Publications by authors named "Jill Rosenfeld"

283 Publications

PPP3CA truncating variants clustered in the regulatory domain cause early-onset refractory epilepsy.

Clin Genet 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8.

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

PPP3CA encodes the catalytic subunit of calcineurin, a calcium-calmodulin-regulated serine-threonine phosphatase. Loss-of-function (LoF) variants in the catalytic domain have been associated with epilepsy, while gain-of-function (GoF) variants in the auto-inhibitory domain cause multiple congenital abnormalities. We herein report five new patients with de novo PPP3CA variants. Interestingly, the two frameshift variants in this study and the six truncating variants reported previously are all located within a 26-amino acid region in the regulatory domain (RD). Patients with a truncating variant had more severe earlier onset seizures compared to patients with a LoF missense variant, while autism spectrum disorder was a more frequent feature in the latter. Expression studies of a truncating variant showed apparent RNA expression from the mutant allele, but no detectable mutant protein. Our data suggest that PPP3CA truncating variants clustered in the RD, causing more severe early-onset refractory epilepsy and representing a type of variants distinct from LoF or GoF missense variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13979DOI Listing
May 2021

A novel de novo intronic variant in ITPR1 causes Gillespie syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

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

Gillespie syndrome (GLSP) is characterized by bilateral symmetric partial aplasia of the iris presenting as a fixed and large pupil, cerebellar hypoplasia with ataxia, congenital hypotonia, and varying levels of intellectual disability. GLSP is caused by either biallelic or heterozygous, dominant-negative, pathogenic variants in ITPR1. Here, we present a 5-year-old male with GLSP who was found to have a heterozygous, de novo intronic variant in ITPR1 (NM_001168272.1:c.5935-17G > A) through genome sequencing (GS). Sanger sequencing of cDNA from this individual's fibroblasts showed the retention of 15 nucleotides from intron 45, which is predicted to cause an in-frame insertion of five amino acids near the C-terminal transmembrane domain of ITPR1. In addition, qPCR and cDNA sequencing demonstrated reduced expression of both ITPR1 alleles in fibroblasts when compared to parental samples. Given the close proximity of the predicted in-frame amino acid insertion to the site of previously described heterozygous, de novo, dominant-negative, pathogenic variants in GLSP, we predict that this variant also has a dominant-negative effect on ITPR1 channel function. Overall, this is the first report of a de novo intronic variant causing GLSP, which emphasizes the utility of GS and cDNA studies for diagnosing patients with a clinical presentation of GLSP and negative clinical exome sequencing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62232DOI Listing
May 2021

Rare deleterious mutations of HNRNP genes result in shared neurodevelopmental disorders.

Genome Med 2021 Apr 19;13(1):63. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

The Atwal Clinic: Genomic & Personalized Medicine, Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Background: With the increasing number of genomic sequencing studies, hundreds of genes have been implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). The rate of gene discovery far outpaces our understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations, with clinical characterization remaining a bottleneck for understanding NDDs. Most disease-associated Mendelian genes are members of gene families, and we hypothesize that those with related molecular function share clinical presentations.

Methods: We tested our hypothesis by considering gene families that have multiple members with an enrichment of de novo variants among NDDs, as determined by previous meta-analyses. One of these gene families is the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs), which has 33 members, five of which have been recently identified as NDD genes (HNRNPK, HNRNPU, HNRNPH1, HNRNPH2, and HNRNPR) and two of which have significant enrichment in our previous meta-analysis of probands with NDDs (HNRNPU and SYNCRIP). Utilizing protein homology, mutation analyses, gene expression analyses, and phenotypic characterization, we provide evidence for variation in 12 HNRNP genes as candidates for NDDs. Seven are potentially novel while the remaining genes in the family likely do not significantly contribute to NDD risk.

Results: We report 119 new NDD cases (64 de novo variants) through sequencing and international collaborations and combined with published clinical case reports. We consider 235 cases with gene-disruptive single-nucleotide variants or indels and 15 cases with small copy number variants. Three hnRNP-encoding genes reach nominal or exome-wide significance for de novo variant enrichment, while nine are candidates for pathogenic mutations. Comparison of HNRNP gene expression shows a pattern consistent with a role in cerebral cortical development with enriched expression among radial glial progenitors. Clinical assessment of probands (n = 188-221) expands the phenotypes associated with HNRNP rare variants, and phenotypes associated with variation in the HNRNP genes distinguishes them as a subgroup of NDDs.

Conclusions: Overall, our novel approach of exploiting gene families in NDDs identifies new HNRNP-related disorders, expands the phenotypes of known HNRNP-related disorders, strongly implicates disruption of the hnRNPs as a whole in NDDs, and supports that NDD subtypes likely have shared molecular pathogenesis. To date, this is the first study to identify novel genetic disorders based on the presence of disorders in related genes. We also perform the first phenotypic analyses focusing on related genes. Finally, we show that radial glial expression of these genes is likely critical during neurodevelopment. This is important for diagnostics, as well as developing strategies to best study these genes for the development of therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-021-00870-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8056596PMC
April 2021

Heterozygous variants in SPTBN1 cause intellectual disability and autism.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

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

Spectrins are common components of cytoskeletons, binding to cytoskeletal elements and the plasma membrane, allowing proper localization of essential membrane proteins, signal transduction, and cellular scaffolding. Spectrins are assembled from α and β subunits, encoded by SPTA1 and SPTAN1 (α) and SPTB, SPTBN1, SPTBN2, SPTBN4, and SPTBN5 (β). Pathogenic variants in various spectrin genes are associated with erythroid cell disorders (SPTA1, SPTB) and neurologic disorders (SPTAN1, SPTBN2, and SPTBN4), but no phenotypes have been definitively associated with variants in SPTBN1 or SPTBN5. Through exome sequencing and case matching, we identified seven unrelated individuals with heterozygous SPTBN1 variants: two with de novo missense variants and five with predicted loss-of-function variants (found to be de novo in two, while one was inherited from a mother with a history of learning disabilities). Common features include global developmental delays, intellectual disability, and behavioral disturbances. Autistic features (4/6) and epilepsy (2/7) or abnormal electroencephalogram without overt seizures (1/7) were present in a subset. Identification of loss-of-function variants suggests a haploinsufficiency mechanism, but additional functional studies are required to fully elucidate disease pathogenesis. Our findings support the essential roles of SPTBN1 in human neurodevelopment and expand the knowledge of human spectrinopathy disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62201DOI Listing
April 2021

Variants in PRKAR1B cause a neurodevelopmental disorder with autism spectrum disorder, apraxia, and insensitivity to pain.

Genet Med 2021 Apr 8. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Institute of Human Genetics, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.

Purpose: We characterize the clinical and molecular phenotypes of six unrelated individuals with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder who carry heterozygous missense variants of the PRKAR1B gene, which encodes the R1β subunit of the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA).

Methods: Variants of PRKAR1B were identified by single- or trio-exome analysis. We contacted the families and physicians of the six individuals to collect phenotypic information, performed in vitro analyses of the identified PRKAR1B-variants, and investigated PRKAR1B expression during embryonic development.

Results: Recent studies of large patient cohorts with neurodevelopmental disorders found significant enrichment of de novo missense variants in PRKAR1B. In our cohort, de novo origin of the PRKAR1B variants could be confirmed in five of six individuals, and four carried the same heterozygous de novo variant c.1003C>T (p.Arg335Trp; NM_001164760). Global developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, and apraxia/dyspraxia have been reported in all six, and reduced pain sensitivity was found in three individuals carrying the c.1003C>T variant. PRKAR1B expression in the brain was demonstrated during human embryonal development. Additionally, in vitro analyses revealed altered basal PKA activity in cells transfected with variant-harboring PRKAR1B expression constructs.

Conclusion: Our study provides strong evidence for a PRKAR1B-related neurodevelopmental disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01152-7DOI Listing
April 2021

Haploinsufficiency of the Sin3/HDAC corepressor complex member SIN3B causes a syndromic intellectual disability/autism spectrum disorder.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 May 2;108(5):929-941. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Etablissement Français du Sang, 44000 Nantes, France; CRCINA, INSERM, CNRS, Université d'Angers, Université de Nantes, 44000 Nantes, France; LabEx IGO, Nantes 44000, France.

Proteins involved in transcriptional regulation harbor a demonstrated enrichment of mutations in neurodevelopmental disorders. The Sin3 (Swi-independent 3)/histone deacetylase (HDAC) complex plays a central role in histone deacetylation and transcriptional repression. Among the two vertebrate paralogs encoding the Sin3 complex, SIN3A variants cause syndromic intellectual disability, but the clinical consequences of SIN3B haploinsufficiency in humans are uncharacterized. Here, we describe a syndrome hallmarked by intellectual disability, developmental delay, and dysmorphic facial features with variably penetrant autism spectrum disorder, congenital malformations, corpus callosum defects, and impaired growth caused by disruptive SIN3B variants. Using chromosomal microarray or exome sequencing, and through international data sharing efforts, we identified nine individuals with heterozygous SIN3B deletion or single-nucleotide variants. Five individuals harbor heterozygous deletions encompassing SIN3B that reside within a ∼230 kb minimal region of overlap on 19p13.11, two individuals have a rare nonsynonymous substitution, and two individuals have a single-nucleotide deletion that results in a frameshift and predicted premature termination codon. To test the relevance of SIN3B impairment to measurable aspects of the human phenotype, we disrupted the orthologous zebrafish locus by genome editing and transient suppression. The mutant and morphant larvae display altered craniofacial patterning, commissural axon defects, and reduced body length supportive of an essential role for Sin3 function in growth and patterning of anterior structures. To investigate further the molecular consequences of SIN3B variants, we quantified genome-wide enhancer and promoter activity states by using H3K27ac ChIP-seq. We show that, similar to SIN3A mutations, SIN3B disruption causes hyperacetylation of a subset of enhancers and promoters in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Together, these data demonstrate that SIN3B haploinsufficiency leads to a hitherto unknown intellectual disability/autism syndrome, uncover a crucial role of SIN3B in the central nervous system, and define the epigenetic landscape associated with Sin3 complex impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.03.017DOI Listing
May 2021

Bi-allelic variants in HOPS complex subunit VPS41 cause cerebellar ataxia and abnormal membrane trafficking.

Brain 2021 Apr;144(3):769-780

Department of Genetics, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSHRC), Riyadh, 11211, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Membrane trafficking is a complex, essential process in eukaryotic cells responsible for protein transport and processing. Deficiencies in vacuolar protein sorting (VPS) proteins, key regulators of trafficking, cause abnormal intracellular segregation of macromolecules and organelles and are linked to human disease. VPS proteins function as part of complexes such as the homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting (HOPS) tethering complex, composed of VPS11, VPS16, VPS18, VPS33A, VPS39 and VPS41. The HOPS-specific subunit VPS41 has been reported to promote viability of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease but to date has not been linked to human disease. Here, we describe five unrelated families with nine affected individuals, all carrying homozygous variants in VPS41 that we show impact protein function. All affected individuals presented with a progressive neurodevelopmental disorder consisting of cognitive impairment, cerebellar atrophy/hypoplasia, motor dysfunction with ataxia and dystonia, and nystagmus. Zebrafish disease modelling supports the involvement of VPS41 dysfunction in the disorder, indicating lysosomal dysregulation throughout the brain and providing support for cerebellar and microglial abnormalities when vps41 was mutated. This provides the first example of human disease linked to the HOPS-specific subunit VPS41 and suggests the importance of HOPS complex activity for cerebellar function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8041041PMC
April 2021

Molecular characterisation of rare loss-of-function NPAS3 and NPAS4 variants identified in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 23;11(1):6602. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Molecular and Biomedical Science, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, 5005, Australia.

Aberrations in the excitatory/inhibitory balance within the brain have been associated with both intellectual disability (ID) and schizophrenia (SZ). The bHLH-PAS transcription factors NPAS3 and NPAS4 have been implicated in controlling the excitatory/inhibitory balance, and targeted disruption of either gene in mice results in a phenotype resembling ID and SZ. However, there are few human variants in NPAS3 and none in NPAS4 that have been associated with schizophrenia or neurodevelopmental disorders. From a clinical exome sequencing database we identified three NPAS3 variants and four NPAS4 variants that could potentially disrupt protein function in individuals with either developmental delay or ID. The transcriptional activity of the variants when partnered with either ARNT or ARNT2 was assessed by reporter gene activity and it was found that variants which truncated the NPAS3/4 protein resulted in a complete loss of transcriptional activity. The ability of loss-of-function variants to heterodimerise with neuronally enriched partner protein ARNT2 was then determined by co-immunoprecipitation experiments. It was determined that the mechanism for the observed loss of function was the inability of the truncated NPAS3/4 protein to heterodimerise with ARNT2. This further establishes NPAS3 and NPAS4 as candidate neurodevelopmental disorder genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86041-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7987981PMC
March 2021

Germline mutation in : a heterogeneous, multi-systemic developmental disorder characterized by transcriptional dysregulation.

HGG Adv 2021 Jan 20;2(1). Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.

germline variation in was recently reported to associate with a neurodevelopmental disorder. We report twelve individuals harboring putatively pathogenic or inherited variants in , detail their phenotypes, and map all known variants to the domain structure of and crystal structure of RNA polymerase II. Affected individuals were ascertained from a local data lake, pediatric genetics clinic, and an online community of families of affected individuals. These include six affected by missense variants (including one previously reported individual), four clinical laboratory samples affected by missense variation with unknown inheritance-with yeast functional assays further supporting altered function-one affected by a in-frame deletion, and one affected by a C-terminal frameshift variant inherited from a largely asymptomatic mother. Recurrently observed phenotypes include ataxia, joint hypermobility, short stature, skin abnormalities, congenital cardiac abnormalities, immune system abnormalities, hip dysplasia, and short Achilles tendons. We report a significantly higher occurrence of epilepsy (8/12, 66.7%) than previously reported (3/15, 20%) (p value = 0.014196; chi-square test) and a lower occurrence of hypotonia (8/12, 66.7%) than previously reported (14/15, 93.3%) (p value = 0.076309). -related developmental disorders likely represent a spectrum of related, multi-systemic developmental disorders, driven by distinct mechanisms, converging at a single locus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xhgg.2020.100014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7928427PMC
January 2021

RCL1 copy number variants are associated with a range of neuropsychiatric phenotypes.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Feb 17. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Mendelian and early-onset severe psychiatric phenotypes often involve genetic variants having a large effect, offering opportunities for genetic discoveries and early therapeutic interventions. Here, the index case is an 18-year-old boy, who at 14 years of age had a decline in cognitive functioning over the course of a year and subsequently presented with catatonia, auditory and visual hallucinations, paranoia, aggression, mood dysregulation, and disorganized thoughts. Exome sequencing revealed a stop-gain mutation in RCL1 (NM_005772.4:c.370 C > T, p.Gln124Ter), encoding an RNA 3'-terminal phosphate cyclase-like protein that is highly conserved across eukaryotic species. Subsequent investigations across two academic medical centers identified eleven additional cases of RCL1 copy number variations (CNVs) with varying neurodevelopmental or psychiatric phenotypes. These findings suggest that dosage variation of RCL1 contributes to a range of neurological and clinical phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01035-yDOI Listing
February 2021

Expanding the phenotype, genotype and biochemical knowledge of ALG3-CDG.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2021 Feb 13. Epub 2021 Feb 13.

Division of Genetic Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDGs) are a continuously expanding group of monogenic disorders of glycoprotein and glycolipid biosynthesis that cause multisystem diseases. Individuals with ALG3-CDG frequently exhibit severe neurological involvement (epilepsy, microcephaly, and hypotonia), ocular anomalies, dysmorphic features, skeletal anomalies, and feeding difficulties. We present 10 unreported individuals diagnosed with ALG3-CDG based on molecular and biochemical testing with 11 novel variants in ALG3, bringing the total to 40 reported individuals. In addition to the typical multisystem disease seen in ALG3-CDG, we expand the symptomatology of ALG3-CDG to now include endocrine abnormalities, neural tube defects, mild aortic root dilatation, immunodeficiency, and renal anomalies. N-glycan analyses of these individuals showed combined deficiencies of hybrid glycans and glycan extension beyond Man GlcNAc consistent with their truncated lipid-linked precursor oligosaccharides. This spectrum of N-glycan changes is unique to ALG3-CDG. These expanded features of ALG3-CDG facilitate diagnosis and suggest that optimal management should include baseline endocrine, renal, cardiac, and immunological evaluation at the time of diagnosis and with ongoing monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12367DOI Listing
February 2021

Clinical characterization of individuals with the distal 1q21.1 microdeletion.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 05 11;185(5):1388-1398. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

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

Distal 1q21.1 microdeletions have shown highly variable clinical expressivity and incomplete penetrance, with affected individuals manifesting a broad spectrum of nonspecific features. The goals of this study were to better describe the phenotypic spectrum of patients with distal 1q21.1 microdeletions and to compare the clinical features among affected individuals. We performed a retrospective chart review of 47 individuals with distal 1q21.1 microdeletions tested at a large clinical genetic testing laboratory, with most patients being clinically evaluated in the same children's hospital. Health information such as growth charts, results of imaging studies, developmental history, and progress notes were collected. Statistical analysis was performed using Fisher's exact test to compare clinical features among study subjects. Common features in our cohort include microcephaly (51.2%), seizures (29.8%), developmental delay (74.5%), failure to thrive (FTT) (68.1%), dysmorphic features (63.8%), and a variety of congenital anomalies such as cardiac abnormalities (23.4%) and genitourinary abnormalities (19.1%). Compared to prior literature, we found that seizures, brain anomalies, and FTT were more prevalent among our study cohort. Females were more likely than males to have microcephaly (p = 0.0199) and cardiac abnormalities (p = 0.0018). Based on existing genome-wide clinical testing results, at least a quarter of the cohort had additional genetic findings that may impact the phenotype of the individual. Our study represents the largest cohort of distal 1q21.1 microdeletion carriers available in the literature thus far, and it further illustrates the wide spectrum of clinical manifestations among symptomatic individuals. These results may allow for improved genetic counseling and management of affected individuals. Future studies may help to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms impacting the phenotypic variability observed with this microdeletion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62104DOI Listing
May 2021

Mutation-specific pathophysiological mechanisms define different neurodevelopmental disorders associated with SATB1 dysfunction.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 02 28;108(2):346-356. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Rehabilitation and Development, Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Portland, OR 97227, USA.

Whereas large-scale statistical analyses can robustly identify disease-gene relationships, they do not accurately capture genotype-phenotype correlations or disease mechanisms. We use multiple lines of independent evidence to show that different variant types in a single gene, SATB1, cause clinically overlapping but distinct neurodevelopmental disorders. Clinical evaluation of 42 individuals carrying SATB1 variants identified overt genotype-phenotype relationships, associated with different pathophysiological mechanisms, established by functional assays. Missense variants in the CUT1 and CUT2 DNA-binding domains result in stronger chromatin binding, increased transcriptional repression, and a severe phenotype. In contrast, variants predicted to result in haploinsufficiency are associated with a milder clinical presentation. A similarly mild phenotype is observed for individuals with premature protein truncating variants that escape nonsense-mediated decay, which are transcriptionally active but mislocalized in the cell. Our results suggest that in-depth mutation-specific genotype-phenotype studies are essential to capture full disease complexity and to explain phenotypic variability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.01.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895900PMC
February 2021

Clinical exome sequencing data reveal high diagnostic yields for congenital diaphragmatic hernia plus (CDH+) and new phenotypic expansions involving CDH.

J Med Genet 2021 Jan 18. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA

Background: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a life-threatening birth defect that often co-occurs with non-hernia-related anomalies (CDH+). While copy number variant (CNV) analysis is often employed as a diagnostic test for CDH+, clinical exome sequencing (ES) has not been universally adopted.

Methods: We analysed a clinical database of ~12 000 test results to determine the diagnostic yields of ES in CDH+ and to identify new phenotypic expansions.

Results: Among the 76 cases with an indication of CDH+, a molecular diagnosis was made in 28 cases for a diagnostic yield of 37% (28/76). A provisional diagnosis was made in seven other cases (9%; 7/76). Four individuals had a diagnosis of Kabuki syndrome caused by frameshift variants in . Putatively deleterious variants in and were each found in two individuals, supporting their role in CDH development. We also identified individuals with de novo pathogenic variants in and , and compound heterozygous pathogenic variants in . The role of these genes in CDH development is supported by the expression of their mouse homologs in the developing diaphragm, their high CDH-specific pathogenicity scores generated using a previously validated algorithm for genome-scale knowledge synthesis and previously published case reports.

Conclusion: We conclude that ES should be ordered in cases of CDH+ when a specific diagnosis is not suspected and CNV analyses are negative. Our results also provide evidence in favour of phenotypic expansions involving CDH for genes associated with -congenital disorder of glycosylation, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, Fanconi anaemia, Coffin-Siris syndrome and -related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-107317DOI Listing
January 2021

Missense variants in CTNNB1 can be associated with vitreoretinopathy-Seven new cases of CTNNB1-associated neurodevelopmental disorder including a previously unreported retinal phenotype.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2021 01 22;9(1):e1542. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

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

Background: CTNNB1 (MIM 116806) encodes beta-catenin, an adherens junction protein that supports the integrity between layers of epithelial tissue and mediates intercellular signaling. Recently, various heterozygous germline variants in CTNNB1 have been associated with human disease, including neurodevelopmental disorder with spastic diplegia and visual defects (MIM 615075) as well as isolated familial exudative vitreoretinopathy without developmental delays or other organ system involvement (MIM 617572). From over 40 previously reported patients with CTNNB1-related neurodevelopmental disorder, many have had ocular anomalies including strabismus, hyperopia, and astigmatism. More recently, multiple reports indicate that these abnormalities are associated with the presence of vitreoretinopathy.

Methods: We gathered a cohort of three patients with CTNNB1-related neurodevelopmental disorder, recruited from both our own clinic and referred from outside providers. We then searched for a clinical database comprised of over 12,000 exome sequencing studies to identify and recruit four additional patients.

Results: Here, we report seven new cases of CTNNB1-related neurodevelopmental disorder, all harboring de novo variants, six of which were previously unreported. All patients but one presented with a spectrum of ocular abnormalities and one patient, who was found to carry a missense variant in CTNNB1, had notable vitreoretinopathy.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest ophthalmologic screening should be performed in all patients with CTNNB1 variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1542DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7963417PMC
January 2021

UBR7 functions with UBR5 in the Notch signaling pathway and is involved in a neurodevelopmental syndrome with epilepsy, ptosis, and hypothyroidism.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 01 18;108(1):134-147. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3T 1C5, Canada. Electronic address:

The ubiquitin-proteasome system facilitates the degradation of unstable or damaged proteins. UBR1-7, which are members of hundreds of E3 ubiquitin ligases, recognize and regulate the half-life of specific proteins on the basis of their N-terminal sequences ("N-end rule"). In seven individuals with intellectual disability, epilepsy, ptosis, hypothyroidism, and genital anomalies, we uncovered bi-allelic variants in UBR7. Their phenotype differs significantly from that of Johanson-Blizzard syndrome (JBS), which is caused by bi-allelic variants in UBR1, notably by the presence of epilepsy and the absence of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and hypoplasia of nasal alae. While the mechanistic etiology of JBS remains uncertain, mutation of both Ubr1 and Ubr2 in the mouse or of the C. elegans UBR5 ortholog results in Notch signaling defects. Consistent with a potential role in Notch signaling, C. elegans ubr-7 expression partially overlaps with that of ubr-5, including in neurons, as well as the distal tip cell that plays a crucial role in signaling to germline stem cells via the Notch signaling pathway. Analysis of ubr-5 and ubr-7 single mutants and double mutants revealed genetic interactions with the Notch receptor gene glp-1 that influenced development and embryo formation. Collectively, our findings further implicate the UBR protein family and the Notch signaling pathway in a neurodevelopmental syndrome with epilepsy, ptosis, and hypothyroidism that differs from JBS. Further studies exploring a potential role in histone regulation are warranted given clinical overlap with KAT6B disorders and the interaction of UBR7 and UBR5 with histones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.11.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820726PMC
January 2021

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.

Division of Clinical Genetics, Children's Mercy Hospital, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO 64108, USA.

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

Amino Acid-Level Signal-to-Noise Analysis Aids in Pathogenicity Prediction of Incidentally Identified -Encoded Titin Truncating Variants.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2021 Feb 23;14(1):e003131. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Division of Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics (A.M.B., B.M.S., E.J.P., A.P.L.), Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC.

Background: , the largest gene in the human body, encodes TTN (titin), a protein that plays key structural, developmental, and regulatory roles in skeletal and cardiac muscle. Variants in , particularly truncating variants (TTNtvs), have been implicated in the pathogenicity of cardiomyopathy. Despite this link, there is also a high burden of TTNtvs in the ostensibly healthy general population. This complicates the diagnostic interpretation of incidentally identified TTNtvs, which are of increasing abundance given expanding clinical exome sequencing.

Methods: Incidentally identified TTNtvs were obtained from a large referral database of clinical exome sequencing (Baylor Genetics) and compared with rare population variants from genome aggregation database and cardiomyopathy-associated variants from cohort studies in the literature. A subset of TTNtv-positive children evaluated for cardiomyopathy at Texas Children's Hospital was retrospectively reviewed for clinical features of cardiomyopathy. Amino acid-level signal-to-noise analysis was performed.

Results: Pathological hotspots were identified within the A-band and N-terminal I-band that closely correlated with regions of high percent-spliced in of exons. Incidental TTNtvs and population TTNtvs did not localize to these regions. Variants were reclassified based on current American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics criteria with incorporation of signal-to-noise analysis among Texas Children's Hospital cases. Those reclassified as likely pathogenic or pathogenic were more likely to have evidence of cardiomyopathy on echocardiography than those reclassified as variants of unknown significance.

Conclusions: Incidentally found TTNtvs are common among clinical exome sequencing referrals. Pathological hotspots within the A-band of TTN may be informative in determining variant pathogenicity when incorporated into current American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics guidelines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.120.003131DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7887062PMC
February 2021

Genotype-phenotype study and expansion of ARL6IP1-related complicated hereditary spastic paraplegia.

Clin Genet 2021 Mar 13;99(3):477-480. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

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

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13870DOI Listing
March 2021

A complementary study approach unravels novel players in the pathoetiology of Hirschsprung disease.

PLoS Genet 2020 11 5;16(11):e1009106. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Center of Medical Research, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.

Hirschsprung disease (HSCR, OMIM 142623) involves congenital intestinal obstruction caused by dysfunction of neural crest cells and their progeny during enteric nervous system (ENS) development. HSCR is a multifactorial disorder; pathogenetic variants accounting for disease phenotype are identified only in a minority of cases, and the identification of novel disease-relevant genes remains challenging. In order to identify and to validate a potential disease-causing relevance of novel HSCR candidate genes, we established a complementary study approach, combining whole exome sequencing (WES) with transcriptome analysis of murine embryonic ENS-related tissues, literature and database searches, in silico network analyses, and functional readouts using candidate gene-specific genome-edited cell clones. WES datasets of two patients with HSCR and their non-affected parents were analysed, and four novel HSCR candidate genes could be identified: ATP7A, SREBF1, ABCD1 and PIAS2. Further rare variants in these genes were identified in additional HSCR patients, suggesting disease relevance. Transcriptomics revealed that these genes are expressed in embryonic and fetal gastrointestinal tissues. Knockout of these genes in neuronal cells demonstrated impaired cell differentiation, proliferation and/or survival. Our approach identified and validated candidate HSCR genes and provided further insight into the underlying pathomechanisms of HSCR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1009106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7643938PMC
November 2020

Large-scale targeted sequencing identifies risk genes for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Nat Commun 2020 10 1;11(1):4932. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Oasi Research Institute-IRCCS, Troina, Italy.

Most genes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) were identified with an excess of de novo mutations (DNMs) but the significance in case-control mutation burden analysis is unestablished. Here, we sequence 63 genes in 16,294 NDD cases and an additional 62 genes in 6,211 NDD cases. By combining these with published data, we assess a total of 125 genes in over 16,000 NDD cases and compare the mutation burden to nonpsychiatric controls from ExAC. We identify 48 genes (25 newly reported) showing significant burden of ultra-rare (MAF < 0.01%) gene-disruptive mutations (FDR 5%), six of which reach family-wise error rate (FWER) significance (p < 1.25E-06). Among these 125 targeted genes, we also reevaluate DNM excess in 17,426 NDD trios with 6,499 new autism trios. We identify 90 genes enriched for DNMs (FDR 5%; e.g., GABRG2 and UIMC1); of which, 61 reach FWER significance (p < 3.64E-07; e.g., CASZ1). In addition to doubling the number of patients for many NDD risk genes, we present phenotype-genotype correlations for seven risk genes (CTCF, HNRNPU, KCNQ3, ZBTB18, TCF12, SPEN, and LEO1) based on this large-scale targeted sequencing effort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18723-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7530681PMC
October 2020

Transcriptome-directed analysis for Mendelian disease diagnosis overcomes limitations of conventional genomic testing.

J Clin Invest 2021 Jan;131(1)

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Houston, Texas, USA.

BACKGROUNDTranscriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) improves diagnostic rates in individuals with suspected Mendelian conditions to varying degrees, primarily by directing the prioritization of candidate DNA variants identified on exome or genome sequencing (ES/GS). Here we implemented an RNA-seq-guided method to diagnose individuals across a wide range of ages and clinical phenotypes.METHODSOne hundred fifteen undiagnosed adult and pediatric patients with diverse phenotypes and 67 family members (182 total individuals) underwent RNA-seq from whole blood and skin fibroblasts at the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) Undiagnosed Diseases Network clinical site from 2014 to 2020. We implemented a workflow to detect outliers in gene expression and splicing for cases that remained undiagnosed despite standard genomic and transcriptomic analysis.RESULTSThe transcriptome-directed approach resulted in a diagnostic rate of 12% across the entire cohort, or 17% after excluding cases solved on ES/GS alone. Newly diagnosed conditions included Koolen-de Vries syndrome (KANSL1), Renpenning syndrome (PQBP1), TBCK-associated encephalopathy, NSD2- and CLTC-related intellectual disability, and others, all with negative conventional genomic testing, including ES and chromosomal microarray (CMA). Skin fibroblasts exhibited higher and more consistent expression of clinically relevant genes than whole blood. In solved cases with RNA-seq from both tissues, the causative defect was missed in blood in half the cases but none from fibroblasts.CONCLUSIONSFor our cohort of undiagnosed individuals with suspected Mendelian conditions, transcriptome-directed genomic analysis facilitated diagnoses, primarily through the identification of variants missed on ES and CMA.TRIAL REGISTRATIONNot applicable.FUNDINGNIH Common Fund, BCM Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI141500DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7773386PMC
January 2021

Phenotypic expansion in KIF1A-related dominant disorders: A description of novel variants and review of published cases.

Hum Mutat 2020 Dec 8;41(12):2094-2104. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

KIF1A is a molecular motor for membrane-bound cargo important to the development and survival of sensory neurons. KIF1A dysfunction has been associated with several Mendelian disorders with a spectrum of overlapping phenotypes, ranging from spastic paraplegia to intellectual disability. We present a novel pathogenic in-frame deletion in the KIF1A molecular motor domain inherited by two affected siblings from an unaffected mother with apparent germline mosaicism. We identified eight additional cases with heterozygous, pathogenic KIF1A variants ascertained from a local data lake. Our data provide evidence for the expansion of KIF1A-associated phenotypes to include hip subluxation and dystonia as well as phenotypes observed in only a single case: gelastic cataplexy, coxa valga, and double collecting system. We review the literature and suggest that KIF1A dysfunction is better understood as a single neuromuscular disorder with variable involvement of other organ systems than a set of discrete disorders converging at a single locus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7903881PMC
December 2020

Variants in SCAF4 Cause a Neurodevelopmental Disorder and Are Associated with Impaired mRNA Processing.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 09 29;107(3):544-554. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine, Sioux Falls, SD 57105, USA.

RNA polymerase II interacts with various other complexes and factors to ensure correct initiation, elongation, and termination of mRNA transcription. One of these proteins is SR-related CTD-associated factor 4 (SCAF4), which is important for correct usage of polyA sites for mRNA termination. Using exome sequencing and international matchmaking, we identified nine likely pathogenic germline variants in SCAF4 including two splice-site and seven truncating variants, all residing in the N-terminal two thirds of the protein. Eight of these variants occurred de novo, and one was inherited. Affected individuals demonstrated a variable neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by mild intellectual disability, seizures, behavioral abnormalities, and various skeletal and structural anomalies. Paired-end RNA sequencing on blood lymphocytes of SCAF4-deficient individuals revealed a broad deregulation of more than 9,000 genes and significant differential splicing of more than 2,900 genes, indicating an important role of SCAF4 in mRNA processing. Knockdown of the SCAF4 ortholog CG4266 in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster resulted in impaired locomotor function, learning, and short-term memory. Furthermore, we observed an increased number of active zones in larval neuromuscular junctions, representing large glutamatergic synapses. These observations indicate a role of CG4266 in nervous system development and function and support the implication of SCAF4 in neurodevelopmental phenotypes. In summary, our data show that heterozygous, likely gene-disrupting variants in SCAF4 are causative for a variable neurodevelopmental disorder associated with impaired mRNA processing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.06.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7477272PMC
September 2020

Missed diagnoses: Clinically relevant lessons learned through medical mysteries solved by the Undiagnosed Diseases Network.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2020 10 30;8(10):e1397. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: Resources within the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN), such as genome sequencing (GS) and model organisms aid in diagnosis and identification of new disease genes, but are currently difficult to access by clinical providers. While these resources do contribute to diagnoses in many cases, they are not always necessary to reach diagnostic resolution. The UDN experience has been that participants can also receive diagnoses through the thoughtful and customized application of approaches and resources that are readily available in clinical settings.

Methods: The UDN Genetic Counseling and Testing Working Group collected case vignettes that illustrated how clinically available methods resulted in diagnoses. The case vignettes were classified into three themes; phenotypic considerations, selection of genetic testing, and evaluating exome/GS variants and data.

Results: We present 12 participants that illustrate how clinical practices such as phenotype-driven genomic investigations, consideration of variable expressivity, selecting the relevant tissue of interest for testing, utilizing updated testing platforms, and recognition of alternate transcript nomenclature resulted in diagnoses.

Conclusion: These examples demonstrate that when a diagnosis is elusive, an iterative patient-specific approach utilizing assessment options available to clinical providers may solve a portion of cases. However, this does require increased provider time commitment, a particular challenge in the current practice of genomics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1397DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7549585PMC
October 2020

Genotypic diversity and phenotypic spectrum of infantile liver failure syndrome type 1 due to variants in LARS1.

Genet Med 2020 11 23;22(11):1863-1873. Epub 2020 Jul 23.

Division of Neuropediatrics and Pediatric Metabolic Medicine, Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Purpose: Biallelic variants in LARS1, coding for the cytosolic leucyl-tRNA synthetase, cause infantile liver failure syndrome 1 (ILFS1). Since its description in 2012, there has been no systematic analysis of the clinical spectrum and genetic findings.

Methods: Individuals with biallelic variants in LARS1 were included through an international, multicenter collaboration including novel and previously published patients. Clinical variables were analyzed and functional studies were performed in patient-derived fibroblasts.

Results: Twenty-five individuals from 15 families were ascertained including 12 novel patients with eight previously unreported variants. The most prominent clinical findings are recurrent elevation of liver transaminases up to liver failure and encephalopathic episodes, both triggered by febrile illness. Magnetic resonance image (MRI) changes during an encephalopathic episode can be consistent with metabolic stroke. Furthermore, growth retardation, microcytic anemia, neurodevelopmental delay, muscular hypotonia, and infection-related seizures are prevalent. Aminoacylation activity is significantly decreased in all patient cells studied upon temperature elevation in vitro.

Conclusion: ILFS1 is characterized by recurrent elevation of liver transaminases up to liver failure in conjunction with abnormalities of growth, blood, nervous system, and musculature. Encephalopathic episodes with seizures can occur independently from liver crises and may present with metabolic stroke.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-0904-4DOI Listing
November 2020

Predominant and novel de novo variants in 29 individuals with ALG13 deficiency: Clinical description, biomarker status, biochemical analysis, and treatment suggestions.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2020 11 5;43(6):1333-1348. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Inova Translational Medicine Institute Division of Medical Genomics Inova Fairfax Hospital Falls Church, Virginia, USA.

Asparagine-linked glycosylation 13 homolog (ALG13) encodes a nonredundant, highly conserved, X-linked uridine diphosphate (UDP)-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase required for the synthesis of lipid linked oligosaccharide precursor and proper N-linked glycosylation. De novo variants in ALG13 underlie a form of early infantile epileptic encephalopathy known as EIEE36, but given its essential role in glycosylation, it is also considered a congenital disorder of glycosylation (CDG), ALG13-CDG. Twenty-four previously reported ALG13-CDG cases had de novo variants, but surprisingly, unlike most forms of CDG, ALG13-CDG did not show the anticipated glycosylation defects, typically detected by altered transferrin glycosylation. Structural homology modeling of two recurrent de novo variants, p.A81T and p.N107S, suggests both are likely to impact the function of ALG13. Using a corresponding ALG13-deficient yeast strain, we show that expressing yeast ALG13 with either of the highly conserved hotspot variants rescues the observed growth defect, but not its glycosylation abnormality. We present molecular and clinical data on 29 previously unreported individuals with de novo variants in ALG13. This more than doubles the number of known cases. A key finding is that a vast majority of the individuals presents with West syndrome, a feature shared with other CDG types. Among these, the initial epileptic spasms best responded to adrenocorticotropic hormone or prednisolone, while clobazam and felbamate showed promise for continued epilepsy treatment. A ketogenic diet seems to play an important role in the treatment of these individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jimd.12290DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722193PMC
November 2020

Estimating the relative frequency of leukodystrophies and recommendations for carrier screening in the era of next-generation sequencing.

Am J Med Genet A 2020 08 23;182(8):1906-1912. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Department of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Leukodystrophies are a heterogeneous group of heritable disorders characterized by abnormal brain white matter signal on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and primary involvement of the cellular components of myelin. Previous estimates suggest the incidence of leukodystrophies as a whole to be 1 in 7,000 individuals, however the frequency of specific diagnoses relative to others has not been described. Next generation sequencing approaches offer the opportunity to redefine our understanding of the relative frequency of different leukodystrophies. We assessed the relative frequency of all 30 leukodystrophies (associated with 55 genes) in more than 49,000 exomes. We identified a relatively high frequency of disorders previously thought of as very rare, including Aicardi Goutières Syndrome, TUBB4A-related leukodystrophy, Peroxisomal biogenesis disorders, POLR3-related Leukodystrophy, Vanishing White Matter, and Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease. Despite the relative frequency of these conditions, carrier-screening laboratories regularly test only 20 of the 55 leukodystrophy-related genes, and do not test at all, or test only one or a few, genes for some of the higher frequency disorders. Relative frequency of leukodystrophies previously considered very rare suggests these disorders may benefit from expanded carrier screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.61641DOI Listing
August 2020

The transcription factor is essential for normal eye development.

Dis Model Mech 2020 08 18;13(8). Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Wnt/β-catenin signaling has an essential role in eye development. Faulty regulation of this pathway results in ocular malformations, owing to defects in cell-fate determination and differentiation. Herein, we show that disruption of , the gene encoding -associated zinc-finger transcription factor, produces developmental eye defects in mice and humans. Expression of key genes involved in the Wnt cascade, , and , was significantly increased in mice with targeted inactivation of , resulting in abnormal peripheral eye formation with reduced proliferation of the progenitor cells in the region. Paradoxically, the Wnt reporter TCF-Lef1 displayed a significant downregulation in -deficient eyes. Molecular analysis indicates that is necessary for the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and participates in the network controlling ciliary margin patterning. Copy-number variations and single-nucleotide variants of were identified in humans that result in abnormal ocular development. The data support as a key contributor to the eye comorbidities associated with chromosome 16p11.2 copy-number variants and as a transcriptional regulator of ocular development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dmm.044412DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7449797PMC
August 2020