Publications by authors named "Constance T R M Stumpel"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Truncating SRCAP variants outside the Floating-Harbor syndrome locus cause a distinct neurodevelopmental disorder with a specific DNA methylation signature.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 06 27;108(6):1053-1068. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20251 Hamburg, Germany.

Truncating variants in exons 33 and 34 of the SNF2-related CREBBP activator protein (SRCAP) gene cause the neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD) Floating-Harbor syndrome (FLHS), characterized by short stature, speech delay, and facial dysmorphism. Here, we present a cohort of 33 individuals with clinical features distinct from FLHS and truncating (mostly de novo) SRCAP variants either proximal (n = 28) or distal (n = 5) to the FLHS locus. Detailed clinical characterization of the proximal SRCAP individuals identified shared characteristics: developmental delay with or without intellectual disability, behavioral and psychiatric problems, non-specific facial features, musculoskeletal issues, and hypotonia. Because FLHS is known to be associated with a unique set of DNA methylation (DNAm) changes in blood, a DNAm signature, we investigated whether there was a distinct signature associated with our affected individuals. A machine-learning model, based on the FLHS DNAm signature, negatively classified all our tested subjects. Comparing proximal variants with typically developing controls, we identified a DNAm signature distinct from the FLHS signature. Based on the DNAm and clinical data, we refer to the condition as "non-FLHS SRCAP-related NDD." All five distal variants classified negatively using the FLHS DNAm model while two classified positively using the proximal model. This suggests divergent pathogenicity of these variants, though clinically the distal group presented with NDD, similar to the proximal SRCAP group. In summary, for SRCAP, there is a clear relationship between variant location, DNAm profile, and clinical phenotype. These results highlight the power of combined epigenetic, molecular, and clinical studies to identify and characterize genotype-epigenotype-phenotype correlations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.04.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206150PMC
June 2021

Social functioning and emotion recognition in adults with triple X syndrome.

BJPsych Open 2021 Feb 15;7(2):e51. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, The Netherlands; Heeren Loo Zorggroep, The Netherlands; and Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Amsterdam University Medical Centre, The Netherlands.

Background: Triple X syndrome (TXS) is caused by aneuploidy of the X chromosome and is associated with impaired social functioning in children; however, its effect on social functioning and emotion recognition in adults is poorly understood.

Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate social functioning and emotion recognition in adults with TXS.

Method: This cross-sectional cohort study was designed to compare social functioning and emotion recognition between adults with TXS (n = 34) and an age-matched control group (n = 31). Social functioning was assessed with the Adult Behavior Checklist and Social Responsiveness Scale for Adults. Emotion recognition was assessed with the Emotion Recognition Task in the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Differences were analysed by Mann-Whitney U-test.

Results: Compared with controls, women with TXS scored higher on the Adult Behavior Checklist, including the Withdrawn scale (P < 0.001, effect size 0.4) and Thought Problems scale (P < 0.001, effect size 0.4); and higher on the Social Responsiveness Scale for Adults, indicating impaired social functioning (P < 0.001, effect size 0.5). In addition, women with TXS performed worse on the Emotion Recognition Task, particularly with respect to recognising sadness (P < 0.005, effect size 0.4), fear (P < 0.01, effect size 0.4) and disgust (P < 0.02, effect size 0.3).

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that adults with TXS have a higher prevalence of impaired social functioning and emotion recognition. These results highlight the relevance of sex chromosome aneuploidy as a potential model for studying disorders characterised by social impairments such as autism spectrum disorder, particularly among women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2021.8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8058878PMC
February 2021

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

The adult phenotype of Schaaf-Yang syndrome.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2020 10 19;15(1):294. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.

Background: MAGEL2-associated Schaaf-Yang syndrome (SHFYNG, OMIM #615547, ORPHA: 398069), which was identified in 2013, is a rare disorder caused by truncating variants of the paternal copy of MAGEL2, which is localized in the imprinted region on 15q11.2q13. The phenotype of SHFYNG in childhood partially overlaps with that of the well-established Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS, OMIM #176270). While larger numbers of younger individuals with SHFYNG have been recently published, the phenotype in adulthood is not well established. We recruited 7 adult individuals (aged 18 to 36) with molecularly confirmed SHFYNG and collected data regarding the clinical profile including eating habits, sleep, behavior, personal autonomy, psychiatric abnormalities and other medical conditions, as well as information about the respective phenotypes in childhood.

Results: Within our small cohort, we identified a range of common features, such as disturbed sleep, hypoactivity, social withdrawal and anxiety, but also noted considerable differences at the level of personal autonomy and skills. Behavioral problems were frequent, and a majority of individuals displayed weight gain and food-seeking behavior, along with mild intellectual disability or borderline intellectual function. Classical symptoms of SHFYNG in childhood were reported for most individuals.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate a high variability of the functional abilities and social participation of adults with SHFYNG. A high prevalence of obesity within our cohort was notable, and uncontrollable food intake was a major concern for some caregivers. The phenotypes of PWS and SHFYNG in adulthood might be more difficult to discern than the phenotypes in childhood. Molecular genetic testing for SHFYNG should therefore be considered in adults with the suspected diagnosis of PWS, if testing for PWS has been negative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-020-01557-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7574436PMC
October 2020

Distinguishing Marshall from Stickler syndrome: a clinical and genetic challenge.

Clin Dysmorphol 2021 Jan;30(1):58-61

Clinical Genetics and GROW-School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MCD.0000000000000346DOI Listing
January 2021

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

De Novo Variants in MAPK8IP3 Cause Intellectual Disability with Variable Brain Anomalies.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 02 3;104(2):203-212. Epub 2019 Jan 3.

Institute for Clinical Genetics, Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine, TU Dresden, Dresden 01307, Germany.

Using exome sequencing, we have identified de novo variants in MAPK8IP3 in 13 unrelated individuals presenting with an overlapping phenotype of mild to severe intellectual disability. The de novo variants comprise six missense variants, three of which are recurrent, and three truncating variants. Brain anomalies such as perisylvian polymicrogyria, cerebral or cerebellar atrophy, and hypoplasia of the corpus callosum were consistent among individuals harboring recurrent de novo missense variants. MAPK8IP3 has been shown to be involved in the retrograde axonal-transport machinery, but many of its specific functions are yet to be elucidated. Using the CRISPR-Cas9 system to target six conserved amino acid positions in Caenorhabditis elegans, we found that two of the six investigated human alterations led to a significantly elevated density of axonal lysosomes, and five variants were associated with adverse locomotion. Reverse-engineering normalized the observed adverse effects back to wild-type levels. Combining genetic, phenotypic, and functional findings, as well as the significant enrichment of de novo variants in MAPK8IP3 within our total cohort of 27,232 individuals who underwent exome sequencing, we implicate de novo variants in MAPK8IP3 as a cause of a neurodevelopmental disorder with intellectual disability and variable brain anomalies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.12.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6369540PMC
February 2019

Hypermobility in individuals with Kabuki syndrome: The effect of growth hormone treatment.

Am J Med Genet A 2019 02 17;179(2):219-223. Epub 2018 Dec 17.

Department of Pediatrics, Maastricht University Medical Center+, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Kabuki syndrome (KS) is a multiple congenital malformation syndrome which has been described across all ethnic groups. Most KS patients possess two genetic subtypes: KMT2D-associated, autosomal-dominant KS type 1 (KS1; OMIM 147920); and KDM6A-associated, X-linked-dominant KS type 2. Generalized joint hypermobility is one feature of KS, but its exact incidence and pattern is not well described in the literature. As part of our prospective study on the metabolic and growth effect of GH treatment, we assessed children from our Dutch Kabuki cohort who were eligible for growth hormone therapy. We assessed severity and pattern of joint hypermobility, both before and after 24 months of growth hormone replacement therapy. The prevalence of hypermobility was 31% in boys and 14% in girls using the Beighton score and 69% in boys and 57% in girls using the Bulbena score. This varies from the general population where girls are more affected. After 2 years of growth hormone treatment, there was a statistically significant decrease in the presence of joint hypermobility to 6% using the Bulbena score and none with respect to the Beighton score. We hypothesized that this result suggests a direct effect of growth hormone on connective tissue in patients with KS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.60696DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6590336PMC
February 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

Evaluation of the most commonly used (semi-)quantitative parameters of 18F-FDG PET/CT to detect malignant transformation of neurofibromas in neurofibromatosis type 1.

Nucl Med Commun 2018 Nov;39(11):961-968

Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.

In patients with neurofibromatosis type 1, transformation of neurofibromas into a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) is a severe complication of the disease. Fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose PET/computed tomography (PET/CT) is a viable option for detecting malignant tumors in neurofibromatosis type 1 patients. The aim of this review was to assess the diagnostic performance of the most frequently used parameters of PET/CT in detecting MPNST. An extensive computer search was performed using the Cochrane Library, Pubmed, and Medline/Embase databases. Two reviewers independently extracted data of relevant studies and assessed the methodological quality (QUADAS-2). The diagnostic performance of PET/CT parameters in individual studies was determined by calculating a diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) using the absolute numbers of true-positive, true-negative, false-positive, and false-negative test results. A total of eight studies were included, of which three evaluated the standardized uptake value as a diagnostic parameter, two assessed the tumor-to-liver (T/L) ratio, and three articles described both parameters. The cut-off values for maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) ranged from 3.2 to 4.5; for the T/L ratio, the cut-off values were between 1.0 and 4.3. The sensitivity and specificity ranged from 90 to 100% and from 80 to 100%, respectively (SUVmax). T/L ratios were associated with 92-100% sensitivity and 72-94% specificity. The corresponding DORs ranged from 57 to 145 (SUVmax) and 35 to 655 (T/L ratio). Both the SUV and the T/L ratio are associated with high sensitivity combined with acceptable specificity in detecting MPNST. There is a tendency toward higher DORs using the T/L ratio, but the number of studies is limited.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MNM.0000000000000889DOI Listing
November 2018

Haploinsufficiency of CUX1 Causes Nonsyndromic Global Developmental Delay With Possible Catch-up Development.

Ann Neurol 2018 08 31;84(2):200-207. Epub 2018 Aug 31.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Leipzig Hospitals and Clinics, Leipzig, Germany.

Objective: Developmental delay (DD) with favorable intellectual outcome and mild intellectual disability (ID) are mostly considered to be of complex genetic and environmental origin, but, in fact, often remain unclear. We aimed at proving our assumption that also mild cases of DD and ID may be of monogenic etiology.

Methods: We clinically evaluated 8 individuals and performed exome sequencing or array copy number analysis and identified variants in CUX1 as the likely cause. In addition, we included a case from the public database, DECIPHER.

Results: All 9 individuals harbored heterozygous null-allele variants in CUX1, encoding the Cut-homeobox 1 transcription factor that is involved in regulation of dendritogenesis and cortical synapse formation in layer II to IV cortical neurons. Six variants arose de novo, while in one family the variant segregated with ID. Of the 9 included individuals, 2 were diagnosed with moderate ID, 3 with mild ID, and 3 showed a normal age-related intelligence at ages 4, 6, and 8 years after a previous history of significant DD.

Interpretation: Our results suggest that null-allele variants, and thus haploinsufficiency of CUX1, cause an isolated phenotype of DD or ID with possible catch-up development. This illustrates that such a developmental course is not necessarily genetic complex, but may also be attributed to a monogenic cause. Ann Neurol 2018;84:200-207.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.25278DOI Listing
August 2018

Growth Hormone Therapy in Children with Kabuki Syndrome: 1-year Treatment Results.

Horm Res Paediatr 2017 9;88(3-4):258-264. Epub 2017 Aug 9.

Department of Clinical Genetics and GROW - School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht UMC+, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Background/aims: Kabuki syndrome (KS) is a rare genetic malformation syndrome, resulting in characteristic features such as short stature. We investigate whether growth hormone (GH) treatment increases linear height and influences body proportions in KS children.

Methods: In this prospective study, 18 genetically confirmed prepubertal KS children (9 females and 9 males) aged from 3.8 to 10.1 years (mean 6.8 ± 2.1 years) were treated with recombinant human GH (rhGH) for 1 year. Calculations for height, height velocity, BMI, sitting height, and subischial leg length were made. Bone age, insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), and IGF binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) were also measured.

Results: This study showed an increase in height standard deviation score (SDS) for the whole group from -2.40 to -1.69 (p < 0.05) after 1 year of rhGH treatment. The change in height SDS within 1 year was >0.7 SDS for 10 subjects and >0.5 SDS for 3 subjects. The mean IGF-I SDS at the start of the study was -0.70 (±1.07), which increased after 12 months to 1.41 (±0.91) (p < 0.05). KS children who received rhGH at a younger age displayed significantly greater increases in height than those who started when they were older. The same was true for both gene mutation KMT2D versus KDM6A and for GH deficiency versus non-GH deficiency KS children (p < 0.05). Throughout the course of rhGH treatment, the subjects' body proportions remained normal.

Conclusions: All participants experienced catch-up growth during the year of rhGH treatment, but without an influence on body proportions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000479368DOI Listing
June 2018

De Novo Truncating Variants in ASXL2 Are Associated with a Unique and Recognizable Clinical Phenotype.

Am J Hum Genet 2016 Oct 29;99(4):991-999. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, University of Helsinki, 00290 Helsinki, Finland; Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA; Program in Medical and Population Genetics, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA; Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA; Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA USA, 02114.

The ASXL genes (ASXL1, ASXL2, and ASXL3) participate in body patterning during embryogenesis and encode proteins involved in epigenetic regulation and assembly of transcription factors to specific genomic loci. Germline de novo truncating variants in ASXL1 and ASXL3 have been respectively implicated in causing Bohring-Opitz and Bainbridge-Ropers syndromes, which result in overlapping features of severe intellectual disability and dysmorphic features. ASXL2 has not yet been associated with a human Mendelian disorder. In this study, we performed whole-exome sequencing in six unrelated probands with developmental delay, macrocephaly, and dysmorphic features. All six had de novo truncating variants in ASXL2. A careful review enabled the recognition of a specific phenotype consisting of macrocephaly, prominent eyes, arched eyebrows, hypertelorism, a glabellar nevus flammeus, neonatal feeding difficulties, hypotonia, and developmental disabilities. Although overlapping features with Bohring-Opitz and Bainbridge-Ropers syndromes exist, features that distinguish the ASXL2-associated condition from ASXL1- and ASXL3-related disorders are macrocephaly, absence of growth retardation, and more variability in the degree of intellectual disabilities. We were also able to demonstrate with mRNA studies that these variants are likely to exert a dominant-negative effect, given that both alleles are expressed in blood and the mutated ASXL2 transcripts escape nonsense-mediated decay. In conclusion, de novo truncating variants in ASXL2 underlie a neurodevelopmental syndrome with a clinically recognizable phenotype. This report expands the germline disorders that are linked to the ASXL genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.08.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5065681PMC
October 2016

Growth Hormone Stimulation Tests in Children with Kabuki Syndrome.

Horm Res Paediatr 2016 21;86(5):319-324. Epub 2016 Sep 21.

Department of Paediatrics, Zuyderland Medical Centre, Heerlen, The Netherlands.

Background/aims: Kabuki syndrome is a multiple congenital malformation syndrome with a variety of clinical features including short stature. The cause of this postnatal short stature remains unknown.

Methods: Eighteen children with genetically proven Kabuki syndrome (8 boys and 10 girls; ages 3.3-9.9 years, with a mean of 6.7 years) who underwent growth hormone (GH) stimulation tests were evaluated in a prospective study. Two GH stimulation tests were conducted, including insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and IGF-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) serum levels. GH stimulation peaks in relation to age, sex, height, body mass index (BMI), IGF-I, and IGFBP-3 SD scores (SDS) were analyzed.

Results: Five of the 18 children (27.8%) were biochemically GH deficient. This was not correlated with BMI SDS. Of all patients, only 1 had an IGF-I below -2 SD and did not fulfill the GH deficiency criteria. The mean IGF-I level was below normal (-0.8 SD). All subjects had normal IGFBP-3 levels.

Conclusions: The utility of performing GH stimulation tests on Kabuki syndrome children as an indication of GH status in short stature is questionable. IGF-I levels did correlate neither with the GH stimulation peak nor consequently with the diagnosis of GH deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000449221DOI Listing
April 2017

Growth pattern in Kabuki syndrome with a KMT2D mutation.

Am J Med Genet A 2016 12 17;170(12):3172-3179. Epub 2016 Aug 17.

Department of Clinical Genetics and School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW), Maastricht UMC+, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Kabuki syndrome is a multiple congenital malformation syndrome with a spectrum of clinical features including short stature. Since there is no growth data on Kabuki syndrome patients with a proven KMT2D gene mutation, further research on growth and growth patterns is indicated. Data for this growth study on subjects with Kabuki syndrome were collected from referring clinicians. Subjects were eligible for inclusion in the study if the following criteria were met: a genetically confirmed diagnosis of Kabuki syndrome and no current treatment with growth hormones or other drugs that could influence growth. We present a report on growth data (n = 39) in Kabuki syndrome patients. The data showed that postnatal growth retardation is a clinical feature in all cases. All Kabuki syndrome subjects showed a growth deflection during childhood and a diminution of the pubertal growth spurt. A genotype-phenotype correlation was not observed. Further research is required in order to determine whether a defect in the growth hormone/IGF-I axis and estrogen receptor plays a role in the growth retardation. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.37930DOI Listing
December 2016

The cilium: a cellular antenna with an influence on obesity risk.

Br J Nutr 2016 Aug 20;116(4):576-92. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

2Department of Clinical Genetics,Maastricht University Medical Centre,PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht,The Netherlands.

Primary cilia are organelles that are present on many different cell types, either transiently or permanently. They play a crucial role in receiving signals from the environment and passing these signals to other parts of the cell. In that way, they are involved in diverse processes such as adipocyte differentiation and olfactory sensation. Mutations in genes coding for ciliary proteins often have pleiotropic effects and lead to clinical conditions, ciliopathies, with multiple symptoms. In this study, we reviewed observations from ciliopathies with obesity as one of the symptoms. It shows that variation in cilia-related genes is itself not a major cause of obesity in the population but may be a part of the multifactorial aetiology of this complex condition. Both common polymorphisms and rare deleterious variants may contribute to the obesity risk. Genotype-phenotype relationships have been noticed. Among the ciliary genes, obesity differs with regard to severity and age of onset, which may relate to the influence of each gene on the balance between pro- and anti-adipogenic processes. Analysis of the function and location of the proteins encoded by these ciliary genes suggests that obesity is more linked to activities at the basal area of the cilium, including initiation of the intraflagellar transport, but less to the intraflagellar transport itself. Regarding the role of cilia, three possible mechanistic processes underlying obesity are described: adipogenesis, neuronal food intake regulation and food odour perception.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114516002282DOI Listing
August 2016

The 6p25 deletion syndrome: An update on a rare neurocristopathy.

Ophthalmic Genet 2017 Mar-Apr;38(2):101-107. Epub 2016 Apr 12.

a Department of Clinical Genetics and School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW) , Maastricht University Medical Center+ , Maastricht , the Netherlands.

Anterior segment dysgeneses are developmental anomalies of the anterior eye segment that can occur as isolated defects or as part of various syndromes. A subgroup is caused by abnormal embryonic neural crest development. The Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome is an umbrella term for a continuum of anterior segment dysgeneses of neural crest origin, characterized by the presence of the Axenfeld or Rieger eye malformation predisposing for glaucoma. Additionally, other structures of neural crest origin can be variably affected giving rise to a wide spectrum of associated extra-ocular malformations. Key clinical features comprise facial dysmorphism including mid-face and dental hypoplasia, hearing loss, cardiac anomalies, and involuted periumbilical skin. The Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome is genetically heterogeneous and about 16% of cases are caused by heterozygous mutations in FOXC1 at 6p25.3, a transcription factor gene regulating neural crest cell development. There is considerable clinical overlap between the Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome and the 6p25 deletion syndrome, a microdeletion syndrome characterized by heterozygous loss of FOXC1. In both syndromes, FOXC1 haploinsufficiency seems to be pathogenic. Here, we review the clinical features and pathogenesis of the 6p25 deletion syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13816810.2016.1164191DOI Listing
November 2017

The inflatable thymus herniation of the normal mediastinal thymus: A case report and review of the literature.

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2016 Apr 28;83:74-7. Epub 2016 Jan 28.

Department of Clinical Genetics and School for Oncology & Developmental Biology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Anterior neck masses in young children can be a diagnostic challenge for otolaryngologists and radiologists. We present a rare case of herniation of normal mediastinal thymus in a four-year-old girl. Additional medical features as an inguinal hernia and trochlear nerve paresis raised the question whether there is a causal relationship or an association. A connective tissue disorder could not be diagnosed as possible causal factor to the abnormal movement of the mediastinal thymus. Awareness and recognition of this benign phenomenon is important in order to avoid unnecessary biopsy or surgery. Diagnosis can be confirmed by ultrasonography. Magnetic Resonance Imaging might be valuable in order to obtain more information about the extension of the mass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2016.01.019DOI Listing
April 2016

Refining the Diagnosis of Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome on Long-term Stored Tissue: c.1097G>A (p.(Arg366His)) WT1 Mutation Causing Denys Drash Syndrome.

Fetal Pediatr Pathol 2016 16;35(2):112-9. Epub 2016 Feb 16.

d Department of Clinical Genetics and School for Oncology & Developmental Biology (GROW) , Maastricht University Medical Center , Maastricht , The Netherlands.

Congenital nephrotic syndrome (CNS) caused by a mutation in the Wilms tumor 1 suppressor gene (WT1) is part of Denys Drash Syndrome or Frasier syndrome. In the framework of genetic counseling, the diagnosis of CNS can be refined with gene mutation studies on long-term stored formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue from postmortem examination. We report a case of diffuse mesangial sclerosis with perinatal death caused by a de novo mutation in the WT1 gene in a girl with an XY-genotype. This is the first case of Denys Drash Syndrome with the uncommon missense c.1097G>A [p.(Arg366His)] mutation in the WT1 gene which has been diagnosed on long-term stored formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue in 1993. This emphasizes the importance of retained and adequately stored tissue as a resource in the ongoing medical care and counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/15513815.2016.1139018DOI Listing
December 2016

Body proportions in children with Kabuki syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2016 Mar 9;170(3):610-4. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

Department of Clinical Genetics and School for Oncology & Developmental Biology (GROW), Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

Facial characteristics, short stature, and skeletal anomalies have been described for the clinical diagnosis of Kabuki Syndrome (KS) in children. However, no studies have investigated body proportions in KS. Knowledge of body proportions in KS may contribute to better insight into the growth pattern and characterization of this genetic disorder. Therefore we compared body proportions of children with KS to normally proportioned controls to investigate if atypical body proportions are part of this genetic disorder. This study was designed and conducted within the setting of the Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+), the official Dutch expert center for Kabuki syndrome. We conducted a cross-sectional study in 32 children (11 children with KS and 21 controls). Body proportions were determined by means of photogrammetric anthropometry, measurements based on digital photography. Body proportions, quantified as body ratios, differ significantly in children with KS from normally proportioned children. Children with KS have larger heads and longer arms proportional to their trunks and have been found to have longer upper arms proportional to their tibia length and feet. Based on deviations in body proportions it was shown possible to discern children with KS from normally proportioned controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.37467DOI Listing
March 2016

SAMS, a syndrome of short stature, auditory-canal atresia, mandibular hypoplasia, and skeletal abnormalities is a unique neurocristopathy caused by mutations in Goosecoid.

Am J Hum Genet 2013 Dec 27;93(6):1135-42. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK.

Short stature, auditory canal atresia, mandibular hypoplasia, and skeletal abnormalities (SAMS) has been reported previously to be a rare, autosomal-recessive developmental disorder with other, unique rhizomelic skeletal anomalies. These include bilateral humeral hypoplasia, humeroscapular synostosis, pelvic abnormalities, and proximal defects of the femora. To identify the genetic basis of SAMS, we used molecular karyotyping and whole-exome sequencing (WES) to study small, unrelated families. Filtering of variants from the WES data included segregation analysis followed by comparison of in-house exomes. We identified a homozygous 306 kb microdeletion and homozygous predicted null mutations of GSC, encoding Goosecoid homeobox protein, a paired-like homeodomain transcription factor. This confirms that SAMS is a human malformation syndrome resulting from GSC mutations. Previously, Goosecoid has been shown to be a determinant at the Xenopus gastrula organizer region and a segment-polarity determinant in Drosophila. In the present report, we present data on Goosecoid protein localization in staged mouse embryos. These data and the SAMS clinical phenotype both suggest that Goosecoid is a downstream effector of the regulatory networks that define neural-crest cell-fate specification and subsequent mesoderm cell lineages in mammals, particularly during shoulder and hip formation. Our findings confirm that Goosecoid has an essential role in human craniofacial and joint development and suggest that Goosecoid is an essential regulator of mesodermal patterning in mammals and that it has specific functions in neural crest cell derivatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.10.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3853132PMC
December 2013
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