Publications by authors named "Emilia K Bijlsma"

62 Publications

ANK3 related neurodevelopmental disorders: expanding the spectrum of heterozygous loss-of-function variants.

Neurogenetics 2021 Jul 3. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.

ANK3 encodes multiple isoforms of ankyrin-G, resulting in variegated tissue expression and function, especially regarding its role in neuronal development. Based on the zygosity, location, and type, ANK3 variants result in different neurodevelopmental phenotypes. Autism spectrum disorder has been associated with heterozygous missense variants in ANK3, whereas a more severe neurodevelopmental phenotype is caused by isoform-dependent, autosomal-dominant, or autosomal-recessive loss-of-function variants. Here, we present four individuals affected by a variable neurodevelopmental phenotype harboring a heterozygous frameshift or nonsense variant affecting all ANK3 transcripts. Thus, we provide further evidence of an isoform-based phenotypic continuum underlying ANK3-associated pathologies and expand its phenotypic spectrum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10048-021-00655-4DOI Listing
July 2021

Heterozygous ANKRD17 loss-of-function variants cause a syndrome with intellectual disability, speech delay, and dysmorphism.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 06 27;108(6):1138-1150. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Institute for Human Genetics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

ANKRD17 is an ankyrin repeat-containing protein thought to play a role in cell cycle progression, whose ortholog in Drosophila functions in the Hippo pathway as a co-factor of Yorkie. Here, we delineate a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by de novo heterozygous ANKRD17 variants. The mutational spectrum of this cohort of 34 individuals from 32 families is highly suggestive of haploinsufficiency as the underlying mechanism of disease, with 21 truncating or essential splice site variants, 9 missense variants, 1 in-frame insertion-deletion, and 1 microdeletion (1.16 Mb). Consequently, our data indicate that loss of ANKRD17 is likely the main cause of phenotypes previously associated with large multi-gene chromosomal aberrations of the 4q13.3 region. Protein modeling suggests that most of the missense variants disrupt the stability of the ankyrin repeats through alteration of core structural residues. The major phenotypic characteristic of our cohort is a variable degree of developmental delay/intellectual disability, particularly affecting speech, while additional features include growth failure, feeding difficulties, non-specific MRI abnormalities, epilepsy and/or abnormal EEG, predisposition to recurrent infections (mostly bacterial), ophthalmological abnormalities, gait/balance disturbance, and joint hypermobility. Moreover, many individuals shared similar dysmorphic facial features. Analysis of single-cell RNA-seq data from the developing human telencephalon indicated ANKRD17 expression at multiple stages of neurogenesis, adding further evidence to the assertion that damaging ANKRD17 variants cause a neurodevelopmental disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.04.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206162PMC
June 2021

Disease Onset in Huntington's Disease: When Is the Conversion?

Mov Disord Clin Pract 2021 Apr 31;8(3):352-360. Epub 2021 Jan 31.

Department of Neurology Leiden University Medical Center Leiden The Netherlands.

Background: Determination of disease onset in Huntington's disease is made by clinical experience. The diagnostic confidence level is an assessment regarding the certainty about the clinical diagnosis based on motor signs. A level of 4 means the rater has ≥99% confidence motor abnormalities are unequivocal signs of disease. However, it does not state which motor abnormalities are signs of disease and how many must be present.

Objective: Our aim is to explore how accurate the diagnostic confidence level is in estimating disease onset using the Enroll-HD data set. For clinical disease onset we use a cut-off total motor score >5 of the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale. This score is used in the TRACK-HD study, with ≤5 indicating no substantial motor signs in premanifests.

Methods: At baseline premanifest participants who converted to manifest (converters) and non-converters were compared for clinical symptoms and diagnostic confidence level. Clinical symptoms and diagnostic confidence levels were longitudinally displayed in converters.

Results: Of 3731 eligible participants, 455 were converters and 3276 non-converters. Baseline diagnostic confidence levels were significantly higher in converters compared to non-converters ( < 0.001). 232 (51%) converters displayed a baseline motor score >5 (mean = 6.7). Converters had significantly more baseline clinical symptoms, and higher disease burden compared to non-converters ( < 0.001). Diagnostic confidence level before disease onset ranged between 1 and 3 in converters.

Conclusions: According to this data the diagnostic confidence level is not an accurate instrument to determine phenoconversion. With trials evaluating disease modifying therapies it is important to develop more reliable diagnostic criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mdc3.13148DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8015887PMC
April 2021

A missense variant in the nuclear export signal of the FMR1 gene causes intellectual disability.

Gene 2021 Feb 9;768:145298. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common monogenetic cause of intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders. Mostly, FXS is caused by transcriptional silencing of the FMR1 gene due to a repeat expansion in the 5' UTR, and consequently lack of the protein product FMRP. However, in rare cases FXS is caused by other types of variants in the FMR1 gene. We describe a missense variant in the FMR1 gene, identified through whole-exome sequencing, in a boy with intellectual disability and behavioral problems. The variant is located in the FMRP's nuclear export signal (NES). We performed expression and localization studies of the variant in hair roots and HEK293 cells. Our results show normal expression but significant retention of the FMRP in the cells' nucleus. This finding suggests a possible FMRP reduction at its essential functional sites in the dendrites and the synaptic compartments and possible interference of other cellular processes in the nucleus. Together, this might lead to a FXS phenotype in the boy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2020.145298DOI Listing
February 2021

Frequency of the loss of CAA interruption in the HTT CAG tract and implications for Huntington disease in the reduced penetrance range.

Genet Med 2020 12 3;22(12):2108-2113. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Purpose: In some Huntington disease (HD) patients, the "loss of interruption" (LOI) variant eliminates an interrupting codon in the HTT CAG-repeat tract, which causes earlier age of onset (AOO). The magnitude of this effect is uncertain, since previous studies included few LOI carriers, and the variant also causes CAG size misestimation. We developed a rapid LOI detection screen, enabling unbiased frequency estimation among manifest HD patients. Additionally, we combined published data with clinical data from newly identified patients to accurately characterize the LOI's effect on AOO.

Methods: We developed a LOI detection polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, and screened patients to estimate the frequency of the LOI variant and its effect on AOO.

Results: Mean onset for LOI carriers (n = 49) is 20.4 years earlier than expected based on diagnosed CAG size. After correcting for CAG size underestimation, the variant is still associated with onset 9.5 years earlier. The LOI is present in 1.02% of symptomatic HD patients, and in 32.2% of symptomatic reduced penetrance (RP) range patients (36-39 CAGs).

Conclusion: The LOI causes significantly earlier onset, greater than expected by CAG length, particularly in persons with 36-39 CAG repeats. Detection of this variant has implications for HD families, especially for those in the RP range.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-0917-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7708297PMC
December 2020

Predictive genetic testing in Huntington's disease: should a neurologist be involved?

Eur J Hum Genet 2020 09 13;28(9):1205-1209. Epub 2020 May 13.

Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

International guidelines on Huntington's Disease recommend neurological examination in the predictive testing trajectory. Experiences and personal wishes of persons at risk of Huntington's Disease regarding this topic have never been evaluated. The objective was to provide an overview of the experiences of Dutch at-risk persons, opting for predictive testing, in consulting a neurologist before and after DNA analysis. Persons who were counseled in four Dutch clinics between 2017 and 2019 were retrospectively or prospectively approached for a questionnaire which listed topics as experiences with consultation and personal wishes. From 71 participants, 44 participants visited a neurologist. 41 participants indicated their visit to a neurologist as positive (93.2%). The majority of participants (n = 59) desired consulting a neurologist. Thirty-two participants indicated consultation shortly after (Desired After Group) and twenty-seven before DNA analysis (Desired Before Group) as personal wish. The Desired Before Group consisted of a significantly higher number of participants who actually consulted a neurologist before predictive testing (n = 26) compared with the number of participants who actually consulted a neurologist after DNA analysis in the Desired After Group (n = 11) (p < 0.001). The Desired After Group (n = 19) had a significantly higher number of Huntington's disease gene expansion carriers compared with the Desired Before Group (n = 5) (p 0.003). Participants are content with consultation. However, persons without the gene expansion still feel the need to get in touch with a neurologist. Therefore, offering a consultation with a neurologist before DNA analysis might be beneficial for all.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-020-0633-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7608370PMC
September 2020

Distinct effects on mRNA export factor GANP underlie neurological disease phenotypes and alter gene expression depending on intron content.

Hum Mol Genet 2020 06;29(9):1426-1439

Stem Cells and Metabolism Research Program, Research Programs Unit, University of Helsinki, 00290 Helsinki, Finland.

Defects in the mRNA export scaffold protein GANP, encoded by the MCM3AP gene, cause autosomal recessive early-onset peripheral neuropathy with or without intellectual disability. We extend here the phenotypic range associated with MCM3AP variants, by describing a severely hypotonic child and a sibling pair with a progressive encephalopathic syndrome. In addition, our analysis of skin fibroblasts from affected individuals from seven unrelated families indicates that disease variants result in depletion of GANP except when they alter critical residues in the Sac3 mRNA binding domain. GANP depletion was associated with more severe phenotypes compared with the Sac3 variants. Patient fibroblasts showed transcriptome alterations that suggested intron content-dependent regulation of gene expression. For example, all differentially expressed intronless genes were downregulated, including ATXN7L3B, which couples mRNA export to transcription activation by association with the TREX-2 and SAGA complexes. Our results provide insight into the molecular basis behind genotype-phenotype correlations in MCM3AP-associated disease and suggest mechanisms by which GANP defects might alter RNA metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddaa051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297229PMC
June 2020

Diagnosing Juvenile Huntington's Disease: An Explorative Study among Caregivers of Affected Children.

Brain Sci 2020 Mar 7;10(3). Epub 2020 Mar 7.

Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands.

To investigate the reasons for the diagnostic delay of juvenile Huntington's disease patients in the Netherlands. : This study uses interpretative phenomenological analysis. Eligible participants were parents and caregivers of juvenile Huntington's disease patients. : Eight parents were interviewed, who consulted up to four health care professionals. The diagnostic process lasted three to ten years. Parents believe that careful listening and follow-up would have improved the diagnostic process. Although they believe an earlier diagnosis would have benefited their child's wellbeing, they felt they would not have been able to cope with more grief at that time. : The delay in diagnosis is caused by the lack of knowledge among health care professionals on the one hand, and the resistance of the parent on the other. For professionals, the advice is to personalize their advice in which a conscious doctor's delay is acceptable or even useful.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10030155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7139393PMC
March 2020

De novo CLTC variants are associated with a variable phenotype from mild to severe intellectual disability, microcephaly, hypoplasia of the corpus callosum, and epilepsy.

Genet Med 2020 04 28;22(4):797-802. Epub 2019 Nov 28.

Department of Human Genetics, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud university medical center (Radboudumc), Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Purpose: To delineate the genotype-phenotype correlation in individuals with likely pathogenic variants in the CLTC gene.

Methods: We describe 13 individuals with de novo CLTC variants. Causality of variants was determined by using the tolerance landscape of CLTC and computer-assisted molecular modeling where applicable. Phenotypic abnormalities observed in the individuals identified with missense and in-frame variants were compared with those with nonsense or frameshift variants in CLTC.

Results: All de novo variants were judged to be causal. Combining our data with that of 14 previously reported affected individuals (n = 27), all had intellectual disability (ID), ranging from mild to moderate/severe, with or without additional neurologic, behavioral, craniofacial, ophthalmologic, and gastrointestinal features. Microcephaly, hypoplasia of the corpus callosum, and epilepsy were more frequently observed in individuals with missense and in-frame variants than in those with nonsense and frameshift variants. However, this difference was not significant.

Conclusions: The wide phenotypic variability associated with likely pathogenic CLTC variants seems to be associated with allelic heterogeneity. The detailed clinical characterization of a larger cohort of individuals with pathogenic CLTC variants is warranted to support the hypothesis that missense and in-frame variants exert a dominant-negative effect, whereas the nonsense and frameshift variants would result in haploinsufficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-019-0703-yDOI Listing
April 2020

Disruptive mutations in TANC2 define a neurodevelopmental syndrome associated with psychiatric disorders.

Nat Commun 2019 10 15;10(1):4679. Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Postsynaptic density (PSD) proteins have been implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. Here, we present detailed clinical and genetic data for 20 patients with likely gene-disrupting mutations in TANC2-whose protein product interacts with multiple PSD proteins. Pediatric patients with disruptive mutations present with autism, intellectual disability, and delayed language and motor development. In addition to a variable degree of epilepsy and facial dysmorphism, we observe a pattern of more complex psychiatric dysfunction or behavioral problems in adult probands or carrier parents. Although this observation requires replication to establish statistical significance, it also suggests that mutations in this gene are associated with a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders consistent with its postsynaptic function. We find that TANC2 is expressed broadly in the human developing brain, especially in excitatory neurons and glial cells, but shows a more restricted pattern in Drosophila glial cells where its disruption affects behavioral outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12435-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6794285PMC
October 2019

Aberrant Function of the C-Terminal Tail of HIST1H1E Accelerates Cellular Senescence and Causes Premature Aging.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 09 22;105(3):493-508. Epub 2019 Aug 22.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pretoria, Weskoppies Hospital, Pretoria, 0001 South Africa.

Histones mediate dynamic packaging of nuclear DNA in chromatin, a process that is precisely controlled to guarantee efficient compaction of the genome and proper chromosomal segregation during cell division and to accomplish DNA replication, transcription, and repair. Due to the important structural and regulatory roles played by histones, it is not surprising that histone functional dysregulation or aberrant levels of histones can have severe consequences for multiple cellular processes and ultimately might affect development or contribute to cell transformation. Recently, germline frameshift mutations involving the C-terminal tail of HIST1H1E, which is a widely expressed member of the linker histone family and facilitates higher-order chromatin folding, have been causally linked to an as-yet poorly defined syndrome that includes intellectual disability. We report that these mutations result in stable proteins that reside in the nucleus, bind to chromatin, disrupt proper compaction of DNA, and are associated with a specific methylation pattern. Cells expressing these mutant proteins have a dramatically reduced proliferation rate and competence, hardly enter into the S phase, and undergo accelerated senescence. Remarkably, clinical assessment of a relatively large cohort of subjects sharing these mutations revealed a premature aging phenotype as a previously unrecognized feature of the disorder. Our findings identify a direct link between aberrant chromatin remodeling, cellular senescence, and accelerated aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.07.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6731364PMC
September 2019

Length of Uninterrupted CAG, Independent of Polyglutamine Size, Results in Increased Somatic Instability, Hastening Onset of Huntington Disease.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 06 16;104(6):1116-1126. Epub 2019 May 16.

Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4, Canada. Electronic address:

Huntington disease (HD) is caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. Although the length of this repeat is inversely correlated with age of onset (AOO), it does not fully explain the variability in AOO. We assessed the sequence downstream of the CAG repeat in HTT [reference: (CAG)n-CAA-CAG], since variants within this region have been previously described, but no study of AOO has been performed. These analyses identified a variant that results in complete loss of interrupting (LOI) adenine nucleotides in this region [(CAG)n-CAG-CAG]. Analysis of multiple HD pedigrees showed that this LOI variant is associated with dramatically earlier AOO (average of 25 years) despite the same polyglutamine length as in individuals with the interrupting penultimate CAA codon. This LOI allele is particularly frequent in persons with reduced penetrance alleles who manifest with HD and increases the likelihood of presenting clinically with HD with a CAG of 36-39 repeats. Further, we show that the LOI variant is associated with increased somatic repeat instability, highlighting this as a significant driver of this effect. These findings indicate that the number of uninterrupted CAG repeats, which is lengthened by the LOI, is the most significant contributor to AOO of HD and is more significant than polyglutamine length, which is not altered in these individuals. In addition, we identified another variant in this region, where the CAA-CAG sequence is duplicated, which was associated with later AOO. Identification of these cis-acting modifiers have potentially important implications for genetic counselling in HD-affected families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.04.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6556907PMC
June 2019

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

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

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

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

Risk Assessment for Huntington's Disease for (Future) Offspring Requires Offering Preconceptional CAG Analysis to Both Partners.

J Huntingtons Dis 2019 ;8(1):71-78

Department of Clinical Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Amongst the main reasons people at risk for Huntington's disease (HD) have for undergoing predictive genetic testing are planning a family and prevention of passing on an expanded CAG-repeat to future offspring. After having received an unfavourable test result, a couple may consider prenatal testing in the foetus or preimplantation genetic diagnostic testing (PGD) in embryos. Testing of the foetus or embryos is possible by means of direct testing of the expanded repeat. Optimal reliability in testing the foetus or embryos requires the establishment of the origin of the repeats of both parents in the foetus. For PGD the analysis is combined with or sometimes solely based on identification of the at-risk haplotype in the embryo. This policy implies that in the context of direct testing, the healthy partner's CAG repeat lengths in the HD gene are also tested, but with the expectation that the repeat lengths of the partner are within the normal range, with the proviso that the partner's pedigree is free of clinically confirmed HD. However, recent studies have shown that the expanded repeat has been observed more often in the general population than previously estimated. Moreover, we have unexpectedly observed an expanded repeat in the non-HD partner in four cases which had far-reaching consequences. Hence, we propose that in the context of reproductive genetic counselling, prior to a planned pregnancy, and irrespective of the outcome of the predictive test in the HD-partner, the non-HD partner should also be given the option of being tested on the expanded allele. International recommendations for predictive testing for HD should be adjusted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JHD-180314DOI Listing
March 2020

Diagnosis and management in Pitt-Hopkins syndrome: First international consensus statement.

Clin Genet 2019 04 18;95(4):462-478. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Behavioral Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (PTHS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by intellectual disability, specific facial features, and marked autonomic nervous system dysfunction, especially with disturbances of regulating respiration and intestinal mobility. It is caused by variants in the transcription factor TCF4. Heterogeneity in the clinical and molecular diagnostic criteria and care practices has prompted a group of international experts to establish guidelines for diagnostics and care. For issues, for which there was limited information available in international literature, we collaborated with national support groups and the participants of a syndrome specific international conference to obtain further information. Here, we discuss the resultant consensus, including the clinical definition of PTHS and a molecular diagnostic pathway. Recommendations for managing particular health problems such as dysregulated respiration are provided. We emphasize the need for integration of care for physical and behavioral issues. The recommendations as presented here will need to be evaluated for improvements to allow for continued optimization of diagnostics and care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13506DOI Listing
April 2019

Clinical and genetic characteristics of late-onset Huntington's disease.

Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2019 04 29;61:101-105. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands; GROW Research Institute for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Background: The frequency of late-onset Huntington's disease (>59 years) is assumed to be low and the clinical course milder. However, previous literature on late-onset disease is scarce and inconclusive.

Objective: Our aim is to study clinical characteristics of late-onset compared to common-onset HD patients in a large cohort of HD patients from the Registry database.

Methods: Participants with late- and common-onset (30-50 years)were compared for first clinical symptoms, disease progression, CAG repeat size and family history. Participants with a missing CAG repeat size, a repeat size of ≤35 or a UHDRS motor score of ≤5 were excluded.

Results: Of 6007 eligible participants, 687 had late-onset (11.4%) and 3216 (53.5%) common-onset HD. Late-onset (n = 577) had significantly more gait and balance problems as first symptom compared to common-onset (n = 2408) (P < .001). Overall motor and cognitive performance (P < .001) were worse, however only disease motor progression was slower (coefficient, -0.58; SE 0.16; P < .001) compared to the common-onset group. Repeat size was significantly lower in the late-onset (n = 40.8; SD 1.6) compared to common-onset (n = 44.4; SD 2.8) (P < .001). Fewer late-onset patients (n = 451) had a positive family history compared to common-onset (n = 2940) (P < .001).

Conclusions: Late-onset patients present more frequently with gait and balance problems as first symptom, and disease progression is not milder compared to common-onset HD patients apart from motor progression. The family history is likely to be negative, which might make diagnosing HD more difficult in this population. However, the balance and gait problems might be helpful in diagnosing HD in elderly patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2018.11.009DOI Listing
April 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

Putting genome-wide sequencing in neonates into perspective.

Genet Med 2019 05 5;21(5):1074-1082. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Department of Pediatrics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Purpose: Several studies have reported diagnostic yields up to 57% for rapid exome or genome sequencing (rES/GS) as a single test in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients, but the additional yield of rES/GS compared with other available diagnostic options still remains unquantified in this population.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated all genetic NICU consultations in a 2-year period.

Results: In 132 retrospectively evaluated NICU consultations 27 of 32 diagnoses (84.4%) were made using standard genetic workup. Most diagnoses (65.6%) were made within 16 days. Diagnostic ES yield was 5/29 (17.2%). Genetic diagnoses had a direct effect on clinical management in 90.6% (29/32) of patients.

Conclusions: Our study shows that exome sequencing has a place in NICU diagnostics, but given the associated costs and the high yield of alternative diagnostic strategies, we recommend to first perform clinical genetic consultation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-018-0293-0DOI Listing
May 2019

Further delineation of Malan syndrome.

Hum Mutat 2018 09 25;39(9):1226-1237. Epub 2018 Jun 25.

Belfast HSC Trust, Northern Ireland Regional Genetics Service, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Malan syndrome is an overgrowth disorder described in a limited number of individuals. We aim to delineate the entity by studying a large group of affected individuals. We gathered data on 45 affected individuals with a molecularly confirmed diagnosis through an international collaboration and compared data to the 35 previously reported individuals. Results indicate that height is > 2 SDS in infancy and childhood but in only half of affected adults. Cardinal facial characteristics include long, triangular face, macrocephaly, prominent forehead, everted lower lip, and prominent chin. Intellectual disability is universally present, behaviorally anxiety is characteristic. Malan syndrome is caused by deletions or point mutations of NFIX clustered mostly in exon 2. There is no genotype-phenotype correlation except for an increased risk for epilepsy with 19p13.2 microdeletions. Variants arose de novo, except in one family in which mother was mosaic. Variants causing Malan and Marshall-Smith syndrome can be discerned by differences in the site of stop codon formation. We conclude that Malan syndrome has a well recognizable phenotype that usually can be discerned easily from Marshall-Smith syndrome but rarely there is some overlap. Differentiation from Sotos and Weaver syndrome can be made by clinical evaluation only.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23563DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6175110PMC
September 2018

De novo mutations in MED13, a component of the Mediator complex, are associated with a novel neurodevelopmental disorder.

Hum Genet 2018 May 8;137(5):375-388. Epub 2018 May 8.

Language and Genetics Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Many genetic causes of developmental delay and/or intellectual disability (DD/ID) are extremely rare, and robust discovery of these requires both large-scale DNA sequencing and data sharing. Here we describe a GeneMatcher collaboration which led to a cohort of 13 affected individuals harboring protein-altering variants, 11 of which are de novo, in MED13; the only inherited variant was transmitted to an affected child from an affected mother. All patients had intellectual disability and/or developmental delays, including speech delays or disorders. Other features that were reported in two or more patients include autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, optic nerve abnormalities, Duane anomaly, hypotonia, mild congenital heart abnormalities, and dysmorphisms. Six affected individuals had mutations that are predicted to truncate the MED13 protein, six had missense mutations, and one had an in-frame-deletion of one amino acid. Out of the seven non-truncating mutations, six clustered in two specific locations of the MED13 protein: an N-terminal and C-terminal region. The four N-terminal clustering mutations affect two adjacent amino acids that are known to be involved in MED13 ubiquitination and degradation, p.Thr326 and p.Pro327. MED13 is a component of the CDK8-kinase module that can reversibly bind Mediator, a multi-protein complex that is required for Polymerase II transcription initiation. Mutations in several other genes encoding subunits of Mediator have been previously shown to associate with DD/ID, including MED13L, a paralog of MED13. Thus, our findings add MED13 to the group of CDK8-kinase module-associated disease genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-018-1887-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5973976PMC
May 2018

A Recurrent De Novo PACS2 Heterozygous Missense Variant Causes Neonatal-Onset Developmental Epileptic Encephalopathy, Facial Dysmorphism, and Cerebellar Dysgenesis.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 05 12;102(5):995-1007. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Genetics, 9700 RB Groningen, the Netherlands.

Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) represent a large clinical and genetic heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental diseases. The identification of pathogenic genetic variants in DEEs remains crucial for deciphering this complex group and for accurately caring for affected individuals (clinical diagnosis, genetic counseling, impacting medical, precision therapy, clinical trials, etc.). Whole-exome sequencing and intensive data sharing identified a recurrent de novo PACS2 heterozygous missense variant in 14 unrelated individuals. Their phenotype was characterized by epilepsy, global developmental delay with or without autism, common cerebellar dysgenesis, and facial dysmorphism. Mixed focal and generalized epilepsy occurred in the neonatal period, controlled with difficulty in the first year, but many improved in early childhood. PACS2 is an important PACS1 paralog and encodes a multifunctional sorting protein involved in nuclear gene expression and pathway traffic regulation. Both proteins harbor cargo(furin)-binding regions (FBRs) that bind cargo proteins, sorting adaptors, and cellular kinase. Compared to the defined PACS1 recurrent variant series, individuals with PACS2 variant have more consistently neonatal/early-infantile-onset epilepsy that can be challenging to control. Cerebellar abnormalities may be similar but PACS2 individuals exhibit a pattern of clear dysgenesis ranging from mild to severe. Functional studies demonstrated that the PACS2 recurrent variant reduces the ability of the predicted autoregulatory domain to modulate the interaction between the PACS2 FBR and client proteins, which may disturb cellular function. These findings support the causality of this recurrent de novo PACS2 heterozygous missense in DEEs with facial dysmorphim and cerebellar dysgenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.03.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986694PMC
May 2018

Predictive testing of minors for Huntington's disease: The UK and Netherlands experiences.

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet 2018 Jan 2;177(1):35-39. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum, Leiden, The Netherlands.

A consistent feature of predictive testing guidelines for Huntington's disease (HD) is the recommendation not to undertake predictive tests on those < 18 years. Exceptions are made but the extent of, and reasons for, deviation from the guidelines are unknown. The UK Huntington's Prediction Consortium has collected data annually on predictive tests undertaken from the 23 UK genetic centers. DNA analysis for HD in the Netherlands is centralized in the Laboratory for Diagnostic Genome Analysis in Leiden. In the UK, 60 tests were performed on minors between 1994 and 2015 representing 0.63% of the total number of tests performed. In the Netherlands, 23 tests were performed on minors between 1997 and 2016. The majority of the tests were performed on those aged 16 and 17 years for both countries (23% and 57% for the UK, and 26% and 57% for the Netherlands). Data on the reasons for testing were identified for 36 UK and 22 Netherlands cases and included: close to the age of 18 years, pregnancy, currently in local authority care and likely to have less support available after 18 years, person never having the capacity to consent and other miscellaneous reasons. This study documents the extent of HD testing of minors in the UK and the Netherlands and suggests that, in general, the recommendation is being followed. We provide some empirical evidence as to reasons why clinicians have departed from the recommendation. We do not advise changing the recommendation but suggest that testing of minors continues to be monitored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32582DOI Listing
January 2018

Equivalent missense variant in the FOXP2 and FOXP1 transcription factors causes distinct neurodevelopmental disorders.

Hum Mutat 2017 11 14;38(11):1542-1554. Epub 2017 Aug 14.

Language and Genetics Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

The closely related paralogues FOXP2 and FOXP1 encode transcription factors with shared functions in the development of many tissues, including the brain. However, while mutations in FOXP2 lead to a speech/language disorder characterized by childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), the clinical profile of FOXP1 variants includes a broader neurodevelopmental phenotype with global developmental delay, intellectual disability, and speech/language impairment. Using clinical whole-exome sequencing, we report an identical de novo missense FOXP1 variant identified in three unrelated patients. The variant, p.R514H, is located in the forkhead-box DNA-binding domain and is equivalent to the well-studied p.R553H FOXP2 variant that cosegregates with CAS in a large UK family. We present here for the first time a direct comparison of the molecular and clinical consequences of the same mutation affecting the equivalent residue in FOXP1 and FOXP2. Detailed functional characterization of the two variants in cell model systems revealed very similar molecular consequences, including aberrant subcellular localization, disruption of transcription factor activity, and deleterious effects on protein interactions. Nonetheless, clinical manifestations were broader and more severe in the three cases carrying the p.R514H FOXP1 variant than in individuals with the p.R553H variant related to CAS, highlighting divergent roles of FOXP2 and FOXP1 in neurodevelopment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23303DOI Listing
November 2017

Recurrent KIF2A mutations are responsible for classic lissencephaly.

Neurogenetics 2017 Apr 17;18(2):73-79. Epub 2016 Oct 17.

Imagine Institute, Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité University, Paris, France.

Kinesins play a critical role in the organization and dynamics of the microtubule cytoskeleton, making them central players in neuronal proliferation, neuronal migration, and postmigrational development. Recently, KIF2A mutations were identified in cortical malformation syndromes associated with microcephaly. Here, we detected two de novo p.Ser317Asn and p.His321Pro mutations in KIF2A in two patients with lissencephaly and microcephaly. In parallel, we re-evaluated the two previously reported cases showing de novo mutations of the same residues. The identification of mutations only in the residues Ser317 and His321 suggests these are hotspots for de novo mutations. Both mutations lead to a classic form of lissencephaly, with a posterior to anterior gradient, almost indistinguishable from LIS1-related lissencephaly. However, three fourths of patients also showed variable congenital and postnatal microcephaly, up to -5 SD. Located in the motor domain of the KIF2A protein, the Ser317 and His321 alterations are expected to disrupt binding or hydrolysis of ATP and consequently the MT depolymerizing activity. This report also establishes that KIF2A mutations represent significant causes of classic lissencephaly with microcephaly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10048-016-0499-8DOI Listing
April 2017
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