Publications by authors named "Brieana Fregeau"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Histone H3.3 beyond cancer: Germline mutations in cause a previously unidentified neurodegenerative disorder in 46 patients.

Sci Adv 2020 Dec 2;6(49). Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Institut für Neurogenomik, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Munich, Germany.

Although somatic mutations in Histone 3.3 (H3.3) are well-studied drivers of oncogenesis, the role of germline mutations remains unreported. We analyze 46 patients bearing de novo germline mutations in histone 3 family 3A () or with progressive neurologic dysfunction and congenital anomalies without malignancies. Molecular modeling of all 37 variants demonstrated clear disruptions in interactions with DNA, other histones, and histone chaperone proteins. Patient histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs) analysis revealed notably aberrant local PTM patterns distinct from the somatic lysine mutations that cause global PTM dysregulation. RNA sequencing on patient cells demonstrated up-regulated gene expression related to mitosis and cell division, and cellular assays confirmed an increased proliferative capacity. A zebrafish model showed craniofacial anomalies and a defect in Foxd3-derived glia. These data suggest that the mechanism of germline mutations are distinct from cancer-associated somatic histone mutations but may converge on control of cell proliferation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abc9207DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7821880PMC
December 2020

Pathogenic DDX3X Mutations Impair RNA Metabolism and Neurogenesis during Fetal Cortical Development.

Neuron 2020 05 4;106(3):404-420.e8. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

APHP, Département de Génétique, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié Salpêtrière, Paris, France.

De novo germline mutations in the RNA helicase DDX3X account for 1%-3% of unexplained intellectual disability (ID) cases in females and are associated with autism, brain malformations, and epilepsy. Yet, the developmental and molecular mechanisms by which DDX3X mutations impair brain function are unknown. Here, we use human and mouse genetics and cell biological and biochemical approaches to elucidate mechanisms by which pathogenic DDX3X variants disrupt brain development. We report the largest clinical cohort to date with DDX3X mutations (n = 107), demonstrating a striking correlation between recurrent dominant missense mutations, polymicrogyria, and the most severe clinical outcomes. We show that Ddx3x controls cortical development by regulating neuron generation. Severe DDX3X missense mutations profoundly disrupt RNA helicase activity, induce ectopic RNA-protein granules in neural progenitors and neurons, and impair translation. Together, these results uncover key mechanisms underlying DDX3X syndrome and highlight aberrant RNA metabolism in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2020.01.042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7331285PMC
May 2020

De novo variants in cause neurodevelopmental disorders associated with corpus callosum abnormalities.

J Med Genet 2020 07 10;57(7):461-465. Epub 2020 Jan 10.

Neurology, UCSF, San Francisco, California, USA

Introduction: Whole-exome sequencing (WES) has identified de novo variants in chromatin remodelling genes in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD). We report on a novel genetic discovery in chromatin remodelling in patients with NDD who also have corpus callosum (CC) anomalies.

Objective: To discover novel genes linked to both CC anomalies and NDD.

Methods: Clinical WES was performed for evaluation of NDD, identifying five patients with de novo variants in , a subunit of the FACT (facilitates chromatin transcription) complex. The clinical phenotypes, genetic results and brain MRIs were obtained and systematically reviewed. In silico protein function predictions were assessed and allele frequencies in control populations were compared.

Results: We identified four patients with de novo missense variants in and one patient with a de novo deletion including . These variants were not reported in the updated Genome Aggregation Database. When assayable, all protein products were predicted to be damaging. Symptoms included intellectual disability, autistic features, minor dysmorphic features and seizures. Anomalies of the CC were seen in all three patients with available brain imaging.

Conclusion: Our findings implicate the gene in a novel disorder characterised by neurodevelopmental deficits and CC anomalies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2019-106193DOI Listing
July 2020

NFIB Haploinsufficiency Is Associated with Intellectual Disability and Macrocephaly.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 11;103(5):752-768

Department of Neurogenetics, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

The nuclear factor I (NFI) family of transcription factors play an important role in normal development of multiple organs. Three NFI family members are highly expressed in the brain, and deletions or sequence variants in two of these, NFIA and NFIX, have been associated with intellectual disability (ID) and brain malformations. NFIB, however, has not previously been implicated in human disease. Here, we present a cohort of 18 individuals with mild ID and behavioral issues who are haploinsufficient for NFIB. Ten individuals harbored overlapping microdeletions of the chromosomal 9p23-p22.2 region, ranging in size from 225 kb to 4.3 Mb. Five additional subjects had point sequence variations creating a premature termination codon, and three subjects harbored single-nucleotide variations resulting in an inactive protein as determined using an in vitro reporter assay. All individuals presented with additional variable neurodevelopmental phenotypes, including muscular hypotonia, motor and speech delay, attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and behavioral abnormalities. While structural brain anomalies, including dysgenesis of corpus callosum, were variable, individuals most frequently presented with macrocephaly. To determine whether macrocephaly could be a functional consequence of NFIB disruption, we analyzed a cortex-specific Nfib conditional knockout mouse model, which is postnatally viable. Utilizing magnetic resonance imaging and histology, we demonstrate that Nfib conditional knockout mice have enlargement of the cerebral cortex but preservation of overall brain structure and interhemispheric connectivity. Based on our findings, we propose that haploinsufficiency of NFIB causes ID with macrocephaly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.10.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6218805PMC
November 2018

Genomic and phenotypic delineation of congenital microcephaly.

Genet Med 2019 03 14;21(3):545-552. Epub 2018 Sep 14.

Department of Pediatrics, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Purpose: Congenital microcephaly (CM) is an important birth defect with long term neurological sequelae. We aimed to perform detailed phenotypic and genomic analysis of patients with Mendelian forms of CM.

Methods: Clinical phenotyping, targeted or exome sequencing, and autozygome analysis.

Results: We describe 150 patients (104 families) with 56 Mendelian forms of CM. Our data show little overlap with the genetic causes of postnatal microcephaly. We also show that a broad definition of primary microcephaly -as an autosomal recessive form of nonsyndromic CM with severe postnatal deceleration of occipitofrontal circumference-is highly sensitive but has a limited specificity. In addition, we expand the overlap between primary microcephaly and microcephalic primordial dwarfism both clinically (short stature in >52% of patients with primary microcephaly) and molecularly (e.g., we report the first instance of CEP135-related microcephalic primordial dwarfism). We expand the allelic and locus heterogeneity of CM by reporting 37 novel likely disease-causing variants in 27 disease genes, confirming the candidacy of ANKLE2, YARS, FRMD4A, and THG1L, and proposing the candidacy of BPTF, MAP1B, CCNH, and PPFIBP1.

Conclusion: Our study refines the phenotype of CM, expands its genetics heterogeneity, and informs the workup of children born with this developmental brain defect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-018-0140-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6986385PMC
March 2019

Abnormal Speech Motor Control in Individuals with 16p11.2 Deletions.

Sci Rep 2018 01 19;8(1):1274. Epub 2018 Jan 19.

University of California-San Francisco, Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, 513 Parnassus Avenue, S362., San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA.

Speech and motor deficits are highly prevalent (>70%) in individuals with the 600 kb BP4-BP5 16p11.2 deletion; however, the mechanisms that drive these deficits are unclear, limiting our ability to target interventions and advance treatment. This study examined fundamental aspects of speech motor control in participants with the 16p11.2 deletion. To assess capacity for control of voice, we examined how accurately and quickly subjects changed the pitch of their voice within a trial to correct for a transient perturbation of the pitch of their auditory feedback. When compared to controls, 16p11.2 deletion carriers show an over-exaggerated pitch compensation response to unpredictable mid-vocalization pitch perturbations. We also examined sensorimotor adaptation of speech by assessing how subjects learned to adapt their sustained productions of formants (speech spectral peak frequencies important for vowel identity), in response to consistent changes in their auditory feedback during vowel production. Deletion carriers show reduced sensorimotor adaptation to sustained vowel identity changes in auditory feedback. These results together suggest that 16p11.2 deletion carriers have fundamental impairments in the basic mechanisms of speech motor control and these impairments may partially explain the deficits in speech and language in these individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-19751-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5775320PMC
January 2018

Genotype-phenotype correlations in individuals with pathogenic RERE variants.

Hum Mutat 2018 05 25;39(5):666-675. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.

Heterozygous variants in the arginine-glutamic acid dipeptide repeats gene (RERE) have been shown to cause neurodevelopmental disorder with or without anomalies of the brain, eye, or heart (NEDBEH). Here, we report nine individuals with NEDBEH who carry partial deletions or deleterious sequence variants in RERE. These variants were found to be de novo in all cases in which parental samples were available. An analysis of data from individuals with NEDBEH suggests that point mutations affecting the Atrophin-1 domain of RERE are associated with an increased risk of structural eye defects, congenital heart defects, renal anomalies, and sensorineural hearing loss when compared with loss-of-function variants that are likely to lead to haploinsufficiency. A high percentage of RERE pathogenic variants affect a histidine-rich region in the Atrophin-1 domain. We have also identified a recurrent two-amino-acid duplication in this region that is associated with the development of a CHARGE syndrome-like phenotype. We conclude that mutations affecting RERE result in a spectrum of clinical phenotypes. Genotype-phenotype correlations exist and can be used to guide medical decision making. Consideration should also be given to screening for RERE variants in individuals who fulfill diagnostic criteria for CHARGE syndrome but do not carry pathogenic variants in CHD7.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5903952PMC
May 2018

De Novo Mutations of RERE Cause a Genetic Syndrome with Features that Overlap Those Associated with Proximal 1p36 Deletions.

Am J Hum Genet 2016 May 14;98(5):963-970. Epub 2016 Apr 14.

Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. Electronic address:

Deletions of chromosome 1p36 affect approximately 1 in 5,000 newborns and are associated with developmental delay, intellectual disability, and defects involving the brain, eye, ear, heart, and kidney. Arginine-glutamic acid dipeptide repeats (RERE) is located in the proximal 1p36 critical region. RERE is a widely-expressed nuclear receptor coregulator that positively regulates retinoic acid signaling. Animal models suggest that RERE deficiency might contribute to many of the structural and developmental birth defects and medical problems seen in individuals with 1p36 deletion syndrome, although human evidence supporting this role has been lacking. In this report, we describe ten individuals with intellectual disability, developmental delay, and/or autism spectrum disorder who carry rare and putatively damaging changes in RERE. In all cases in which both parental DNA samples were available, these changes were found to be de novo. Associated features that were recurrently seen in these individuals included hypotonia, seizures, behavioral problems, structural CNS anomalies, ophthalmologic anomalies, congenital heart defects, and genitourinary abnormalities. The spectrum of defects documented in these individuals is similar to that of a cohort of 31 individuals with isolated 1p36 deletions that include RERE and are recapitulated in RERE-deficient zebrafish and mice. Taken together, our findings suggest that mutations in RERE cause a genetic syndrome and that haploinsufficiency of RERE might be sufficient to cause many of the phenotypes associated with proximal 1p36 deletions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.03.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4863473PMC
May 2016

De novo mutations in KIF1A cause progressive encephalopathy and brain atrophy.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2015 Jun 1;2(6):623-35. Epub 2015 May 1.

Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, California, 94158.

Objective: To determine the cause and course of a novel syndrome with progressive encephalopathy and brain atrophy in children.

Methods: Clinical whole-exome sequencing was performed for global developmental delay and intellectual disability; some patients also had spastic paraparesis and evidence of clinical regression. Six patients were identified with de novo missense mutations in the kinesin gene KIF1A. The predicted functional disruption of these mutations was assessed in silico to compare the calculated conformational flexibility and estimated efficiency of ATP binding to kinesin motor domains of wild-type (WT) versus mutant alleles. Additionally, an in vitro microtubule gliding assay was performed to assess the effects of de novo dominant, inherited recessive, and polymorphic variants on KIF1A motor function.

Results: All six subjects had severe developmental delay, hypotonia, and varying degrees of hyperreflexia and spastic paraparesis. Microcephaly, cortical visual impairment, optic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, epilepsy, and movement disorders were also observed. All six patients had a degenerative neurologic course with progressive cerebral and cerebellar atrophy seen on sequential magnetic resonance imaging scans. Computational modeling of mutant protein structures when compared to WT kinesin showed substantial differences in conformational flexibility and ATP-binding efficiency. The de novo KIF1A mutants were nonmotile in the microtubule gliding assay.

Interpretation: De novo mutations in KIF1A cause a degenerative neurologic syndrome with brain atrophy. Computational and in vitro assays differentiate the severity of dominant de novo heterozygous versus inherited recessive KIF1A mutations. The profound effect de novo mutations have on axonal transport is likely related to the cause of progressive neurologic impairment in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.198DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4479523PMC
June 2015
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