Publications by authors named "Frederic Tort"

31 Publications

Leigh syndrome associated with TRMU gene mutations.

Mol Genet Metab Rep 2021 Mar 15;26:100690. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Pediatric Neurology Department, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain.

tRNA 5-methylaminomethyl-2-thiouridylate methyltransferase (TRMU) deficiency causes an early onset potentially reversible acute liver failure, so far reported in less than 30 patients. We describe two new unrelated patients with an acute liver failure and a neuroimaging compatible with Leigh syndrome (LS) due to TRMU deficiency, a combination not previously reported. Our report enlarges the phenotypical spectrum of TRMU disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgmr.2020.100690DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749400PMC
March 2021

Biallelic mutations in NDUFA8 cause complex I deficiency in two siblings with favorable clinical evolution.

Mol Genet Metab 2020 11 13;131(3):349-357. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Secció d'Errors Congènits del Metabolisme-IBC, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, CIBERER, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Isolated complex I (CI) deficiency is the most common cause of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) dysfunction. Whole-exome sequencing identified biallelic mutations in NDUFA8 (c.[293G > T]; [293G > T], encoding for an accessory subunit of CI, in two siblings with a favorable clinical evolution. The individuals reported here are practically asymptomatic, with the exception of slight failure to thrive and some language difficulties at the age of 6 and 9 years, respectively. These observations are remarkable since the vast majority of patients with CI deficiency, including the only NDUFA8 patient reported so far, showed an extremely poor clinical outcome. Western blot studies demonstrated that NDUFA8 protein was strongly reduced in the patients' fibroblasts and muscle extracts. In addition, there was a marked and specific decrease in the steady-state levels of CI subunits. BN-PAGE demonstrated an isolated defect in the assembly and the activity of CI with impaired supercomplexes formation and abnormal accumulation of CI subassemblies. Confocal microscopy analysis in fibroblasts showed rounder mitochondria and diminished branching degree of the mitochondrial network. Functional complementation studies demonstrated disease-causality for the identified mutation as lentiviral transduction with wild-type NDUFA8 cDNA restored the steady-state levels of CI subunits and completely recovered the deficient enzymatic activity in immortalized mutant fibroblasts. In summary, we provide additional evidence of the involvement of NDUFA8 as a mitochondrial disease-causing gene associated with altered mitochondrial morphology, CI deficiency, impaired supercomplexes formation, and very mild progression of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2020.10.005DOI Listing
November 2020

Complex I deficiency, due to NDUFAF4 mutations, causes severe mitochondrial dysfunction and is associated to early death and dysmorphia.

Mitochondrion 2020 11 17;55:78-84. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Secció d'Errors Congènits del Metabolisme-IBC, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, CIBERER, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Pathogenic mutations in NDUFAF4 have been reported in very few cases. Here we present new data to further delineate the phenotypic spectrum of NDUFAF4 deficiency. We describe two siblings presenting with facial dysmorphia and lactic acidosis in the neonatal period. Later on, they developed fatal early encephalopathy with apneic episodes, irritability, central hypoventilation, liver involvement and hyperammonemia. Abnormality of the cerebral white matter was demonstrated in one case, and cardiomyopathy in the other. Urine organic acid profile showed an increased excretion of lactate, Krebs cycle metabolites and 3-methylglutaconate. Whole-exome sequencing identified a novel homozygous nonsense mutation in NDUFAF4 (c.478G > T; p.Glu160Ter), encoding a mitochondrial complex I assembly factor. The disruptive effect of the mutation was corroborated by the absence of NDUFAF4 expression in patient fibroblasts. OXPHOS assembly studies demonstrated almost undetectable levels of fully assembled complex I and complex I-containing supercomplexes and an abnormal accumulation of SCIIIIV supercomplexes. Morphologically, fibroblasts showed rounder mitochondria and a diminished degree of branching of the mitochondrial network. Cellular respiratory capacity in fibroblasts was also markedly reduced. In sum, we provide insights into the physiopathological mechanisms underlying NDUFAF4 deficiency and expand the knowledge about the clinical and biochemical spectrum of this disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2020.09.003DOI Listing
November 2020

International consensus guidelines for phosphoglucomutase 1 deficiency (PGM1-CDG): Diagnosis, follow-up, and management.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2021 Jan 15;44(1):148-163. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Clinical Genomics and Laboratory of Medical Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

Phosphoglucomutase 1 (PGM1) deficiency is a rare genetic disorder that affects glycogen metabolism, glycolysis, and protein glycosylation. Previously known as GSD XIV, it was recently reclassified as a congenital disorder of glycosylation, PGM1-CDG. PGM1-CDG usually manifests as a multisystem disease. Most patients present as infants with cleft palate, liver function abnormalities and hypoglycemia, but some patients present in adulthood with isolated muscle involvement. Some patients develop life-threatening cardiomyopathy. Unlike most other CDG, PGM1-CDG has an effective treatment option, d-galactose, which has been shown to improve many of the patients' symptoms. Therefore, early diagnosis and initiation of treatment for PGM1-CDG patients are crucial decisions. In this article, our group of international experts suggests diagnostic, follow-up, and management guidelines for PGM1-CDG. These guidelines are based on the best available evidence-based data and experts' opinions aiming to provide a practical resource for health care providers to facilitate successful diagnosis and optimal management of PGM1-CDG patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7855268PMC
January 2021

Delineating the neurological phenotype in children with defects in the ECHS1 or HIBCH gene.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2020 Jul 17. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

Pediatric Neurology Research Group, Hospital Vall d'Hebrón, Barcelona, Spain.

The neurological phenotype of 3-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA hydrolase (HIBCH) and short-chain enoyl-CoA hydratase (SCEH) defects is expanding and natural history studies are necessary to improve clinical management. From 42 patients with Leigh syndrome studied by massive parallel sequencing, we identified five patients with SCEH and HIBCH deficiency. Fourteen additional patients were recruited through collaborations with other centres. In total, we analysed the neurological features and mutation spectrum in 19 new SCEH/HIBCH patients. For natural history studies and phenotype to genotype associations we also included 70 previously reported patients. The 19 newly identified cases presented with Leigh syndrome (SCEH, n = 11; HIBCH, n = 6) and paroxysmal dystonia (SCEH, n = 2). Basal ganglia lesions (18 patients) were associated with small cysts in the putamen/pallidum in half of the cases, a characteristic hallmark for diagnosis. Eighteen pathogenic variants were identified, 11 were novel. Among all 89 cases, we observed a longer survival in HIBCH compared to SCEH patients, and in HIBCH patients carrying homozygous mutations on the protein surface compared to those with variants inside/near the catalytic region. The SCEH p.(Ala173Val) change was associated with a milder form of paroxysmal dystonia triggered by increased energy demands. In a child harbouring SCEH p.(Ala173Val) and the novel p.(Leu123Phe) change, an 83.6% reduction of the protein was observed in fibroblasts. The SCEH and HIBCH defects in the catabolic valine pathway were a frequent cause of Leigh syndrome in our cohort. We identified phenotype and genotype associations that may help predict outcome and improve clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12288DOI Listing
July 2020

Physiopathological Bases of the Disease Caused by Mutations: Alterations in Autophagy, Mitophagy and Oxidative Stress Response.

J Clin Med 2020 Mar 26;9(4). Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Section of Inborn Errors of Metabolism-IBC, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, CIBERER, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

Recessive mutations are associated with a severe neurodevelopmental disorder (OMIM: 616756). However, the physiopathologycal bases of the disease are yet to be completely clarified. Whole-exome sequencing identified homozygous mutations (c.240C>A, p.Cys80Ter) in a patient with brain atrophy, psychomotor retardation and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria, a biomarker of mitochondrial dysfunction. To elucidate the pathomechanisms underlying HACE1 deficiency, a comprehensive molecular analysis was performed in patient fibroblasts. Western Blot demonstrated the deleterious effect of the mutation, as the complete absence of HACE1 protein was observed. Immunofluorescence studies showed an increased number of LC3 puncta together with the normal initiation of the autophagic cascade, indicating a reduction in the autophagic flux. Oxidative stress response was also impaired in HACE1 fibroblasts, as shown by the reduced and mRNA levels observed in HO-treated cells. High levels of lipid peroxidation, consistent with accumulated oxidative damage, were also detected. Although the patient phenotype could resemble a mitochondrial defect, the analysis of the mitochondrial function showed no major abnormalities. However, an important increase in mitochondrial oxidative stress markers and a strong reduction in the mitophagic flux were observed, suggesting that the recycling of damaged mitochondria might be targeted in HACE1 cells. In summary, we demonstrate for the first time that the impairment of autophagy, mitophagy and oxidative damage response might be involved in the pathogenesis of HACE1 deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9040913DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7231286PMC
March 2020

Clinical presentation and proteomic signature of patients with TANGO2 mutations.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2020 03 13;43(2):297-308. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research, Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Transport And Golgi Organization protein 2 (TANGO2) deficiency has recently been identified as a rare metabolic disorder with a distinct clinical and biochemical phenotype of recurrent metabolic crises, hypoglycemia, lactic acidosis, rhabdomyolysis, arrhythmias, and encephalopathy with cognitive decline. We report nine subjects from seven independent families, and we studied muscle histology, respiratory chain enzyme activities in skeletal muscle and proteomic signature of fibroblasts. All nine subjects carried autosomal recessive TANGO2 mutations. Two carried the reported deletion of exons 3 to 9, one homozygous, one heterozygous with a 22q11.21 microdeletion inherited in trans. The other subjects carried three novel homozygous (c.262C>T/p.Arg88*; c.220A>C/p.Thr74Pro; c.380+1G>A), and two further novel heterozygous (c.6_9del/p.Phe6del); c.11-13delTCT/p.Phe5del mutations. Immunoblot analysis detected a significant decrease of TANGO2 protein. Muscle histology showed mild variation of fiber diameter, no ragged-red/cytochrome c oxidase-negative fibers and a defect of multiple respiratory chain enzymes and coenzyme Q (CoQ ) in two cases, suggesting a possible secondary defect of oxidative phosphorylation. Proteomic analysis in fibroblasts revealed significant changes in components of the mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, plasma membrane, endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi network and secretory pathways. Clinical presentation of TANGO2 mutations is homogeneous and clinically recognizable. The hemizygous mutations in two patients suggest that some mutations leading to allele loss are difficult to detect. A combined defect of the respiratory chain enzymes and CoQ with altered levels of several membrane proteins provides molecular insights into the underlying pathophysiology and may guide rational new therapeutic interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7078914PMC
March 2020

Mutations in TIMM50 cause severe mitochondrial dysfunction by targeting key aspects of mitochondrial physiology.

Hum Mutat 2019 10 17;40(10):1700-1712. Epub 2019 May 17.

Secció d'Errors Congènits del Metabolisme -IBC, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, CIBERER, Barcelona, Spain.

3-Methylglutaconic aciduria (3-MGA-uria) syndromes comprise a heterogeneous group of diseases associated with mitochondrial membrane defects. Whole-exome sequencing identified compound heterozygous mutations in TIMM50 (c.[341 G>A];[805 G>A]) in a boy with West syndrome, optic atrophy, neutropenia, cardiomyopathy, Leigh syndrome, and persistent 3-MGA-uria. A comprehensive analysis of the mitochondrial function was performed in fibroblasts of the patient to elucidate the molecular basis of the disease. TIMM50 protein was severely reduced in the patient fibroblasts, regardless of the normal mRNA levels, suggesting that the mutated residues might be important for TIMM50 protein stability. Severe morphological defects and ultrastructural abnormalities with aberrant mitochondrial cristae organization in muscle and fibroblasts were found. The levels of fully assembled OXPHOS complexes and supercomplexes were strongly reduced in fibroblasts from this patient. High-resolution respirometry demonstrated a significant reduction of the maximum respiratory capacity. A TIMM50-deficient HEK293T cell line that we generated using CRISPR/Cas9 mimicked the respiratory defect observed in the patient fibroblasts; notably, this defect was rescued by transfection with a plasmid encoding the TIMM50 wild-type protein. In summary, we demonstrated that TIMM50 deficiency causes a severe mitochondrial dysfunction by targeting key aspects of mitochondrial physiology, such as the maintenance of proper mitochondrial morphology, OXPHOS assembly, and mitochondrial respiratory capacity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23779DOI Listing
October 2019

Muscle Involvement in a Large Cohort of Pediatric Patients with Genetic Diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease.

J Clin Med 2019 Jan 10;8(1). Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Clinical Biochemistry, Pathology, Paediatric Neurology and Molecular Medicine Departments and Biobank, Institut de Recerca Sant Joan de Déu and CIBERER-ISCIII, 08950 Esplugues, Spain.

Mitochondrial diseases (MD) are a group of genetic and acquired disorders which present significant diagnostic challenges. Here we report the disease characteristics of a large cohort of pediatric MD patients ( = 95) with a definitive genetic diagnosis, giving special emphasis on clinical muscle involvement, biochemical and histopathological features. Of the whole cohort, 51 patients harbored mutations in nuclear DNA (nDNA) genes and 44 patients had mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genes. The nDNA patients were more likely to have a reduction in muscle fiber succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) stains and in SDH-positive blood vessels, while a higher frequency of mtDNA patients had ragged red (RRF) and blue fibers. The presence of positive histopathological features was associated with ophthalmoplegia, myopathic facies, weakness and exercise intolerance. In 17 patients younger than two years of age, RRF and blue fibers were observed only in one case, six cases presented cytochrome c oxidase (COX) reduction/COX-fibers, SDH reduction was observed in five and all except one presented SDH-positive blood vessels. In conclusion, muscle involvement was a frequent finding in our series of MD patients, especially in those harboring mutations in mtDNA genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm8010068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6352184PMC
January 2019

FLAD1, encoding FAD synthase, is mutated in a patient with myopathy, scoliosis and cataracts.

Clin Genet 2018 12;94(6):592-593

Secció Errors Congènits del Metabolisme-IBC, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13452DOI Listing
December 2018

Lysine Restriction and Pyridoxal Phosphate Administration in a NADK2 Patient.

Pediatrics 2016 11 18;138(5). Epub 2016 Oct 18.

Secció d'Errors Congènits del Metabolisme-IBC, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, CIBERER, Barcelona, Spain; and

We report the case of a 10-year-old Spanish girl with mutations in NADK2 Prenatal central nervous system abnormalities showed ventriculomegaly, colpocephaly, and hypoplasia of the corpus callosum. At birth, axial hypotonia, uncoordinated movements, microcephaly, and generalized cerebellar atrophy were detected. Metabolic investigations revealed high lysine, lactate, and pipecolic acid levels in blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Pyruvate carboxylase and pyruvate dehydrogenase activity in fibroblasts were normal. Beginning at birth she received biotin, thiamine, and carnitine supplementation. A lysine-restricted diet was started when she was 1 month old. Because pipecolic acid was high, pyridoxine was added to treatment. At 3 years old, astatic myoclonic epilepsy appeared, with no response to levetiracetam. We switched pyridoxine to pyridoxal phosphate, with electroclinical improvement. Because the activity of mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes III and IV was slightly low in muscle, other cofactors such as ubidecarenone, idebenone, vitamin E, and creatine were added to the treatment. At 8 years old, plasma acylcarnitine testing was performed, and high levels of 2-trans, 4-cis-decadienoylcarnitine were found. Whole exome sequencing identified a homozygous splice site mutation in NADK2 (c.956+6T>C; p.Trp319Cysfs*21). This substitution generates exon skipping, leading to a truncated protein. In fact, NADK2 messenger RNA and the corresponding protein were almost absent. Now, at 10 years of age she presents with ataxia and incoordination. She has oromotor dysphasia but is able to understand fluid language and is a very friendly girl. We hypothesize that the patient's clinical improvement could be due to her lysine-restricted diet together with cofactors and pyridoxal phosphate administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/peds.2015-4534DOI Listing
November 2016

Mutations in TRAPPC11 are associated with a congenital disorder of glycosylation.

Hum Mutat 2017 02 26;38(2):148-151. Epub 2016 Nov 26.

Secció d'Errors Congènits del Metabolisme -IBC, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, CIBERER, Barcelona, Spain.

Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are a heterogeneous and rapidly growing group of diseases caused by abnormal glycosylation of proteins and/or lipids. Mutations in genes involved in the homeostasis of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the Golgi apparatus (GA), and the vesicular trafficking from the ER to the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) have been found to be associated with CDG. Here, we report a patient with defects in both N- and O-glycosylation combined with a delayed vesicular transport in the GA due to mutations in TRAPPC11, a subunit of the TRAPPIII complex. TRAPPIII is implicated in the anterograde transport from the ER to the ERGIC as well as in the vesicle export from the GA. This report expands the spectrum of genetic alterations associated with CDG, providing new insights for the diagnosis and the understanding of the physiopathological mechanisms underlying glycosylation disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23145DOI Listing
February 2017

Differential diagnosis of lipoic acid synthesis defects.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2016 11 1;39(6):781-793. Epub 2016 Sep 1.

Secció d'Errors Congènits del Metabolisme -IBC, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, CIBERER, Edifici Helios III, planta baixa, C/Mejía Lequerica s/n, 08028, Barcelona, Spain.

Lipoic acid (LA) is an essential cofactor required for the activity of five multienzymatic complexes that play a central role in the mitochondrial energy metabolism: four 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase complexes [pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH), branched-chain ketoacid dehydrogenase (BCKDH), 2-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (2-KGDH), and 2-oxoadipate dehydrogenase (2-OADH)] and the glycine cleavage system (GCS). LA is synthesized in a complex multistep process that requires appropriate function of the mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis (mtFASII) and the biogenesis of iron-sulphur (Fe-S) clusters. Defects in the biosynthesis of LA have been reported to be associated with multiple and severe defects of the mitochondrial energy metabolism. In recent years, disease-causing mutations in genes encoding for proteins involved in LA metabolism have been reported: NFU1, BOLA3, IBA57, LIAS, GLRX5, LIPT1, ISCA2, and LIPT2. These studies represented important progress in understanding the pathophysiology and molecular bases underlying these disorders. Here we review current knowledge regarding involvement of LA synthesis defects in human diseases with special emphasis on the diagnostic strategies for these disorders. The clinical and biochemical characteristics of patients with LA synthesis defects are discussed and a workup for the differential diagnosis proposed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-016-9975-4DOI Listing
November 2016

A leaky splicing mutation in NFU1 is associated with a particular biochemical phenotype. Consequences for the diagnosis.

Mitochondrion 2016 Jan 11;26:72-80. Epub 2015 Dec 11.

Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, CIBERER, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

Mutations in NFU1 were recently identified in patients with fatal encephalopathy. NFU1 is an iron-sulfur cluster protein necessary for the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes I-II and the synthesis of lipoic acid. We report two NFU1 compound heterozygous individuals with normal complex I and lipoic acid-dependent enzymatic activities and low, but detectable, levels of lipoylated proteins. We demonstrated a leaky splicing regulation due to a splice site mutation (c.545+5G>A) that produces small amounts of wild type NFU1 mRNA that might result in enough protein to partially lipoylate and restore the activity of lipoic acid-dependent enzymes and the assembly and activity of complex I. These results allowed us to gain insights into the molecular basis underlying this disease and should be considered for the diagnosis of NFU1 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mito.2015.12.004DOI Listing
January 2016

Effect of Readthrough Treatment in Fibroblasts of Patients Affected by Lysosomal Diseases Caused by Premature Termination Codons.

Neurotherapeutics 2015 Oct;12(4):874-86

Secció d'Errors Congènits del Metabolisme-IBC, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clínic, IDIBAPS, CIBER de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Barcelona, Spain.

Aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as gentamicin, may induce premature termination codon (PTC) readthrough and elude the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay mechanism. Because PTCs are frequently involved in lysosomal diseases, readthrough compounds may be useful as potential therapeutic agents. The aim of our study was to identify patients responsive to gentamicin treatment in order to be used as positive controls to further screen for other PTC readthrough compounds. With this aim, fibroblasts from 11 patients affected by 6 different lysosomal diseases carrying PTCs were treated with gentamicin. Treatment response was evaluated by measuring enzymatic activity, abnormal metabolite accumulation, mRNA expression, protein localization, and cell viability. The potential effect of readthrough was also analyzed by in silico predictions. Results showed that fibroblasts from 5/11 patients exhibited an up to 3-fold increase of enzymatic activity after gentamicin treatment. Accordingly, cell lines tested showed enhanced well-localized protein and/or increased mRNA expression levels and/or reduced metabolite accumulation. Interestingly, these cell lines also showed increased enzymatic activity after PTC124 treatment, which is a PTC readthrough-promoting compound. In conclusion, our results provide a proof-of-concept that PTCs can be effectively suppressed by readthrough drugs, with different efficiencies depending on the genetic context. The screening of new compounds with readthrough activity is a strategy that can be used to develop efficient therapies for diseases caused by PTC mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0368-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604176PMC
October 2015

Lipoic acid biosynthesis defects.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2014 Jul 29;37(4):553-63. Epub 2014 Apr 29.

Department of Paediatrics, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg, Salzburg, 5020, Austria,

Lipoate is a covalently bound cofactor essential for five redox reactions in humans: in four 2-oxoacid dehydrogenases and the glycine cleavage system (GCS). Two enzymes are from the energy metabolism, α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase and pyruvate dehydrogenase; and three are from the amino acid metabolism, branched-chain ketoacid dehydrogenase, 2-oxoadipate dehydrogenase, and the GCS. All these enzymes consist of multiple subunits and share a similar architecture. Lipoate synthesis in mitochondria involves mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis up to octanoyl-acyl-carrier protein; and three lipoate-specific steps, including octanoic acid transfer to glycine cleavage H protein by lipoyl(octanoyl) transferase 2 (putative) (LIPT2), lipoate synthesis by lipoic acid synthetase (LIAS), and lipoate transfer by lipoyltransferase 1 (LIPT1), which is necessary to lipoylate the E2 subunits of the 2-oxoacid dehydrogenases. The reduced form dihydrolipoate is reactivated by dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase (DLD). Mutations in LIAS have been identified that result in a variant form of nonketotic hyperglycinemia with early-onset convulsions combined with a defect in mitochondrial energy metabolism with encephalopathy and cardiomyopathy. LIPT1 deficiency spares the GCS, and resulted in a combined 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase deficiency and early death in one patient and in a less severely affected individual with a Leigh-like phenotype. As LIAS is an iron-sulphur-cluster-dependent enzyme, a number of recently identified defects in mitochondrial iron-sulphur cluster synthesis, including NFU1, BOLA3, IBA57, GLRX5 presented with deficiency of LIAS and a LIAS-like phenotype. As in DLD deficiency, a broader clinical spectrum can be anticipated for lipoate synthesis defects depending on which of the affected enzymes is most rate limiting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-014-9705-8DOI Listing
July 2014

Mutations in the lipoyltransferase LIPT1 gene cause a fatal disease associated with a specific lipoylation defect of the 2-ketoacid dehydrogenase complexes.

Hum Mol Genet 2014 Apr 20;23(7):1907-15. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Secció d'Errors Congènits del Metabolisme, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, C/Mejía Lequerica s/n, Barcelona 08028, Spain.

Cofactor disorders of mitochondrial energy metabolism are a heterogeneous group of diseases with a wide variety of clinical symptoms, particular metabolic profiles and variable enzymatic defects. Mutations in NFU1, BOLA3, LIAS and IBA57 have been identified in patients with deficient lipoic acid-dependent enzymatic activities and defects in the assembly and activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes. Here, we report a patient with an early onset fatal lactic acidosis presenting a biochemical phenotype compatible with a combined defect of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDHC) and 2-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (2-KGDH) activities, which suggested a deficiency in lipoic acid metabolism. Immunostaining analysis showed that lipoylated E2-PDH and E2-KGDH were extremely reduced in this patient. However, the absence of glycine elevation, the normal activity of the glycine cleavage system and the normal lipoylation of the H protein suggested a defect of lipoic acid transfer to particular proteins rather than a general impairment of lipoic acid biosynthesis as the potential cause of the disease. By analogy with yeast metabolism, we postulated LIPT1 as the altered candidate gene causing the disease. Sequence analysis of the human LIPT1 identified two heterozygous missense mutations (c.212C>T and c.292C>G), segregating in different alleles. Functional complementation experiments in patient's fibroblasts demonstrated that these mutations are disease-causing and that LIPT1 protein is required for lipoylation and activation of 2-ketoacid dehydrogenases in humans. These findings expand the spectrum of genetic defects associated with lipoic acid metabolism and provide the first evidence of a lipoic acid transfer defect in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddt585DOI Listing
April 2014

Exome sequencing identifies a new mutation in SERAC1 in a patient with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria.

Mol Genet Metab 2013 Sep-Oct;110(1-2):73-7. Epub 2013 May 3.

Secció d'Errors Congènits del Metabolisme, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, 08028, Barcelona, Spain.

3-Methylglutaconic aciduria (3-MGA-uria) is a heterogeneous group of syndromes characterized by an increased excretion of 3-methylglutaconic and 3-methylglutaric acids. Five types of 3-MGA-uria (I to V) with different clinical presentations have been described. Causative mutations in TAZ, OPA3, DNAJC19, ATP12, ATP5E, and TMEM70 have been identified. After excluding the known genetic causes of 3-MGA-uria we used exome sequencing to investigate a patient with Leigh syndrome and 3-MGA-uria. We identified a homozygous variant in SERAC1 (c.202C>T; p.Arg68*), that generates a premature stop codon at position 68 of SERAC1 protein. Western blot analysis in patient's fibroblasts showed a complete absence of SERAC1 that was consistent with the prediction of a truncated protein and supports the pathogenic role of the mutation. During the course of this project a parallel study identified mutations in SERAC1 as the genetic cause of the disease in 15 patients with MEGDEL syndrome, which was compatible with the clinical and biochemical phenotypes of the patient described here. In addition, our patient developed microcephaly and optic atrophy, two features not previously reported in MEGDEL syndrome. We highlight the usefulness of exome sequencing to reveal the genetic bases of human rare diseases even if only one affected individual is available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2013.04.021DOI Listing
March 2014

Protein expression profiles in patients carrying NFU1 mutations. Contribution to the pathophysiology of the disease.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2013 Sep 22;36(5):841-7. Epub 2012 Nov 22.

Secció d'Errors Congènits del Metabolisme, Servei de Bioquímica i Genètica Molecular, Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

Cofactor disorders of mitochondrial energy metabolism are a heterogeneous group of diseases with a wide variety of clinical symptoms, particular metabolic profiles and variable enzymatic defects. Mutations in NFU1 were recently identified in patients with fatal encephalopathy displaying a biochemical phenotype consistent with defects in lipoic acid-dependent enzymatic activities and respiratory chain complexes. This discovery highlighted the molecular function of NFU1 as an iron-sulfur(Fe-S) cluster protein necessary for lipoic acid biosynthesis and respiratory chain complexes activities. To understand the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this disease we have characterized the protein expression profiles of patients carrying NFU1 mutations. Fibroblasts from patients with the p.Gly208Cys mutation showed complete absence of protein-bound lipoic acid and decreased SDHA and SDHB subunits of complex II. In contrast, subunits of other respiratory chain complexes were normal. Protein lipoylation was also decreased in muscle and liver but not in other tissues available (brain, kidney, lung) from NFU1 patients. Although levels of the respiratory chain subunits were unaltered in tissues, BN-PAGE showed an assembly defect for complex II in muscle, consistent with the low enzymatic activity of this complex. This study provides new insights into the molecular bases of NFU1 disease as well as into the regulation of NFU1 protein in human tissues. We demonstrate a ubiquitous expression of NFU1 protein and further suggest that defects in lipoic acid biosynthesis and complex II are the main molecular signature of this disease, particularly in patients carrying the p.Gly208Cys mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-012-9565-zDOI Listing
September 2013

Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome: new descriptions and the use of citrate synthase as a helpful tool to better characterise the patients.

Mol Genet Metab 2012 Nov 31;107(3):409-15. Epub 2012 Aug 31.

Division of Inborn Errors of Metabolism, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Hospital Clinic, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica Pi Sunyer, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDS) is a clinically heterogeneous group of mitochondrial disorders characterised by a quantitative reduction of the mitochondrial DNA copy number. Three main clinical forms of MDS: myopathic, encephalomyopathic and hepatocerebral have been defined, although patients may present with other MDS associated clinical symptoms and signs that cover a wide spectrum of onset age and disease. We studied 52 paediatric individuals suspected to have MDS. These patients have been divided into three different groups, and the appropriate MDS genes have been screened according to their clinical and biochemical phenotypes. Mutational study of DGUOK, MPV17, SUCLA2, SUCLG1 and POLG allowed us to identify 3 novel mutations (c.1048G>A and c.1049G>T in SUCLA2 and c.531+4A>T in SUCLG1) and 7 already known mutations in 10 patients (8 families). Seventeen patients presented with mtDNA depletion in liver or muscle, but the cause of mtDNA depletion still remains unknown in 8 of them. When possible, we quantified mtDNA/nDNA and CS activity in the same tissue sample, providing an additional tool for the study of MDS. The ratio (mtDNA/nDNA)/CS has shed some light in the discrepant results between the mtDNA copy number and the enzymatic respiratory chain activities of some cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2012.08.018DOI Listing
November 2012

A fatal mitochondrial disease is associated with defective NFU1 function in the maturation of a subset of mitochondrial Fe-S proteins.

Am J Hum Genet 2011 Nov;89(5):656-67

Division of Inborn Errors of Metabolism, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Hospital Clinic, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica Pi Sunyer, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

We report on ten individuals with a fatal infantile encephalopathy and/or pulmonary hypertension, leading to death before the age of 15 months. Hyperglycinemia and lactic acidosis were common findings. Glycine cleavage system and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC) activities were low. Homozygosity mapping revealed a perfectly overlapping homozygous region of 1.24 Mb corresponding to chromosome 2 and led to the identification of a homozygous missense mutation (c.622G > T) in NFU1, which encodes a conserved protein suggested to participate in Fe-S cluster biogenesis. Nine individuals were homozygous for this mutation, whereas one was compound heterozygous for this and a splice-site (c.545 + 5G > A) mutation. The biochemical phenotype suggested an impaired activity of the Fe-S enzyme lipoic acid synthase (LAS). Direct measurement of protein-bound lipoic acid in individual tissues indeed showed marked decreases. Upon depletion of NFU1 by RNA interference in human cell culture, LAS and, in turn, PDHC activities were largely diminished. In addition, the amount of succinate dehydrogenase, but no other Fe-S proteins, was decreased. In contrast, depletion of the general Fe-S scaffold protein ISCU severely affected assembly of all tested Fe-S proteins, suggesting that NFU1 performs a specific function in mitochondrial Fe-S cluster maturation. Similar biochemical effects were observed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae upon deletion of NFU1, resulting in lower lipoylation and SDH activity. Importantly, yeast Nfu1 protein carrying the individuals' missense mutation was functionally impaired. We conclude that NFU1 functions as a late-acting maturation factor for a subset of mitochondrial Fe-S proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.10.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3213398PMC
November 2011

Quantitative Analysis of mtDNA Content in Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded Muscle Tissue.

JIMD Rep 2011 22;1:125-9. Epub 2011 Jun 22.

Sección de Errores Congénitos del Metabolismo, Servicio de Bioquímica y Genética Molecular, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain.

Quantification of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content is an essential tool for the diagnosis of mtDNA depletion syndrome (MDS). Samples collected and processed for anatomopathology studies represent a unique source of archived biological material. Thus, the possibility to study mtDNA copy number in these specimens would be a useful way to screen for MDS. In this study, we designed and validated the methodology to determine mtDNA content by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) muscle tissue. We studied 14 frozen muscle biopsies and compared the results with a portion of the same biopsy embedded in paraffin. Our results showed a similar variability among frozen and FFPE muscle biopsies. Patients with MDS detected in frozen muscle were also confirmed in their corresponding FFPE samples, which validate the usefulness of this approach. We conclude that the analysis of mtDNA copy number in FFPE muscle tissue by qRT-PCR is a useful method for the molecular screening of patients suspected to have MDS when frozen biopsies are not available. Analysis of these samples would facilitate retrospective studies and diagnostic procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/8904_2011_27DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509826PMC
February 2013

Dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLD) deficiency in a Spanish patient with myopathic presentation due to a new mutation in the interface domain.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2010 Dec 21;33 Suppl 3:S315-9. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

Sección de Errores Congénitos del Metabolismo, Servicio de Bioquímica y Genética Molecular, Hospital Clínic, Instituto de Bioquímica Clínica, Barcelona, Spain.

We present a 32-year-old patient who, from age 7 months, developed photophobia, left-eye ptosis and progressive muscular weakness. At age 7 years, she showed normal psychomotor development, bilateral ptosis and exercise-induced weakness with severe acidosis. Basal blood and urine lactate were normal, increasing dramatically after effort. PDHc deficiency was demonstrated in muscle and fibroblasts without detectable PDHA1 mutations. Ketogenic diet was ineffective, however thiamine gave good response although bilateral ptosis and weakness with acidosis on exercise persisted. Recently, DLD gene analysis revealed a homozygous missense mutation, c.1440 A>G (p.I480M), in the interface domain. Both parents are heterozygous and DLD activity in the patient's fibroblasts is undetectable. The five patients that have been reported with DLD-interface mutations suffered fatal deteriorations. Our patient's disease is milder, only myopathic, more similar to that due to mutation p.G229C in the NAD(+)-binding domain. Two of the five patients presented mutations (p.D479V and p.R482G) very close to the present case (p.I480M). Despite differing degrees of clinical severity, all three had minimal clues to DLD deficiency, with occasional minor increases in α-ketoglutarate and branched-chain amino acids. In the two other patients, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was a significant feature that has been attributed to moonlighting proteolytic activity of monomeric DLD, which can degrade other mitochondrial proteins, such as frataxin. Our patient does not have cardiomyopathy, suggesting that p.I480M may not affect the DLD ability to dimerize to the same extent as p.D479V and p.R482G. Our patient, with a novel mutation in the DLD interface and mild clinical symptoms, further broadens the spectrum of this enzyme defect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-010-9169-4DOI Listing
December 2010

Oncogene-induced senescence is part of the tumorigenesis barrier imposed by DNA damage checkpoints.

Nature 2006 Nov;444(7119):633-7

Institute of Cancer Biology and Centre for Genotoxic Stress Research, Danish Cancer Society, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.

Recent studies have indicated the existence of tumorigenesis barriers that slow or inhibit the progression of preneoplastic lesions to neoplasia. One such barrier involves DNA replication stress, which leads to activation of the DNA damage checkpoint and thereby to apoptosis or cell cycle arrest, whereas a second barrier is mediated by oncogene-induced senescence. The relationship between these two barriers, if any, has not been elucidated. Here we show that oncogene-induced senescence is associated with signs of DNA replication stress, including prematurely terminated DNA replication forks and DNA double-strand breaks. Inhibiting the DNA double-strand break response kinase ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) suppressed the induction of senescence and in a mouse model led to increased tumour size and invasiveness. Analysis of human precancerous lesions further indicated that DNA damage and senescence markers cosegregate closely. Thus, senescence in human preneoplastic lesions is a manifestation of oncogene-induced DNA replication stress and, together with apoptosis, provides a barrier to malignant progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature05268DOI Listing
November 2006

Retinoblastoma pathway defects show differential ability to activate the constitutive DNA damage response in human tumorigenesis.

Cancer Res 2006 Nov;66(21):10258-63

Institute of Cancer Biology and Centre for Genotoxic Stress Research, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Loss of G(1)-S control and aberrations of the p16(Ink4a)-cyclin D1/cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4(6)-pRb-E2F-cyclin E/CDK2 pathway are common in human cancer. Previous studies showed that oncogene-induced aberrant proliferation, such as on cyclin E overexpression, causes DNA damage and checkpoint activation. Here, we show that, in a series of human colorectal adenomas, those with deregulation of cyclin D1 and/or p16(Ink4a) showed little evidence of constitutive DNA damage response (DDR), contrary to cyclin E-overexpressing higher-grade cases. These observations were consistent with diverse cell culture models with differential defects of retinoblastoma pathway components, as overexpression of cyclin D1 or lack of p16(Ink4a), either alone or combined, did not elicit detectable DDR. In contrast, inactivation of pRb, the key component of the pathway, activated the DDR in cultured human or mouse cells, analogous to elevated cyclin E. These results highlight differential effect of diverse oncogenic events on driving the 'cancer cell cycles' and their ability to deregulate the replication-driving CDK2 kinase and to alarm the DDR as a potential anticancer barrier in accordance with their hierarchical positions along the retinoblastoma pathway. Our data provide new insights into oncogene-evoked DDR in human tumorigenesis, with potential implications for individualized management of tumors with elevated cyclin D1 versus cyclin E, due to their distinct clinical variables and biological behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-2178DOI Listing
November 2006

DNA damage response as a candidate anti-cancer barrier in early human tumorigenesis.

Nature 2005 Apr;434(7035):864-70

Institute of Cancer Biology and Centre for Genotoxic Stress Research, Danish Cancer Society, Strandboulevarden 49, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.

During the evolution of cancer, the incipient tumour experiences 'oncogenic stress', which evokes a counter-response to eliminate such hazardous cells. However, the nature of this stress remains elusive, as does the inducible anti-cancer barrier that elicits growth arrest or cell death. Here we show that in clinical specimens from different stages of human tumours of the urinary bladder, breast, lung and colon, the early precursor lesions (but not normal tissues) commonly express markers of an activated DNA damage response. These include phosphorylated kinases ATM and Chk2, and phosphorylated histone H2AX and p53. Similar checkpoint responses were induced in cultured cells upon expression of different oncogenes that deregulate DNA replication. Together with genetic analyses, including a genome-wide assessment of allelic imbalances, our data indicate that early in tumorigenesis (before genomic instability and malignant conversion), human cells activate an ATR/ATM-regulated DNA damage response network that delays or prevents cancer. Mutations compromising this checkpoint, including defects in the ATM-Chk2-p53 pathway, might allow cell proliferation, survival, increased genomic instability and tumour progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature03482DOI Listing
April 2005

Immunohistochemical analysis of ZAP-70 expression in B-cell lymphoid neoplasms.

J Pathol 2005 Mar;205(4):507-13

Haemopathology Unit, Department of Pathology, Hospital Clinic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Barcelona, Spain.

ZAP-70 is a tyrosine kinase that participates in early B-cell differentiation and is a prognostic factor in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), where it is associated with an unmutated configuration of the IgV(H) genes. In this study ZAP-70 expression was studied by immunohistochemistry in a spectrum of B-cell lymphoid neoplasms; this staining method was compared with flow cytometry, and the relationship of ZAP-70 expression to mutational status and prognosis was assessed. 242 tissue samples from 225 patients with B-cell lymphoid neoplasms arising at different maturational stages were included. Flow cytometry was performed in all CLL cases (n = 52). IgV(H) mutational status was determined in 25 CLL and 12 mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) patients. ZAP-70 was positive in 34/52 (65%) CLL, 9/31 (31%) Burkitt's lymphoma, 2/7 (29%) lymphoblastic lymphomas, 3/36 (8%) MCL, 1/23 (4%) marginal zone lymphoma, and 1/45 (2%) diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, but in none of the 19 follicular lymphomas or the 14 Hodgkin lymphomas. An identical ZAP-70 pattern was obtained in six patients with simultaneous biopsies from different sites and in 12 patients with sequential biopsies. Immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry gave identical results in 48 the 52 CLLs. All but one ZAP-70-positive CLL had IgV(H) gene in an unmutated configuration, whereas all but one ZAP-70-negative CLL had somatically hypermutated IgV(H). The 12 MCLs analysed were ZAP-70 negative regardless of IgV(H) mutational status (4 mutated, 8 unmutated). ZAP-70 positive CLL was associated with a shorter overall survival (median time 103 months vs. 293 months, p = 0.01) and a shorter time to disease progression (median time 26 months vs. 60 months, p = 0.01). In conclusion, ZAP-70 is expressed in several types of B-cell neoplasm and is easily detected by immunohistochemistry, providing a useful prognostic marker in patients with CLL from whom no other material is available or when other techniques for its assessment cannot be performed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.1727DOI Listing
March 2005

Heterogeneity of genomic breakpoints in MSN-ALK translocations in anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

Hum Pathol 2004 Aug;35(8):1038-41

Laboratory of Pathology, Hospital Clinic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, University of Barcelona, Spain.

Anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCL) are associated with the t(2;5)(p23;q35) translocation involving the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and the nucleophosmin (NPM) genes. However, genes other than NPM may fuse to ALK in these tumors. In this study we have identified an ALCL with a distinctive cell membrane-restrictive ALK immunostaining in which the molecular characterization showed a new fusion gene between moesin (MSN) and ALK with different breakpoints than previously recognized. The ALK breakpoint occurred in an exonic sequence, and the chimeric gene included an intronic sequence of MSN. Identification of the genomic breakpoint in the derivative chromosome 2 revealed a 72-base pair deletion involving both MSN and ALK sequences. These findings provide further evidence of the breakpoint heterogeneity in ALK translocations and highlight the importance of ALK immunostaining in the diagnosis of ALCL and the identification of the underlying genetic abnormalities in this lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humpath.2004.05.006DOI Listing
August 2004

Familial lymphoid neoplasms in patients with mantle cell lymphoma.

Haematologica 2004 Mar;89(3):314-9

Hematopathology Unit, Department of Pathology, Hospital Clinic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, University of Barcelona, Spain.

Background And Objectives: Familial aggregation has been recognized in patients with several lymphoid neoplasms, but the genetic basis for this familial clustering is not known. Germ-line mutations in the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and CHK2 genes have been detected in patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), suggesting a potential role of these genes in genetic predisposition to these tumors. However, no familial association has been previously recognized in MCL.

Design And Methods: To determine the possible existence of familial lymphoid neoplasms in MCL, we searched clinical records of MCL patients and identified three families in which a MCL, an acute B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia, and a lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma occurred in a first-degree relative of a MCL patient.

Results: The neoplasms in two daughters appeared at an earlier age and were more aggressive than that in the respective parent, suggesting that the phenomenon of anticipation may characterize familial lymphomas associated with MCL. No mutations were detected in the ATM, CHK2, CHK1, and p53 genes.

Interpretation And Conclusions: Our findings suggest that inactivation of the investigated DNA damage response genes do not account for familial disease aggregation in MCL patients, although such aggregation may occur and seems to be associated with the phenomenon of anticipation.
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March 2004

CHK2-decreased protein expression and infrequent genetic alterations mainly occur in aggressive types of non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

Blood 2002 Dec 1;100(13):4602-8. Epub 2002 Aug 1.

Laboratory of Pathology, Hospital Clinic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), University of Barcelona, Spain.

The CHK2 gene codifies for a serine/threonine kinase that plays a central role in DNA damage response pathways. To determine the potential role of CHK2 alterations in the pathogenesis of lymphoid neoplasms we have examined the gene status, protein, and mRNA expression in a series of tumors and nonneoplastic lymphoid samples. A heterozygous Ile157Thr substitution, also present in the germ line of the patient, was detected in a blastoid mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). CHK2 protein and mRNA expression levels were similar in all types of lymphomas and reactive samples, and these levels were independent of the proliferative activity of the tumors. However, 5 tumors, one typical MCL, 2 blastoid MCLs, and 2 large cell lymphomas, showed marked loss of protein expression, including 2 samples with complete absence of CHK2 protein. These 2 lymphomas showed the highest number of chromosomal imbalances detected by comparative genomic hybridization in the whole series of cases. However, no mutations, deletions, or hypermethylation of the promoter region were identified in any of these tumors. mRNA levels were similar in cases with low and normal protein expression, suggesting a posttranscriptional regulation of the protein in these tumors. CHK2 gene and protein alterations were not related to p53 and ATM gene status. In conclusion, CHK2 alterations are uncommon in malignant lymphomas but occur in a subset of aggressive tumors independently of p53 or ATM alterations. The high number of chromosomal imbalances in tumors with complete absence of CHK2 protein suggests a role of this gene in chromosomal instability in human lymphomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2002-04-1078DOI Listing
December 2002