18 centromeric 12-mer HOR array in which the monomer size follows a regular pattern. The rearrangement did not directly disrupt any gene or predicted regulatory element and did not alter the methylation status of the surrounding region, consistent with the absence of phenotypic consequences in the carrier. This case demonstrates a likely rare but new class of structural variation that we name 'alpha satellite insertion'. It also expands our knowledge on alphoid DNA dynamics and conveys the possibility that alphoid arrays can relocate near vestigial centromeric sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msab244DOI Listing
August 2021

Variants in USP48 encoding ubiquitin hydrolase are associated with autosomal dominant non-syndromic hereditary hearing loss.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Sep;30(19):1785-1796

Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Non-Syndromic Hereditary Hearing Loss (NSHHL) is a genetically heterogeneous sensory disorder with about 120 genes already associated. Through exome sequencing (ES) and data aggregation, we identified a family with six affected individuals and one unrelated NSHHL patient with predicted-to-be deleterious missense variants in USP48. We also uncovered an eighth patient presenting unilateral cochlear nerve aplasia and a de novo splice variant in the same gene. USP48 encodes a ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase under evolutionary constraint. Pathogenicity of the variants is supported by in vitro assays that showed that the mutated proteins are unable to hydrolyze tetra-ubiquitin. Correspondingly, three-dimensional representation of the protein containing the familial missense variant is situated in a loop that might influence the binding to ubiquitin. Consistent with a contribution of USP48 to auditory function, immunohistology showed that the encoded protein is expressed in the developing human inner ear, specifically in the spiral ganglion neurons, outer sulcus, interdental cells of the spiral limbus, stria vascularis, Reissner's membrane and in the transient Kolliker's organ that is essential for auditory development. Engineered zebrafish knocked-down for usp48, the USP48 ortholog, presented with a delayed development of primary motor neurons, less developed statoacoustic neurons innervating the ears, decreased swimming velocity and circling swimming behavior indicative of vestibular dysfunction and hearing impairment. Corroboratingly, acoustic startle response assays revealed a significant decrease of auditory response of zebrafish lacking usp48 at 600 and 800 Hz wavelengths. In conclusion, we describe a novel autosomal dominant NSHHL gene through a multipronged approach combining ES, animal modeling, immunohistology and molecular assays.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab145DOI Listing
September 2021

Variants in the degron of AFF3 are associated with intellectual disability, mesomelic dysplasia, horseshoe kidney, and epileptic encephalopathy.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 05;108(5):857-873

GeneDx, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, USA.

The ALF transcription factor paralogs, AFF1, AFF2, AFF3, and AFF4, are components of the transcriptional super elongation complex that regulates expression of genes involved in neurogenesis and development. We describe an autosomal dominant disorder associated with de novo missense variants in the degron of AFF3, a nine amino acid sequence important for its binding to ubiquitin ligase, or with de novo deletions of this region. The sixteen affected individuals we identified, along with two previously reported individuals, present with a recognizable pattern of anomalies, which we named KINSSHIP syndrome (KI for horseshoe kidney, NS for Nievergelt/Savarirayan type of mesomelic dysplasia, S for seizures, H for hypertrichosis, I for intellectual disability, and P for pulmonary involvement), partially overlapping the AFF4-associated CHOPS syndrome. Whereas homozygous Aff3 knockout mice display skeletal anomalies, kidney defects, brain malformations, and neurological anomalies, knockin animals modeling one of the microdeletions and the most common of the missense variants identified in affected individuals presented with lower mesomelic limb deformities like KINSSHIP-affected individuals and early lethality, respectively. Overexpression of AFF3 in zebrafish resulted in body axis anomalies, providing some support for the pathological effect of increased amount of AFF3. The only partial phenotypic overlap of AFF3- and AFF4-associated syndromes and the previously published transcriptome analyses of ALF transcription factors suggest that these factors are not redundant and each contributes uniquely to proper development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.04.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206167PMC
May 2021

Effects of copy number variations on brain structure and risk for psychiatric illness: Large-scale studies from the ENIGMA working groups on CNVs.

Hum Brain Mapp 2021 Feb 21. Epub 2021 Feb 21.

Center for Neuroimaging, Genetics and Genomics, School of Psychology, NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland.

The Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis copy number variant (ENIGMA-CNV) and 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Working Groups (22q-ENIGMA WGs) were created to gain insight into the involvement of genetic factors in human brain development and related cognitive, psychiatric and behavioral manifestations. To that end, the ENIGMA-CNV WG has collated CNV and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from ~49,000 individuals across 38 global research sites, yielding one of the largest studies to date on the effects of CNVs on brain structures in the general population. The 22q-ENIGMA WG includes 12 international research centers that assessed over 533 individuals with a confirmed 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, 40 with 22q11.2 duplications, and 333 typically developing controls, creating the largest-ever 22q11.2 CNV neuroimaging data set. In this review, we outline the ENIGMA infrastructure and procedures for multi-site analysis of CNVs and MRI data. So far, ENIGMA has identified effects of the 22q11.2, 16p11.2 distal, 15q11.2, and 1q21.1 distal CNVs on subcortical and cortical brain structures. Each CNV is associated with differences in cognitive, neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric traits, with characteristic patterns of brain structural abnormalities. Evidence of gene-dosage effects on distinct brain regions also emerged, providing further insight into genotype-phenotype relationships. Taken together, these results offer a more comprehensive picture of molecular mechanisms involved in typical and atypical brain development. This "genotype-first" approach also contributes to our understanding of the etiopathogenesis of brain disorders. Finally, we outline future directions to better understand effects of CNVs on brain structure and behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25354DOI Listing
February 2021

Ophthalmic phenotypes associated with biallelic loss-of-function PCDH12 variants.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 04 2;185(4):1275-1281. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Individuals carrying biallelic loss-of-function mutations in PCDH12 have been reported with three different conditions: the diencephalic-mesencephalic junction dysplasia syndrome 1 (DMJDS1), a disorder characterized by global developmental delay, microcephaly, dystonia, and a midbrain malformation at the diencephalic-mesencephalic junction; cerebral palsy combined with a neurodevelopmental disorder; and cerebellar ataxia with retinopathy. We report an additional patient carrying a homozygous PCDH12 frameshift, whose anamnesis combines the most recurrent DMJDS1 clinical features, that is, global developmental delay, microcephaly, and ataxia, with exudative vitreoretinopathy. This case and previously published DMJDS1 patients presenting with nonspecific visual impairments and ophthalmic disorders suggest that ophthalmic alterations are an integral part of clinical features associated with PCDH12 loss-of-function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62098DOI Listing
April 2021

Mutation-specific pathophysiological mechanisms define different neurodevelopmental disorders associated with SATB1 dysfunction.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 02 28;108(2):346-356. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Rehabilitation and Development, Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Portland, OR 97227, USA.

Whereas large-scale statistical analyses can robustly identify disease-gene relationships, they do not accurately capture genotype-phenotype correlations or disease mechanisms. We use multiple lines of independent evidence to show that different variant types in a single gene, SATB1, cause clinically overlapping but distinct neurodevelopmental disorders. Clinical evaluation of 42 individuals carrying SATB1 variants identified overt genotype-phenotype relationships, associated with different pathophysiological mechanisms, established by functional assays. Missense variants in the CUT1 and CUT2 DNA-binding domains result in stronger chromatin binding, increased transcriptional repression, and a severe phenotype. In contrast, variants predicted to result in haploinsufficiency are associated with a milder clinical presentation. A similarly mild phenotype is observed for individuals with premature protein truncating variants that escape nonsense-mediated decay, which are transcriptionally active but mislocalized in the cell. Our results suggest that in-depth mutation-specific genotype-phenotype studies are essential to capture full disease complexity and to explain phenotypic variability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.01.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895900PMC
February 2021

Rare and de novo coding variants in chromodomain genes in Chiari I malformation.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 01 21;108(1):100-114. Epub 2020 Dec 21.

Department of Pediatrics, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA; Department of Neurology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.

Chiari I malformation (CM1), the displacement of the cerebellum through the foramen magnum into the spinal canal, is one of the most common pediatric neurological conditions. Individuals with CM1 can present with neurological symptoms, including severe headaches and sensory or motor deficits, often as a consequence of brainstem compression or syringomyelia (SM). We conducted whole-exome sequencing (WES) on 668 CM1 probands and 232 family members and performed gene-burden and de novo enrichment analyses. A significant enrichment of rare and de novo non-synonymous variants in chromodomain (CHD) genes was observed among individuals with CM1 (combined p = 2.4 × 10), including 3 de novo loss-of-function variants in CHD8 (LOF enrichment p = 1.9 × 10) and a significant burden of rare transmitted variants in CHD3 (p = 1.8 × 10). Overall, individuals with CM1 were found to have significantly increased head circumference (p = 2.6 × 10), with many harboring CHD rare variants having macrocephaly. Finally, haploinsufficiency for chd8 in zebrafish led to macrocephaly and posterior hindbrain displacement reminiscent of CM1. These results implicate chromodomain genes and excessive brain growth in CM1 pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.12.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820723PMC
January 2021

Inhibition of G-protein signalling in cardiac dysfunction of intellectual developmental disorder with cardiac arrhythmia (IDDCA) syndrome.

J Med Genet 2021 12 10;58(12):815-831. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Neuromuscular Disorders, Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.

Background: Pathogenic variants of encoding the β subunit of the guanine nucleotide-binding protein cause IDDCA syndrome, an autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder associated with cognitive disability and cardiac arrhythmia, particularly severe bradycardia.

Methods: We used echocardiography and telemetric ECG recordings to investigate consequences of loss in mouse.

Results: We delineated a key role of in heart sinus conduction and showed that -inhibitory signalling is essential for parasympathetic control of heart rate (HR) and maintenance of the sympathovagal balance. mice were smaller and had a smaller heart than and , but exhibited better cardiac function. Lower autonomic nervous system modulation through diminished parasympathetic control and greater sympathetic regulation resulted in a higher baseline HR in mice. In contrast, mice exhibited profound bradycardia on treatment with carbachol, while sympathetic modulation of the cardiac stimulation was not altered. Concordantly, transcriptome study pinpointed altered expression of genes involved in cardiac muscle contractility in atria and ventricles of knocked-out mice. Homozygous loss resulted in significantly higher frequencies of sinus arrhythmias. Moreover, we described 13 affected individuals, increasing the IDDCA cohort to 44 patients.

Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that loss of negative regulation of the inhibitory G-protein signalling causes HR perturbations in mice, an effect mainly driven by impaired parasympathetic activity. We anticipate that unravelling the mechanism of signalling in the autonomic control of the heart will pave the way for future drug screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-107015DOI Listing
December 2021

A de novo 13q31.3 microduplication encompassing the miR-17 ~ 92 cluster results in features mirroring those associated with Feingold syndrome 2.

Gene 2020 Aug 27;753:144816. Epub 2020 May 27.

Department of Human and Medical Genetics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Hemizygosity of the MIR17HG gene encoding the miR-17 ~ 92 cluster is associated with Feingold syndrome 2 characterized by intellectual disability, skeletal abnormalities, short stature, and microcephaly. Here, we report on a female with a de novo 13q31.3 microduplication encompassing MIR17HG but excluding GPC5. She presented developmental delay, skeletal and digital abnormalities, and features such as tall stature and macrocephaly mirroring those of Feingold syndrome 2 patients. The limited extent of the proband's rearrangement to the miR cluster and the corresponding normal expression level of the neighboring GPC5 in her cells, together with previously described data on affected individuals of two families carrying overlapping duplications of the miR-17 ~ 92 cluster that comprise part of GPC5, who likewise presented macrocephaly, developmental delay, as well as skeletal, digital and stature abnormalities, allow to define a new syndrome due to independent microduplication of the miR-17 ~ 92 cluster.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2020.144816DOI Listing
August 2020

Pathogenic homozygous variant in POMK gene is the cause of prenatally detected severe ventriculomegaly in two Lithuanian families.

Am J Med Genet A 2020 03 12;182(3):536-542. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

Department of Human and Medical Genetics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Biallelic pathogenic variants in POMK gene are associated with two types of dystroglycanopathies: limb-girdle muscular dystrophy-dystroglycanopathy, type C12 (MDDGC12), and congenital muscular dystrophy-dystroglycanopathy with brain and eye anomalies, type A12 (MDDGA12). These disorders are very rare and have been previously reported in 10 affected individuals. We present two unrelated Lithuanian families with prenatally detected hydrocephalus due to a homozygous nonsense variant in the POMK. The first signs of hydrocephalus in the affected fetuses became evident at 15 weeks of gestation and rapidly progressed, thus these clinical features are compatible with a diagnosis of MDDGA12. The association between pathogenic POMK variants and macrocephaly and severe hydrocephalus has been previously reported only in two families. Clinical and molecular findings presented in this report highlight congenital hydrocephalus as a distinct feature of POMK related disorders and a differentiator from other dystroglycanopathies. These findings further extend the spectrum of MDDGA12 syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.61453DOI Listing
March 2020

The Human-Specific BOLA2 Duplication Modifies Iron Homeostasis and Anemia Predisposition in Chromosome 16p11.2 Autism Individuals.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 11 24;105(5):947-958. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, 1015, Switzerland.

Human-specific duplications at chromosome 16p11.2 mediate recurrent pathogenic 600 kbp BP4-BP5 copy-number variations, which are among the most common genetic causes of autism. These copy-number polymorphic duplications are under positive selection and include three to eight copies of BOLA2, a gene involved in the maturation of cytosolic iron-sulfur proteins. To investigate the potential advantage provided by the rapid expansion of BOLA2, we assessed hematological traits and anemia prevalence in 379,385 controls and individuals who have lost or gained copies of BOLA2: 89 chromosome 16p11.2 BP4-BP5 deletion carriers and 56 reciprocal duplication carriers in the UK Biobank. We found that the 16p11.2 deletion is associated with anemia (18/89 carriers, 20%, p = 4e-7, OR = 5), particularly iron-deficiency anemia. We observed similar enrichments in two clinical 16p11.2 deletion cohorts, which included 6/63 (10%) and 7/20 (35%) unrelated individuals with anemia, microcytosis, low serum iron, or low blood hemoglobin. Upon stratification by BOLA2 copy number, our data showed an association between low BOLA2 dosage and the above phenotypes (8/15 individuals with three copies, 53%, p = 1e-4). In parallel, we analyzed hematological traits in mice carrying the 16p11.2 orthologous deletion or duplication, as well as Bola2 and Bola2 animals. The Bola2-deficient mice and the mice carrying the deletion showed early evidence of iron deficiency, including a mild decrease in hemoglobin, lower plasma iron, microcytosis, and an increased red blood cell zinc-protoporphyrin-to-heme ratio. Our results indicate that BOLA2 participates in iron homeostasis in vivo, and its expansion has a potential adaptive role in protecting against iron deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.09.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6849090PMC
November 2019

De novo splice site variant of ARID1B associated with pathogenesis of Coffin-Siris syndrome.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2019 12 19;7(12):e1006. Epub 2019 Oct 19.

Department of Human and Medical Genetics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Background: Coffin-Siris syndrome is an extremely rare syndrome associated with developmental and congenital anomalies. It is caused by heterozygous pathogenic variants of ARID1A, ARID1B, SMARCA4, SMARCB1, SMARCE1, and SOX11.

Methods: This case study presents the whole exome sequencing of a patient with characteristic clinical features of Coffin-Siris syndrome. Analysis included Sanger sequencing of complementary DNA and bioinformatic analysis of the variant.

Results: Analysis of cDNA Sanger sequencing data revealed that the donor splice site variant led to skipping of exon 19. Further, bioinformatic analysis predicted abnormal splicing in a translational frameshift of 11 amino acids and the creation of a premature termination codon. Results found a novel de novo splice site variant c.5025+2T>C in the ARID1B and truncated 1 633 amino acid protein NP_065783.3:p. (Thr1633Valfs*11).

Conclusion: Truncated ARID1B resulted in loss of the BAF250 domain, which is part of SWI/SNF-like ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complex. The severe clinical manifestation presented by the proband was attributed to the disappearance of the BAF250 domain in the ARID1B protein. Our finding provides strong evidence that this pathogenic variant of exon 19 caused a frameshift mutation in the ARID1B at the terminal exon, resulting in the expression of a severe phenotype of CSS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6900373PMC
December 2019

Developmental trajectories of neuroanatomical alterations associated with the 16p11.2 Copy Number Variations.

Neuroimage 2019 12 5;203:116155. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Department of Biological and Biomedical Engineering, Montreal Neurological Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Most of human genome is present in two copies (maternal and paternal). However, segments of the genome can be deleted or duplicated, and many of these genomic variations (known as Copy Number Variants) are associated with psychiatric disorders. 16p11.2 copy number variants (breakpoint 4-5) confer high risk for neurodevelopmental disorders and are associated with structural brain alterations of large effect-size. Methods used in previous studies were unable to investigate the onset of these alterations and whether they evolve with age. In this study, we aim at characterizing age-related effects of 16p11.2 copy number variants by analyzing a group with a broad age range including younger individuals. A large normative developmental dataset was used to accurately adjust for effects of age. We normalized volumes of segmented brain regions as well as volumes of each voxel defined by tensor-based morphometry. Results show that the total intracranial volumes, the global gray and white matter volumes are respectively higher and lower in deletion and duplication carriers compared to control subjects at 4.5 years of age. These differences remain stable through childhood, adolescence and adulthood until 23 years of age (range: 0.5 to 1.0 Z-score). Voxel-based results are consistent with previous findings in 16p11.2 copy number variant carriers, including increased volume in the calcarine cortex and insula in deletions, compared to controls, with an inverse effect in duplication carriers (1.0 Z-score). All large effect-size voxel-based differences are present at 4.5 years and seem to remain stable until the age of 23. Our results highlight the stability of a neuroimaging endophenotype over 2 decades during which neurodevelopmental symptoms evolve at a rapid pace.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116155DOI Listing
December 2019

Large-scale neuroanatomical study uncovers 198 gene associations in mouse brain morphogenesis.

Nat Commun 2019 08 1;10(1):3465. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, 67404, Illkirch, France.

Brain morphogenesis is an important process contributing to higher-order cognition, however our knowledge about its biological basis is largely incomplete. Here we analyze 118 neuroanatomical parameters in 1,566 mutant mouse lines and identify 198 genes whose disruptions yield NeuroAnatomical Phenotypes (NAPs), mostly affecting structures implicated in brain connectivity. Groups of functionally similar NAP genes participate in pathways involving the cytoskeleton, the cell cycle and the synapse, display distinct fetal and postnatal brain expression dynamics and importantly, their disruption can yield convergent phenotypic patterns. 17% of human unique orthologues of mouse NAP genes are known loci for cognitive dysfunction. The remaining 83% constitute a vast pool of genes newly implicated in brain architecture, providing the largest study of mouse NAP genes and pathways. This offers a complementary resource to human genetic studies and predict that many more genes could be involved in mammalian brain morphogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11431-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6671969PMC
August 2019

Mendelian randomization integrating GWAS and eQTL data reveals genetic determinants of complex and clinical traits.

Nat Commun 2019 07 24;10(1):3300. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified thousands of variants associated with complex traits, but their biological interpretation often remains unclear. Most of these variants overlap with expression QTLs, indicating their potential involvement in regulation of gene expression. Here, we propose a transcriptome-wide summary statistics-based Mendelian Randomization approach (TWMR) that uses multiple SNPs as instruments and multiple gene expression traits as exposures, simultaneously. Applied to 43 human phenotypes, it uncovers 3,913 putatively causal gene-trait associations, 36% of which have no genome-wide significant SNP nearby in previous GWAS. Using independent association summary statistics, we find that the majority of these loci were missed by GWAS due to power issues. Noteworthy among these links is educational attainment-associated BSCL2, known to carry mutations leading to a Mendelian form of encephalopathy. We also find pleiotropic causal effects suggestive of mechanistic connections. TWMR better accounts for pleiotropy and has the potential to identify biological mechanisms underlying complex traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10936-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6656778PMC
July 2019

Duplication in the Gene Associated With Severe CHARGE Syndrome.

Genomics Insights 2019 2;12:1178631019839010. Epub 2019 Apr 2.

Department of Human and Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania.

CHARGE syndrome is an autosomal dominant developmental disorder associated with a constellation of traits involving almost every organ and sensory system, in particular congenital anomalies, including choanal atresia and malformations of the heart, inner ear, and retina. Variants in have been shown to cause CHARGE syndrome. Here, we report the identification of a novel p.Asp2119_Pro2120ins6 duplication variant in a conserved region of in a severely affected boy presenting with 3 and 5 of the CHARGE cardinal major and minor signs, respectively, combined with congenital umbilical hernia, congenital hernia at the linea alba, mildly hypoplastic inferior vermis, slight dilatation of the lateral ventricles, prominent metopic ridge, and hypoglycemic episodes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1178631019839010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6446253PMC
April 2019

Correction: Dose response of the 16p11.2 distal copy number variant on intracranial volume and basal ganglia.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 Mar;25(3):692-695

Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Anzio Road, 7925, Cape Town, South Africa.

Prior to and following the publication of this article the authors noted that the complete list of authors was not included in the main article and was only present in Supplementary Table 1. The author list in the original article has now been updated to include all authors, and Supplementary Table 1 has been removed. All other supplementary files have now been updated accordingly. Furthermore, in Table 1 of this Article, the replication cohort for the row Close relative in data set, n (%) was incorrect. All values have now been corrected to 0(0%). The publishers would like to apologise for this error and the inconvenience it may have caused.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-019-0358-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7608381PMC
March 2020

Breakpoint mapping at nucleotide resolution in X-autosome balanced translocations associated with clinical phenotypes.

Eur J Hum Genet 2019 05 30;27(5):760-771. Epub 2019 Jan 30.

Genetics Division, Department of Morphology and Genetics, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, 04023-900, São Paulo, Brazil.

Precise breakpoint mapping of balanced chromosomal rearrangements is crucial to identify disease etiology. Ten female patients with X-autosome balanced translocations associated with phenotypic alterations were evaluated, by mapping and sequencing their breakpoints. The rearrangements' impact on the expression of disrupted genes, and inferred mechanisms of formation in each case were assessed. For four patients that presented one of the chromosomal breaks in heterochromatic and highly repetitive segments, we combined cytogenomic methods and short-read sequencing to characterize, at nucleotide resolution, breakpoints that occurred in reference genome gaps. Most of rearrangements were possibly formed by non-homologous end joining and have breakpoints at repeat elements. Seven genes were found to be disrupted in six patients. Six of the affected genes showed altered expression, and the functional impairment of three of them were considered pathogenic. One gene disruption was considered potentially pathogenic, and three had uncertain clinical significance. Four patients presented no gene disruptions, suggesting other pathogenic mechanisms. Four genes were considered potentially affected by position effect and the expression abrogation of one of them was confirmed. This study emphasizes the importance of breakpoint-junction characterization at nucleotide resolution in balanced rearrangements to reveal genetic mechanisms associated with the patients' phenotypes, mechanisms of formation that originated the rearrangements, and genomic nature of disrupted DNA sequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-019-0341-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6461923PMC
May 2019

Mutations in MAST1 Cause Mega-Corpus-Callosum Syndrome with Cerebellar Hypoplasia and Cortical Malformations.

Neuron 2018 12 15;100(6):1354-1368.e5. Epub 2018 Nov 15.

Centre de référence des Malformations et Maladies Congénitales du Cervelet et Département de Génétique et Embryologie Médicale, APHP, Hôpital Trousseau, 75012 Paris, France.

Corpus callosum malformations are associated with a broad range of neurodevelopmental diseases. We report that de novo mutations in MAST1 cause mega-corpus-callosum syndrome with cerebellar hypoplasia and cortical malformations (MCC-CH-CM) in the absence of megalencephaly. We show that MAST1 is a microtubule-associated protein that is predominantly expressed in post-mitotic neurons and is present in both dendritic and axonal compartments. We further show that Mast1 null animals are phenotypically normal, whereas the deletion of a single amino acid (L278del) recapitulates the distinct neurological phenotype observed in patients. In animals harboring Mast1 microdeletions, we find that the PI3K/AKT3/mTOR pathway is unperturbed, whereas Mast2 and Mast3 levels are diminished, indicative of a dominant-negative mode of action. Finally, we report that de novo MAST1 substitutions are present in patients with autism and microcephaly, raising the prospect that mutations in this gene give rise to a spectrum of neurodevelopmental diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.10.044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6436622PMC
December 2018

GENCODE reference annotation for the human and mouse genomes.

Nucleic Acids Res 2019 01;47(D1):D766-D773

European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SD, UK.

The accurate identification and description of the genes in the human and mouse genomes is a fundamental requirement for high quality analysis of data informing both genome biology and clinical genomics. Over the last 15 years, the GENCODE consortium has been producing reference quality gene annotations to provide this foundational resource. The GENCODE consortium includes both experimental and computational biology groups who work together to improve and extend the GENCODE gene annotation. Specifically, we generate primary data, create bioinformatics tools and provide analysis to support the work of expert manual gene annotators and automated gene annotation pipelines. In addition, manual and computational annotation workflows use any and all publicly available data and analysis, along with the research literature to identify and characterise gene loci to the highest standard. GENCODE gene annotations are accessible via the Ensembl and UCSC Genome Browsers, the Ensembl FTP site, Ensembl Biomart, Ensembl Perl and REST APIs as well as https://www.gencodegenes.org.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gky955DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6323946PMC
January 2019

Dose response of the 16p11.2 distal copy number variant on intracranial volume and basal ganglia.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 03 3;25(3):584-602. Epub 2018 Oct 3.

Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Anzio Road, 7925, Cape Town, South Africa.

Carriers of large recurrent copy number variants (CNVs) have a higher risk of developing neurodevelopmental disorders. The 16p11.2 distal CNV predisposes carriers to e.g., autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. We compared subcortical brain volumes of 12 16p11.2 distal deletion and 12 duplication carriers to 6882 non-carriers from the large-scale brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging collaboration, ENIGMA-CNV. After stringent CNV calling procedures, and standardized FreeSurfer image analysis, we found negative dose-response associations with copy number on intracranial volume and on regional caudate, pallidum and putamen volumes (β = -0.71 to -1.37; P < 0.0005). In an independent sample, consistent results were obtained, with significant effects in the pallidum (β = -0.95, P = 0.0042). The two data sets combined showed significant negative dose-response for the accumbens, caudate, pallidum, putamen and ICV (P = 0.0032, 8.9 × 10, 1.7 × 10, 3.5 × 10 and 1.0 × 10, respectively). Full scale IQ was lower in both deletion and duplication carriers compared to non-carriers. This is the first brain MRI study of the impact of the 16p11.2 distal CNV, and we demonstrate a specific effect on subcortical brain structures, suggesting a neuropathological pattern underlying the neurodevelopmental syndromes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-018-0118-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7042770PMC
March 2020

Rare variants in the genetic background modulate cognitive and developmental phenotypes in individuals carrying disease-associated variants.

Genet Med 2019 04 7;21(4):816-825. Epub 2018 Sep 7.

CHU Nantes, Medical genetics department, Nantes, France.

Purpose: To assess the contribution of rare variants in the genetic background toward variability of neurodevelopmental phenotypes in individuals with rare copy-number variants (CNVs) and gene-disruptive variants.

Methods: We analyzed quantitative clinical information, exome sequencing, and microarray data from 757 probands and 233 parents and siblings who carry disease-associated variants.

Results: The number of rare likely deleterious variants in functionally intolerant genes ("other hits") correlated with expression of neurodevelopmental phenotypes in probands with 16p12.1 deletion (n=23, p=0.004) and in autism probands carrying gene-disruptive variants (n=184, p=0.03) compared with their carrier family members. Probands with 16p12.1 deletion and a strong family history presented more severe clinical features (p=0.04) and higher burden of other hits compared with those with mild/no family history (p=0.001). The number of other hits also correlated with severity of cognitive impairment in probands carrying pathogenic CNVs (n=53) or de novo pathogenic variants in disease genes (n=290), and negatively correlated with head size among 80 probands with 16p11.2 deletion. These co-occurring hits involved known disease-associated genes such as SETD5, AUTS2, and NRXN1, and were enriched for cellular and developmental processes.

Conclusion: Accurate genetic diagnosis of complex disorders will require complete evaluation of the genetic background even after a candidate disease-associated variant is identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-018-0266-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6405313PMC
April 2019

Quantifying the Effects of 16p11.2 Copy Number Variants on Brain Structure: A Multisite Genetic-First Study.

Biol Psychiatry 2018 08 27;84(4):253-264. Epub 2018 Mar 27.

Service of Medical Genetics, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: 16p11.2 breakpoint 4 to 5 copy number variants (CNVs) increase the risk for developing autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and language and cognitive impairment. In this multisite study, we aimed to quantify the effect of 16p11.2 CNVs on brain structure.

Methods: Using voxel- and surface-based brain morphometric methods, we analyzed structural magnetic resonance imaging collected at seven sites from 78 individuals with a deletion, 71 individuals with a duplication, and 212 individuals without a CNV.

Results: Beyond the 16p11.2-related mirror effect on global brain morphometry, we observe regional mirror differences in the insula (deletion > control > duplication). Other regions are preferentially affected by either the deletion or the duplication: the calcarine cortex and transverse temporal gyrus (deletion > control; Cohen's d > 1), the superior and middle temporal gyri (deletion < control; Cohen's d < -1), and the caudate and hippocampus (control > duplication; -0.5 > Cohen's d > -1). Measures of cognition, language, and social responsiveness and the presence of psychiatric diagnoses do not influence these results.

Conclusions: The global and regional effects on brain morphometry due to 16p11.2 CNVs generalize across site, computational method, age, and sex. Effect sizes on neuroimaging and cognitive traits are comparable. Findings partially overlap with results of meta-analyses performed across psychiatric disorders. However, the lack of correlation between morphometric and clinical measures suggests that CNV-associated brain changes contribute to clinical manifestations but require additional factors for the development of the disorder. These findings highlight the power of genetic risk factors as a complement to studying groups defined by behavioral criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.02.1176DOI Listing
August 2018

KIAA1109 Variants Are Associated with a Severe Disorder of Brain Development and Arthrogryposis.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 01 28;102(1):116-132. Epub 2017 Dec 28.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter EX1 2ED, UK.

Whole-exome and targeted sequencing of 13 individuals from 10 unrelated families with overlapping clinical manifestations identified loss-of-function and missense variants in KIAA1109 allowing delineation of an autosomal-recessive multi-system syndrome, which we suggest to name Alkuraya-Kučinskas syndrome (MIM 617822). Shared phenotypic features representing the cardinal characteristics of this syndrome combine brain atrophy with clubfoot and arthrogryposis. Affected individuals present with cerebral parenchymal underdevelopment, ranging from major cerebral parenchymal thinning with lissencephalic aspect to moderate parenchymal rarefaction, severe to mild ventriculomegaly, cerebellar hypoplasia with brainstem dysgenesis, and cardiac and ophthalmologic anomalies, such as microphthalmia and cataract. Severe loss-of-function cases were incompatible with life, whereas those individuals with milder missense variants presented with severe global developmental delay, syndactyly of 2 and 3 toes, and severe muscle hypotonia resulting in incapacity to stand without support. Consistent with a causative role for KIAA1109 loss-of-function/hypomorphic variants in this syndrome, knockdowns of the zebrafish orthologous gene resulted in embryos with hydrocephaly and abnormally curved notochords and overall body shape, whereas published knockouts of the fruit fly and mouse orthologous genes resulted in lethality or severe neurological defects reminiscent of the probands' features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.12.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5777449PMC
January 2018

Slightly deleterious genomic variants and transcriptome perturbations in Down syndrome embryonic selection.

Genome Res 2018 01 13;28(1):1-10. Epub 2017 Dec 13.

Department of Genetic Medicine and Development, University of Geneva Medical School, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland.

The majority of aneuploid fetuses are spontaneously miscarried. Nevertheless, some aneuploid individuals survive despite the strong genetic insult. Here, we investigate if the survival probability of aneuploid fetuses is affected by the genome-wide burden of slightly deleterious variants. We analyzed two cohorts of live-born Down syndrome individuals (388 genotyped samples and 16 fibroblast transcriptomes) and observed a deficit of slightly deleterious variants on Chromosome 21 and decreased transcriptome-wide variation in the expression level of highly constrained genes. We interpret these results as signatures of embryonic selection, and propose a genetic handicap model whereby an individual bearing an extremely severe deleterious variant (such as aneuploidy) could escape embryonic lethality if the genome-wide burden of slightly deleterious variants is sufficiently low. This approach can be used to study the composition and effect of the numerous slightly deleterious variants in humans and model organisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.228411.117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5749173PMC
January 2018
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