Publications by authors named "Christian Netzer"

42 Publications

O'Donnell-Luria-Rodan syndrome: description of a second multinational cohort and refinement of the phenotypic spectrum.

J Med Genet 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Program in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: O'Donnell-Luria-Rodan syndrome (ODLURO) is an autosomal-dominant neurodevelopmental disorder caused by pathogenic, mostly truncating variants in . It was first described by O'Donnell-Luria in 2019 in a cohort of 38 patients. Clinical features encompass macrocephaly, mild intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorder (ASD) susceptibility and seizure susceptibility.

Methods: Affected individuals were ascertained at paediatric and genetic centres in various countries by diagnostic chromosome microarray or exome/genome sequencing. Patients were collected into a case cohort and were systematically phenotyped where possible.

Results: We report 18 additional patients from 17 families with genetically confirmed ODLURO. We identified 15 different heterozygous likely pathogenic or pathogenic sequence variants (14 novel) and two partial microdeletions of . We confirm and refine the phenotypic spectrum of the -related neurodevelopmental disorder, especially concerning cognitive development, with rather mild ID and macrocephaly with subtle facial features in most patients. We observe a high prevalence of ASD in our cohort (41%), while seizures are present in only two patients. We extend the phenotypic spectrum by sleep disturbances.

Conclusion: Our study, bringing the total of known patients with ODLURO to more than 60 within 2 years of the first publication, suggests an unexpectedly high relative frequency of this syndrome worldwide. It seems likely that ODLURO, although just recently described, is among the more common single-gene aetiologies of neurodevelopmental delay and ASD. We present the second systematic case series of patients with ODLURO, further refining the mutational and phenotypic spectrum of this not-so-rare syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-107470DOI Listing
July 2021

Interaction between KDELR2 and HSP47 as a Key Determinant in Osteogenesis Imperfecta Caused by Bi-allelic Variants in KDELR2.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 11 13;107(5):989-999. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1081BT, the Netherlands.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is characterized primarily by susceptibility to fractures with or without bone deformation. OI is genetically heterogeneous: over 20 genetic causes are recognized. We identified bi-allelic pathogenic KDELR2 variants as a cause of OI in four families. KDELR2 encodes KDEL endoplasmic reticulum protein retention receptor 2, which recycles ER-resident proteins with a KDEL-like peptide from the cis-Golgi to the ER through COPI retrograde transport. Analysis of patient primary fibroblasts showed intracellular decrease of HSP47 and FKBP65 along with reduced procollagen type I in culture media. Electron microscopy identified an abnormal quality of secreted collagen fibrils with increased amount of HSP47 bound to monomeric and multimeric collagen molecules. Mapping the identified KDELR2 variants onto the crystal structure of G. gallus KDELR2 indicated that these lead to an inactive receptor resulting in impaired KDELR2-mediated Golgi-ER transport. Therefore, in KDELR2-deficient individuals, OI most likely occurs because of the inability of HSP47 to bind KDELR2 and dissociate from collagen type I. Instead, HSP47 remains bound to collagen molecules extracellularly, disrupting fiber formation. This highlights the importance of intracellular recycling of ER-resident molecular chaperones for collagen type I and bone metabolism and a crucial role of HSP47 in the KDELR2-associated pathogenic mechanism leading to OI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.09.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7675035PMC
November 2020

Osteogenesis imperfecta-pathophysiology and therapeutic options.

Mol Cell Pediatr 2020 Aug 14;7(1). Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Kerpener Straße 62, Cologne, Germany.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a rare congenital disease with a wide spectrum of severity characterized by skeletal deformity and increased bone fragility as well as additional, variable extraskeletal symptoms. Here, we present an overview of the genetic heterogeneity and pathophysiological background of OI as well as OI-related bone fragility disorders and highlight current therapeutic options.The most common form of OI is caused by mutations in the two collagen type I genes. Stop mutations usually lead to reduced collagen amount resulting in a mild phenotype, while missense mutations mainly provoke structural alterations in the collagen protein and entail a more severe phenotype. Numerous other causal genes have been identified during the last decade that are involved in collagen biosynthesis, modification and secretion, the differentiation and function of osteoblasts, and the maintenance of bone homeostasis.Management of patients with OI involves medical treatment by bisphosphonates as the most promising therapy to inhibit bone resorption and thereby facilitate bone formation. Surgical treatment ensures pain reduction and healing without an increase of deformities. Timely remobilization and regular strengthening of the muscles by physiotherapy are crucial to improve mobility, prevent muscle wasting and avoid bone resorption caused by immobilization. Identification of the pathomechanism for SERPINF1 mutations led to the development of a tailored mechanism-based therapy using denosumab, and unraveling further pathomechanisms will likely open new avenues for innovative treatment approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40348-020-00101-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7427672PMC
August 2020

Autosomal-Recessive Mutations in MESD Cause Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 10 26;105(4):836-843. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

Orthopaedic Research Laboratories, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) comprises a genetically heterogeneous group of skeletal fragility diseases. Here, we report on five independent families with a progressively deforming type of OI, in whom we identified four homozygous truncation or frameshift mutations in MESD. Affected individuals had recurrent fractures and at least one had oligodontia. MESD encodes an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone protein for the canonical Wingless-related integration site (WNT) signaling receptors LRP5 and LRP6. Because complete absence of MESD causes embryonic lethality in mice, we hypothesized that the OI-associated mutations are hypomorphic alleles since these mutations occur downstream of the chaperone activity domain but upstream of ER-retention domain. This would be consistent with the clinical phenotypes of skeletal fragility and oligodontia in persons deficient for LRP5 and LRP6, respectively. When we expressed wild-type (WT) and mutant MESD in HEK293T cells, we detected WT MESD in cell lysate but not in conditioned medium, whereas the converse was true for mutant MESD. We observed that both WT and mutant MESD retained the ability to chaperone LRP5. Thus, OI-associated MESD mutations produce hypomorphic alleles whose failure to remain within the ER significantly reduces but does not completely eliminate LRP5 and LRP6 trafficking. Since these individuals have no eye abnormalities (which occur in individuals completely lacking LRP5) and have neither limb nor brain patterning defects (both of which occur in mice completely lacking LRP6), we infer that bone mass accrual and dental patterning are more sensitive to reduced canonical WNT signaling than are other developmental processes. Biologic agents that can increase LRP5 and LRP6-mediated WNT signaling could benefit individuals with MESD-associated OI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.08.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6817720PMC
October 2019

Individualized treatment with denosumab in children with osteogenesis imperfecta - follow up of a trial cohort.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2019 09 18;14(1):219. Epub 2019 Sep 18.

Children's Hospital, University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Kerpener Straße 62, 50937, Cologne, Germany.

Background: Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a rare disease leading to hereditary bone fragility. Nearly 90% of cases are caused by mutations in the collagen genes COL1A1/A2 (classical OI) leading to multiple fractures, scoliosis, short stature and nonskeletal findings as blue sclera, hypermobility of joints, bone pain and delayed motor function development. Bisphosphonates are used in most moderate and severely affected patients assuming that an increase of bone mineral density might reduce fractures and bone pain in patients with OI. Denosumab as a RANK ligand antibody inhibiting osteoclast maturation has been approved for osteoporosis treatment in adults. First data from small clinical trials promised a high efficacy of Denosumab in children with OI. Aim of this analysis was a retrospective evaluation of an individualized biomarker-associated treatment regime with Denosumab in 10 children with classical OI which were followed for 1 year after their participation in a pilot trial with Denosumab. Therefore urinary deoxypyridinoline levels were evaluated frequently as an osteoclastic activity marker and depending on that levels Denosumab injections were scheduled individually.

Methods: Ten patients (age range: 6.16-12.13 years; all participated in the former OI-AK phase 2 trial (NCT01799798)) were included in the follow-up period. Denosumab was administered subcutaneously depending on the individual urinary excretion course of deoxypyridinoline (DPD/Crea) as osteoclastic activity marker with 1 mg/kg body weight. DPD/Crea levels were evaluated before denosumab administration and afterwards. If patients present after an initial decrease after injection with a re-increase up to the DPD/crea level before Denosumab injection next dosage was planned. Changes of areal bone mineral density (aBMD) using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry of the lumbar spine after 12 month was evaluated. Safety was assessed by bone metabolism markers and side effect reporting.

Results: During follow-up mean relative change of lumbar aBMD was - 6.4%. Lumbar spine aBMD z-Scores decreased from - 1.01 ± 2.61 (mean ± SD) to - 1.91 ± 2.12 (p = 0.015). Mobility changed not significantly (GMFM-88 -6.49 ± 8.85% (p = 0.08). No severe side effects occurred. Dose intervals could be extended in the mean from 12 weeks previously to 20.3 weeks.

Conclusions: On average, it was possible to prolong the intervals between drug administrations and to reduce the total dose about by 25% without a decrease of mobility or change of vertebral shape despite a reduction of lumbar aBMD during 1 year of biomarker-directed Denosumab treatment. Further trials are necessary to balance side effects and highest efficacy in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-019-1197-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6751648PMC
September 2019

Which genes to assess in the NGS diagnostics of intellectual disability? The case for a consensus database-driven and expert-curated approach.

Mol Cell Probes 2019 06 23;45:84-88. Epub 2019 Mar 23.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Cologne, Kerpener Str. 34, 50931, Cologne, Germany.

When deciding on which genes to assess in larger Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) datasets for the molecular genetic diagnosis of intellectual disability (ID), geneticists today have a variety of gene-phenotype databases and expert-curated gene lists available. To quantify their respective completeness, we compare an ID gene selection auto-generated from the Human Phenotype Ontology gene-phenotype association database and expert-curated ID gene lists from three reputable sources (sysID, the DDD consortium and Genomics England) and analyse some of their differences. We give examples of what we regard as genuine gaps ("missing ID genes") for each of these and conclude that a complementary or consensus approach is needed to maximise diagnostic yield in ID patients. We propose several consensus gene lists with ID-associated genes of different confidence levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mcp.2019.03.006DOI Listing
June 2019

The Discovery of a LEMD2-Associated Nuclear Envelopathy with Early Progeroid Appearance Suggests Advanced Applications for AI-Driven Facial Phenotyping.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 04 21;104(4):749-757. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne, Cologne, 50931, Germany; Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, 50931, Germany. Electronic address:

Over a relatively short period of time, the clinical geneticist's "toolbox" has been expanded by machine-learning algorithms for image analysis, which can be applied to the task of syndrome identification on the basis of facial photographs, but these technologies harbor potential beyond the recognition of established phenotypes. Here, we comprehensively characterized two individuals with a hitherto unknown genetic disorder caused by the same de novo mutation in LEMD2 (c.1436C>T;p.Ser479Phe), the gene which encodes the nuclear envelope protein LEM domain-containing protein 2 (LEMD2). Despite different ages and ethnic backgrounds, both individuals share a progeria-like facial phenotype and a distinct combination of physical and neurologic anomalies, such as growth retardation; hypoplastic jaws crowded with multiple supernumerary, yet unerupted, teeth; and cerebellar intention tremor. Immunofluorescence analyses of patient fibroblasts revealed mutation-induced disturbance of nuclear architecture, recapitulating previously published data in LEMD2-deficient cell lines, and additional experiments suggested mislocalization of mutant LEMD2 protein within the nuclear lamina. Computational analysis of facial features with two different deep neural networks showed phenotypic proximity to other nuclear envelopathies. One of the algorithms, when trained to recognize syndromic similarity (rather than specific syndromes) in an unsupervised approach, clustered both individuals closely together, providing hypothesis-free hints for a common genetic etiology. We show that a recurrent de novo mutation in LEMD2 causes a nuclear envelopathy whose prognosis in adolescence is relatively good in comparison to that of classical Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, and we suggest that the application of artificial intelligence to the analysis of patient images can facilitate the discovery of new genetic disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.02.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6451726PMC
April 2019

Correction: The ARID1B spectrum in 143 patients: from nonsyndromic intellectual disability to Coffin-Siris syndrome.

Genet Med 2019 Sep;21(9):2160-2161

University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Genetics, Groningen, The Netherlands.

The original version of this Article contained an error in the spelling of the author Pleuntje J. van der Sluijs, which was incorrectly given as Eline (P. J.) van der Sluijs. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-018-0368-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6752317PMC
September 2019

The ARID1B spectrum in 143 patients: from nonsyndromic intellectual disability to Coffin-Siris syndrome.

Genet Med 2019 06 8;21(6):1295-1307. Epub 2018 Nov 8.

University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Genetics, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Purpose: Pathogenic variants in ARID1B are one of the most frequent causes of intellectual disability (ID) as determined by large-scale exome sequencing studies. Most studies published thus far describe clinically diagnosed Coffin-Siris patients (ARID1B-CSS) and it is unclear whether these data are representative for patients identified through sequencing of unbiased ID cohorts (ARID1B-ID). We therefore sought to determine genotypic and phenotypic differences between ARID1B-ID and ARID1B-CSS. In parallel, we investigated the effect of different methods of phenotype reporting.

Methods: Clinicians entered clinical data in an extensive web-based survey.

Results: 79 ARID1B-CSS and 64 ARID1B-ID patients were included. CSS-associated dysmorphic features, such as thick eyebrows, long eyelashes, thick alae nasi, long and/or broad philtrum, small nails and small or absent fifth distal phalanx and hypertrichosis, were observed significantly more often (p < 0.001) in ARID1B-CSS patients. No other significant differences were identified.

Conclusion: There are only minor differences between ARID1B-ID and ARID1B-CSS patients. ARID1B-related disorders seem to consist of a spectrum, and patients should be managed similarly. We demonstrated that data collection methods without an explicit option to report the absence of a feature (such as most Human Phenotype Ontology-based methods) tended to underestimate gene-related features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-018-0330-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6752273PMC
June 2019

Uniparental isodisomy as a cause of recessive Mendelian disease: a diagnostic pitfall with a quick and easy solution in medium/large NGS analyses.

Eur J Hum Genet 2018 09 11;26(9):1392-1395. Epub 2018 Jun 11.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Complete uniparental isodisomy (iUPD)-the presence of two identical chromosomes in an individual that originate from only a single parental homolog-is an underestimated cause of recessive Mendelian disease in humans. Correctly identifying iUPD in an index patient is of enormous consequence to correctly counseling the family/couple, as the recurrence risk for siblings is reduced from 25% to usually <1%. In medium/large-scale NGS analyses, we found that complete iUPD can be rapidly and straightforwardly inferred from a singleton dataset (index patient only) through a simple chromosome- and genotype-filtering step in <1 min. We discuss the opportunities of iUPD detection in medium/large-scale NGS analyses by example of a case of CHRNG-associated multiple pterygium syndrome due to complete maternal iUPD. Using computer simulations for several detection thresholds, we validate and estimate sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV), and negative predictive values (NPV) of the proposed screening method for reliable detection of complete iUPD. When screening for complete iUPD, our models suggest that a >85% proportion of homozygous calls on a single chromosome with ≥30 sufficiently interspaced called variants results in a sensitivity of 97.9% and specificity of 99.7%. The PPV is 95.1%, the NPV 99.9%. When this threshold is exceeded for a chromosome on which a patient harbors an apparently homozygous disease-associated variant, it should be sufficient cause to discuss iUPD as a plausible or probable mechanism of disease in the genetic analysis report, even when parental segregation has not (yet) been performed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-018-0195-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6117279PMC
September 2018

Large-scale deletions of the gene in patients with hypoalphalipoproteinemia.

J Lipid Res 2018 08 4;59(8):1529-1535. Epub 2018 Jun 4.

Robarts Research Institute, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London ON, Canada

Copy-number variations (CNVs) have been studied in the context of familial hypercholesterolemia but have not yet been evaluated in patients with extreme levels of HDL cholesterol. We evaluated targeted, next-generation sequencing data from patients with very low levels of HDL cholesterol (i.e., hypoalphalipoproteinemia) with the VarSeq-CNV caller algorithm to screen for CNVs that disrupted the , , or genes. In four individuals, we found three unique deletions in : a heterozygous deletion of exon 4, a heterozygous deletion that spanned exons 8 to 31, and a heterozygous deletion of the entire gene. Breakpoints were identified with Sanger sequencing, and the full-gene deletion was confirmed by using exome sequencing and the Affymetrix CytoScan HD array. Previously, large-scale deletions in candidate HDL genes had not been associated with hypoalphalipoproteinemia; our findings indicate that CNVs in may be a previously unappreciated genetic determinant of low levels of HDL cholesterol. By coupling bioinformatic analyses with next-generation sequencing data, we can successfully assess the spectrum of genetic determinants of many dyslipidemias, including hypoalphalipoproteinemia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1194/jlr.P086280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6071767PMC
August 2018

De Novo Mutations in SLC25A24 Cause a Craniosynostosis Syndrome with Hypertrichosis, Progeroid Appearance, and Mitochondrial Dysfunction.

Am J Hum Genet 2017 Nov;101(5):833-843

Institut für Humangenetik, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.

Gorlin-Chaudhry-Moss syndrome (GCMS) is a dysmorphic syndrome characterized by coronal craniosynostosis and severe midface hypoplasia, body and facial hypertrichosis, microphthalmia, short stature, and short distal phalanges. Variable lipoatrophy and cutis laxa are the basis for a progeroid appearance. Using exome and genome sequencing, we identified the recurrent de novo mutations c.650G>A (p.Arg217His) and c.649C>T (p.Arg217Cys) in SLC25A24 in five unrelated girls diagnosed with GCMS. Two of the girls had pronounced neonatal progeroid features and were initially diagnosed with Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch syndrome. SLC25A24 encodes a mitochondrial inner membrane ATP-Mg/P carrier. In fibroblasts from affected individuals, the mutated SLC25A24 showed normal stability. In contrast to control cells, the probands' cells showed mitochondrial swelling, which was exacerbated upon treatment with hydrogen peroxide (HO). The same effect was observed after overexpression of the mutant cDNA. Under normal culture conditions, the mitochondrial membrane potential of the probands' fibroblasts was intact, whereas ATP content in the mitochondrial matrix was lower than that in control cells. However, upon HO exposure, the membrane potential was significantly elevated in cells harboring the mutated SLC25A24. No reduction of mitochondrial DNA copy number was observed. These findings demonstrate that mitochondrial dysfunction with increased sensitivity to oxidative stress is due to the SLC25A24 mutations. Our results suggest that the SLC25A24 mutations induce a gain of pathological function and link mitochondrial ATP-Mg/P transport to the development of skeletal and connective tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.09.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5673623PMC
November 2017

A heritable microduplication encompassing TBL1XR1 causes a genomic sister-disorder for the 3q26.32 microdeletion syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2017 Aug 2;173(8):2132-2138. Epub 2017 Jun 2.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Recently, a new syndrome with intellectual disability (ID) and dysmorphic features due to deletions or point mutations within the TBL1XR1 gene located in the chromosomal band 3q26.32 has been described (MRD41, OMIM 616944). One recurrent point mutation in the TBL1XR1 gene has been identified as the cause of Pierpont syndrome (OMIM 602342), a distinct intellectual disability syndrome with plantar lipomatosis. In addition, different de novo point mutations in the TBL1XR1 gene have been found in patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and intellectual disability. Here, we report four patients from two unrelated families in whom array-CGH analysis and real-time quantitative PCR of genomic DNA revealed a TBL1XR1-microduplication. Adjacent genes were not affected. The microduplication occurred as a de novo event in one patient, whereas the other three cases occurred in two generations of a second, unrelated family. We compare and contrast the clinical findings in TBL1XR1 microdeletion, point mutation, and microduplication cases and expand the TBL1XR1-associated phenotypic spectrum. ID, hearing loss, and ASD are common features of TBL1XR1-associated diseases. Our clinical observations add to the increasing evidence of the role of TBL1XR1 in brain development, and they simultaneously demonstrate that different genetic disease mechanisms affecting TBL1XR1 can lead to similar ID phenotypes. The TBL1XR1-microduplication syndrome is an intellectual disability/learning disability syndrome with associated incomplete penetrance ASD, hearing loss, and delay of puberty. Its phenotypic overlap indicates that it is a genomic sister-disorder to the 3q26.32 microdeletion syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38285DOI Listing
August 2017

CRTAP variants in early-onset osteoporosis and recurrent fractures.

Am J Med Genet A 2017 03 30;173(3):806-808. Epub 2016 Nov 30.

Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery and Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38065DOI Listing
March 2017

Mutation Update for Kabuki Syndrome Genes KMT2D and KDM6A and Further Delineation of X-Linked Kabuki Syndrome Subtype 2.

Hum Mutat 2016 09 7;37(9):847-64. Epub 2016 Jul 7.

Pediatric Genetics Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Hacettepe University Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey.

Kabuki syndrome (KS) is a rare but recognizable condition that consists of a characteristic face, short stature, various organ malformations, and a variable degree of intellectual disability. Mutations in KMT2D have been identified as the main cause for KS, whereas mutations in KDM6A are a much less frequent cause. Here, we report a mutation screening in a case series of 347 unpublished patients, in which we identified 12 novel KDM6A mutations (KS type 2) and 208 mutations in KMT2D (KS type 1), 132 of them novel. Two of the KDM6A mutations were maternally inherited and nine were shown to be de novo. We give an up-to-date overview of all published mutations for the two KS genes and point out possible mutation hot spots and strategies for molecular genetic testing. We also report the clinical details for 11 patients with KS type 2, summarize the published clinical information, specifically with a focus on the less well-defined X-linked KS type 2, and comment on phenotype-genotype correlations as well as sex-specific phenotypic differences. Finally, we also discuss a possible role of KDM6A in Kabuki-like Turner syndrome and report a mutation screening of KDM6C (UTY) in male KS patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23026DOI Listing
September 2016

Osteogenesis imperfecta: pathophysiology and treatment.

Wien Med Wochenschr 2015 Jul 9;165(13-14):278-84. Epub 2015 Jun 9.

Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic, Children's Hospital, University of Cologne, Kerpenerstr. 62, 50931, Cologne, Germany,

Osteogenesis imperfecta is a rare hereditary disease mostly caused by mutations impairing collagen synthesis and modification. Recently recessive forms have been described influencing differentiation and activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Most prominent signs are fractures due to low traumata and deformities of long bones and vertebrae. Additional patients can be affected by dwarfism, scoliosis Dentinogenesis imperfecta, deafness and a blueish discoloration of the sclera. During childhood state of the art medical treatment are i.v. bisphosphonates to increase bone mass and to reduce fracture rate. Surgical interventions are needed to treat fractures, to correct deformities and should always be accompanied by physiotherapeutic and rehabilitative interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10354-015-0361-xDOI Listing
July 2015

Mutations in SEC24D, encoding a component of the COPII machinery, cause a syndromic form of osteogenesis imperfecta.

Am J Hum Genet 2015 Mar 12;96(3):432-9. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany. Electronic address:

As a result of a whole-exome sequencing study, we report three mutant alleles in SEC24D, a gene encoding a component of the COPII complex involved in protein export from the ER: the truncating mutation c.613C>T (p.Gln205(∗)) and the missense mutations c.3044C>T (p.Ser1015Phe, located in a cargo-binding pocket) and c.2933A>C (p.Gln978Pro, located in the gelsolin-like domain). Three individuals from two families affected by a similar skeletal phenotype were each compound heterozygous for two of these mutant alleles, with c.3044C>T being embedded in a 14 Mb founder haplotype shared by all three. The affected individuals were a 7-year-old boy with a phenotype most closely resembling Cole-Carpenter syndrome and two fetuses initially suspected to have a severe type of osteogenesis imperfecta. All three displayed a severely disturbed ossification of the skull and multiple fractures with prenatal onset. The 7-year-old boy had short stature and craniofacial malformations including macrocephaly, midface hypoplasia, micrognathia, frontal bossing, and down-slanting palpebral fissures. Electron and immunofluorescence microscopy of skin fibroblasts of this individual revealed that ER export of procollagen was inefficient and that ER tubules were dilated, faithfully reproducing the cellular phenotype of individuals with cranio-lentico-sutural dysplasia (CLSD). CLSD is caused by SEC23A mutations and displays a largely overlapping craniofacial phenotype, but it is not characterized by generalized bone fragility and presented with cataracts in the original family described. The cellular and morphological phenotypes we report are in concordance with the phenotypes described for the Sec24d-deficient fish mutants vbi (medaka) and bulldog (zebrafish).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.01.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4375534PMC
March 2015

Two years' experience with denosumab for children with osteogenesis imperfecta type VI.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2014 Sep 26;9:145. Epub 2014 Sep 26.

Background: Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a hereditary disease causing reduced bone mass, increased fracture rate, long bone deformities and vertebral compressions. Additional non skeletal findings are caused by impaired collagen function and include hyperlaxity of joints and blue sclera. Most OI cases are caused by dominant mutations in COL1A1/2 affecting bone formation. During the last years, recessive forms of OI have been identified, mostly affecting posttranslational modification of collagen. In 2011, mutations in SERPINF1 were identified as the molecular cause of OI type VI, and thereby a novel pathophysiology of the disease was elucidated. The subgroup of patients with OI type VI are affected by an increased bone resorption, leading to the same symptoms as observed in patients with an impaired bone formation. Severely affected children are currently treated with intravenous bisphosphonates regardless of the underlying mutation and pathophysiology. Patients with OI type VI are known to have a poor response to such a bisphosphonate treatment.

Method: Deciphering the genetic cause of OI type VI in our 4 patients (three children and one adolescent) led to an immediate translational approach in the form of a treatment with the monoclonal RANKL antibody Denosumab (1 mg/kg body weight every 12 weeks).

Results: Short-term biochemical response to this treatment was reported previously. We now present the results after 2 years of treatment and demonstrate a long term benefit as well as an increase of bone mineral density, a normalization of vertebral shape, an increase of mobility, and a reduced fracture rate.

Conclusion: This report presents the first two-year data of denosumab treatment in patients with Osteogenesis imperfecta type VI and in Osteogenesis imperfecta in general as an effective and apparently safe treatment option.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-014-0145-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4180531PMC
September 2014

A nonclassical IFITM5 mutation located in the coding region causes severe osteogenesis imperfecta with prenatal onset.

J Bone Miner Res 2014 Jun;29(6):1387-91

Children's Hospital, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a hereditary connective tissue disorder characterized by a wide range of skeletal symptoms. Most patients have dominantly inherited or de novo mutations in COL1A1 or COL1A2. Up to 5% of patients have OI type V, characterized by hyperplastic callus formation after fractures, calcification of the interosseous membrane of the forearm, and a mesh-like lamellation pattern observed in bone histology. Recently, a heterozygous mutation in the 5'-untranslated region (UTR) of IFITM5 (c.-14C > T) was identified as the underlying cause of OI type V, and only this specific mutation was subsequently identified in all patient cohorts with this OI subtype. We now present a case of a heterozygous mutation within the coding region of IFITM5 (c.119C > T; p.S40L). The mutation occurred de novo in the patient and resulted in severe OI with prenatal onset and extreme short stature. At the age of 19 months, the typical clinical hallmarks of OI type V were not present. Our finding has important consequences for the genetic "work-up" of patients suspected to have OI, both in prenatal and in postnatal settings: The entire gene-not only the 5'-UTR harboring the "classical" OI type V mutation-has to be analyzed to exclude a causal role of IFITM5. We propose that this should be part of the initial diagnostic steps for genetic laboratories performing SANGER sequencing in OI patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.2156DOI Listing
June 2014

The phenotypic spectrum of duplication 5q35.2-q35.3 encompassing NSD1: is it really a reversed Sotos syndrome?

Am J Med Genet A 2013 Sep 2;161A(9):2158-66. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Institute of Human Genetics, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.

Loss-of-function mutations of NSD1 and 5q35 microdeletions encompassing NSD1 are a major cause of Sotos syndrome (Sos), which is characterized by overgrowth, macrocephaly, characteristic facies, and variable intellectual disability (ID). Microduplications of 5q35.2-q35.3 including NSD1 have been reported in only five patients so far and described clinically as a reversed Sos resulting from a hypothetical gene dosage effect of NSD1. Here, we report on nine patients from five families with interstitial duplication 5q35 including NSD1 detected by molecular karyotyping. The clinical features of all 14 individuals are reviewed. Patients with microduplications including NSD1 appear to have a consistent phenotype consisting of short stature, microcephaly, learning disability or mild to moderate ID, and distinctive facial features comprising periorbital fullness, short palpebral fissures, a long nose with broad or long nasal tip, a smooth philtrum and a thin upper lip vermilion. Behavioral problems, ocular and minor hand anomalies may be associated. Based on our findings, we discuss the possible etiology and conclude that it is possible, but so far unproven, that a gene dosage effect of NSD1 may be the major cause.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.36046DOI Listing
September 2013

Normal intelligence and premature ovarian failure in an adult female with a 7.6 Mb de novo terminal deletion of chromosome 9p.

Eur J Med Genet 2013 Aug 26;56(8):458-62. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Goettingen, Germany.

Distal deletion 9p is associated with gonadal dysfunction in XY individuals. Little is known about the gonadal function and fertility of XX females with this condition. We report on an affected 31-year-old infertile woman presenting with premature ovarian failure, mild dysmorphic features, a history of mild developmental delay and an otherwise normal female phenotype. Cytogenetic analysis showed a deletion 9p with the karyotype 46,XX,del(9)(p23-24) in lymphocytes. The subsequent oligonucleotide array-based CGH analysis with genomic DNA from peripheral blood revealed a terminal deletion of approximately 7.6 Mb. SNP microarray analyses of the patient and her unaffected parents confirmed the deletion breakpoint and revealed a de novo mutation of paternal origin. This is apparently the first description of an adult woman with a cytogenetically visible terminal deletion of chromosome 9p. The fertility problems observed in this patient complement earlier findings in prepubertal and pubertal 46,XX-girls with 9p deletions, who displayed a phenotype ranging from primary ovarian dysfunction and mild gonadotropin hyperresponses to positive menses. DMRT1 is hemizygous in our patient. We discuss the role of DMRT1 in female gonadal development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2013.06.002DOI Listing
August 2013

Mutations in WNT1 cause different forms of bone fragility.

Am J Hum Genet 2013 Apr 14;92(4):565-74. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany.

We report that hypofunctional alleles of WNT1 cause autosomal-recessive osteogenesis imperfecta, a congenital disorder characterized by reduced bone mass and recurrent fractures. In consanguineous families, we identified five homozygous mutations in WNT1: one frameshift mutation, two missense mutations, one splice-site mutation, and one nonsense mutation. In addition, in a family affected by dominantly inherited early-onset osteoporosis, a heterozygous WNT1 missense mutation was identified in affected individuals. Initial functional analysis revealed that altered WNT1 proteins fail to activate canonical LRP5-mediated WNT-regulated β-catenin signaling. Furthermore, osteoblasts cultured in vitro showed enhanced Wnt1 expression with advancing differentiation, indicating a role of WNT1 in osteoblast function and bone development. Our finding that homozygous and heterozygous variants in WNT1 predispose to low-bone-mass phenotypes might advance the development of more effective therapeutic strategies for congenital forms of bone fragility, as well as for common forms of age-related osteoporosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.02.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3617378PMC
April 2013

To know or not to know the genomic sequence of a fetus.

Nat Rev Genet 2012 Oct 4;13(10):676-7. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, Kerpener Strasse 34, 50931 Cologne, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrg3333DOI Listing
October 2012

A mutation in the 5'-UTR of IFITM5 creates an in-frame start codon and causes autosomal-dominant osteogenesis imperfecta type V with hyperplastic callus.

Am J Hum Genet 2012 Aug 2;91(2):349-57. Epub 2012 Aug 2.

Children's Hospital, University of Cologne, 50924 Cologne, Germany.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder associated with bone fragility and susceptibility to fractures after minimal trauma. OI type V has an autosomal-dominant pattern of inheritance and is not caused by mutations in the type I collagen genes COL1A1 and COL1A2. The most remarkable and pathognomonic feature, observed in ~65% of affected individuals, is a predisposition to develop hyperplastic callus after fractures or surgical interventions. To identify the molecular cause of OI type V, we performed whole-exome sequencing in a female with OI type V and her unaffected parents and searched for de novo mutations. We found a heterozygous de novo mutation in the 5'-untranslated region of IFITM5 (the gene encoding Interferon induced transmembrane protein 5), 14 bp upstream of the annotated translation initiation codon (c.-14C>T). Subsequently, we identified an identical heterozygous de novo mutation in a second individual with OI type V by Sanger sequencing, thereby confirming that this is the causal mutation for the phenotype. IFITM5 is a protein that is highly enriched in osteoblasts and has a putative function in bone formation and osteoblast maturation. The mutation c.-14C>T introduces an upstream start codon that is in frame with the reference open-reading frame of IFITM5 and is embedded into a stronger Kozak consensus sequence for translation initiation than the annotated start codon. In vitro, eukaryotic cells were able to recognize this start codon, and they used it instead of the reference translation initiation signal. This suggests that five amino acids (Met-Ala-Leu-Glu-Pro) are added to the N terminus and alter IFITM5 function in individuals with the mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.06.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3415541PMC
August 2012

Attenuated BMP1 function compromises osteogenesis, leading to bone fragility in humans and zebrafish.

Am J Hum Genet 2012 Apr;90(4):661-74

Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Proteos, Singapore, Singapore.

Bone morphogenetic protein 1 (BMP1) is an astacin metalloprotease with important cellular functions and diverse substrates, including extracellular-matrix proteins and antagonists of some TGFβ superfamily members. Combining whole-exome sequencing and filtering for homozygous stretches of identified variants, we found a homozygous causative BMP1 mutation, c.34G>C, in a consanguineous family affected by increased bone mineral density and multiple recurrent fractures. The mutation is located within the BMP1 signal peptide and leads to impaired secretion and an alteration in posttranslational modification. We also characterize a zebrafish bone mutant harboring lesions in bmp1a, demonstrating conservation of BMP1 function in osteogenesis across species. Genetic, biochemical, and histological analyses of this mutant and a comparison to a second, similar locus reveal that Bmp1a is critically required for mature-collagen generation, downstream of osteoblast maturation, in bone. We thus define the molecular and cellular bases of BMP1-dependent osteogenesis and show the importance of this protein for bone formation and stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.02.026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3322236PMC
April 2012

Exome sequencing identifies truncating mutations in human SERPINF1 in autosomal-recessive osteogenesis imperfecta.

Am J Hum Genet 2011 Mar 25;88(3):362-71. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a heterogeneous genetic disorder characterized by bone fragility and susceptibility to fractures after minimal trauma. After mutations in all known OI genes had been excluded by Sanger sequencing, we applied next-generation sequencing to analyze the exome of a single individual who has a severe form of the disease and whose parents are second cousins. A total of 26,922 variations from the human reference genome sequence were subjected to several filtering steps. In addition, we extracted the genotypes of all dbSNP130-annotated SNPs from the exome sequencing data and used these 299,494 genotypes as markers for the genome-wide identification of homozygous regions. A single homozygous truncating mutation, affecting SERPINF1 on chromosome 17p13.3, that was embedded into a homozygous stretch of 2.99 Mb remained. The mutation was also homozygous in the affected brother of the index patient. Subsequently, we identified homozygosity for two different truncating SERPINF1 mutations in two unrelated patients with OI and parental consanguinity. All four individuals with SERPINF1 mutations have severe OI. Fractures of long bones and severe vertebral compression fractures with resulting deformities were observed as early as the first year of life in these individuals. Collagen analyses with cultured dermal fibroblasts displayed no evidence for impaired collagen folding, posttranslational modification, or secretion. SERPINF1 encodes pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), a secreted glycoprotein of the serpin superfamily. PEDF is a multifunctional protein and one of the strongest inhibitors of angiogenesis currently known in humans. Our data provide genetic evidence for PEDF involvement in human bone homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.01.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3059418PMC
March 2011

LRP4 mutations alter Wnt/beta-catenin signaling and cause limb and kidney malformations in Cenani-Lenz syndrome.

Am J Hum Genet 2010 May 8;86(5):696-706. Epub 2010 Apr 8.

Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Cenani-Lenz syndrome (CLS) is an autosomal-recessive congenital disorder affecting distal limb development. It is characterized mainly by syndactyly and/or oligodactyly and is now shown to be commonly associated with kidney anomalies. We used a homozygosity-mapping approach to map the CLS1 locus to chromosome 11p11.2-q13.1. By sequencing candidate genes, we identified recessive LRP4 mutations in 12 families with CLS. LRP4 belongs to the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-related proteins (LRPs), which are essential for various developmental processes. LRP4 is known to antagonize LRP6-mediated activation of canonical Wnt signaling, a function that is lost by the identified mutations. Our findings increase the spectrum of congenital anomalies associated with abnormal lipoprotein receptor-dependent signaling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.03.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2869043PMC
May 2010

Analysis of compound synergy in high-throughput cellular screens by population-based lifetime modeling.

PLoS One 2010 Jan 27;5(1):e8919. Epub 2010 Jan 27.

Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research with Klaus-Joachim-Zülch Laboratories of the Max Planck Society and the Medical Faculty of the University of Köln, Max Planck Society, Köln, Germany.

Despite the successful introduction of potent anti-cancer therapeutics, most of these drugs lead to only modest tumor-shrinkage or transient responses, followed by re-growth of tumors. Combining different compounds has resulted in enhanced tumor control and prolonged survival. However, methods querying the efficacy of such combinations have been hampered by limited scalability, analytical resolution, statistical feasibility, or a combination thereof. We have developed a theoretical framework modeling cellular viability as a stochastic lifetime process to determine synergistic compound combinations from high-throughput cellular screens. We apply our method to data derived from chemical perturbations of 65 cancer cell lines with two inhibitors. Our analysis revealed synergy for the combination of both compounds in subsets of cell lines. By contrast, in cell lines in which inhibition of one of both targets was sufficient to induce cell death, no synergy was detected, compatible with the topology of the oncogenically activated signaling network. In summary, we provide a tool for the measurement of synergy strength for combination perturbation experiments that might help define pathway topologies and direct clinical trials.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0008919PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2811738PMC
January 2010

Commentary: No risk, no objections? Ethical pitfalls of cell-free fetal DNA and RNA testing.

BMJ 2009 Jul 6;339:b2690. Epub 2009 Jul 6.

Institute for History, Theory, and Ethics in Medicine, RWTH Aachen University, Wendlingweg 2, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b2690DOI Listing
July 2009

An offer you can't refuse? Ethical implications of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis.

Nat Rev Genet 2009 Aug;10(8):515

Institute for History, Theory and Ethics in Medicine, RWTH Aachen University, Wendlingweg 2, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrg2631DOI Listing
August 2009
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