Publications by authors named "Arran McBride"

5 Publications

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p21 protein-activated kinase 1 is associated with severe regressive autism, and epilepsy.

Clin Genet 2019 11 13;96(5):449-455. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Department of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The p21-activated kinase (PAK) family of proteins function as key effectors of RHO family GTPases in mammalian cells to regulate many pathways including Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK and Wnt/β-catenin, amongst others. Here we report an individual with a novel autosomal dominant disorder characterized by severe regressive autism, intellectual disability, and epilepsy. Exome sequencing of the proband and her parents revealed a de novo variant in the PAK1 gene ([NM_001128620] c.362C>T/p.Pro121Leu). Studies in patient cells showed a clear effect on PAK1 protein function, including altered phosphorylation of targets (JNK and ERK), decreased abundance of β-catenin, and concomitant altered expression downstream of these key regulators. Our findings add PAK1 to the list of PAK proteins and kinases which when mutated cause rare genetic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13618DOI Listing
November 2019

A Mild PUM1 Mutation Is Associated with Adult-Onset Ataxia, whereas Haploinsufficiency Causes Developmental Delay and Seizures.

Cell 2018 02;172(5):924-936.e11

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Electronic address:

Certain mutations can cause proteins to accumulate in neurons, leading to neurodegeneration. We recently showed, however, that upregulation of a wild-type protein, Ataxin1, caused by haploinsufficiency of its repressor, the RNA-binding protein Pumilio1 (PUM1), also causes neurodegeneration in mice. We therefore searched for human patients with PUM1 mutations. We identified eleven individuals with either PUM1 deletions or de novo missense variants who suffer a developmental syndrome (Pumilio1-associated developmental disability, ataxia, and seizure; PADDAS). We also identified a milder missense mutation in a family with adult-onset ataxia with incomplete penetrance (Pumilio1-related cerebellar ataxia, PRCA). Studies in patient-derived cells revealed that the missense mutations reduced PUM1 protein levels by ∼25% in the adult-onset cases and by ∼50% in the infantile-onset cases; levels of known PUM1 targets increased accordingly. Changes in protein levels thus track with phenotypic severity, and identifying posttranscriptional modulators of protein expression should identify new candidate disease genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2018.02.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5832058PMC
February 2018

Identification of epigenetic signature associated with alpha thalassemia/mental retardation X-linked syndrome.

Epigenetics Chromatin 2017 10;10:10. Epub 2017 Mar 10.

Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, Western University, London, ON Canada.

Background: Alpha thalassemia/mental retardation X-linked syndrome (ATR-X) is caused by a mutation at the chromatin regulator gene . The mechanisms involved in the ATR-X pathology are not completely understood, but may involve epigenetic modifications. ATRX has been linked to the regulation of histone H3 and DNA methylation, while mutations in the gene may lead to the downstream epigenetic and transcriptional effects. Elucidating the underlying epigenetic mechanisms altered in ATR-X will provide a better understanding about the pathobiology of this disease, as well as provide novel diagnostic biomarkers.

Results: We performed genome-wide DNA methylation assessment of the peripheral blood samples from 18 patients with ATR-X and compared it to 210 controls. We demonstrated the evidence of a unique and highly specific DNA methylation "epi-signature" in the peripheral blood of ATRX patients, which was corroborated by targeted bisulfite sequencing experiments. Although genomically represented, differentially methylated regions showed evidence of preferential clustering in pericentromeric and telometric chromosomal regions, areas where ATRX has multiple functions related to maintenance of heterochromatin and genomic integrity.

Conclusion: Most significant methylation changes in the 14 genomic loci provide a unique epigenetic signature for this syndrome that may be used as a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic biomarker to support the diagnosis of ATR-X, particularly in patients with phenotypic complexity and in patients with gene sequence variants of unknown significance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13072-017-0118-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5345252PMC
January 2018

Whole-transcriptome sequencing in blood provides a diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy with progressive myoclonic epilepsy.

Hum Mutat 2017 06 28;38(6):611-614. Epub 2017 Mar 28.

Department of Genetics, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

At least 15% of the disease-causing mutations affect mRNA splicing. Many splicing mutations are missed in a clinical setting due to limitations of in silico prediction algorithms or their location in noncoding regions. Whole-transcriptome sequencing is a promising new tool to identify these mutations; however, it will be a challenge to obtain disease-relevant tissue for RNA. Here, we describe an individual with a sporadic atypical spinal muscular atrophy, in whom clinical DNA sequencing reported one pathogenic ASAH1 mutation (c.458A>G;p.Tyr153Cys). Transcriptome sequencing on patient leukocytes identified a highly significant and atypical ASAH1 isoform not explained by c.458A>G(p<10 ). Subsequent Sanger-sequencing identified the splice mutation responsible for the isoform (c.504A>C;p.Lys168Asn) and provided a molecular diagnosis of autosomal-recessive spinal muscular atrophy with progressive myoclonic epilepsy. Our findings demonstrate the utility of RNA sequencing from blood to identify splice-impacting disease mutations for nonhematological conditions, providing a diagnosis for these otherwise unsolved patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5889109PMC
June 2017

Matchmaking facilitates the diagnosis of an autosomal-recessive mitochondrial disease caused by biallelic mutation of the tRNA isopentenyltransferase (TRIT1) gene.

Hum Mutat 2017 05 6;38(5):511-516. Epub 2017 Mar 6.

Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri.

Deleterious variants in the same gene present in two or more families with overlapping clinical features provide convincing evidence of a disease-gene association; this can be a challenge in the study of ultrarare diseases. To facilitate the identification of additional families, several groups have created "matching" platforms. We describe four individuals from three unrelated families "matched" by GeneMatcher and MatchMakerExchange. Individuals had microcephaly, developmental delay, epilepsy, and recessive mutations in TRIT1. A single homozygous mutation in TRIT1 associated with similar features had previously been reported in one family. The identification of these individuals provides additional evidence to support TRIT1 as the disease-causing gene and interprets the variants as "pathogenic." TRIT1 functions to modify mitochondrial tRNAs and is necessary for protein translation. We show that dysfunctional TRIT1 results in decreased levels of select mitochondrial proteins. Our findings confirm the TRIT1 disease association and advance the phenotypic and molecular understanding of this disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23196DOI Listing
May 2017