Publications by authors named "Craig L Bennett"

19 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Tight expression regulation of senataxin, linked to motor neuron disease and ataxia, is required to avert cell-cycle block and nucleolus disassembly.

Heliyon 2020 Jun 13;6(6):e04165. Epub 2020 Jun 13.

Department of Neurology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

The Senataxin (SETX) protein exhibits strong sequence conservation with the helicase domain of the yeast protein Sen1p, and recessive mutations cause a severe ataxia, known as Ataxia with Oculomotor Apraxia type 2, while dominant mutations cause Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis type 4. SETX is a very low abundance protein, and its expression is tightly regulated, such that large increases in mRNA levels fail to significantly increase protein levels. Despite this, transient transfection in cell culture can boost SETX protein levels on an individual cell basis. Here we found that over-expression of normal SETX, but not enzymatically-dead SETX, is associated with S-phase cell-cycle arrest in HEK293A cells. As SETX interacts with the nuclear exosome to ensure degradation of incomplete RNA transcripts, and SETX localizes to sites of collision between the DNA replication machinery and the RNAP II complex, altered dosage or aberrant function of SETX may impede this process to promote S-phase cell-cycle arrest. Because neurons are enriched for long transcripts with additional antisense regulatory transcription, collisions of RNAP II complexes may occur in such post-mitotic cells, underscoring a role for SETX in maintaining neuron homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e04165DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7301172PMC
June 2020

Senataxin, A Novel Helicase at the Interface of RNA Transcriptome Regulation and Neurobiology: From Normal Function to Pathological Roles in Motor Neuron Disease and Cerebellar Degeneration.

Adv Neurobiol 2018 ;20:265-281

Department of Neurology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

Senataxin (SETX) is a DNA-RNA helicase whose C-terminal region shows homology to the helicase domain of the yeast protein Sen1p. Genetic discoveries have established the importance of SETX for neural function, as recessive mutations in the SETX gene cause Ataxia with Oculomotor Apraxia type 2 (AOA2) (OMIM: 606002), which is the third most common form of recessive ataxia, after Friedreich's ataxia and Ataxia-Telangiectasia. In addition, rare, dominant SETX mutations cause a juvenile-onset form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), known as ALS4. SETX performs a number of RNA regulatory functions, including maintaining RNA transcriptome homeostasis. Over the last decade, altered RNA regulation and aberrant RNA-binding protein function have emerged as a central theme in motor neuron disease pathogenesis, with evidence suggesting that sporadic ALS disease pathology may overlap with the molecular pathology uncovered in familial ALS. Like other RNA processing proteins linked to ALS, the basis for SETX gain-of-function motor neuron toxicity remains ill-defined. Studies of yeast Sen1p and mammalian SETX protein have revealed a range of important RNA regulatory functions, including resolution of R-loops to permit transcription termination, and RNA splicing. Growing evidence suggests that SETX may represent an important genetic modifier locus for sporadic ALS. In cycling cells, SETX is found at nuclear foci during the S/G cell-cycle transition phase, and may function at sites of collision between components of the replisome and transcription machinery. While we do not yet know which SETX activities are most critical to neurodegeneration, our evolving understanding of SETX function will undoubtedly be crucial for not only understanding the role of SETX in ALS and ataxia disease pathogenesis, but also for delineating the mechanistic biology of fundamentally important molecular processes in the cell.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-89689-2_10DOI Listing
October 2018

Senataxin mutations elicit motor neuron degeneration phenotypes and yield TDP-43 mislocalization in ALS4 mice and human patients.

Acta Neuropathol 2018 09 3;136(3):425-443. Epub 2018 May 3.

Department of Neurology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, USA.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 4 (ALS4) is a rare, early-onset, autosomal dominant form of ALS, characterized by slow disease progression and sparing of respiratory musculature. Dominant, gain-of-function mutations in the senataxin gene (SETX) cause ALS4, but the mechanistic basis for motor neuron toxicity is unknown. SETX is a RNA-binding protein with a highly conserved helicase domain, but does not possess a low-complexity domain, making it unique among ALS-linked disease proteins. We derived ALS4 mouse models by expressing two different senataxin gene mutations (R2136H and L389S) via transgenesis and knock-in gene targeting. Both approaches yielded SETX mutant mice that develop neuromuscular phenotypes and motor neuron degeneration. Neuropathological characterization of SETX mice revealed nuclear clearing of TDP-43, accompanied by TDP-43 cytosolic mislocalization, consistent with the hallmark pathology observed in human ALS patients. Postmortem material from ALS4 patients exhibited TDP-43 mislocalization in spinal cord motor neurons, and motor neurons from SETX ALS4 mice displayed enhanced stress granule formation. Immunostaining analysis for nucleocytoplasmic transport proteins Ran and RanGAP1 uncovered nuclear membrane abnormalities in the motor neurons of SETX ALS4 mice, and nuclear import was delayed in SETX ALS4 cortical neurons, indicative of impaired nucleocytoplasmic trafficking. SETX ALS4 mice thus recapitulated ALS disease phenotypes in association with TDP-43 mislocalization and provided insight into the basis for TDP-43 histopathology, linking SETX dysfunction to common pathways of ALS motor neuron degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-018-1852-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6098723PMC
September 2018

Unwinding the role of senataxin in neurodegeneration.

Discov Med 2015 Feb;19(103):127-36

Departments of Pediatrics, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and Neurosciences, Division of Biological Sciences, Institute for Genomic Medicine, and the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA and Rady Children's Hospital, La Jolla, CA 92123, USA.

Interest in senataxin biology began in 2004 when mutations were first identified in what was then a novel protein. Dominantly inherited mutations were documented in rare juvenile-onset, motor neuron disease pedigrees in a familial form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS4), while recessive mutations were found to cause a severe early-onset ataxia with oculomotor apraxia (AOA2) that is actually the second most common recessive ataxia after Freidreich's ataxia. From earlier studies of sen1p, the yeast ortholog of senataxin, a range of important RNA processing functions have been attributed to this protein. Like sen1p, senataxin contains a helicase domain to interact with RNA and an amino-terminal domain for critical protein interactions. Senataxin also joins a group of important proteins responsible for maintaining RNA transcriptome homeostasis, including FUS, TDP-43, and SMN that can all cause familial forms of motor neuron disease (MND). Independent of this association, senataxin is gaining attention for its role in maintaining genomic stability. Senataxin has been shown to resolve R-Loop structures, which form when nascent RNA hybridizes to DNA, displacing the non-transcribed strand. But in cycling cells, senataxin is also found at nuclear foci during the S/G2 cell-cycle phase, and may function at sites of specific collision between components of the replisome and transcription machinery. Which of these important processes is most critical to prevent neurodegeneration remains unknown, but our evolving understanding of these processes will be crucial not only for understanding senataxin's role in neurological disease, but also in a number of fundamentally important cellular functions.
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February 2015

Microtubule defects & Neurodegeneration.

J Genet Syndr Gene Ther 2013 Dec;4:203

School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences, James Cook University, DB 21, James Cook Drive, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia ; Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

One of the major challenges facing the long term survival of neurons is their requirement to maintain efficient axonal transport over long distances. In humans as large, long-lived vertebrates, the machinery maintaining neuronal transport must remain efficient despite the slow accumulation of cell damage during aging. Mutations in genes encoding proteins which function in the transport system feature prominently in neurologic disorders. Genes known to cause such disorders and showing traditional Mendelian inheritance have been more readily identified. It has been more difficult, however, to isolate factors underlying the complex genetics contributing to the more common idiopathic forms of neurodegenerative disease. At the heart of neuronal transport is the rail network or scaffolding provided by neuron specific microtubules (MTs). The importance of MT dynamics and stability is underscored by the critical role tau protein plays in MT-associated stabilization versus the dysfunction seen in Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia and other tauopathies. Another example of the requirement for tight regulation of MT dynamics is the need to maintain balanced levels of post-translational modification of key MT building-blocks such as α-tubulin. Tubulins require extensive polyglutamylation at their carboxyl-terminus as part of a novel post-translational modification mechanism to signal MT growth versus destabilization. Dramatically, knock-out of a gene encoding a deglutamylation family member causes an extremely rapid cell death of Purkinje cells in the ataxic mouse model, . This review will examine a range of neurodegenerative conditions where current molecular understanding points to defects in the stability of MTs and axonal transport to emphasize the central role of MTs in neuron survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2157-7412.1000203DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3930179PMC
December 2013

Protein interaction analysis of senataxin and the ALS4 L389S mutant yields insights into senataxin post-translational modification and uncovers mutant-specific binding with a brain cytoplasmic RNA-encoded peptide.

PLoS One 2013 11;8(11):e78837. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Comparative Genomics Centre, School of Pharmacy and Molecular Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia ; Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States of America.

Senataxin is a large 303 kDa protein linked to neuron survival, as recessive mutations cause Ataxia with Oculomotor Apraxia type 2 (AOA2), and dominant mutations cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 4 (ALS4). Senataxin contains an amino-terminal protein-interaction domain and a carboxy-terminal DNA/RNA helicase domain. In this study, we focused upon the common ALS4 mutation, L389S, by performing yeast two-hybrid screens of a human brain expression library with control senataxin or L389S senataxin as bait. Interacting clones identified from the two screens were collated, and redundant hits and false positives subtracted to yield a set of 13 protein interactors. Among these hits, we discovered a highly specific and reproducible interaction of L389S senataxin with a peptide encoded by the antisense sequence of a brain-specific non-coding RNA, known as BCYRN1. We further found that L389S senataxin interacts with other proteins containing regions of conserved homology with the BCYRN1 reverse complement-encoded peptide, suggesting that such aberrant protein interactions may contribute to L389S ALS4 disease pathogenesis. As the yeast two-hybrid screen also demonstrated senataxin self-association, we confirmed senataxin dimerization via its amino-terminal binding domain and determined that the L389S mutation does not abrogate senataxin self-association. Finally, based upon detection of interactions between senataxin and ubiquitin-SUMO pathway modification enzymes, we examined senataxin for the presence of ubiquitin and SUMO monomers, and observed this post-translational modification. Our senataxin protein interaction study reveals a number of features of senataxin biology that shed light on senataxin normal function and likely on senataxin molecular pathology in ALS4.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078837PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3823977PMC
August 2014

Systematic review of TCF2 anomalies in renal cysts and diabetes syndrome/maturity onset diabetes of the young type 5.

Chin Med J (Engl) 2010 Nov;123(22):3326-33

Division of Nephrology, Kidney Institute and Key Lab of Chinese People's Liberation Army, General Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army, Beijing 100853, China.

Objective: There is a paucity of published works that systematically evaluate gene anomalies or clinical features of patients with renal cysts and diabetes syndrome (RCAD)/maturity onset diabetes of the young type 5 (MODY5). The purpose of this review was to systematically assess the detection rate, genetic and phenotypic implications of heterozygous autosomal dominant TCF2 anomalies.

Data Sources: MEDLINE database was searched to select articles recorded in English from 1997 to 2008. The focus was monoallelic germline TCF2 gene mutations/deletions. Biallelic inactivation, polymorphisms, DNA modification (hypomethylation and hypermethylation), loci associated with cancer risk, and somatic TCF2 anomalies were all excluded.

Study Selection: After searching the literature, 50 articles were selected.

Results: The detection rate of TCF2 anomalies was 9.7% and varied considerably among MODY (1.4%), renal structure anomalies (RSA) (21.4%) and RSA with MODY (41.2%) subgroups. Mutations were strikingly located within the DNA binding domain and varied among exons of the DNA binding domain: exons 2 and 4 were the hottest spots, while mutations were sporadically distributed in exon 3. The consistent phenotypes were RSA (89.6%) and diabetes mellitus (DM) (45.0%). However, the concurrence of RSA and DM was relatively low (27.5%), which hinders the optimal performance of genetic testing and obtainment of timely diagnosis. Other organ involvements were complementary and necessary for the early identification of patients with TCF2 anomalies. Analysis of phenotypes of TCF2 point mutations showed significant differences in the detection rates of RSA, impaired renal function (IRF) and DM according to mutation type but not mutation location.

Conclusion: These valuable features of TCF2 anomalies that previously did not receive sufficient attention should not be neglected.
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November 2010

Mitochondrial dysfunction in NnaD mutant flies and Purkinje cell degeneration mice reveals a role for Nna proteins in neuronal bioenergetics.

Neuron 2010 Jun;66(6):835-47

School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham Medical School, Nottingham NG72UH, UK.

The Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mouse is a recessive model of neurodegeneration, involving cerebellum and retina. Purkinje cell death in pcd is dramatic, as >99% of Purkinje neurons are lost in 3 weeks. Loss of function of Nna1 causes pcd, and Nna1 is a highly conserved zinc carboxypeptidase. To determine the basis of pcd, we implemented a two-pronged approach, combining characterization of loss-of-function phenotypes of the Drosophila Nna1 ortholog (NnaD) with proteomics analysis of pcd mice. Reduced NnaD function yielded larval lethality, with survivors displaying phenotypes that mirror disease in pcd. Quantitative proteomics revealed expression alterations for glycolytic and oxidative phosphorylation enzymes. Nna proteins localize to mitochondria, loss of NnaD/Nna1 produces mitochondrial abnormalities, and pcd mice display altered proteolytic processing of Nna1 interacting proteins. Our studies indicate that Nna1 loss of function results in altered bioenergetics and mitochondrial dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2010.05.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3101252PMC
June 2010

Prevalence of ALDH7A1 mutations in 18 North American pyridoxine-dependent seizure (PDS) patients.

Epilepsia 2009 May 14;50(5):1167-75. Epub 2008 Oct 14.

Division of Genetics and Developmental Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, Washington 98195-6320, USA.

Purpose: Pyridoxine-dependent seizure (PDS) is a rare disorder characterized by seizures that are resistant to common anticonvulsants, and that are ultimately controlled by daily pharmacologic doses of pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Mutations of the antiquitin gene (ALDH7A1) are now recognized as the molecular basis of cases of neonatal-onset PDS.

Methods: Bidirectional DNA sequence analysis of ALDH7A1 was undertaken along with plasma pipecolic acid (PA) measurements to determine the prevalence of ALDH7A1 mutations in a cohort of 18 North American patients with PDS.

Results: In patients with neonatal-onset PDS, compound heterozygous or homozygous ALDH7A1 mutations were detected in 10 of 12 cases, and a single mutation was found in the remaining 2. In later-onset cases, mutations in ALDH7A1 were detected in three of six cases. In two patients with infantile spasms responsive to pyridoxine treatment and with good clinical outcomes, no mutations were found and PA levels were normal. In total, 13 novel mutations were identified.

Discussion: Our study advances previous findings that defects of ALDH7A1 are almost always the cause of neonatal-onset PDS and that defects in this gene are also responsible for some but not all later-onset cases. Later-onset cases of infantile spasms with good outcomes lacked evidence for antiquitin dysfunction, suggesting that this phenotype is less compelling for PDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01816.xDOI Listing
May 2009

Senataxin, the yeast Sen1p orthologue: characterization of a unique protein in which recessive mutations cause ataxia and dominant mutations cause motor neuron disease.

Neurobiol Dis 2006 Jul 27;23(1):97-108. Epub 2006 Apr 27.

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetics and Developmental Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 63110, USA.

A severe recessive cerebellar ataxia, Ataxia-Oculomotor Apraxia 2 (AOA2) and a juvenile onset form of dominant amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS4) result from mutations of the Senataxin (SETX) gene. To begin characterization this disease protein, we developed a specific antibody to the DNA/RNA helicase domain of SETX. In murine brain, SETX concentrates in several regions, including cerebellum, hippocampus and olfactory bulb with a general neuronal expression profile, colocalizing with NeuN. In cultured cells, we found that SETX was cytoplasmically diffuse, but in the nucleus, SETX was punctate, colocalizing with fibrillarin, a marker of the nucleolus. In differentiated non-cycling cells, nuclear SETX was not restricted to the nucleolus but was diffuse within the nucleoplasm, suggesting cell-cycle-dependent localization. SETX missense mutations cluster within the N-terminus and helicase domains. Flag tagging at the N-terminus caused protein mislocation to the nucleoplasm and failure to export to the cytoplasm, suggesting that the N-terminus may be essential for correct SETX localization. We report here the first characterization of SETX protein, which may provide future insights into a new mechanism leading to neuron death.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2006.02.007DOI Listing
July 2006

SIMPLE interacts with NEDD4 and TSG101: evidence for a role in lysosomal sorting and implications for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

J Neurosci Res 2005 Oct;82(1):43-50

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetics and Developmental Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

Mutation of the SIMPLE gene (small integral membrane protein of the lysosome/late endosome) is the molecular basis of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1C (CMT1C), a demyelinating peripheral neuropathy. Although the precise function of SIMPLE is unknown, prior reports suggest it localizes to the lysosome/late endosome. Furthermore, murine Simple interacts with Nedd4 (neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally downregulated 4), an E3 ubiquitin ligase that is important for regulating lysosomal degradation of plasma membrane proteins. To bring insights into the biochemical function of human SIMPLE, we confirmed that human SIMPLE interacts with NEDD4 and also report a novel interaction with tumor susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101), a class E vacuolar sorting protein. TSG101 is known to function downstream of NEDD4, sorting ubiquitinated substrates into multivesicular bodies (MVBs), which then deliver their cargo into the lysosomal lumen for degradation. Given the interaction with NEDD4 and TSG101, and the localization of SIMPLE along the lysosomal degradation pathway, we hypothesize that SIMPLE plays a role in the lysosomal sorting of plasma membrane proteins. We examine three CMT1C-associated SIMPLE mutations and show that they do not affect the interaction with NEDD4 or TSG101, nor do they lead to altered subcellular localization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jnr.20628DOI Listing
October 2005

The NPHP1 gene deletion associated with juvenile nephronophthisis is present in a subset of individuals with Joubert syndrome.

Am J Hum Genet 2004 Jul 11;75(1):82-91. Epub 2004 May 11.

Division of Genetics and Developmental Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, 98195, USA.

Joubert syndrome (JS) is an autosomal recessive multisystem disease characterized by cerebellar vermis hypoplasia with prominent superior cerebellar peduncles (the "molar tooth sign" [MTS] on axial magnetic resonance imaging), mental retardation, hypotonia, irregular breathing pattern, and eye-movement abnormalities. Some individuals with JS have retinal dystrophy and/or progressive renal failure characterized by nephronophthisis (NPHP). Thus far, no mutations in the known NPHP genes, particularly the homozygous deletion of NPHP1 at 2q13, have been identified in subjects with JS. A cohort of 25 subjects with JS and either renal and/or retinal complications and 2 subjects with only juvenile NPHP were screened for mutations in the NPHP1 gene by standard methods. Two siblings affected with a mild form of JS were found to have a homozygous deletion of the NPHP1 gene identical, by mapping, to that in subjects with NPHP alone. A control subject with NPHP and with a homozygous NPHP1 deletion was also identified, retrospectively, as having a mild MTS and borderline intelligence. The NPHP1 deletion represents the first molecular defect associated with JS in a subset of mildly affected subjects. Cerebellar malformations consistent with the MTS may be relatively common in patients with juvenile NPHP without classic symptoms of JS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/421846DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182011PMC
July 2004

SIMPLE mutation in demyelinating neuropathy and distribution in sciatic nerve.

Ann Neurol 2004 May;55(5):713-20

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Genetics and Developmental Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy type 1C (CMT1C) is an autosomal dominant demyelinating peripheral neuropathy caused by missense mutations in the small integral membrane protein of lysosome/late endosome (SIMPLE) gene. To investigate the prevalence of SIMPLE mutations, we screened a cohort of 152 probands with various types of demyelinating or axonal and pure motor or sensory inherited neuropathies. SIMPLE mutations were found only in CMT1 patients, including one G112S and one W116G missense mutations. A novel I74I polymorphism was identified, yet no splicing defect of SIMPLE is likely. Haplotype analysis of STR markers and intragenic SNPs linked to the gene demonstrated that families with the same mutation are unlikely to be related. The clustering of the G112S, T115N, and W116G mutations within five amino acids suggests this domain may be critical to peripheral nerve myelination. Electrophysiological studies showed that CMT1C patients from six pedigrees (n = 38) had reduced nerve conduction velocities ranging from 7.5 to 27.0m/sec (peroneal). Two patients had temporal dispersion of nerve conduction and irregularity of conduction slowing, which is unusual for CMT1 patients. We report the expression of SIMPLE in various cell types of the sciatic nerve, including Schwann cells, the affected cell type in CMT1C.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.20094DOI Listing
May 2004

DNA/RNA helicase gene mutations in a form of juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS4).

Am J Hum Genet 2004 Jun 21;74(6):1128-35. Epub 2004 Apr 21.

Division of Genetics and Developmental Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS4) is a rare autosomal dominant form of juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) characterized by distal muscle weakness and atrophy, normal sensation, and pyramidal signs. Individuals affected with ALS4 usually have an onset of symptoms at age <25 years, a slow rate of progression, and a normal life span. The ALS4 locus maps to a 1.7-Mb interval on chromosome 9q34 flanked by D9S64 and D9S1198. To identify the molecular basis of ALS4, we tested 19 genes within the ALS4 interval and detected missense mutations (T3I, L389S, and R2136H) in the Senataxin gene (SETX). The SETX gene encodes a novel 302.8-kD protein. Although its function remains unknown, SETX contains a DNA/RNA helicase domain with strong homology to human RENT1 and IGHMBP2, two genes encoding proteins known to have roles in RNA processing. These observations of ALS4 suggest that mutations in SETX may cause neuronal degeneration through dysfunction of the helicase activity or other steps in RNA processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/421054DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182077PMC
June 2004

Joubert syndrome: a haplotype segregation strategy and exclusion of the zinc finger protein of cerebellum 1 (ZIC1) gene.

Am J Med Genet A 2004 Mar;125A(2):117-24; discussion 117

Division of Genetics and Development, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

Joubert syndrome (JS) is a rare autosomal recessive malformation syndrome, involving dysgenesis of the cerebellar vermis with accompanying brainstem malformations (comprising the molar tooth sign). JS is characterized by hypotonia, developmental delay, intermittent hyperpnea and apnea, and abnormal eye movements. A single locus for JS was previously identified on 9q34 in a consanguineous family of Arabian origin. However, linkage to this locus has subsequently been shown to be rare. We have ascertained 35 JS pedigrees for haplotype segregation analysis of genetic loci for genes with a putative role in cerebellar development. We examined the ZIC1 gene as a functional candidate for JS as Zic1(-/-) null mice have a phenotype reminiscent of JS. We undertook mutational analysis of ZIC1 by standard mutational analysis (dideoxy-fingerprinting (ddf)) of 47 JS probands, and fully sequenced the coding region in five of these probands. By these means, ZIC1 was excluded from playing a causal role in most cases of JS as no disease-associated mutations were identified. Further, linkage to the ZIC1 genetic locus (3q24) was excluded in 21 of 35 pedigrees by haplotype segregation analysis of closely spaced markers. The remaining 14 of 35 pedigrees were consistent with linkage. However, this number does not significantly depart from that expected by random chance (16.5) for this cohort. Therefore, this systematic approach has been validated as a means to prioritize functional candidate genes and enables us to confine mutational analysis to only those probands whose segregation is consistent with linkage to any given locus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.20438DOI Listing
March 2004

New gene for CMT.

J Peripher Nerv Syst 2003 Dec;8(4):206

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1085-9489.2003.03025.xDOI Listing
December 2003

An Xp; Yq translocation causing a novel contiguous gene syndrome in brothers with generalized epilepsy, ichthyosis, and attention deficits.

Epilepsia 2003 Dec;44(12):1529-35

Swedish Epilepsy Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

Purpose: We describe two brothers with generalized epilepsy, attention deficits, congenital ichthyosis, and Leri-Weill dyschondrosteosis who harbor an unusual Xp; Yq translocation chromosome, resulting in a novel contiguous gene syndrome because of deletion of genes from the distal short arm of the X chromosome.

Methods: Physical examination, neuropsychologic testing, EEG, and neuroimaging studies were performed. Because of their unusual phenotype, karyotyping, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and further molecular analyses were carried out to refine the break points of the underlying unbalanced sex chromosome rearrangement.

Results: The subjects had generalized epilepsy, X-linked ichthyosis, Madelung deformities, mesomelia, normal intelligence, and attention deficits. The brothers' karyotype was unbalanced; they inherited a maternal derivative X chromosome. Deleted distal Xp genes included short-stature homeobox on the X chromosome (SHOX), aryl sulfatase E (ARSE), variably charged X-chromosome mRNA gene A (VCX-A), and steroid sulfatase (STS). The final karyotype was 46,Y,der(X)t(X; Y)(p22.3; q11.2).ish der(X) (DXZ1+, KAL+, STS-, SHOX-) mat.

Conclusions: Loss of distal contiguous Xp genes resulted in a syndrome comprising bony deformities, ichthyosis, attention problems, and generalized epilepsy. Candidate epilepsy genes within the deleted segment, such as ASMT, a gene involved in the final synthesis of melatonin, are discussed. Cytogenetic analyses should be included in the clinical evaluation of patients with generalized epilepsy and complex phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0013-9580.2003.61702.xDOI Listing
December 2003

Search for genes involved in Joubert syndrome: evidence that one or more major loci are yet to be identified and exclusion of candidate genes EN1, EN2, FGF8, and BARHL1.

Am J Med Genet 2002 Jan;107(3):190-6

Division of Genetics and Development, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.

Joubert syndrome (JS) is a rare autosomal recessive malformation syndrome involving agenesis or dysgenesis of the cerebellar vermis with accompanying brainstem malformations. JS is further characterized by hypotonia, developmental delay, intermittent hyperpnea, and abnormal eye movements. The biochemical and molecular basis of JS remains unknown, although several genes that are crucial in the development of the cerebellum have been proposed as attractive candidate genes. JS is clinically heterogeneous; this, together with previous linkage analyses, suggests that there may also be genetic heterogeneity. A locus for JS was previously identified on chromosome 9q34 by linkage analysis in a consanguineous family of Arabian origin. A putative second JS locus was recently suggested when a deletion on chromosome 17p11.2 was observed in a patient with Smith-Magenis syndrome and JS phenotype. We have investigated a cohort of apparently unrelated North American JS pedigrees for association with the loci on chromosomes 9q34 and 17p11.2 and excluded them in all cases where data were informative. Analysis of an additional 21 unrelated JS patients showed no evidence of homozygosity at the 9q34 and 17p11.2 loci that would suggest inheritance of founder JS mutation(s) or unreported consanguinity. Together, these data suggest that one or more major loci for JS remain to be identified. Consequently, we undertook mutation analysis of several functional candidate genes, EN1, EN2, and FGF8, in a total of 26 unrelated JS patients. Our data suggest that all of these genes may be excluded from a direct pathogenic role in JS. The BARHL1 gene, which localizes to chromosome 9q34 and has previously been proposed as a strong positional candidate gene for JS, was also investigated and excluded from involvement in JS that is linked to chromosome 9q34.
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January 2002