Publications by authors named "Erin Conboy"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

BICRA, a SWI/SNF Complex Member, Is Associated with BAF-Disorder Related Phenotypes in Humans and Model Organisms.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 12 23;107(6):1096-1112. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA; Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Electronic address:

SWI/SNF-related intellectual disability disorders (SSRIDDs) are rare neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by developmental disability, coarse facial features, and fifth digit/nail hypoplasia that are caused by pathogenic variants in genes that encode for members of the SWI/SNF (or BAF) family of chromatin remodeling complexes. We have identified 12 individuals with rare variants (10 loss-of-function, 2 missense) in the BICRA (BRD4 interacting chromatin remodeling complex-associated protein) gene, also known as GLTSCR1, which encodes a subunit of the non-canonical BAF (ncBAF) complex. These individuals exhibited neurodevelopmental phenotypes that include developmental delay, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, and behavioral abnormalities as well as dysmorphic features. Notably, the majority of individuals lack the fifth digit/nail hypoplasia phenotype, a hallmark of most SSRIDDs. To confirm the role of BICRA in the development of these phenotypes, we performed functional characterization of the zebrafish and Drosophila orthologs of BICRA. In zebrafish, a mutation of bicra that mimics one of the loss-of-function variants leads to craniofacial defects possibly akin to the dysmorphic facial features seen in individuals harboring putatively pathogenic BICRA variants. We further show that Bicra physically binds to other non-canonical ncBAF complex members, including the BRD9/7 ortholog, CG7154, and is the defining member of the ncBAF complex in flies. Like other SWI/SNF complex members, loss of Bicra function in flies acts as a dominant enhancer of position effect variegation but in a more context-specific manner. We conclude that haploinsufficiency of BICRA leads to a unique SSRIDD in humans whose phenotypes overlap with those previously reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.11.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820627PMC
December 2020

An Adolescent with a Rare Distal Trisomy 6p and Distal Monosomy 6q Chromosomal Combination.

Case Rep Genet 2020 31;2020:8857628. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

We report on a 12-year-old female with both a partial duplication and deletion involving chromosome 6. The duplication involves 6p25.3p24.3 (7.585 Mb) while the deletion includes 6q27q27 (6.244 Mb). This chromosomal abnormality is also described as distal trisomy 6p and distal monosomy 6q. The patient has a Chiari II malformation, hydrocephalus, agenesis of the corpus callosum, microcephaly, bilateral renal duplicated collecting system, scoliosis, and myelomeningocele associated with a neurogenic bladder and bladder reflux. Additional features have included seizures, feeding dysfunction, failure to thrive, sleep apnea, global developmental delay, intellectual disability, and absent speech. To our knowledge, our report is just the sixth case in the literature with concomitant distal 6p duplication and distal 6q deletion. Although a majority of chromosomal duplication-deletion cases have resulted from a parental pericentric inversion, the parents of our case have normal chromosomes. This is the first reported case of distal 6p duplication and distal 6q deletion. Alternate explanations for the origin of the patient's chromosome abnormalities include parental gonadal mosaicism, nonallelic homologous recombination, or potentially intrachromosomal transposition of the telomeres of chromosome 6. Nonpaternity was considered but ruled out by whole exome sequencing analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/8857628DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7479479PMC
August 2020

Multiplex testing for the screening of lysosomal storage disease in urine: Sulfatides and glycosaminoglycan profiles in 40 cases of sulfatiduria.

Mol Genet Metab 2020 02 5;129(2):106-110. Epub 2019 Nov 5.

Biochemical Genetics Laboratory, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Purpose: To describe an efficient and effective multiplex screening strategy for sulfatide degradation disorders and mucolipidosis type II/III (MLII/III) using 3 mL of urine.

Methods: Glycosaminoglycans were analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight tandem mass spectrometry was used to identify free oligosaccharides and identify 22 ceramide trihexosides and 23 sulfatides, which are integrated by 670 calculated ratios. Collaborative Laboratory Integrated Reports (CLIR; https://clir.mayo.edu) was used for post-analytical interpretation of the complex metabolite profile and to aid in the differential diagnosis of abnormal results.

Results: Multiplex analysis was performed on 25 sulfatiduria case samples and compiled with retrospective data from an additional 15 cases revealing unique patterns of biomarkers for each disorder of sulfatide degradation (MLD, MSD, and Saposin B deficiency) and for MLII/III, thus allowing the formulation of a novel algorithm for the biochemical diagnosis of these disorders.

Conclusions: Comprehensive and integrated urine screening could be very effective in the initial workup of patients suspected of having a lysosomal disorder as it covers disorders of sulfatide degradation and narrows down the differential diagnosis in patients with elevated glycosaminoglycans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2019.10.009DOI Listing
February 2020

RINT1 Bi-allelic Variations Cause Infantile-Onset Recurrent Acute Liver Failure and Skeletal Abnormalities.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 07 13;105(1):108-121. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Center for Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; Department of Clinical Genomics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. Electronic address:

Pediatric acute liver failure (ALF) is life threatening with genetic, immunologic, and environmental etiologies. Approximately half of all cases remain unexplained. Recurrent ALF (RALF) in infants describes repeated episodes of severe liver injury with recovery of hepatic function between crises. We describe bi-allelic RINT1 alterations as the cause of a multisystem disorder including RALF and skeletal abnormalities. Three unrelated individuals with RALF onset ≤3 years of age have splice alterations at the same position (c.1333+1G>A or G>T) in trans with a missense (p.Ala368Thr or p.Leu370Pro) or in-frame deletion (p.Val618_Lys619del) in RINT1. ALF episodes are concomitant with fever/infection and not all individuals have complete normalization of liver function testing between episodes. Liver biopsies revealed nonspecific liver damage including fibrosis, steatosis, or mild increases in Kupffer cells. Skeletal imaging revealed abnormalities affecting the vertebrae and pelvis. Dermal fibroblasts showed splice-variant mediated skipping of exon 9 leading to an out-of-frame product and nonsense-mediated transcript decay. Fibroblasts also revealed decreased RINT1 protein, abnormal Golgi morphology, and impaired autophagic flux compared to control. RINT1 interacts with NBAS, recently implicated in RALF, and UVRAG, to facilitate Golgi-to-ER retrograde vesicle transport. During nutrient depletion or infection, Golgi-to-ER transport is suppressed and autophagy is promoted through UVRAG regulation by mTOR. Aberrant autophagy has been associated with the development of similar skeletal abnormalities and also with liver disease, suggesting that disruption of these RINT1 functions may explain the liver and skeletal findings. Clarifying the pathomechanism underlying this gene-disease relationship may inform therapeutic opportunities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.05.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6612521PMC
July 2019

Hyperammonemic encephalopathy in a patient with fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma: case report and literature review.

J Gastrointest Oncol 2019 Jun;10(3):582-588

Department of Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (fHCC) is a rare primary liver cancer that affects young adults with no prior liver disease. fHCC-associated hyperammonemic encephalopathy (HAE) is an uncommon and life-threatening complication. Hyperammonemia has been reported in both typical and fHCC as a result of intrahepatic shunting, side effect from immunotherapy or chemotherapy, or as a paraneoplastic phenomenon. We present a case of a 32-year-old woman with recurrent metastatic fHCC who developed HAE in the setting of steroid administration. Her hyperammonemia was exacerbated by steroid-induced protein catabolism. She was treated with ammonia scavenging medications, a low protein diet, and was placed on chronic ammonia scavenger therapy while undergoing chemotherapy. In this case report, we discuss the proposed mechanisms of HAE, and we review the literature regarding clinical presentation and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jgo.2019.01.28DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6534716PMC
June 2019

RNA-Seq detects a SAMD12-EXT1 fusion transcript and leads to the discovery of an EXT1 deletion in a child with multiple osteochondromas.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2019 03 10;7(3):e00560. Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Background: We describe a patient presenting with pachygyria, epilepsy, developmental delay, short stature, failure to thrive, facial dysmorphisms, and multiple osteochondromas.

Methods: The patient underwent extensive genetic testing and analysis in an attempt to diagnose the cause of his condition. Clinical testing included metaphase karyotyping, array comparative genomic hybridization, direct sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification and trio-based exome sequencing. Subsequently, research-based whole transcriptome sequencing was conducted to determine whether it might shed light on the undiagnosed phenotype.

Results: Clinical exome sequencing of patient and parent samples revealed a maternally inherited splice-site variant in the doublecortin (DCX) gene that was classified as likely pathogenic and diagnostic of the patient's neurological phenotype. Clinical array comparative genome hybridization analysis revealed a 16p13.3 deletion that could not be linked to the patient phenotype based on affected genes. Further clinical testing to determine the cause of the patient's multiple osteochondromas was unrevealing despite extensive profiling of the most likely causative genes, EXT1 and EXT2, including mutation screening by direct sequence analysis and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification. Whole transcriptome sequencing identified a SAMD12-EXT1 fusion transcript that could have resulted from a chromosomal deletion, leading to the loss of EXT1 function. Re-review of the clinical array comparative genomic hybridization results indicated a possible unreported mosaic deletion affecting the SAMD12 and EXT1 genes that corresponded precisely to the introns predicted to be affected by a fusion-causing deletion. The existence of the mosaic deletion was subsequently confirmed clinically by an increased density copy number array and orthogonal methodologies CONCLUSIONS: While mosaic mutations and deletions of EXT1 and EXT2 have been reported in the context of multiple osteochondromas, to our knowledge, this is the first time that transcriptomics technologies have been used to diagnose a patient via fusion transcript analysis in the congenital disease setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.560DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6418362PMC
March 2019

Diagnosis of Attenuated Mucopolysaccharidosis VI: Clinical, Biochemical, and Genetic Pitfalls.

Pediatrics 2018 12;142(6)

Clinical Genomics,

Mucopolysaccharidosis type VI (MPS VI) is a clinically heterogeneous lysosomal disease, which can be divided into 2 main categories on the basis of age of onset and severity of symptoms. The diagnosis of the attenuated form is often delayed given subtle facial features rather than the typical coarse facial features of the classic form. Here, we discuss the difficulties in establishing the diagnosis of MPS VI on the basis of the report of 4 individuals. The most common signs and symptoms in our series were bone abnormalities and hip pain as initial manifestations and cardiac changes detected after follow-up studies. On the basis of our cohort and others worldwide, awareness of attenuated forms of MPS VI should be increased particularly among general practitioners, pediatricians, rheumatologists, orthopedists, ophthalmologists, and cardiologists. Moreover, these health care providers should be aware of the technical aspects involved in the molecular and biochemical diagnosis process so that they are aware how diagnostic errors may occur.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-0658DOI Listing
December 2018

Novel Homozygous Variant in TTC19 Causing Mitochondrial Complex III Deficiency with Recurrent Stroke-Like Episodes: Expanding the Phenotype.

Semin Pediatr Neurol 2018 07;26:16-20

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Electronic address:

A 7-year-old boy with family history of consanguinity presented with developmental delay and recurrent hemiplegia involving both sides of the body, with variable facial and ocular involvement. Brain MRI showed bilateral striatal necrosis with cystic degeneration and lactate peaks on spectroscopy. Biochemical testing demonstrated mildly elevated lactate and pyruvate. Whole-exome sequencing revealed a novel homozygous pathogenic frameshift mutation in gene TTC19, diagnostic of mitochondrial complex III deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spen.2018.04.003DOI Listing
July 2018

Truncating Variants in NAA15 Are Associated with Variable Levels of Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Congenital Anomalies.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 05 12;102(5):985-994. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics, 1Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY 11724, USA. Electronic address:

N-alpha-acetylation is a common co-translational protein modification that is essential for normal cell function in humans. We previously identified the genetic basis of an X-linked infantile lethal Mendelian disorder involving a c.109T>C (p.Ser37Pro) missense variant in NAA10, which encodes the catalytic subunit of the N-terminal acetyltransferase A (NatA) complex. The auxiliary subunit of the NatA complex, NAA15, is the dimeric binding partner for NAA10. Through a genotype-first approach with whole-exome or genome sequencing (WES/WGS) and targeted sequencing analysis, we identified and phenotypically characterized 38 individuals from 33 unrelated families with 25 different de novo or inherited, dominantly acting likely gene disrupting (LGD) variants in NAA15. Clinical features of affected individuals with LGD variants in NAA15 include variable levels of intellectual disability, delayed speech and motor milestones, and autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, mild craniofacial dysmorphology, congenital cardiac anomalies, and seizures are present in some subjects. RNA analysis in cell lines from two individuals showed degradation of the transcripts with LGD variants, probably as a result of nonsense-mediated decay. Functional assays in yeast confirmed a deleterious effect for two of the LGD variants in NAA15. Further supporting a mechanism of haploinsufficiency, individuals with copy-number variant (CNV) deletions involving NAA15 and surrounding genes can present with mild intellectual disability, mild dysmorphic features, motor delays, and decreased growth. We propose that defects in NatA-mediated N-terminal acetylation (NTA) lead to variable levels of neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, supporting the importance of the NatA complex in normal human development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.03.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986698PMC
May 2018

Cryptogenic Cirrhosis and Sitosterolemia: A Treatable Disease If Identified but Fatal If Missed.

Ann Hepatol 2017 November-December,;16(6):970-978

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Sitosterolemia is an autosomal recessive metabolic disease caused by mutations in ABCG5 or ABCG8 genes which encode for the (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporters that are responsible for the trafficking of xenosterols. Liver involvement is not a recognized manifestation of this disease, and cirrhosis has been reported only once in the medical literature. We describe a fatal case of a 21-year old South Asian male who presented with decompensated cirrhosis, and biochemical abnormalities consistent with sitosterolemia. Genetic testing showed a homozygous pathogenic mutation in ABCG5, confirming the diagnosis. Sitosterolemia is a rare, but likely under-recognized condition, and a high degree of suspicion is imperative to make the diagnosis. We propose that sitosterolemia should be included in the differential diagnosis for patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis, especially as there are effective oral therapies to treat this condition. Newly diagnosed sitosterolemia patients should undergo a thorough hepatology evaluation and follow-up to evaluate for the presence, development, and progression of any hepatic involvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5604/01.3001.0010.5290DOI Listing
January 2018

Mitochondrial 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl-CoA Synthase Deficiency: Unique Presenting Laboratory Values and a Review of Biochemical and Clinical Features.

JIMD Rep 2018 14;40:63-69. Epub 2017 Oct 14.

Department of Clinical Genomics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

We report an 8-month-old infant with decreased consciousness after a febrile episode and reduced oral intake. He was profoundly acidotic but his lactate was normal. Serum triglycerides were markedly elevated and HDL cholesterol was very low. The urine organic acid analysis during the acute episode revealed a complex pattern of relative hypoketotic dicarboxylic aciduria, suggestive of a potential fatty acid oxidation disorder. MRI showed extensive brain abnormalities concerning for a primary energy deficiency. Whole exome sequencing revealed heterozygotic HMGCS2 variants. HMGCS2 encodes mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) synthase-2 (HMGCS2), which catalyzes the irreversible and rate-limiting reaction of ketogenesis in the mitochondrial matrix. Autosomal recessive HMG-CoA synthase deficiency (HMGCS2D) is characterized by hypoketotic hypoglycemia, vomiting, lethargy, and hepatomegaly after periods of prolonged fasting or illness. A retrospective analysis of the urine organic acid analysis identified 4-hydrox-6-methyl-2-pyrone, a recently reported putative biomarker of HMGCS2D. There was also a relative elevation of plasma acetylcarnitine as previously reported in one case. Our patient highlights a unique presentation of HMGCS2D caused by novel variants in HMGCS2. This is the first report of HMGCS2D with a significantly elevated triglyceride level and decreased HDL cholesterol level at presentation. Given this, we suggest that HMGCS2D should be considered in the differential diagnosis when hypertriglyceridemia, or low HDL cholesterol levels are seen in a child who presents with acidosis, mild ketosis, and mental status changes after illness or prolonged fasting. Although HMGCS2D is a rare disorder with nonspecific symptoms, with the advent of next-generation sequencing, and the recognition of novel biochemical biomarkers, the incidence of this condition may become better understood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/8904_2017_59DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6122033PMC
October 2017

The prevalence of diseases caused by lysosome-related genes in a cohort of undiagnosed patients.

Mol Genet Metab Rep 2017 Dec 11;13:46-51. Epub 2017 Aug 11.

Center for Individualized Medicine, Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Lysosomal diseases (LD) comprise a group of approximately 60 hereditary conditions caused by progressive accumulation of metabolites due to defects in lysosomal enzymes and degradation pathways, which lead to a wide range of clinical manifestations. The estimated combined incidence of LD is between 1 in 4000 to 1 in 13,000 live births, with recent data from pilot newborn screening studies showing even higher incidence. We aimed to determine the prevalence of the classical LD and other diseases caused by lysosome-related genes in our cohort of diagnostic odyssey patients. The Individualized Medicine Clinic at Mayo Clinic is increasingly utilizing whole exome sequencing (WES) to determine the genetic etiology of undiagnosed Mendelian disease. From September 2012 to April 2017, WES results from 350 patients with unexplained symptoms were reviewed. Disease-causing variants were identified in , , , , and revealing a genetic diagnosis of a LD in 8 individuals from 5 families. Based on our findings, lysosome-related disorders may be collectively common, reaching up to 1.5% prevalence in a cohort of patients with undiagnosed diseases presenting to a genetics clinic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgmr.2017.08.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5554961PMC
December 2017

A Severe Case of Congenital Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia Purpura Resulting From Compound Heterozygosity Involving a Novel ADAMTS13 Pathogenic Variant.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2018 01;40(1):60-62

Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Special Coagulation Laboratory, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

We report a 9-year-old Chinese girl with congenital thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura found to be a compound heterozygote for 2 pathogenic variants in the ADAMTS13 gene, including a novel variation. The girl suffered from recurrent, life-threatening episodes of thrombocytopenia and hemolysis, and laboratory testing showed ADAMST13 enzyme activity of <5%. Sequencing of the ADAMTS13 gene revealed a previously reported missense variant, c.1787C>T (p.Ala596Val), and a novel duplication defined as c.1007_1025dup19 (p.Asp343Leufs*53); the duplication is predicted to result in a premature stop codon and protein truncation. We propose that this novel variant is partly responsible for the patient's early-onset and severe phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000000895DOI Listing
January 2018

Pathogenic Variant in , p.Arg183Trp, Causes Juvenile-Onset Dystonia, Hearing Loss, and Developmental Delay without Midline Malformation.

Case Rep Genet 2017 12;2017:9184265. Epub 2017 Apr 12.

Center for Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

encodes the -actin, and pathogenic variations in this gene have typically been associated with Baraitser-Winter cerebrofrontofacial syndrome, a congenital malformation syndrome characterized by short stature, craniofacial anomalies, and cerebral anomalies. Here, we describe the third case with the p.Arg183Trp variant in causing juvenile-onset dystonia. Our patient has severe, intractable dystonia, developmental delay, and sensorineural hearing loss, besides hyperintensities in the caudate nuclei and putamen on the brain MRI, which is a distinct but overlapping phenotype with the previously reported case of identical twins with the same alteration in .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2017/9184265DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5405358PMC
April 2017

Paraspinal neurofibromas and hypertrophic neuropathy in Noonan syndrome with multiple lentigines.

J Med Genet 2016 Feb 2;53(2):123-6. Epub 2015 Sep 2.

Department of Medical Genetics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Background: Noonan syndrome with multiple lentigines (NSML), formerly known as LEOPARD syndrome, is an autosomal-dominant disorder characterised by lentigines, EKG abnormalities, ocular hypertelorism, pulmonic stenosis, abnormal genitalia, growth retardation and deafness. There is significant clinical overlap between NSML and other disorders that result from dysregulated rat sarcoma/mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway (RASopathies). Except for neurofibromatosis type 1, other RASopathies are not known to be typically associated with neurogenic tumours.

Methods And Results: We evaluated patients from three families with pigmentary skin lesions, progressive neuropathy, enlarged nerves, massive burden of paraspinal tumours (neurofibroma was confirmed in one patient) and a clinical diagnosis of NSML. All patients had a mutation in the protein tyrosine phosphatase catalytic domain of the PTPN11 gene; two unrelated patients had the p.Thr468Met mutation, while the family consisting of two affected individuals harboured the p.Thr279Cys mutation. Molecular analysis performed on hypertrophic nerve tissue did not disclose a second somatic hit in NF1, PTPN11, NF2 or SMARCB1 genes.

Conclusions: Neurogenic tumours and hypertrophic neuropathy are unusual complications of NSML and may be an under-recognised manifestation that would warrant surveillance. Our observation may also have implications for other disorders caused by RAS-pathway dysregulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2015-103177DOI Listing
February 2016

Whole-Exome Sequencing in the Clinic: Lessons from Six Consecutive Cases from the Clinician's Perspective.

Mol Syndromol 2015 Feb 3;6(1):23-31. Epub 2015 Feb 3.

Department of Medical Genetics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., USA.

Whole-exome sequencing (WES) is being used clinically to diagnose rare Mendelian disorders, especially when standard tests have failed. The diagnostic yield from WES is reported to be ∼15-30%; however, data regarding the clinical utility and interpretative challenges from the clinician's perspective are lacking. Here, we present a series of the first 6 unselected consecutive cases seen over a period of 6 months where WES was employed in clinical labs via trio-based testing (proband and parents). While we do not discount the value of WES in the clinical setting, our cases and experience illustrate the significant clinical challenges of WES, even when a diagnosis may be achieved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000371598DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4369115PMC
February 2015

Endurance training reduces renal vasoconstriction to orthostatic stress.

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2010 Feb 18;298(2):F279-84. Epub 2009 Nov 18.

Heart and Vascular Institute, General Clinical Research Center, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033-2390, USA.

Endurance training has been associated with increased orthostatic intolerance. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that endurance training reduces renal vasoconstriction to orthostatic stress. Blood pressure, heart rate, and renal blood flow velocity were measured during a 25-min 60 degrees head-up tilt (HUT) test before and after 8 wk of endurance training in eight healthy sedentary subjects (26 +/- 1 yrs). Training elicited a 21 +/- 3% increase in peak oxygen uptake (V(O(2)peak)) and a reduction in heart rate at rest of 8 +/- 2 beats/min. During HUT, heart rate progressively increased (approximately 20 beats/min) over the 25-min HUT trial both before and after training. Systolic arterial blood pressure during HUT was unchanged with training, whereas diastolic arterial blood pressure was lower at the end of HUT after training. Before training renal blood flow velocity (Delta14 +/- 5 cm/s) and renal vascular conductance (Delta22 +/- 7%) decreased during HUT, whereas after training renal blood flow velocity (Delta2 +/- 5 cm/s) and renal vascular conductance (Delta1 +/- 12%) did not change significantly during HUT. Renal blood flow velocity and vascular conductance responses to HUT did not change in control subjects during the 8-wk period. These results demonstrate that endurance training reduces renal vasoconstriction during an orthostatic challenge and may contribute to training-induced orthostatic intolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajprenal.00447.2009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2822521PMC
February 2010

Otolithic activation on visceral circulation in humans: effect of aging.

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2008 Oct 13;295(4):F1166-9. Epub 2008 Aug 13.

Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Heart and Vascular Institute H047, 500 University Dr., Hershey, PA 17033-2390, USA.

Engagement of the otolith organs elicits differential activation of sympathetic nerve activity and vascular responses to muscle and skin in humans. Additionally, aging attenuates the otolith organ-mediated increases in muscle sympathetic nerve activity in older adults. In this study, we hypothesized that 1) the vestibulosympathetic reflex (VSR) would elicit visceral vascular vasoconstriction and 2) visceral vascular response to the VSR would be attenuated in older subjects compared with young. To test these hypotheses, heart rate, mean arterial blood pressure, and renal, celiac trunk, and superior mesenteric arterial blood velocity (Doppler ultrasound) were measured in 22 young (25+/-1 yr) and 18 older (65+/-2 yr) healthy subjects during head-down rotation (HDR), which selectively activates the otolith organs. Mean arterial pressure and heart rate did not change from baseline during HDR in young or older subjects. Renal blood velocity (Delta -2+/-1 cm/s) and vascular conductance (Delta -0.03+/-0.01 cm.s(-1).mmHg(-1)) significantly decreased from baseline during HDR (P<0.05) in young subjects. In contrast, renal blood velocity and conductance did not change in older subjects (Delta -0.2+/-1 cm/s and Delta0.02+/-0.08 mmHg.cm(-1).s(-1), respectively) during HDR. Superior mesenteric and celiac blood velocity and vascular conductance did not change in response to HDR in either the young or older subjects. These data suggest that renal vasoconstriction occurs during otolith organ activation in young but not older humans. Together with our previous studies, we conclude that the VSR elicits a diverse patterning of sympathetic outflow that results in heterogeneous vascular responses in humans and that these responses are significantly attenuated in older humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajprenal.90408.2008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2576151PMC
October 2008

Dendrite remodeling and other abnormalities in the retinal ganglion cells of Ins2 Akita diabetic mice.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2008 Jun;49(6):2635-42

Department of Ophthalmology, Penn State Retina Research Group, Penn State College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, USA.

Purpose: To determine the extent of retinal ganglion cell loss and morphologic abnormalities in surviving ganglion cells in Ins2 Akita/+ diabetic mice.

Methods: Mice that expressed cyan fluorescent protein (CFP) or yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) reporter genes under the transcriptional control of the Thy1 promoter were crossed with Ins2 Akita/+ mice. After 3 months of diabetes, the number and morphology of retinal ganglion cells was analyzed by confocal microscopy. The number of CFP-positive retinal ganglion cells was quantified in retinas of Ins2(Akita/+) Thy1-CFP mice. The morphology of surviving cells was examined, and dendritic density was quantified in Ins2 Akita/+ Thy1-YFP mice by using the Sholl analysis.

Results: Thy1-CFP expression was limited to retinal ganglion cell bodies. There was a 16.4% reduction in the density of CFP-positive ganglion cells in the peripheral retina of Ins2 Akita/+ mice compared with wild-type control retinas (P < 0.017), but no significant change in the central retina. Thy1-YFP expression occurred throughout the entire structure of a smaller number of cells, including their soma, axons, and dendrites. Six different morphologic clusters of cells were identified in the mouse retinas. The structure of dendrites of ON-type retinal ganglion cells was affected by diabetes, having 32.4% more dendritic terminals (P < 0.05), 18.6% increase in total dendrite length (P < 0.05), and 15.3% greater dendritic density compared with control retinas, measured by Scholl analysis. Abnormal swelling on somas, axons, and dendrites were noted in all subtypes of ganglion cells including those expressing melanopsin.

Conclusions: The data show that retinal ganglion cells are lost from the peripheral retina of mice within the first 3 months of diabetes and that the dendrites of surviving large ON-type cells undergo morphologic changes. These abnormalities may explain some of the early anomalies in visual function induced by diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/iovs.07-0683DOI Listing
June 2008

Amyloid-beta(1-42) rapidly forms protofibrils and oligomers by distinct pathways in low concentrations of sodium dodecylsulfate.

Biochemistry 2007 Oct 2;46(43):12451-62. Epub 2007 Oct 2.

Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32224, USA.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by large numbers of senile plaques in the brain that consist of fibrillar aggregates of 40- and 42-residue amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides. However, the degree of dementia in AD correlates better with the concentration of soluble Abeta species assayed biochemically than with histologically determined plaque counts, and several investigators now propose that soluble aggregates of Abeta are the neurotoxic agents that cause memory deficits and neuronal loss. These endogenous aggregates are minor components in brain extracts from AD patients and transgenic mice that express human Abeta, but several species have been detected by gel electrophoresis in sodium dodecylsulfate (SDS) and isolated by size exclusion chromatography (SEC). Endogenous Abeta aggregation is stimulated at cellular interfaces rich in lipid rafts, and anionic micelles that promote Abeta aggregation in vitro may be good models of these interfaces. We previously found that micelles formed in dilute SDS (2 mM) promote Abeta(1-40) fiber formation by supporting peptide interaction on the surface of a single micelle complex. In contrast, here we report that monomeric Abeta(1-42) undergoes an immediate conversion to a predominant beta-structured conformation in 2 mM SDS which does not proceed to amyloid fibrils. The conformational change is instead rapidly followed by the near quantitative conversion of the 4 kDa monomer SDS gel band to 8-14 kDa bands consistent with dimers through tetramers. Removal of SDS by dialysis gave a shift in the predominant SDS gel bands to 30-60 kDa. While these oligomers resemble the endogenous aggregates, they are less stable. In particular, they do not elute as discrete species on SEC, and they are completed disaggregated by boiling in 1% SDS. It appears that endogenous oligomeric Abeta aggregates are stabilized by undefined processes that have not yet been incorporated into in vitro Abeta aggregation procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi701213sDOI Listing
October 2007