Publications by authors named "Delfien Syx"

34 Publications

Aberrant binding of mutant HSP47 affects posttranslational modification of type I collagen and leads to osteogenesis imperfecta.

PLoS Genet 2021 Feb 1;17(2):e1009339. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Heat shock protein 47 (HSP47), encoded by the SERPINH1 gene, is a molecular chaperone essential for correct folding of collagens. We report a homozygous p.(R222S) substitution in HSP47 in a child with severe osteogenesis imperfecta leading to early demise. p.R222 is a highly conserved residue located within the collagen interacting surface of HSP47. Binding assays show a significantly reduced affinity of HSP47-R222S for type I collagen. This altered interaction leads to posttranslational overmodification of type I procollagen produced by dermal fibroblasts, with increased glycosylation and/or hydroxylation of lysine and proline residues as shown by mass spectrometry. Since we also observed a normal intracellular folding and secretion rate of type I procollagen, this overmodification cannot be explained by prolonged exposure of the procollagen molecules to the modifying hydroxyl- and glycosyltransferases, as is commonly observed in other types of OI. We found significant upregulation of several molecular chaperones and enzymes involved in procollagen modification and folding on Western blot and RT-qPCR. In addition, we showed that an imbalance in binding of HSP47-R222S to unfolded type I collagen chains in a gelatin sepharose pulldown assay results in increased binding of other chaperones and modifying enzymes. The elevated expression and binding of this molecular ensemble to type I procollagen suggests a compensatory mechanism for the aberrant binding of HSP47-R222S, eventually leading to overmodification of type I procollagen chains. Together, these results illustrate the importance of HSP47 for proper posttranslational modification and provide insights into the molecular pathomechanisms of the p.(R222S) alteration in HSP47, which leads to a severe OI phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1009339DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7877763PMC
February 2021

Knock-Out Zebrafish Recapitulate β3GalT6-Deficiency Disorders in Human and Reveal a Trisaccharide Proteoglycan Linkage Region.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2020 10;8:597857. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Center for Medical Genetics Ghent, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Proteoglycans are structurally and functionally diverse biomacromolecules found abundantly on cell membranes and in the extracellular matrix. They consist of a core protein linked to glycosaminoglycan chains via a tetrasaccharide linkage region. Here, we show that CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-out zebrafish, lacking galactosyltransferase II, which adds the third sugar in the linkage region, largely recapitulate the phenotypic abnormalities seen in human β3GalT6-deficiency disorders. These comprise craniofacial dysmorphism, generalized skeletal dysplasia, skin involvement and indications for muscle hypotonia. In-depth TEM analysis revealed disturbed collagen fibril organization as the most consistent ultrastructural characteristic throughout different affected tissues. Strikingly, despite a strong reduction in glycosaminoglycan content, as demonstrated by anion-exchange HPLC, subsequent LC-MS/MS analysis revealed a small amount of proteoglycans containing a unique linkage region consisting of only three sugars. This implies that formation of glycosaminoglycans with an immature linkage region is possible in a pathogenic context. Our study, therefore unveils a novel rescue mechanism for proteoglycan production in the absence of galactosyltransferase II, hereby opening new avenues for therapeutic intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2020.597857DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758351PMC
December 2020

Pain-related behaviors and abnormal cutaneous innervation in a murine model of classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Pain 2020 10;161(10):2274-2283

Division of Rheumatology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, United States.

Classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (cEDS) is a connective tissue disorder caused by heterozygous mutations in one of the type V collagen-encoding genes, COL5A1 or COL5A2. cEDS is characterized by generalized joint hypermobility and instability, hyperextensible, fragile skin, and delayed wound healing. Chronic pain is a major problem in cEDS patients, but the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown, and studies in animal models are lacking. Therefore, we assessed pain-related behaviors in haploinsufficient Col5a1 mice, which clinically mimic human cEDS. Compared to wild-type (WT) littermates, 15 to 20-week-old Col5a1 mice of both sexes showed significant hypersensitivity to mechanical stimuli in the hind paws and the abdominal area, but responses to thermal stimuli were unaltered. Spontaneous behaviors, including distance travelled and rearing, were grossly normal in male Col5a1 mice, whereas female Col5a1 mice showed altered climbing behavior. Finally, male and female Col5a1 mice vocalized more than WT littermates when scruffed. Decreased grip strength was also noted. In view of the observed pain phenotype, Col5a1 mice were crossed with NaV1.8-tdTomato reporter mice, enabling visualization of nociceptors in the glabrous skin of the footpad. We observed a significant decrease in intraepidermal nerve fiber density, with fewer nerves crossing the epidermis, and a decreased total nerve length of Col5a1 mice compared to WT. In summary, male and female Col5a1 mice show hypersensitivity to mechanical stimuli, indicative of generalized sensitization of the nervous system, in conjunction with an aberrant organization of cutaneous nociceptors. Therefore, Col5a1 mice will provide a useful tool to study mechanisms of pain associated with cEDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001935DOI Listing
October 2020

Delineation of musculocontractural Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome caused by dermatan sulfate epimerase deficiency.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2020 05 4;8(5):e1197. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Center for Medical Genetics, Shinshu University Hospital, Matsumoto, Japan.

Background: Musculocontractural Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (mcEDS) is a rare connective tissue disorder caused by biallelic loss-of-function variants in CHST14 (mcEDS-CHST14) or DSE (mcEDS-DSE), both of which result in defective dermatan sulfate biosynthesis. Forty-one patients with mcEDS-CHST14 and three patients with mcEDS-DSE have been described in the literature.

Methods: Clinical, molecular, and glycobiological findings in three additional patients with mcEDS-DSE were investigated.

Results: Three patients from two families shared craniofacial characteristics (hypertelorism, blue sclera, midfacial hypoplasia), skeletal features (pectus and spinal deformities, characteristic finger shapes, progressive talipes deformities), skin features (fine or acrogeria-like palmar creases), and ocular refractive errors. Homozygous pathogenic variants in DSE were found: c.960T>A/p.Tyr320* in patient 1 and c.996dupT/p.Val333Cysfs*4 in patients 2 and 3. No dermatan sulfate was detected in the urine sample from patient 1, suggesting a complete depletion of DS.

Conclusion: McEDS-DSE is a congenital multisystem disorder with progressive symptoms involving craniofacial, skeletal, cutaneous, and cardiovascular systems, similar to the symptoms of mcEDS-CHST14. However, the burden of symptoms seems lower in patients with mcEDS-DSE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1197DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7216804PMC
May 2020

Hypomorphic zebrafish models mimic the musculoskeletal phenotype of β4GalT7-deficient Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Matrix Biol 2020 07 17;89:59-75. Epub 2019 Dec 17.

Center for Medical Genetics, Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Ghent University and Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address:

β4GalT7 is a transmembrane Golgi enzyme, encoded by B4GALT7, that plays a pivotal role in the proteoglycan linker region formation during proteoglycan biosynthesis. Defects in this enzyme give rise to a rare autosomal recessive form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), currently known as 'spondylodysplastic EDS (spEDS-B4GALT7)'. This EDS subtype is mainly characterized by short stature, hypotonia and skeletal abnormalities, thereby illustrating its pleiotropic importance during human development. Insights into the pathogenic mechanisms underlying this disabling disease are very limited, in part due to the lack of a relevant in vivo model. As the majority of mutations identified in patients with spEDS-B4GALT7 are hypomorphic, we generated zebrafish models with partial loss of B4galt7 function, including different knockdown (morphant) and mosaic knockout (crispant) b4galt7 zebrafish models and studied the morphologic, functional and molecular aspects in embryonic and larval stages. Morphant and crispant zebrafish show highly similar morphological abnormalities in early development including a small, round head, bowed pectoral fins, short body-axis and mild developmental delay. Several craniofacial cartilage and bone structures are absent or strongly misshapen. In addition, the total amount of sulfated glycosaminoglycans is significantly diminished and particularly heparan and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan levels are greatly reduced. We also show impaired cartilage patterning and loss of chondrocyte organization in a cartilage-specific Tg(Col2a1aBAC:mcherry) zebrafish reporter line. The occurrence of the same abnormalities in the different models confirms these are specifically caused by B4galt7 deficiency. A disturbed actin pattern, along with a lack of muscle tone, was only noted in morphants in which translation of b4galt7 was blocked. In conclusion, we generated the first viable animal models for spEDS-B4GALT7, and show that in early development the human spEDS-B4GALT7 phenotype is faithfully mimicked in these zebrafish models. Our findings underscore a key role for β4GalT7 in early development of cartilage, bone and muscle. These models will lead to a better understanding of spEDS-B4GALT7 and can be used in future efforts focusing on therapeutic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2019.12.002DOI Listing
July 2020

Chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis and connective tissue disorder in humans with impaired JNK1-dependent responses to IL-17A/F and TGF-β.

Sci Immunol 2019 11;4(41)

St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, Rockefeller Branch, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Genetic etiologies of chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis (CMC) disrupt human IL-17A/F-dependent immunity at mucosal surfaces, whereas those of connective tissue disorders (CTDs) often impair the TGF-β-dependent homeostasis of connective tissues. The signaling pathways involved are incompletely understood. We report a three-generation family with an autosomal dominant (AD) combination of CMC and a previously undescribed form of CTD that clinically overlaps with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). The patients are heterozygous for a private splice-site variant of , the gene encoding c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK1), a component of the MAPK signaling pathway. This variant is loss-of-expression and loss-of-function in the patients' fibroblasts, which display AD JNK1 deficiency by haploinsufficiency. These cells have impaired, but not abolished, responses to IL-17A and IL-17F. Moreover, the development of the patients' T17 cells was impaired ex vivo and in vitro, probably due to the involvement of JNK1 in the TGF-β-responsive pathway and further accounting for the patients' CMC. Consistently, the patients' fibroblasts displayed impaired JNK1- and c-Jun/ATF-2-dependent induction of key extracellular matrix (ECM) components and regulators, but not of EDS-causing gene products, in response to TGF-β. Furthermore, they displayed a transcriptional pattern in response to TGF-β different from that of fibroblasts from patients with Loeys-Dietz syndrome caused by mutations of or , further accounting for the patients' complex and unusual CTD phenotype. This experiment of nature indicates that the integrity of the human JNK1-dependent MAPK signaling pathway is essential for IL-17A- and IL-17F-dependent mucocutaneous immunity to and for the TGF-β-dependent homeostasis of connective tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciimmunol.aax7965DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7014825PMC
November 2019

Novel defects in collagen XII and VI expand the mixed myopathy/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome spectrum and lead to variant-specific alterations in the extracellular matrix.

Genet Med 2020 01 5;22(1):112-123. Epub 2019 Jul 5.

Center for Medical Genetics, Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Ghent University and Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Purpose: To date, heterozygous or homozygous COL12A1 variants have been reported in 13 patients presenting with a clinical phenotype overlapping with collagen VI-related myopathies and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS). The small number of reported patients limits thorough investigation of this newly identified syndrome, currently coined as myopathic EDS.

Methods: DNA from 78 genetically unresolved patients fulfilling the clinical criteria for myopathic EDS was sequenced using a next-generation panel of COL12A1, COL6A1, COL6A2, and COL6A3.

Results: Among this cohort, we identified four pathogenic heterozygous in-frame exon skipping (∆) defects in COL12A1, clustering to the thrombospondin N-terminal region and the adjacent collagenous domain (Δ52, Δ53, Δ54, and Δ56 respectively), one heterozygous COL12A1 arginine-to-cysteine substitution of unclear significance (p.(Arg1863Cys)), and compound heterozygous pathogenic COL6A1 variants (c.[98-6G>A];[301C>T]) in one proband. Variant-specific intracellular accumulation of collagen XII chains, extracellular overmodification of the long isoform and near-absence of the short isoform of collagen XII, and extracellular decrease of decorin and tenascin-X were observed for the COL12A1 variants. In contrast, the COL6A1 variants abolished collagen VI and V deposition and increased tenascin-X levels.

Conclusion: Our data further support the significant clinical overlap between myopathic EDS and collagen VI-related myopathies, and emphasize the variant-specific consequences of collagen XII defects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-019-0599-6DOI Listing
January 2020

The clinical and mutational spectrum of B3GAT3 linkeropathy: two case reports and literature review.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2019 06 13;14(1):138. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University and Ghent University Hospital, 0K5, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, B-9000, Ghent, Belgium.

Background: Proteoglycans are large and structurally complex macromolecules which can be found in abundancy in the extracellular matrix and on the surface of all animal cells. Mutations in the genes encoding the enzymes responsible for the formation of the tetrasaccharide linker region between the proteoglycan core protein and the glycosaminoglycan side chains lead to a spectrum of severe and overlapping autosomal recessive connective tissue disorders, collectively coined the 'glycosaminoglycan linkeropathies'.

Results: We report the clinical findings of two novel patients with a complex linkeropathy due to biallelic mutations in B3GAT3, the gene that encodes glucuronosyltransferase I, which catalyzes the addition of the ultimate saccharide to the linker region. We identified a previously reported c.667G > A missense mutation and an unreported homozygous c.416C > T missense mutation. We also performed a genotype and phenotype-oriented literature overview of all hitherto reported patients harbouring B3GAT3 mutations. A total of 23 patients from 10 families harbouring bi-allelic mutations and one patient with a heterozygeous splice-site mutation in B3GAT3 have been reported. They all display a complex phenotype characterized by consistent presence of skeletal dysplasia (including short stature, kyphosis, scoliosis and deformity of the long bones), facial dysmorphology, and spatulate distal phalanges. More variably present are cardiac defects, joint hypermobility, joint dislocations/contractures and fractures. Seven different B3GAT3 mutations have been reported, and although the number of patients is still limited, some phenotype-genotype correlations start to emerge. The more severe phenotypes seem to have mutations located in the substrate acceptor subdomain of the catalytic domain of the glucuronosyltransferase I protein while more mildly affected phenotypes seem to have mutations in the NTP-sugar donor substrate binding subdomain.

Conclusions: Loss-of-function mutations in B3GAT3 are associated with a complex connective tissue phenotype characterized by disproportionate short stature, skeletal dysplasia, facial dysmorphism, spatulate distal phalanges and -to a lesser extent- joint contractures, joint hypermobility with dislocations, cardiac defects and bone fragility. Based on the limited number of reported patients, some genotype-phenotype correlations start to emerge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-019-1110-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567438PMC
June 2019

The N-terminal p.(Ser38Cys) TIMP3 mutation underlying Sorsby fundus dystrophy is a founder mutation disrupting an intramolecular disulfide bond.

Hum Mutat 2019 05 6;40(5):539-551. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Center for Medical Genetics Ghent, Ghent University and Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Sorsby fundus dystrophy (SFD) is a macular degeneration caused by mutations in TIMP3, the majority of which introduce a novel cysteine. However, the exact molecular mechanisms underlying SFD remain unknown. We aimed to provide novel insights into the functional consequences of a distinct N-terminal mutation. Haplotype reconstruction in three SFD families revealed that the identified c.113C>G, p.(Ser38Cys) mutation is a founder in Belgian and northern French families with a late-onset SFD phenotype. Functional consequences of the p.(Ser38Cys) mutation were investigated by high-resolution Western blot analysis of wild type and mutant TIMP3 using patient fibroblasts and in vitro generated proteins, and by molecular modeling of TIMP3 and its interaction partners. We could not confirm a previous hypothesis on dimerization of mutant TIMP3 proteins. However, we identified aberrant intramolecular disulfide bonding. Our data provide evidence for disruption of the established Cys36-Cys143 disulfide bond and formation of a novel Cys36-Cys38 bond, possibly associated with increased glycosylation of the protein. In conclusion, we propose a novel pathogenetic mechanism underlying the p.(Ser38Cys) TIMP3 founder mutation involving intramolecular disulfide bonding. These results provide new insights into the pathogenesis of SFD and other retinopathies linked to mutations in TIMP3, such as age-related macular degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23713DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6594137PMC
May 2019

Bi-allelic AEBP1 mutations in two patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Hum Mol Genet 2019 06;28(11):1853-1864

Center for Medical Genetics, Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDSs) are a clinically and molecularly diverse group of heritable connective tissue disorders caused by defects in a wide range of genes. Recently, bi-allelic loss-of-function mutations in the adipocyte enhancer-binding protein 1 (AEBP1) gene were reported in three families with an autosomal recessive EDS-like condition characterized by thin and hyperextensible skin, poor wound healing with prominent atrophic scarring, joint hypermobility and osteoporosis. Using whole exome sequencing, we identified novel bi-allelic AEBP1 variants in two unrelated adult patients, previously diagnosed with an undefined EDS type, which shows important clinical resemblance to several other EDS subtypes. Our patients present with similar cutaneous and musculoskeletal features as the previously reported patients. They also show unreported clinical features, including pectus deformity, premature aged appearance, sparse and frizzled hair, fatigue and pain. AEBP1 is ubiquitously expressed and encodes the secreted aortic carboxypeptidase-like protein (ACLP) that can bind fibrillar collagens and assist in collagen polymerization. Transmission electron microscopy studies on the patients' skin biopsies show ultrastructural alterations in collagen fibril diameter and appearance, underscoring an important role for ACLP in collagen fibril organization. This report further expands the clinical, molecular and ultrastructural spectrum associated with AEBP1 defects and highlights the complex and variable phenotype associated with this new EDS variant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddz024DOI Listing
June 2019

A homozygous pathogenic missense variant broadens the phenotypic and mutational spectrum of CREB3L1-related osteogenesis imperfecta.

Hum Mol Genet 2019 06;28(11):1801-1809

Center for Medical Genetics Ghent, Ghent University Hospital, Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Ghent, Belgium.

The cyclic adenosine monophosphate responsive element binding protein 3-like 1 (CREB3L1) gene codes for the endoplasmic reticulum stress transducer old astrocyte specifically induced substance (OASIS), which has an important role in osteoblast differentiation during bone development. Deficiency of OASIS is linked to a severe form of autosomal recessive osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), but only few patients have been reported. We identified the first homozygous pathogenic missense variant [p.(Ala304Val)] in a patient with lethal OI, which is located within the highly conserved basic leucine zipper domain, four amino acids upstream of the DNA binding domain. In vitro structural modeling and luciferase assays demonstrate that this missense variant affects a critical residue in this functional domain, thereby decreasing the type I collagen transcriptional binding ability. In addition, overexpression of the mutant OASIS protein leads to decreased transcription of the SEC23A and SEC24D genes, which code for components of the coat protein complex type II (COPII), and aberrant OASIS signaling also results in decreased protein levels of SEC24D. Our findings therefore provide additional proof of the potential involvement of the COPII secretory complex in the context of bone-associated disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddz017DOI Listing
June 2019

Mutations in PLOD3, encoding lysyl hydroxylase 3, cause a complex connective tissue disorder including recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa-like blistering phenotype with abnormal anchoring fibrils and type VII collagen deficiency.

Matrix Biol 2019 08 18;81:91-106. Epub 2018 Nov 18.

Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Electronic address:

Epidermolysis bullosa (EB), the paradigm of heritable skin fragility disorders, is associated with mutations in as many as 20 distinct genes. One of the clinical variants, recessive dystrophic EB (RDEB), demonstrates sub-lamina densa blistering accompanied by alterations in anchoring fibrils due to mutations in COL7A1. In this study, we characterized a patient with widespread connective tissue abnormalities, including skin blistering similar to that in RDEB. Whole exome sequencing, combined with genome-wide homozygosity mapping, identified a homozygous missense mutation in PLOD3 encoding lysyl hydroxylase 3 (LH3). No mutations in COL7A1, the gene previously associated with RDEB, were detected. The level of LH3 was dramatically reduced in the skin and fibroblast cultures from the patient. The blistering in the skin occurred below the lamina densa and was associated with variable density and morphology of anchoring fibrils. The level of type VII collagen expression in the skin was markedly reduced. Analysis of hydroxylysine and its glycosylated derivatives (galactosyl-hydroxylysine and glucosyl-galactosyl-hydroxylysine) revealed marked reduction in glycosylated hydroxylysine. Collectively, these findings indicate that PLOD3 mutations can result in a dystrophic EB-like phenotype in the spectrum of connective tissue disorders and add it to the list of candidate genes associated with skin fragility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2018.11.006DOI Listing
August 2019

Biallelic B3GALT6 mutations cause spondylodysplastic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Hum Mol Genet 2018 10;27(20):3475-3487

Center for Medical Genetics Ghent, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Proteoglycans are among the most abundant and structurally complex biomacromolecules and play critical roles in connective tissues. They are composed of a core protein onto which glycosaminoglycan (GAG) side chains are attached via a linker region. Biallelic mutations in B3GALT6, encoding one of the linker region glycosyltransferases, are known to cause either spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia (SEMD) or a severe pleiotropic form of Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS). This study provides clinical, molecular and biochemical data on 12 patients with biallelic B3GALT6 mutations. Notably, all patients have features of both EDS and SEMD. In addition, some patients have severe and potential life-threatening complications such as aortic dilatation and aneurysm, cervical spine instability and respiratory insufficiency. Whole-exome sequencing, next generation panel sequencing and direct sequencing identified biallelic B3GALT6 mutations in all patients. We show that these mutations reduce the amount of β3GalT6 protein and lead to a complete loss of galactosyltransferase activity. In turn, this leads to deficient GAG synthesis, and ultrastructural abnormalities in collagen fibril organization. In conclusion, this study redefines the phenotype associated with B3GALT6 mutations on the basis of clinical, molecular and biochemical data in 12 patients, and provides an in-depth assessment of β3GalT6 activity and GAG synthesis to better understand this rare condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy234DOI Listing
October 2018

Type III collagen affects dermal and vascular collagen fibrillogenesis and tissue integrity in a mutant Col3a1 transgenic mouse model.

Matrix Biol 2018 09 15;70:72-83. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University and University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address:

Type III collagen is a major fibrillar collagen consisting of three identical α(III)-chains that is particularly present in tissues exhibiting elastic properties, such as the skin and the arterial wall. Heterozygous mutations in the COL3A1 gene result in vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS), a severe, life-threatening disorder, characterized by thin, translucent skin and propensity to arterial, intestinal and uterine rupture. Most human vEDS cases result from a missense mutation substituting a crucial glycine residue in the triple helical domain of the α(III)-chains. The mechanisms by which these mutant type III collagen molecules cause dermal and vascular fragility are not well understood. We generated a transgenic mouse line expressing mutant type III collagen, containing a typical helical glycine substitution (p.(Gly182Ser)). This Col3a1 mouse line displays a phenotype recapitulating characteristics of human vEDS patients with signs of dermal and vascular fragility. The Col3a1 mice develop severe transdermal skin wounds, resulting in early demise at 13-14weeks of age. We found that this phenotype was associated with a reduced total collagen content and an abnormal collagen III:I ratio, leading to the production of severely malformed collagen fibrils in the extracellular matrix of dermal and arterial tissues. These results indicate that expression of the glycine substitution in the α(III)-chain disturbs formation of heterotypic type III:I collagen fibrils, and thereby demonstrate a key role for type III collagen in collagen fibrillogenesis in dermal and arterial tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.matbio.2018.03.008DOI Listing
September 2018

Peripheral Mechanisms Contributing to Osteoarthritis Pain.

Curr Rheumatol Rep 2018 02 26;20(2). Epub 2018 Feb 26.

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Rush University Medical Center, 1611 W. Harrison St, Suite 510, Chicago, IL, 60612, USA.

Purpose Of Review: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and a major source of pain and disability worldwide. OA-associated pain is usually refractory to classically used analgesics, and disease-modifying therapies are still lacking. Therefore, a better understanding of mechanisms and mediators contributing to the generation and maintenance of OA pain is critical for the development of efficient and safe pain-relieving therapies.

Recent Findings: Both peripheral and central mechanisms contribute to OA pain. Clinical evidence suggests that a strong peripheral nociceptive drive from the affected joint maintains pain and central sensitization associated with OA. Mediators present in the OA joint, including nerve growth factor, chemokines, cytokines, and inflammatory cells can contribute to sensitization. Furthermore, structural alterations in joint innervation and nerve damage occur in the course of OA. Several interrelated pathological processes, including joint damage, structural reorganization of joint afferents, low-grade inflammation, neuroplasticity, and nerve damage all contribute to the pain observed in OA. It can be anticipated that elucidating exactly how these mechanisms are operational in the course of progressive OA may lead to the identification of novel targets for intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11926-018-0716-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6599517PMC
February 2018

Hypermobility, the Ehlers-Danlos syndromes and chronic pain.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Sep-Oct;35 Suppl 107(5):116-122. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

Centre for Medical Genetics, Ghent University and Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Chronic widespread pain is a common complaint among individuals affected by generalised joint hypermobility. In the absence of other conditions that cause chronic pain, these individuals are usually diagnosed with joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS). JHS is a multifactorial trait with a strong genetic basis, but no specific genetic markers. Clinical overlap of JHS is seen with heritable connective tissue disorders, particularly with the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobile type (hEDS). The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) comprise a heterogeneous group of rare monogenic conditions that are characterised by joint hypermobility, skin and vascular fragility and generalised connective tissue friability, and are caused by genetic defects in an array of extracellular matrix genes. The genetic basis of hEDS remains however unknown, in contrast to other well-described EDS subtypes. In view of the considerable clinical overlap with JHS, many consider it and hEDS to be a single clinical entity. Clinical experience and a limited number of clinical studies show that chronic pain also is common in EDS patients, especially in hEDS. The specific underlying causes and mechanisms of pain in JHS and EDS remain poorly understood. Factors likely contributing to the generation and chronicity of pain include nociceptive pain, directly based on structural changes in affected joints, muscle and connective tissue; neuropathic pain; impaired proprioception and muscle weakness; and central sensitisation. These mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and likely more than one mechanism may be present. Furthermore, anxiety, depression, and other variables may influence the phenotype. Chronic pain in JHS and EDS patients often is inadequately controlled by traditional analgesics and physical therapy. In view of the high prevalence of these underrecognised conditions, future studies addressing the nature and mediators of chronic pain are needed in order to potentially identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention and optimise treatment.
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December 2017

Mutations in ATP6V1E1 or ATP6V1A Cause Autosomal-Recessive Cutis Laxa.

Am J Hum Genet 2017 02 5;100(2):216-227. Epub 2017 Jan 5.

Translational Metabolic Laboratory, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen 6500 HB, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Defects of the V-type proton (H) ATPase (V-ATPase) impair acidification and intracellular trafficking of membrane-enclosed compartments, including secretory granules, endosomes, and lysosomes. Whole-exome sequencing in five families affected by mild to severe cutis laxa, dysmorphic facial features, and cardiopulmonary involvement identified biallelic missense mutations in ATP6V1E1 and ATP6V1A, which encode the E1 and A subunits, respectively, of the V domain of the heteromultimeric V-ATPase complex. Structural modeling indicated that all substitutions affect critical residues and inter- or intrasubunit interactions. Furthermore, complexome profiling, a method combining blue-native gel electrophoresis and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, showed that they disturb either the assembly or the stability of the V-ATPase complex. Protein glycosylation was variably affected. Abnormal vesicular trafficking was evidenced by delayed retrograde transport after brefeldin A treatment and abnormal swelling and fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus. In addition to showing reduced and fragmented elastic fibers, the histopathological hallmark of cutis laxa, transmission electron microscopy of the dermis also showed pronounced changes in the structure and organization of the collagen fibers. Our findings expand the clinical and molecular spectrum of metabolic cutis laxa syndromes and further link defective extracellular matrix assembly to faulty protein processing and cellular trafficking caused by genetic defects in the V-ATPase complex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.12.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5294668PMC
February 2017

RIN2 syndrome: Expanding the clinical phenotype.

Am J Med Genet A 2016 09 8;170(9):2408-15. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University and Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Biallelic defects in the RIN2 gene, encoding the Ras and Rab interactor 2 protein, are associated with a rare autosomal recessive connective tissue disorder, with only nine patients from four independent families reported to date. The condition was initially termed MACS syndrome (macrocephaly, alopecia, cutis laxa, and scoliosis), based on the clinical features of the first identified family; however, with the expansion of the clinical phenotype in additional families, it was subsequently coined RIN2 syndrome. Hallmark features of this condition include dysmorphic facial features with striking, progressive facial coarsening, sparse hair, normal to enlarged occipitofrontal circumference, soft redundant and/or hyperextensible skin, and scoliosis. Patients with RIN2 syndrome present phenotypic overlap with other conditions, including EDS (especially the dermatosparaxis and kyphoscoliosis subtypes). Here, we describe a 10th patient, the first patient of Caucasian origin and the oldest reported patient so far, who harbors the previously identified homozygous RIN2 mutation c.1878dupC (p. (Ile627Hisfs*7)). Besides the hallmark features, this patient also presents problems not previously associated with RIN2 syndrome, including cervical vertebral fusion, mild hearing loss, and colonic fibrosis. We provide an overview of the clinical findings in all reported patients with RIN2 mutations and summarize some of the possible pathogenic mechanisms that may underlie this condition. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.37789DOI Listing
September 2016

Expanding the clinical and mutational spectrum of the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, dermatosparaxis type.

Genet Med 2016 09 14;18(9):882-91. Epub 2016 Jan 14.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Purpose: The Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), dermatosparaxis type, is a recessively inherited connective tissue disorder caused by deficient activity of ADAMTS-2, an enzyme that cleaves the aminoterminal propeptide domain of types I, II, and III procollagen. Only 10 EDS dermatosparaxis patients have been reported, all presenting a recognizable phenotype with characteristic facial gestalt, extreme skin fragility and laxity, excessive bruising, and sometimes major complications due to visceral and vascular fragility.

Methods: We report on five new EDS dermatosparaxis patients and provide a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge of the natural history of this condition.

Results: We identified three novel homozygous loss-of-function mutations (c.2927_2928delCT, p.(Pro976Argfs*42); c.669_670dupG, p.(Pro224Argfs*24); and c.2751-2A>T) and one compound heterozygous mutation (c.2T>C, p.? and c.884_887delTGAA, p.(Met295Thrfs26*)) in ADAMTS2 in five patients from four unrelated families. Three of these displayed a phenotype that was strikingly milder than that of previously reported patients.

Conclusion: This study expands the clinical and molecular spectrum of the dermatosparaxis type of EDS to include a milder phenotypic variant and stresses the importance of good clinical criteria. To address this, we propose an updated set of criteria that accurately captures the multisystemic nature of the dermatosparaxis type of EDS.Genet Med 18 9, 882-891.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/gim.2015.188DOI Listing
September 2016

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Type, Is Linked to Chromosome 8p22-8p21.1 in an Extended Belgian Family.

Dis Markers 2015 4;2015:828970. Epub 2015 Oct 4.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.

Joint hypermobility is a common, mostly benign, finding in the general population. In a subset of individuals, however, it causes a range of clinical problems, mainly affecting the musculoskeletal system. Joint hypermobility often appears as a familial trait and is shared by several heritable connective tissue disorders, including the hypermobility subtype of the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS-HT) or benign joint hypermobility syndrome (BJHS). These hereditary conditions provide unique models for the study of the genetic basis of joint hypermobility. Nevertheless, these studies are largely hampered by the great variability in clinical presentation and the often vague mode of inheritance in many families. Here, we performed a genome-wide linkage scan in a unique three-generation family with an autosomal dominant EDS-HT phenotype and identified a linkage interval on chromosome 8p22-8p21.1, with a maximum two-point LOD score of 4.73. Subsequent whole exome sequencing revealed the presence of a unique missense variant in the LZTS1 gene, located within the candidate region. Subsequent analysis of 230 EDS-HT/BJHS patients resulted in the identification of three additional rare variants. This is the first reported genome-wide linkage analysis in an EDS-HT family, thereby providing an opportunity to identify a new disease gene for this condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/828970DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609397PMC
July 2016

Genetic Defects in TAPT1 Disrupt Ciliogenesis and Cause a Complex Lethal Osteochondrodysplasia.

Am J Hum Genet 2015 Oct 10;97(4):521-34. Epub 2015 Sep 10.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address:

The evolutionarily conserved transmembrane anterior posterior transformation 1 protein, encoded by TAPT1, is involved in murine axial skeletal patterning, but its cellular function remains unknown. Our study demonstrates that TAPT1 mutations underlie a complex congenital syndrome, showing clinical overlap between lethal skeletal dysplasias and ciliopathies. This syndrome is characterized by fetal lethality, severe hypomineralization of the entire skeleton and intra-uterine fractures, and multiple congenital developmental anomalies affecting the brain, lungs, and kidneys. We establish that wild-type TAPT1 localizes to the centrosome and/or ciliary basal body, whereas defective TAPT1 mislocalizes to the cytoplasm and disrupts Golgi morphology and trafficking and normal primary cilium formation. Knockdown of tapt1b in zebrafish induces severe craniofacial cartilage malformations and delayed ossification, which is shown to be associated with aberrant differentiation of cranial neural crest cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.08.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4596895PMC
October 2015

Genetic heterogeneity and clinical variability in musculocontractural Ehlers-Danlos syndrome caused by impaired dermatan sulfate biosynthesis.

Hum Mutat 2015 May 6;36(5):535-47. Epub 2015 Apr 6.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Bi-allelic variants in CHST14, encoding dermatan 4-O-sulfotransferase-1 (D4ST1), cause musculocontractural Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (MC-EDS), a recessive disorder characterized by connective tissue fragility, craniofacial abnormalities, congenital contractures, and developmental anomalies. Recently, the identification of bi-allelic variants in DSE, encoding dermatan sulfate epimerase-1 (DS-epi1), in a child with MC-EDS features, suggested locus heterogeneity for this condition. DS-epi1 and D4ST1 are crucial for biosynthesis of dermatan sulfate (DS) moieties in the hybrid chondroitin sulfate (CS)/DS glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Here, we report four novel families with severe MC-EDS caused by unique homozygous CHST14 variants and the second family with a homozygous DSE missense variant, presenting a somewhat milder MC-EDS phenotype. The glycanation of the dermal DS proteoglycan decorin is impaired in fibroblasts from D4ST1- as well as DS-epi1-deficient patients. However, in D4ST1-deficiency, the decorin GAG is completely replaced by CS, whereas in DS-epi1-deficiency, still some DS moieties are present. The multisystemic abnormalities observed in our patients support a tight spatiotemporal control of the balance between CS and DS, which is crucial for multiple processes including cell differentiation, organ development, cell migration, coagulation, and connective tissue integrity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.22774DOI Listing
May 2015

Defective Proteolytic Processing of Fibrillar Procollagens and Prodecorin Due to Biallelic BMP1 Mutations Results in a Severe, Progressive Form of Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

J Bone Miner Res 2015 Aug 21;30(8):1445-56. Epub 2015 May 21.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Whereas the vast majority of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is caused by autosomal dominant defects in the genes encoding type I procollagen, mutations in a myriad of genes affecting type I procollagen biosynthesis or bone formation and homeostasis have now been associated with rare autosomal recessive OI forms. Recently, homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in BMP1, encoding the metalloproteases bone morphogenetic protein-1 (BMP1) and its longer isoform mammalian Tolloid (mTLD), were identified in 5 children with a severe autosomal recessive form of OI and in 4 individuals with mild to moderate bone fragility. BMP1/mTLD functions as the procollagen carboxy-(C)-proteinase for types I to III procollagen but was also suggested to participate in amino-(N)-propeptide cleavage of types V and XI procollagens and in proteolytic trimming of other extracellular matrix (ECM) substrates. We report the phenotypic characteristics and natural history of 4 adults with severe, progressive OI characterized by numerous fractures, short stature with rhizomelic shortening, and deformity of the limbs and variable kyphoscoliosis, in whom we identified novel biallelic missense and frameshift mutations in BMP1. We show that BMP1/mTLD-deficiency in humans not only results in delayed cleavage of the type I procollagen C-propeptide but also hampers the processing of the small leucine-rich proteoglycan prodecorin, a regulator of collagen fibrillogenesis. Immunofluorescent staining of types I and V collagen and transmission electron microscopy of the dermis show impaired assembly of heterotypic type I/V collagen fibrils in the ECM. Our study thus highlights the severe and progressive nature of BMP1-associated OI in adults and broadens insights into the functional consequences of BMP1/mTLD-deficiency on ECM organization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.2473DOI Listing
August 2015

Eight years experience from a skeletal dysplasia referral center in a tertiary hospital in Southern India: a model for the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases in a developing country.

Am J Med Genet A 2014 Sep 14;164A(9):2317-23. Epub 2014 Jul 14.

Department of Pediatric Genetics, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Cochin, Kerala, India.

We report on a series of 514 consecutive diagnoses of skeletal dysplasia made over an 8-year period at a tertiary hospital in Kerala, India. The most common diagnostic groups were dysostosis multiplex group (n = 73) followed by FGFR3 (n = 49) and osteogenesis imperfecta and decreased bone density group (n = 41). Molecular confirmation was obtained in 109 cases. Clinical and radiographic evaluation was obtained in close diagnostic collaboration with expert groups abroad through Internet communication for difficult cases. This has allowed for targeted biochemical and molecular studies leading to the correct identification of rare or novel conditions, which has not only helped affected families by allowing for improved genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis but also resulted in several scientific contributions. We conclude that (1) the spectrum of genetic bone disease in Kerala, India, is similar to that of other parts of the world, but recessive entities may be more frequent because of widespread consanguinity; (2) prenatal detection of skeletal dysplasias remains relatively rare because of limited access to expert prenatal ultrasound facilities; (3) because of the low accessibility to molecular tests, precise clinical-radiographic phenotyping remains the mainstay of diagnosis and counseling and of gatekeeping to efficient laboratory testing; (4) good phenotyping allows, a significant contribution to the recognition and characterization of novel entities. We suggest that the tight collaboration between a local reference center with dedicated personnel and expert diagnostic networks may be a proficient model to bring current diagnostics to developing countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.36668DOI Listing
September 2014

Identity-by-descent-guided mutation analysis and exome sequencing in consanguineous families reveals unusual clinical and molecular findings in retinal dystrophy.

Genet Med 2014 Sep 13;16(9):671-80. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Center for Medical Genetics Ghent, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Purpose: Autosomal recessive retinal dystrophies are clinically and genetically heterogeneous, which hampers molecular diagnosis. We evaluated identity-by-descent-guided Sanger sequencing or whole-exome sequencing in 26 families with nonsyndromic (19) or syndromic (7) autosomal recessive retinal dystrophies to identify disease-causing mutations.

Methods: Patients underwent genome-wide identity-by-descent mapping followed by Sanger sequencing (16) or whole-exome sequencing (10). Whole-exome sequencing data were filtered against identity-by-descent regions and known retinal dystrophy genes. The medical history was reviewed in mutation-positive families.

Results: We identified mutations in 14 known retinal dystrophy genes in 20/26 (77%) families: ABCA4, CERKL, CLN3, CNNM4, C2orf71, IQCB1, LRAT, MERTK, NMNAT1, PCDH15, PDE6B, RDH12, RPGRIP1, and USH2A. Whole-exome sequencing in single individuals revealed mutations in either the largest or smaller identity-by-descent regions, and a compound heterozygous genotype in NMNAT1. Moreover, a novel deletion was found in PCDH15. In addition, we identified mutations in CLN3, CNNM4, and IQCB1 in patients initially diagnosed with nonsyndromic retinal dystrophies.

Conclusion: Our study emphasized that identity-by-descent-guided mutation analysis and/or whole-exome sequencing are powerful tools for the molecular diagnosis of retinal dystrophy. Our approach uncovered unusual molecular findings and unmasked syndromic retinal dystrophies, guiding future medical management. Finally, elucidating ABCA4, LRAT, and MERTK mutations offers potential gene-specific therapeutic perspectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/gim.2014.24DOI Listing
September 2014

Compound heterozygous mutations of the TNXB gene cause primary myopathy. Response.

Neuromuscul Disord 2014 Jan 6;24(1):89. Epub 2013 Nov 6.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2013.10.008DOI Listing
January 2014

Compound heterozygous mutations of the TNXB gene cause primary myopathy.

Neuromuscul Disord 2013 Aug 12;23(8):664-9. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

Centre de référence des Maladies Neuromusculaires, Département de Neurologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d'Angers, France.

Complete deficiency of the extracellular matrix glycoprotein tenascin-X (TNX) leads to recessive forms of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, clinically characterized by hyperextensible skin, easy bruising and joint hypermobility. Clinical and pathological studies, immunoassay, and molecular analyses were combined to study a patient suffering from progressive muscle weakness. Clinical features included axial and proximal limb muscle weakness, subclinical heart involvement, minimal skin hyperextensibility, no joint abnormalities, and a history of easy bruising. Skeletal muscle biopsy disclosed striking muscle consistency and the abnormal presence of myotendinous junctions in the muscle belly. TNX immunostaining was markedly reduced in muscle and skin, and serum TNX levels were undetectable. Compound heterozygous mutations were identified: a previously reported 30kb deletion and a non-synonymous novel missense mutation in the TNXB gene. This study identifies a TNX-deficient patient presenting with a primary muscle disorder, thus expanding the phenotypic spectrum of TNX-related abnormalities. Biopsy findings provide evidence that TNX deficiency leads to muscle softness and to mislocalization of myotendinous junctions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2013.04.009DOI Listing
August 2013

Defective initiation of glycosaminoglycan synthesis due to B3GALT6 mutations causes a pleiotropic Ehlers-Danlos-syndrome-like connective tissue disorder.

Am J Hum Genet 2013 Jun 9;92(6):935-45. Epub 2013 May 9.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Gent, Belgium. Electronic address:

Proteoglycans are important components of cell plasma membranes and extracellular matrices of connective tissues. They consist of glycosaminoglycan chains attached to a core protein via a tetrasaccharide linkage, whereby the addition of the third residue is catalyzed by galactosyltransferase II (β3GalT6), encoded by B3GALT6. Homozygosity mapping and candidate gene sequence analysis in three independent families, presenting a severe autosomal-recessive connective tissue disorder characterized by skin fragility, delayed wound healing, joint hyperlaxity and contractures, muscle hypotonia, intellectual disability, and a spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia with bone fragility and severe kyphoscoliosis, identified biallelic B3GALT6 mutations, including homozygous missense mutations in family 1 (c.619G>C [p.Asp207His]) and family 3 (c.649G>A [p.Gly217Ser]) and compound heterozygous mutations in family 2 (c.323_344del [p.Ala108Glyfs(∗)163], c.619G>C [p.Asp207His]). The phenotype overlaps with several recessive Ehlers-Danlos variants and spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia with joint hyperlaxity. Affected individuals' fibroblasts exhibited a large decrease in ability to prime glycosaminoglycan synthesis together with impaired glycanation of the small chondroitin/dermatan sulfate proteoglycan decorin, confirming β3GalT6 loss of function. Dermal electron microcopy disclosed abnormalities in collagen fibril organization, in line with the important regulatory role of decorin in this process. A strong reduction in heparan sulfate level was also observed, indicating that β3GalT6 deficiency alters synthesis of both main types of glycosaminoglycans. In vitro wound healing assay revealed a significant delay in fibroblasts from two index individuals, pointing to a role for glycosaminoglycan defect in impaired wound repair in vivo. Our study emphasizes a crucial role for β3GalT6 in multiple major developmental and pathophysiological processes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.04.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3675258PMC
June 2013

Comprehensive molecular analysis demonstrates type V collagen mutations in over 90% of patients with classic EDS and allows to refine diagnostic criteria.

Hum Mutat 2012 Oct 5;33(10):1485-93. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Center for Medical Genetics, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Type V collagen mutations are associated with classic Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), but it is unknown for which proportion they account and to what extent other genes are involved. We analyzed COL5A1 and COL5A2 in 126 patients with a diagnosis or suspicion of classic EDS. In 93 patients, a type V collagen defect was found, of which 73 were COL5A1 mutations, 13 were COL5A2 mutations and seven were COL5A1 null-alleles with mutation unknown. The majority of the 73 COL5A1 mutations generated a COL5A1 null-allele, whereas one-third were structural mutations, scattered throughout COL5A1. All COL5A2 mutations were structural mutations. Reduced availability of type V collagen appeared to be the major disease-causing mechanism, besides other intra- and extracellular contributing factors. All type V collagen defects were identified within a group of 102 patients fulfilling all major clinical Villefranche criteria, that is, skin hyperextensibility, dystrophic scarring and joint hypermobility. No COL5A1/COL5A2 mutation was detected in 24 patients who displayed skin and joint hyperextensibility but lacked dystrophic scarring. Overall, over 90% of patients fulfilling all major Villefranche criteria for classic EDS were shown to harbor a type V collagen defect, which indicates that this is the major--if not only--cause of classic EDS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.22137DOI Listing
October 2012