Publications by authors named "Alyssa L Ritter"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Genotype-phenotype association by echocardiography offers incremental value in patients with Noonan Syndrome with Multiple Lentigines.

Pediatr Res 2020 Dec 14. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

Background: Noonan Syndrome with Multiple Lentigines (NSML) and Noonan Syndrome (NS) can be difficult to differentiate clinically in early childhood. This study aims to describe characteristics of the ventricular septum that may differentiate NSML from NS. We hypothesize that the shape of the ventricular septum determined by echocardiography correlates with genotype and may distinguish patients with NSML from those with NS.

Methods: We analyzed data from 17 NSML and 67 NS patients. Forty normal and 30 sarcomeric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients were included as controls. Septal morphology was qualitatively evaluated, and septal angle was measured quantitatively at end diastole. We recorded the presence of a ventricular septal bulge (VSB) and reviewed genetic testing results for each patient.

Results: The most important findings were a sigmoid septum (71%) and VSB (71%) in NSML. NSML septal angle was decreased compared to the normal and sarcomeric HCM control groups, respectively (149 ± 13 vs. 177 ± 3, p < 0.001; 149 ± 13 vs. 172 ± 7, p < 0.001). NS septal angle was similar to the controls (176 ± 6 vs. 177 ± 3, p > 0.5; 176 ± 6 vs. 172 ± 7, p > 0.5). NSML-linked pathogenic variants were associated with sigmoid septum and VSB.

Conclusions: These findings provide novel phenotypic evidence to clinicians that may offer incremental diagnostic value in counseling families in ambiguous NSML/NS cases.

Impact: Characteristics of the ventricular septum are linked to specific gene variants that cause NSML and NS. Sigmoid septum and VSB are associated with NSML. This novel echocardiographic association may help clinicians distinguish NSML from NS in ambiguous cases. Early distinction between the two may be important, as syndrome-specific therapies may become available in the near future. This study may encourage further research into genotype-phenotype associations in other forms of HCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41390-020-01292-7DOI Listing
December 2020

Further delineation of the clinical spectrum of KAT6B disorders and allelic series of pathogenic variants.

Genet Med 2020 08 19;22(8):1338-1347. Epub 2020 May 19.

Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, CHU Sainte-Justine, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Purpose: Genitopatellar syndrome and Say-Barber-Biesecker-Young-Simpson syndrome are caused by variants in the KAT6B gene and are part of a broad clinical spectrum called KAT6B disorders, whose variable expressivity is increasingly being recognized.

Methods: We herein present the phenotypes of 32 previously unreported individuals with a molecularly confirmed diagnosis of a KAT6B disorder, report 24 new pathogenic KAT6B variants, and review phenotypic information available on all published individuals with this condition. We also suggest a classification of clinical subtypes within the KAT6B disorder spectrum.

Results: We demonstrate that cerebral anomalies, optic nerve hypoplasia, neurobehavioral difficulties, and distal limb anomalies other than long thumbs and great toes, such as polydactyly, are more frequently observed than initially reported. Intestinal malrotation and its serious consequences can be present in affected individuals. Additionally, we identified four children with Pierre Robin sequence, four individuals who had increased nuchal translucency/cystic hygroma prenatally, and two fetuses with severe renal anomalies leading to renal failure. We also report an individual in which a pathogenic variant was inherited from a mildly affected parent.

Conclusion: Our work provides a comprehensive review and expansion of the genotypic and phenotypic spectrum of KAT6B disorders that will assist clinicians in the assessment, counseling, and management of affected individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-0811-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7737399PMC
August 2020

Missense Mutations in NKAP Cause a Disorder of Transcriptional Regulation Characterized by Marfanoid Habitus and Cognitive Impairment.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 11 3;105(5):987-995. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

Division of Human Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Division of Genomic Diagnostics, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; Laboratory of Rare Disease Research, Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan. Electronic address:

NKAP is a ubiquitously expressed nucleoplasmic protein that is currently known as a transcriptional regulatory molecule via its interaction with HDAC3 and spliceosomal proteins. Here, we report a disorder of transcriptional regulation due to missense mutations in the X chromosome gene, NKAP. These mutations are clustered in the C-terminal region of NKAP where NKAP interacts with HDAC3 and post-catalytic spliceosomal complex proteins. Consistent with a role for the C-terminal region of NKAP in embryogenesis, nkap mutant zebrafish with a C-terminally truncated NKAP demonstrate severe developmental defects. The clinical features of affected individuals are highly conserved and include developmental delay, hypotonia, joint contractures, behavioral abnormalities, Marfanoid habitus, and scoliosis. In affected cases, transcriptome analysis revealed the presence of a unique transcriptome signature, which is characterized by the downregulation of long genes with higher exon numbers. These observations indicate the critical role of NKAP in transcriptional regulation and demonstrate that perturbations of the C-terminal region lead to developmental defects in both humans and zebrafish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.09.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6848994PMC
November 2019

A Syndromic Neurodevelopmental Disorder Caused by Mutations in SMARCD1, a Core SWI/SNF Subunit Needed for Context-Dependent Neuronal Gene Regulation in Flies.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 04 14;104(4):596-610. Epub 2019 Mar 14.

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Research Center, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3T 1C5, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H4A 3J1, Canada. Electronic address:

Mutations in several genes encoding components of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex cause neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). Here, we report on five individuals with mutations in SMARCD1; the individuals present with developmental delay, intellectual disability, hypotonia, feeding difficulties, and small hands and feet. Trio exome sequencing proved the mutations to be de novo in four of the five individuals. Mutations in other SWI/SNF components cause Coffin-Siris syndrome, Nicolaides-Baraitser syndrome, or other syndromic and non-syndromic NDDs. Although the individuals presented here have dysmorphisms and some clinical overlap with these syndromes, they lack their typical facial dysmorphisms. To gain insight into the function of SMARCD1 in neurons, we investigated the Drosophila ortholog Bap60 in postmitotic memory-forming neurons of the adult Drosophila mushroom body (MB). Targeted knockdown of Bap60 in the MB of adult flies causes defects in long-term memory. Mushroom-body-specific transcriptome analysis revealed that Bap60 is required for context-dependent expression of genes involved in neuron function and development in juvenile flies when synaptic connections are actively being formed in response to experience. Taken together, we identify an NDD caused by SMARCD1 mutations and establish a role for the SMARCD1 ortholog Bap60 in the regulation of neurodevelopmental genes during a critical time window of juvenile adult brain development when neuronal circuits that are required for learning and memory are formed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.02.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6451697PMC
April 2019

Variable Clinical Manifestations of Xia-Gibbs syndrome: Findings of Consecutively Identified Cases at a Single Children's Hospital.

Am J Med Genet A 2018 09 27;176(9):1890-1896. Epub 2018 Aug 27.

Division of Human Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.

Xia-Gibbs syndrome (XGS) is a recently described neurodevelopmental disorder due to heterozygous loss-of-function AHDC1 mutations. XGS is characterized by global developmental delay, intellectual disability, hypotonia, and sleep abnormalities. Here we report the clinical phenotype of five of six individuals with XGS identified prospectively at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a tertiary children's hospital in the USA. Although all five patients demonstrated common clinical features characterized by developmental delay and characteristic facial features, each of our patients showed unique clinical manifestations. Patient one had craniosynostosis; patient two had sensorineural hearing loss and bicuspid aortic valve; patient three had cutis aplasia; patient four had soft, loose skin; and patient five had a lipoma. Differential diagnoses considered for each patient were quite broad, and included craniosynostosis syndromes, connective tissue disorders, and mitochondrial disorders. Exome sequencing identified a heterozygous, de novo AHDC1 loss-of-function mutation in four of five patients; the remaining patient has a 357kb interstitial deletion of 1p36.11p35.3 including AHDC1. Although it remains unknown whether these unique clinical manifestations are rare symptoms of XGS, our findings indicate that the diagnosis of XGS should be considered even in individuals with additional non-neurological symptoms, as the clinical spectrum of XGS may involve such non-neurological manifestations. Adding to the growing literature on XGS, continued cohort studies are warranted in order to both characterize the clinical spectrum of XGS as well as determine standard of care for patients with this diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.40380DOI Listing
September 2018

Cardiac Fibroma with Ventricular Tachycardia: An Unusual Clinical Presentation of Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome.

Mol Syndromol 2018 Jul 19;9(4):219-223. Epub 2018 May 19.

Division of Human Genetics.

Pediatric cardiac tumors are rare and often benign with an incidence of approximately 0.03-0.32% and can be associated with genetic conditions. For example, approximately 3% of individuals with nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS), also known as Gorlin syndrome, have a cardiac fibroma. NBCCS is also characterized by lamellar or early calcification of the falx, jaw keratocysts, palmar and/or plantar pits, and a predisposition for basal cell carcinomas. Given the management implications of NBCCS, including appropriate cancer screenings and precautions, prompt identification of affected individuals is critical. We report a case of a 6-year-old female presenting with ventricular tachycardia secondary to cardiac fibroma. After diagnosis of recurrent jaw keratocysts, she was clinically and molecularly diagnosed with NBCCS. Identification of a cardiac fibroma should prompt careful assessment of past medical and family history with consideration of a diagnosis of NBCCS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000489056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6103330PMC
July 2018

DOCK3-related neurodevelopmental syndrome: Biallelic intragenic deletion of DOCK3 in a boy with developmental delay and hypotonia.

Am J Med Genet A 2018 01 12;176(1):241-245. Epub 2017 Nov 12.

Division of Human Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Dedicator of cytokinesis (DOCK) family are evolutionary conserved guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for the Rho GTPases, Rac, and Cdc42. DOCK3 functions as a GEF for Rac1, and plays an important role in promoting neurite and axonal growth by stimulating actin dynamics and microtubule assembly pathways in the central nervous system. Here we report a boy with developmental delay, hypotonia, and ataxia due to biallelic DOCK3 deletion. Chromosomal single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarray analysis detected a 170 kb homozygous deletion including exons 6-12 of the DOCK3 gene at 3p21.2. Symptoms of our proband resembles a phenotype of Dock3 knockout mice exhibiting sensorimotor impairments. Furthermore, our proband has clinical similarities with two siblings with compound heterozygous loss-of-function mutations of DOCK3 reported in [Helbig, Mroske, Moorthy, Sajan, and Velinov (); https://doi.org/10.1111/cge.12995]. Biallelic DOCK3 mutations cause a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by unsteady gait, hypotonia, and developmental delay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38517DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5726891PMC
January 2018