Publications by authors named "Francesca Filippini"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

B vitamin blood concentrations and one-carbon metabolism polymorphisms in a sample of Italian women and men attending a unit of transfusion medicine: a cross-sectional study.

Eur J Nutr 2020 Dec 29. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Unit of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Verona School of Medicine, Verona, Italy.

Purpose: To define blood status of folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, homocysteine, and major one-carbon metabolism-related polymorphisms in healthy, males and females blood donors, aged 18-65 years were evaluated. General characteristics and lifestyle factors were also investigated.

Methods: An explorative cross-sectional study design was used to evaluate a sample of blood donors attending the Unit of Transfusion Medicine of the Verona University Hospital, Italy. From April 2016 to May 2018, 499 subjects were enrolled (255 men, 244 women of whom 155 of childbearing age). Major clinical characteristics including lifestyle and dietary habits, B vitamins and homocysteine were analyzed. The MTHFR 677 C>T, cSHMT 1420 C>T, DHFR 19 bp ins/del, RFC1 80 G>A polymorphisms were also determined.

Results: Mean plasma concentrations of folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and homocysteine were 14.2 nmol/L (95% CI 13.7-14.8), 271.9 pmol/L (95% CI 262.6-281.5), 51.0 nmol/L (95% CI 48.7-53.4) and 13.5 µmol/L (95% CI 13.1-14.0), respectively. Plasma folate, was adequate (> 15 nmol/L) in 44.7% of all subjects, 39.0% of males and 42.5% of women < 45 years. Similarly, vitamin B12 was adequate (> 350 pmol/L) in 25.1% of all subjects and in 20.3% of men ≥ 45 years. The rare allele frequencies were 0.21 for MTHFR 677TT, 0.11 for cSHMT 1420TT, 0.18 for DHFR 19 bp del/del, 0.20 for RFC1 80AA, and a gene-nutrient interaction was confirmed for folate concentrations according to MTHFR 677C>T and DHFR 19 bp del/del.

Conclusion: An Italian sample of healthy blood donors shows that an adequate concentration of plasma folate and vitamin B12 is reached only in a limited percentage of subjects, thus encouraging consideration for specific public health strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-020-02448-1DOI Listing
December 2020

Role of VAMP7-Dependent Secretion of Reticulon 3 in Neurite Growth.

Cell Rep 2020 Dec;33(12):108536

Université de Paris, Institute of Psychiatry and Neuroscience of Paris, INSERM U1266, Membrane Traffic in Healthy & Diseased Brain, 75014 Paris, France; GHU PARIS Psychiatrie & Neurosciences, 75014 Paris, France. Electronic address:

VAMP7 is involved in autophagy and in exocytosis-mediated neurite growth, two yet unconnected cellular pathways. Here, we find that nutrient restriction and activation of autophagy stimulate axonal growth, while autophagy inhibition leads to loss of neuronal polarity. VAMP7 knockout (KO) neuronal cells show impaired neurite growth, whereas this process is increased in autophagy-null ATG5 KO cells. We find that endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-phagy-related LC3-interacting-region-containing proteins Atlastin 3 and Reticulon 3 (RTN3) are more abundant in autophagy-related protein ATG5 KO and less abundant in VAMP7 KO secretomes. Treatment of neuronal cells with ATG5 or VAMP7 KO conditioned medium does not recapitulate the effect of these KOs on neurite growth. A nanobody directed against VAMP7 inhibits axonal overgrowth induced by nutrient restriction. Furthermore, expression of the inhibitory Longin domain of VAMP7 impairs the subcellular localization of RTN3 in neurons. We propose that VAMP7-dependent secretion of RTN3 regulates neurite growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108536DOI Listing
December 2020

MN1 C-terminal truncation syndrome is a novel neurodevelopmental and craniofacial disorder with partial rhombencephalosynapsis.

Brain 2020 01;143(1):55-68

Laboratory of Embryology and Genetics of Human Malformation, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) UMR 1163, Institut Imagine, Paris, France.

MN1 encodes a transcriptional co-regulator without homology to other proteins, previously implicated in acute myeloid leukaemia and development of the palate. Large deletions encompassing MN1 have been reported in individuals with variable neurodevelopmental anomalies and non-specific facial features. We identified a cluster of de novo truncating mutations in MN1 in a cohort of 23 individuals with strikingly similar dysmorphic facial features, especially midface hypoplasia, and intellectual disability with severe expressive language delay. Imaging revealed an atypical form of rhombencephalosynapsis, a distinctive brain malformation characterized by partial or complete loss of the cerebellar vermis with fusion of the cerebellar hemispheres, in 8/10 individuals. Rhombencephalosynapsis has no previously known definitive genetic or environmental causes. Other frequent features included perisylvian polymicrogyria, abnormal posterior clinoid processes and persistent trigeminal artery. MN1 is encoded by only two exons. All mutations, including the recurrent variant p.Arg1295* observed in 8/21 probands, fall in the terminal exon or the extreme 3' region of exon 1, and are therefore predicted to result in escape from nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. This was confirmed in fibroblasts from three individuals. We propose that the condition described here, MN1 C-terminal truncation (MCTT) syndrome, is not due to MN1 haploinsufficiency but rather is the result of dominantly acting C-terminally truncated MN1 protein. Our data show that MN1 plays a critical role in human craniofacial and brain development, and opens the door to understanding the biological mechanisms underlying rhombencephalosynapsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz379DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7962909PMC
January 2020

Missense Variants in the Histone Acetyltransferase Complex Component Gene TRRAP Cause Autism and Syndromic Intellectual Disability.

Authors:
Benjamin Cogné Sophie Ehresmann Eliane Beauregard-Lacroix Justine Rousseau Thomas Besnard Thomas Garcia Slavé Petrovski Shiri Avni Kirsty McWalter Patrick R Blackburn Stephan J Sanders Kévin Uguen Jacqueline Harris Julie S Cohen Moira Blyth Anna Lehman Jonathan Berg Mindy H Li Usha Kini Shelagh Joss Charlotte von der Lippe Christopher T Gordon Jennifer B Humberson Laurie Robak Daryl A Scott Vernon R Sutton Cara M Skraban Jennifer J Johnston Annapurna Poduri Magnus Nordenskjöld Vandana Shashi Erica H Gerkes Ernie M H F Bongers Christian Gilissen Yuri A Zarate Malin Kvarnung Kevin P Lally Peggy A Kulch Brina Daniels Andres Hernandez-Garcia Nicholas Stong Julie McGaughran Kyle Retterer Kristian Tveten Jennifer Sullivan Madeleine R Geisheker Asbjorg Stray-Pedersen Jennifer M Tarpinian Eric W Klee Julie C Sapp Jacob Zyskind Øystein L Holla Emma Bedoukian Francesca Filippini Anne Guimier Arnaud Picard Øyvind L Busk Jaya Punetha Rolph Pfundt Anna Lindstrand Ann Nordgren Fayth Kalb Megha Desai Ashley Harmon Ebanks Shalini N Jhangiani Tammie Dewan Zeynep H Coban Akdemir Aida Telegrafi Elaine H Zackai Amber Begtrup Xiaofei Song Annick Toutain Ingrid M Wentzensen Sylvie Odent Dominique Bonneau Xénia Latypova Wallid Deb Sylvia Redon Frédéric Bilan Marine Legendre Caitlin Troyer Kerri Whitlock Oana Caluseriu Marine I Murphree Pavel N Pichurin Katherine Agre Ralitza Gavrilova Tuula Rinne Meredith Park Catherine Shain Erin L Heinzen Rui Xiao Jeanne Amiel Stanislas Lyonnet Bertrand Isidor Leslie G Biesecker Dan Lowenstein Jennifer E Posey Anne-Sophie Denommé-Pichon Claude Férec Xiang-Jiao Yang Jill A Rosenfeld Brigitte Gilbert-Dussardier Séverine Audebert-Bellanger Richard Redon Holly A F Stessman Christoffer Nellaker Yaping Yang James R Lupski David B Goldstein Evan E Eichler Francois Bolduc Stéphane Bézieau Sébastien Küry Philippe M Campeau

Am J Hum Genet 2019 03 28;104(3):530-541. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Research Centre, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3T 1C5, Canada; Department of Pediatrics, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3T1J4, Canada. Electronic address:

Acetylation of the lysine residues in histones and other DNA-binding proteins plays a major role in regulation of eukaryotic gene expression. This process is controlled by histone acetyltransferases (HATs/KATs) found in multiprotein complexes that are recruited to chromatin by the scaffolding subunit transformation/transcription domain-associated protein (TRRAP). TRRAP is evolutionarily conserved and is among the top five genes intolerant to missense variation. Through an international collaboration, 17 distinct de novo or apparently de novo variants were identified in TRRAP in 24 individuals. A strong genotype-phenotype correlation was observed with two distinct clinical spectra. The first is a complex, multi-systemic syndrome associated with various malformations of the brain, heart, kidneys, and genitourinary system and characterized by a wide range of intellectual functioning; a number of affected individuals have intellectual disability (ID) and markedly impaired basic life functions. Individuals with this phenotype had missense variants clustering around the c.3127G>A p.(Ala1043Thr) variant identified in five individuals. The second spectrum manifested with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or ID and epilepsy. Facial dysmorphism was seen in both groups and included upslanted palpebral fissures, epicanthus, telecanthus, a wide nasal bridge and ridge, a broad and smooth philtrum, and a thin upper lip. RNA sequencing analysis of skin fibroblasts derived from affected individuals skin fibroblasts showed significant changes in the expression of several genes implicated in neuronal function and ion transport. Thus, we describe here the clinical spectrum associated with TRRAP pathogenic missense variants, and we suggest a genotype-phenotype correlation useful for clinical evaluation of the pathogenicity of the variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.01.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6407527PMC
March 2019

Recessive loss of function PIGN alleles, including an intragenic deletion with founder effect in La Réunion Island, in patients with Fryns syndrome.

Eur J Hum Genet 2018 03 12;26(3):340-349. Epub 2018 Jan 12.

INSERM UMR 1231 GAD team, Genetics of Developmental Anomalies, Université de Bourgogne-Franche Comté, Dijon, France.

Fryns syndrome (FS) is a multiple malformations syndrome with major features of congenital diaphragmatic hernia, pulmonary hypoplasia, craniofacial dysmorphic features, distal digit hypoplasia, and a range of other lower frequency malformations. FS is typically lethal in the fetal or neonatal period. Inheritance is presumed autosomal recessive. Although no major genetic cause has been identified for FS, biallelic truncating variants in PIGN, encoding a component of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchor biosynthesis pathway, have been identified in a limited number of cases with a phenotype compatible with FS. Biallelic variants in PIGN, typically missense or compound missense with truncating, also cause multiple congenital anomalies-hypotonia-seizures syndrome 1 (MCAHS1). Here we report six further patients with FS with or without congenital diaphragmatic hernia and recessive loss of function PIGN alleles, including an intragenic deletion with a likely founder effect in La Réunion and other Indian Ocean islands. Our results support the hypothesis that a spectrum of phenotypic severity is associated with recessive PIGN variants, ranging from FS at the extreme end, caused by complete loss of function, to MCAHS1, in which some residual PIGN function may remain. Our data add FS resulting from PIGN variants to the catalog of inherited GPI deficiencies caused by the disruption of the GPI-anchor biosynthesis pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-017-0087-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5839001PMC
March 2018

A Recurrent De Novo Nonsense Variant in ZSWIM6 Results in Severe Intellectual Disability without Frontonasal or Limb Malformations.

Am J Hum Genet 2017 Dec 30;101(6):995-1005. Epub 2017 Nov 30.

School of Medicine, The Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, North Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia; Healthy Mothers and Babies, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Electronic address:

A recurrent de novo missense variant within the C-terminal Sin3-like domain of ZSWIM6 was previously reported to cause acromelic frontonasal dysostosis (AFND), an autosomal-dominant severe frontonasal and limb malformation syndrome, associated with neurocognitive and motor delay, via a proposed gain-of-function effect. We present detailed phenotypic information on seven unrelated individuals with a recurrent de novo nonsense variant (c.2737C>T [p.Arg913Ter]) in the penultimate exon of ZSWIM6 who have severe-profound intellectual disability and additional central and peripheral nervous system symptoms but an absence of frontonasal or limb malformations. We show that the c.2737C>T variant does not trigger nonsense-mediated decay of the ZSWIM6 mRNA in affected individual-derived cells. This finding supports the existence of a truncated ZSWIM6 protein lacking the Sin3-like domain, which could have a dominant-negative effect. This study builds support for a key role for ZSWIM6 in neuronal development and function, in addition to its putative roles in limb and craniofacial development, and provides a striking example of different variants in the same gene leading to distinct phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.10.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5812890PMC
December 2017

Why women do not ask for information on preconception health? A qualitative study.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2017 01 5;17(1). Epub 2017 Jan 5.

Alessandra Lisi International Centre on Birth Defects and Prematurity - ICBD, Rome, Italy.

Background: Preconception care involves health promotion to reduce risk factors that might affect women and couples of childbearing age. The risk factors of adverse reproductive outcomes include recognized genetic diseases in the family or the individual, previous congenital diseases, miscarriage, prematurity, fetal growth restriction, infertility, chronic maternal diseases, lifestyle, and occupational or environmental factors. Effective preconception care involves a range of preventive, therapeutic and behavioural interventions. Although in Italy there are national preconception care recommendations concerning the general population, they are usually encouraged informally and only for single risk factors. At present there is increasing interest in offering a global intervention in this field. The aim of this study was to investigate attitudes and behaviours of Italian women of childbearing age and healthcare professionals regarding preconception health.

Methods: We conducted a qualitative study among women of childbearing age and healthcare professionals between February 2014 and February 2015. Five focus groups were held: 2 with non-pregnant women aged 22 to 44 years and 3 with healthcare professionals. Discussion topics included women's questions about preconception health, worries and barriers regarding preconception care interventions, attitudes and behaviours of women and healthcare professionals towards preconception health, women's information sources. In the analysis of the focus groups priority was given to what was said by the women, supplemented by information from the healthcare professionals' focus groups.

Results: Fourteen women of childbearing age (8 nulliparae and 6 multiparae) and 12 healthcare professionals (3 nurses, 4 midwives, 5 doctors) participated in the focus groups. The results indicate the presence of many barriers and a lack of awareness of preconception health relating to women, healthcare professionals and policies. Women's knowledge and attitudes towards primary preconception care information are described. The main reference source of information in this field for Italian women seems to be their obstetric-gynaecologist.

Conclusions: The study indicates that several barriers influence preconception care in Italy. Moreover, a lack of awareness of preconception health and care among Italian women of childbearing age and healthcare professionals emerges. The findings might contribute to strategies for the implementation of preconception care guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12884-016-1198-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5217233PMC
January 2017

Prevention of congenital malformations and other adverse pregnancy outcomes with 4.0 mg of folic acid: community-based randomized clinical trial in Italy and the Netherlands.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2014 May 13;14:166. Epub 2014 May 13.

Office for Research Promotion, Department of the Hospital Management and Pharmacy, Verona University Hospital, P,le A, Stefani, 1-37126 Verona, Italy.

Background: In 2010 a Cochrane review confirmed that folic acid (FA) supplementation prevents the first- and second-time occurrence of neural tube defects (NTDs). At present some evidence from observational studies supports the hypothesis that FA supplementation can reduce the risk of all congenital malformations (CMs) or the risk of a specific and selected group of them, namely cardiac defects and oral clefts. Furthermore, the effects on the prevention of prematurity, foetal growth retardation and pre-eclampsia are unclear.Although the most common recommendation is to take 0.4 mg/day, the problem of the most appropriate dose of FA is still open.The aim of this project is to assess the effect a higher dose of peri-conceptional FA supplementation on reducing the occurrence of all CMs. Other aims include the promotion of pre-conceptional counselling, comparing rates of selected CMs, miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, small for gestational age, abruptio placentae.

Methods/design: This project is a joint effort by research groups in Italy and the Netherlands. Women of childbearing age, who intend to become pregnant within 12 months are eligible for the studies. Women are randomly assigned to receive 4 mg of FA (treatment in study) or 0.4 mg of FA (referent treatment) daily. Information on pregnancy outcomes are derived from women-and-physician information.We foresee to analyze the data considering all the adverse outcomes of pregnancy taken together in a global end point (e.g.: CMs, miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, small for gestational age). A total of about 1,000 pregnancies need to be evaluated to detect an absolute reduction of the frequency of 8%. Since the sample size needed for studying outcomes separately is large, this project also promotes an international prospective meta-analysis.

Discussion: The rationale of these randomized clinical trials (RCTs) is the hypothesis that a higher intake of FA is related to a higher risk reduction of NTDs, other CMs and other adverse pregnancy outcomes. Our hope is that these trials will act as catalysers, and lead to other large RCTs studying the effects of this supplementation on CMs and other infant and maternal outcomes.

Trial Registration: Italian trial: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01244347.Dutch trial: Dutch Trial Register ID: NTR3161.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2393-14-166DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4045958PMC
May 2014

Folic acid supplementation and preterm birth: results from observational studies.

Biomed Res Int 2014 3;2014:481914. Epub 2014 Mar 3.

Sezione di Ostetricia e Ginecologia, Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e della Riproduzione, Università degli Studi di Verona, Piazzale Ludovico Scuro 10, 37134 Verona, Italy.

Introduction: Folic acid (FA) supplementation is recommended worldwide in the periconceptional period for the prevention of neural tube defects. Due to its involvement in a number of cellular processes, its role in other pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage, recurrent miscarriage, low birth weight, preterm birth (PTB), preeclampsia, abruptio placentae, and stillbirth has been investigated. PTB is a leading cause of perinatal mortality and morbidity; therefore its association with FA supplementation is of major interest. The analysis of a small number of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) has not found a beneficial role of FA in reducing the rate of PTBs.

Aim Of The Study: The aim of this review was to examine the results from recent observational studies about the effect of FA supplementation on PTB.

Materials And Methods: We carried out a search on Medline and by manual search of the observational studies from 2009 onwards that analyzed the rate of PTB in patients who received supplementation with FA before and/or throughout pregnancy.

Results: The results from recent observational studies suggest a slight reduction of PTBs that is not consistent with the results from RCTs. Further research is needed to better understand the role of FA supplementation before and during pregnancy in PTB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/481914DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3958780PMC
January 2015

Apolipoprotein E and its role in aging and survival.

Exp Gerontol 2010 Feb 24;45(2):149-57. Epub 2009 Nov 24.

Division of Human Anatomy, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.

The study of biological aging has seen spectacular progress in the last decade and markers are increasingly employed for understanding physiological processes that change with age. Recently, it has been demonstrated that apolipoprotein E (apoE) has a major impact on longevity, but its mechanisms are still not fully understood. ApoE-deficient (E(o)) mice have proved to be a very popular model for studying spontaneous hypercholesterolemia and the subsequent development of atherosclerotic lesions, but only limited data are available with regard to aging and aging changes. We used this murine model to better characterize the involvement of apoE in aging and to evaluate its role in the maintenance of normal organ morphology. Our results show that E(0) mice at different ages (6, 12, 20 weeks old) developed age-dependent morphological and biochemical alterations, including fibrosis (newly formed collagen), pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-6 and iNOS), lipofuscin accumulation, and decrease of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and catalase) in several organs (kidney, liver and heart). It is significant that the observed degenerative findings in E(0) mice at different ages (6, 12, 20 weeks old) were not identified in control mice (C57BL), at 6, 12 and 20 weeks of age. Consequently, since these mice showed enzymatic and structural alterations, normally linked to the age, such as increase of lipofuscin, pro-inflammatory cytokines and decrease of antioxidant enzymes, we can conclude that apoE is a useful player in studies of longevity and age-related diseases, such as inflammatory status and atherosclerosis that are known risk factors for functional decline and early mortality. Moreover, it is possible that apoE may also play a role in other pathological conditions including, for example, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and macular degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2009.11.006DOI Listing
February 2010