Publications by authors named "Joseph G Gleeson"

240 Publications

Clinico-radiological features, molecular spectrum, and identification of prognostic factors in developmental and epileptic encephalopathy due to inosine triphosphate pyrophosphatase (ITPase) deficiency.

Hum Mutat 2022 Jan 6. Epub 2022 Jan 6.

Pediatric Neurology Department, Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Developmental and epileptic encephalopathy 35 (DEE 35) is a severe neurological condition caused by biallelic variants in ITPA, encoding inosine triphosphate pyrophosphatase, an essential enzyme in purine metabolism. We delineate the genotypic and phenotypic spectrum of DEE 35, analyzing possible predictors for adverse clinical outcomes. We investigated a cohort of 28 new patients and reviewed previously described cases, providing a comprehensive characterization of 40 subjects. Exome sequencing was performed to identify underlying ITPA pathogenic variants. Brain MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans were systematically analyzed to delineate the neuroradiological spectrum. Survival curves according to the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test were used to investigate outcome predictors in different subgroups of patients. We identified 18 distinct ITPA pathogenic variants, including 14 novel variants, and two deletions. All subjects showed profound developmental delay, microcephaly, and refractory epilepsy followed by neurodevelopmental regression. Brain MRI revision revealed a recurrent pattern of delayed myelination and restricted diffusion of early myelinating structures. Congenital microcephaly and cardiac involvement were statistically significant novel clinical predictors of adverse outcomes. We refined the molecular, clinical, and neuroradiological characterization of ITPase deficiency, and identified new clinical predictors which may have a potentially important impact on diagnosis, counseling, and follow-up of affected individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24326DOI Listing
January 2022

Biallelic FRA10AC1 variants cause a neurodevelopmental disorder with growth retardation.

Brain 2021 Oct 25. Epub 2021 Oct 25.

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

The major spliceosome mediates pre-mRNA splicing by recognizing the highly conserved sequences at the 5' and 3' splice sites and the branch point. More than 150 proteins participate in the splicing process and are organized in the spliceosomal A, B, and C complexes. FRA10AC1 is a peripheral protein of the spliceosomal C complex and its ortholog in the green alga facilitates recognition or interaction with splice sites. We identified biallelic pathogenic variants in FRA10AC1 in five individuals from three consanguineous families. The two unrelated patients 1 and 2 with loss-of-function variants showed developmental delay, intellectual disability, and no speech, while three siblings with the c.494_496delAAG (p.Glu165del) variant had borderline to mild intellectual disability. All patients had microcephaly, hypoplasia or agenesis of the corpus callosum, growth retardation, and craniofacial dysmorphism. FRA10AC1 transcripts and proteins were drastically reduced or absent in fibroblasts of patients 1 and 2. In a heterologous expression system, the p. Glu165del variant impacts intrinsic stability of FRA10AC1 but does not affect its nuclear localization. By co-immunoprecipitation, we found ectopically expressed HA-FRA10AC1 in complex with endogenous DGCR14, another component of the spliceosomal C complex, while the splice factors CHERP, NKAP, RED, and SF3B2 could not be co-immunoprecipitated. Using an in vitro splicing reporter assay, we did not obtain evidence for FRA10AC1 deficiency to suppress missplicing events caused by mutations in the highly conserved dinucleotides of 5' and 3' splice sites in an in vitro splicing assay in patient-derived fibroblasts. Our data highlight the importance of specific peripheral spliceosomal C complex proteins for neurodevelopment. It remains possible that FRA10AC1 may have other and/or additional cellular functions, such as coupling of transcription and splicing reactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab403DOI Listing
October 2021

Biallelic variants in SLC38A3 encoding a glutamine transporter cause epileptic encephalopathy.

Brain 2021 Oct 4. Epub 2021 Oct 4.

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

The solute carrier (SLC) superfamily encompasses >400 transmembrane transporters involved in the exchange of amino acids, nutrients, ions, metals, neurotransmitters and metabolites across biological membranes. SLCs are highly expressed in the mammalian brain; defects in nearly 100 unique SLC-encoding genes (OMIM: https://www.omim.org) are associated with rare Mendelian disorders including developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (DEE) and severe neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). Exome sequencing and family-based rare variant analyses on a cohort with NDD identified two siblings with DEE and a shared deleterious homozygous splicing variant in SLC38A3. The gene encodes SNAT3, a sodium-coupled neutral amino acid transporter and a principal transporter of the amino acids asparagine, histidine, and glutamine, the latter being the precursor for the neurotransmitters GABA and glutamate. Additional subjects with a similar DEE phenotype and biallelic predicted-damaging SLC38A3 variants were ascertained through GeneMatcher and collaborations with research and clinical molecular diagnostic laboratories. Untargeted metabolomic analysis was performed to identify novel metabolic biomarkers. Ten individuals from seven unrelated families from six different countries with deleterious biallelic variants in SLC38A3 were identified. Global developmental delay, intellectual disability, hypotonia, and absent speech were common features while microcephaly, epilepsy, and visual impairment were present in the majority. Epilepsy was drug-resistant in half. Metabolomic analysis revealed perturbations of glutamate, histidine, and nitrogen metabolism in plasma, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid of selected subjects, potentially representing biomarkers of disease. Our data support the contention that SLC38A3 is a novel disease gene for DEE and illuminate the likely pathophysiology of the disease as perturbations in glutamine homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab369DOI Listing
October 2021

ABHD16A deficiency causes a complicated form of hereditary spastic paraplegia associated with intellectual disability and cerebral anomalies.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 10 28;108(10):2017-2023. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada. Electronic address:

ABHD16A (abhydrolase domain-containing protein 16A, phospholipase) encodes the major phosphatidylserine (PS) lipase in the brain. PS lipase synthesizes lysophosphatidylserine, an important signaling lipid that functions in the mammalian central nervous system. ABHD16A has not yet been associated with a human disease. In this report, we present a cohort of 11 affected individuals from six unrelated families with a complicated form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) who carry bi-allelic deleterious variants in ABHD16A. Affected individuals present with a similar phenotype consisting of global developmental delay/intellectual disability, progressive spasticity affecting the upper and lower limbs, and corpus callosum and white matter anomalies. Immunoblot analysis on extracts from fibroblasts from four affected individuals demonstrated little to no ABHD16A protein levels compared to controls. Our findings add ABHD16A to the growing list of lipid genes in which dysregulation can cause complicated forms of HSP and begin to describe the molecular etiology of this condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.09.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8546048PMC
October 2021

A Human Pleiotropic Multiorgan Condition Caused by Deficient Wnt Secretion.

N Engl J Med 2021 09;385(14):1292-1301

From the Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine, San Diego (G.C., C.C., Z.L., L.W., T.M., N.J., X.Y., J.M.-V., V.S., P.A., N.L., J.G.G.), and the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla (G.C., C.C., Z.L., L.W., T.M., N.J., X.Y., J.M.-V., V.S., P.A., N.L., K.W., J.G.G.) - both in California; Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing (G.C.); the Genome Institute of Singapore (E.S.-R., M.K., V.W., B.R.) and the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (B.R.), Agency for Science, Technology, and Research, and the Program in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Duke-NUS (National University of Singapore) Medical School (J.Y., D.M.V.) - all in Singapore; the Medical Genetics Department, Koç University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey (B.R.); the Department of Pediatrics, Duke University, Durham, NC (D.M.V.); the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, Columbia University Irving Medical Center (R.N., F.M.), and the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, Columbia University (R.H., W.K.C.) - both in New York; Centogene, Rostock, Germany (R.M., A.M.B.-A.); DNA Laboratório e Genética Médica, Salvador, Brazil (M.B.P.T., P.M.L.P.); the Institute of Medical Genetics and Genomics, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, India (R.D.P.); Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (N.A.-S.); and the Clinical Genetics Department, National Research Center, Cairo (M.S.Z.).

Background: Structural birth defects occur in approximately 3% of live births; most such defects lack defined genetic or environmental causes. Despite advances in surgical approaches, pharmacologic prevention remains largely out of reach.

Methods: We queried worldwide databases of 20,248 families that included children with neurodevelopmental disorders and that were enriched for parental consanguinity. Approximately one third of affected children in these families presented with structural birth defects or microcephaly. We performed exome or genome sequencing of samples obtained from the children, their parents, or both to identify genes with biallelic pathogenic or likely pathogenic mutations present in more than one family. After identifying disease-causing variants, we generated two mouse models, each with a pathogenic variant "knocked in," to study mechanisms and test candidate treatments. We administered a small-molecule Wnt agonist to pregnant animals and assessed their offspring.

Results: We identified homozygous mutations in , which encodes the Wnt ligand secretion mediator (also known as Wntless or WLS) in 10 affected persons from 5 unrelated families. (The Wnt ligand secretion mediator is essential for the secretion of all Wnt proteins.) Patients had multiorgan defects, including microcephaly and facial dysmorphism as well as foot syndactyly, renal agenesis, alopecia, iris coloboma, and heart defects. The mutations affected WLS protein stability and Wnt signaling. Knock-in mice showed tissue and cell vulnerability consistent with Wnt-signaling intensity and individual and collective functions of Wnts in embryogenesis. Administration of a pharmacologic Wnt agonist partially restored embryonic development.

Conclusions: Genetic variations affecting a central Wnt regulator caused syndromic structural birth defects. Results from mouse models suggest that what we have named Zaki syndrome is a potentially preventable disorder. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2033911DOI Listing
September 2021

Implication of folate deficiency in CYP2U1 loss of function.

J Exp Med 2021 11 21;218(11). Epub 2021 Sep 21.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Pierre Bénite, France.

Hereditary spastic paraplegias are heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorders. Understanding of their pathogenic mechanisms remains sparse, and therapeutic options are lacking. We characterized a mouse model lacking the Cyp2u1 gene, loss of which is known to be involved in a complex form of these diseases in humans. We showed that this model partially recapitulated the clinical and biochemical phenotypes of patients. Using electron microscopy, lipidomic, and proteomic studies, we identified vitamin B2 as a substrate of the CYP2U1 enzyme, as well as coenzyme Q, neopterin, and IFN-α levels as putative biomarkers in mice and fluids obtained from the largest series of CYP2U1-mutated patients reported so far. We also confirmed brain calcifications as a potential biomarker in patients. Our results suggest that CYP2U1 deficiency disrupts mitochondrial function and impacts proper neurodevelopment, which could be prevented by folate supplementation in our mouse model, followed by a neurodegenerative process altering multiple neuronal and extraneuronal tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20210846DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8480666PMC
November 2021

Developmental and temporal characteristics of clonal sperm mosaicism.

Cell 2021 09 12;184(18):4772-4783.e15. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA; Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine, San Diego, CA 92123, USA. Electronic address:

Throughout development and aging, human cells accumulate mutations resulting in genomic mosaicism and genetic diversity at the cellular level. Mosaic mutations present in the gonads can affect both the individual and the offspring and subsequent generations. Here, we explore patterns and temporal stability of clonal mosaic mutations in male gonads by sequencing ejaculated sperm. Through 300× whole-genome sequencing of blood and sperm from healthy men, we find each ejaculate carries on average 33.3 ± 12.1 (mean ± SD) clonal mosaic variants, nearly all of which are detected in serial sampling, with the majority absent from sampled somal tissues. Their temporal stability and mutational signature suggest origins during embryonic development from a largely immutable stem cell niche. Clonal mosaicism likely contributes a transmissible, predicted pathogenic exonic variant for 1 in 15 men, representing a life-long threat of transmission for these individuals and a significant burden on human population health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.07.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8496133PMC
September 2021

A human three-dimensional neural-perivascular 'assembloid' promotes astrocytic development and enables modeling of SARS-CoV-2 neuropathology.

Nat Med 2021 09 9;27(9):1600-1606. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Department of Neurosciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Clinical evidence suggests the central nervous system is frequently impacted by SARS-CoV-2 infection, either directly or indirectly, although the mechanisms are unclear. Pericytes are perivascular cells within the brain that are proposed as SARS-CoV-2 infection points. Here we show that pericyte-like cells (PLCs), when integrated into a cortical organoid, are capable of infection with authentic SARS-CoV-2. Before infection, PLCs elicited astrocytic maturation and production of basement membrane components, features attributed to pericyte functions in vivo. While traditional cortical organoids showed little evidence of infection, PLCs within cortical organoids served as viral 'replication hubs', with virus spreading to astrocytes and mediating inflammatory type I interferon transcriptional responses. Therefore, PLC-containing cortical organoids (PCCOs) represent a new 'assembloid' model that supports astrocytic maturation as well as SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication in neural tissue; thus, PCCOs serve as an experimental model for neural infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01443-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8601037PMC
September 2021

Biallelic variants in KARS1 are associated with neurodevelopmental disorders and hearing loss recapitulated by the knockout zebrafish.

Genet Med 2021 10 25;23(10):1933-1943. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Department of Pediatric Diseases, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

Purpose: Pathogenic variants in Lysyl-tRNA synthetase 1 (KARS1) have increasingly been recognized as a cause of early-onset complex neurological phenotypes. To advance the timely diagnosis of KARS1-related disorders, we sought to delineate its phenotype and generate a disease model to understand its function in vivo.

Methods: Through international collaboration, we identified 22 affected individuals from 16 unrelated families harboring biallelic likely pathogenic or pathogenic in KARS1 variants. Sequencing approaches ranged from disease-specific panels to genome sequencing. We generated loss-of-function alleles in zebrafish.

Results: We identify ten new and four known biallelic missense variants in KARS1 presenting with a moderate-to-severe developmental delay, progressive neurological and neurosensory abnormalities, and variable white matter involvement. We describe novel KARS1-associated signs such as autism, hyperactive behavior, pontine hypoplasia, and cerebellar atrophy with prevalent vermian involvement. Loss of kars1 leads to upregulation of p53, tissue-specific apoptosis, and downregulation of neurodevelopmental related genes, recapitulating key tissue-specific disease phenotypes of patients. Inhibition of p53 rescued several defects of kars1 knockouts.

Conclusion: Our work delineates the clinical spectrum associated with KARS1 defects and provides a novel animal model for KARS1-related human diseases revealing p53 signaling components as potential therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01239-1DOI Listing
October 2021

Pathogenic variants in PIDD1 lead to an autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder with pachygyria and psychiatric features.

Eur J Hum Genet 2021 08 24;29(8):1226-1234. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Neuromuscular Diseases, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, WC1N3BG London, London, UK.

The PIDDosome is a multiprotein complex, composed by the p53-induced death domain protein 1 (PIDD1), the bipartite linker protein CRADD (also known as RAIDD) and the proform of caspase-2 that induces apoptosis in response to DNA damage. In the recent years, biallelic pathogenic variants in CRADD have been associated with a neurodevelopmental disorder (MRT34; MIM 614499) characterized by pachygyria with a predominant anterior gradient, megalencephaly, epilepsy and intellectual disability. More recently, biallelic pathogenic variants in PIDD1 have been described in a few families with apparently nonsydnromic intellectual disability. Here, we aim to delineate the genetic and radio-clinical features of PIDD1-related disorder. Exome sequencing was carried out in six consanguineous families. Thorough clinical and neuroradiological evaluation was performed for all the affected individuals as well as reviewing all the data from previously reported cases. We identified five distinct novel homozygous variants (c.2584C>T p.(Arg862Trp), c.1340G>A p.(Trp447*), c.2116_2120del p.(Val706Hisfs*30), c.1564_1565delCA p.(Gln522fs*44), and c.1804_1805del p.(Gly602fs*26) in eleven subjects displaying intellectual disability, behaviorial and psychiatric features, and a typical anterior-predominant pachygyria, remarkably resembling the CRADD-related neuroimaging pattern. In summary, we outlin`e the phenotypic and molecular spectrum of PIDD1 biallelic variants supporting the evidence that the PIDD1/CRADD/caspase-2 signaling is crucial for normal gyration of the developing human neocortex as well as cognition and behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-021-00910-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8385073PMC
August 2021

Sperm mosaicism: implications for genomic diversity and disease.

Trends Genet 2021 10 19;37(10):890-902. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine, Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA. Electronic address:

While sperm mosaicism has few consequences for men, the offspring and future generations are unwitting recipients of gonadal cell mutations, often yielding severe disease. Recent studies, fueled by emergent technologies, show that sperm mosaicism is a common source of de novo mutations (DNMs) that underlie severe pediatric disease as well as human genetic diversity. Sperm mosaicism can be divided into three types: Type I arises during sperm meiosis and is non-age dependent; Type II arises in spermatogonia and increases as men age; and Type III arises during paternal embryogenesis, spreads throughout the body, and contributes stably to sperm throughout life. Where Types I and II confer little risk of recurrence, Type III may confer identifiable risk to future offspring. These mutations are likely to be the single largest contributor to human genetic diversity. New sequencing approaches may leverage this framework to evaluate and reduce disease risk for future generations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tig.2021.05.007DOI Listing
October 2021

Loss of C2orf69 defines a fatal autoinflammatory syndrome in humans and zebrafish that evokes a glycogen-storage-associated mitochondriopathy.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 07 25;108(7):1301-1317. Epub 2021 May 25.

Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A(∗)STAR, Biopolis, Singapore 138673, Singapore.

Human C2orf69 is an evolutionarily conserved gene whose function is unknown. Here, we report eight unrelated families from which 20 children presented with a fatal syndrome consisting of severe autoinflammation and progredient leukoencephalopathy with recurrent seizures; 12 of these subjects, whose DNA was available, segregated homozygous loss-of-function C2orf69 variants. C2ORF69 bears homology to esterase enzymes, and orthologs can be found in most eukaryotic genomes, including that of unicellular phytoplankton. We found that endogenous C2ORF69 (1) is loosely bound to mitochondria, (2) affects mitochondrial membrane potential and oxidative respiration in cultured neurons, and (3) controls the levels of the glycogen branching enzyme 1 (GBE1) consistent with a glycogen-storage-associated mitochondriopathy. We show that CRISPR-Cas9-mediated inactivation of zebrafish C2orf69 results in lethality by 8 months of age due to spontaneous epileptic seizures, which is preceded by persistent brain inflammation. Collectively, our results delineate an autoinflammatory Mendelian disorder of C2orf69 deficiency that disrupts the development/homeostasis of the immune and central nervous systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.05.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8322802PMC
July 2021

Loss of function mutations in GEMIN5 cause a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Nat Commun 2021 05 7;12(1):2558. Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Pediatric Neurophysiology AP-HP, Necker Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris University, Paris, France.

GEMIN5, an RNA-binding protein is essential for assembly of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein complex and facilitates the formation of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs), the building blocks of spliceosomes. Here, we have identified 30 affected individuals from 22 unrelated families presenting with developmental delay, hypotonia, and cerebellar ataxia harboring biallelic variants in the GEMIN5 gene. Mutations in GEMIN5 perturb the subcellular distribution, stability, and expression of GEMIN5 protein and its interacting partners in patient iPSC-derived neurons, suggesting a potential loss-of-function mechanism. GEMIN5 mutations result in disruption of snRNP complex assembly formation in patient iPSC neurons. Furthermore, knock down of rigor mortis, the fly homolog of human GEMIN5, leads to developmental defects, motor dysfunction, and a reduced lifespan. Interestingly, we observed that GEMIN5 variants disrupt a distinct set of transcripts and pathways as compared to SMA patient neurons, suggesting different molecular pathomechanisms. These findings collectively provide evidence that pathogenic variants in GEMIN5 perturb physiological functions and result in a neurodevelopmental delay and ataxia syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22627-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8105379PMC
May 2021

The Neurobiology of Modern Viral Scourges: ZIKV and COVID-19.

Neuroscientist 2021 Apr 19:10738584211009149. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

Department of Neurosciences and Pediatrics, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

The interactions of viruses with the nervous system were thought to be well understood until the recent outbreaks of Zika and SARS-CoV-2. In this review, we consider these emerging pathogens, the range and mechanisms of the neurological disease in humans, and how the biomedical research enterprise has pivoted to answer questions about viral pathogenesis, immune response, and the special vulnerability of the nervous system. ZIKV stands out as the only new virus in a generation, associating with congenital brain defects, neurological manifestations of microcephaly in newborns, and radiculopathy in adults. COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, has swept the planet in an unprecedented manner and is feared worldwide for its effect on the respiratory system, but recent evidence points to important neurological sequelae. These can include anosmia, vasculopathy, paresthesias, and stroke. Evidence of ZIKV and SARS-CoV-2 genetic material from neural tissue, and evidence of infection of neural cells, raises questions about how these emerging viruses produce disease, and where new therapies might emerge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/10738584211009149DOI Listing
April 2021

Biallelic hypomorphic mutations in HEATR5B, encoding HEAT repeat-containing protein 5B, in a neurological syndrome with pontocerebellar hypoplasia.

Eur J Hum Genet 2021 06 6;29(6):957-964. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

HEAT repeats are 37-47 amino acid flexible tandem repeat structural motifs occurring in a wide variety of eukaryotic proteins with diverse functions. Due to their ability to undergo elastic conformational changes, they often serve as scaffolds at sites of protein interactions. Here, we describe four affected children from two families presenting with pontocerebellar hypoplasia manifest clinically with neonatal seizures, severe intellectual disability, and motor delay. Whole exome sequencing identified biallelic variants at predicted splice sites in intron 31 of HEATR5B, encoding the HEAT repeat-containing protein 5B segregating in a recessive fashion. Aberrant splicing was found in patient fibroblasts, which correlated with reduced levels of HEATR5B protein. HEATR5B is expressed during brain development in human, and we failed to recover live-born homozygous Heatr5b knockout mice. Taken together, our results implicate loss of HEATR5B in pontocerebellar hypoplasia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-021-00832-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8187379PMC
June 2021

Comprehensive identification of somatic nucleotide variants in human brain tissue.

Genome Biol 2021 03 29;22(1):92. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA.

Background: Post-zygotic mutations incurred during DNA replication, DNA repair, and other cellular processes lead to somatic mosaicism. Somatic mosaicism is an established cause of various diseases, including cancers. However, detecting mosaic variants in DNA from non-cancerous somatic tissues poses significant challenges, particularly if the variants only are present in a small fraction of cells.

Results: Here, the Brain Somatic Mosaicism Network conducts a coordinated, multi-institutional study to examine the ability of existing methods to detect simulated somatic single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) in DNA mixing experiments, generate multiple replicates of whole-genome sequencing data from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, other brain regions, dura mater, and dural fibroblasts of a single neurotypical individual, devise strategies to discover somatic SNVs, and apply various approaches to validate somatic SNVs. These efforts lead to the identification of 43 bona fide somatic SNVs that range in variant allele fractions from ~ 0.005 to ~ 0.28. Guided by these results, we devise best practices for calling mosaic SNVs from 250× whole-genome sequencing data in the accessible portion of the human genome that achieve 90% specificity and sensitivity. Finally, we demonstrate that analysis of multiple bulk DNA samples from a single individual allows the reconstruction of early developmental cell lineage trees.

Conclusions: This study provides a unified set of best practices to detect somatic SNVs in non-cancerous tissues. The data and methods are freely available to the scientific community and should serve as a guide to assess the contributions of somatic SNVs to neuropsychiatric diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02285-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006362PMC
March 2021

Expanding the phenotype of PIGS-associated early onset epileptic developmental encephalopathy.

Epilepsia 2021 02 7;62(2):e35-e41. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Neuromuscular Disorders, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.

The phosphatidylinositol glycan anchor biosynthesis class S protein (PIGS) gene has recently been implicated in a novel congenital disorder of glycosylation resulting in autosomal recessive inherited glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein (GPI-AP) deficiency. Previous studies described seven patients with biallelic variants in the PIGS gene, of whom two presented with fetal akinesia and five with global developmental delay and epileptic developmental encephalopathy. We present the molecular and clinical characteristics of six additional individuals from five families with unreported variants in PIGS. All individuals presented with hypotonia, severe global developmental delay, microcephaly, intractable early infantile epilepsy, and structural brain abnormalities. Additional findings include vision impairment, hearing loss, renal malformation, and hypotonic facial appearances with minor dysmorphic features but without a distinctive facial gestalt. Four individuals died due to neurologic complications. GPI anchoring studies performed on one individual revealed a significant decrease in GPI-APs. We confirm that biallelic variants in PIGS cause vitamin pyridoxine-responsive epilepsy due to inherited GPI deficiency and expand the genotype and phenotype of PIGS-related disorder. Further delineation of the molecular spectrum of PIGS-related disorders would improve management, help develop treatments, and encourage the expansion of diagnostic genetic testing to include this gene as a potential cause of neurodevelopmental disorders and epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16801DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7898547PMC
February 2021

Negative selection on human genes underlying inborn errors depends on disease outcome and both the mode and mechanism of inheritance.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 01;118(3)

Human Evolutionary Genetics Unit, Institut Pasteur, UMR 2000, CNRS, 75015 Paris, France.

Genetic variants underlying life-threatening diseases, being unlikely to be transmitted to the next generation, are gradually and selectively eliminated from the population through negative selection. We study the determinants of this evolutionary process in human genes underlying monogenic diseases by comparing various negative selection scores and an integrative approach, CoNeS, at 366 loci underlying inborn errors of immunity (IEI). We find that genes underlying autosomal dominant (AD) or X-linked IEI have stronger negative selection scores than those underlying autosomal recessive (AR) IEI, whose scores are not different from those of genes not known to be disease causing. Nevertheless, genes underlying AR IEI that are lethal before reproductive maturity with complete penetrance have stronger negative selection scores than other genes underlying AR IEI. We also show that genes underlying AD IEI by loss of function have stronger negative selection scores than genes underlying AD IEI by gain of function, while genes underlying AD IEI by haploinsufficiency are under stronger negative selection than other genes underlying AD IEI. These results are replicated in 1,140 genes underlying inborn errors of neurodevelopment. Finally, we propose a supervised classifier, SCoNeS, which predicts better than state-of-the-art approaches whether a gene is more likely to underlie an AD or AR disease. The clinical outcomes of monogenic inborn errors, together with their mode and mechanisms of inheritance, determine the levels of negative selection at their corresponding loci. Integrating scores of negative selection may facilitate the prioritization of candidate genes and variants in patients suspected to carry an inborn error.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2001248118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7826345PMC
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

MINPP1 prevents intracellular accumulation of the chelator inositol hexakisphosphate and is mutated in Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia.

Nat Commun 2020 11 30;11(1):6087. Epub 2020 Nov 30.

MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London, WC1E 6BT, London, UK.

Inositol polyphosphates are vital metabolic and secondary messengers, involved in diverse cellular functions. Therefore, tight regulation of inositol polyphosphate metabolism is essential for proper cell physiology. Here, we describe an early-onset neurodegenerative syndrome caused by loss-of-function mutations in the multiple inositol-polyphosphate phosphatase 1 gene (MINPP1). Patients are found to have a distinct type of Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia with typical basal ganglia involvement on neuroimaging. We find that patient-derived and genome edited MINPP1 induced stem cells exhibit an inefficient neuronal differentiation combined with an increased cell death. MINPP1 deficiency results in an intracellular imbalance of the inositol polyphosphate metabolism. This metabolic defect is characterized by an accumulation of highly phosphorylated inositols, mostly inositol hexakisphosphate (IP), detected in HEK293 cells, fibroblasts, iPSCs and differentiating neurons lacking MINPP1. In mutant cells, higher IP level is expected to be associated with an increased chelation of intracellular cations, such as iron or calcium, resulting in decreased levels of available ions. These data suggest the involvement of IP-mediated chelation on Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia disease pathology and thereby highlight the critical role of MINPP1 in the regulation of human brain development and homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19919-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7705663PMC
November 2020

Mutations in Spliceosomal Genes PPIL1 and PRP17 Cause Neurodegenerative Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia with Microcephaly.

Neuron 2021 01 20;109(2):241-256.e9. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Division of Molecular Medicine, Leeds Institute of Medical Research, University of Leeds, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK.

Autosomal-recessive cerebellar hypoplasia and ataxia constitute a group of heterogeneous brain disorders caused by disruption of several fundamental cellular processes. Here, we identified 10 families showing a neurodegenerative condition involving pontocerebellar hypoplasia with microcephaly (PCHM). Patients harbored biallelic mutations in genes encoding the spliceosome components Peptidyl-Prolyl Isomerase Like-1 (PPIL1) or Pre-RNA Processing-17 (PRP17). Mouse knockouts of either gene were lethal in early embryogenesis, whereas PPIL1 patient mutation knockin mice showed neuron-specific apoptosis. Loss of either protein affected splicing integrity, predominantly affecting short and high GC-content introns and genes involved in brain disorders. PPIL1 and PRP17 form an active isomerase-substrate interaction, but we found that isomerase activity is not critical for function. Thus, we establish disrupted splicing integrity and "major spliceosome-opathies" as a new mechanism underlying PCHM and neurodegeneration and uncover a non-enzymatic function of a spliceosomal proline isomerase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2020.10.035DOI Listing
January 2021

Biallelic variants in HPDL, encoding 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase-like protein, lead to an infantile neurodegenerative condition.

Genet Med 2021 03 14;23(3):524-533. Epub 2020 Nov 14.

Department of Neurosciences, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Purpose: Dioxygenases are oxidoreductase enzymes with roles in metabolic pathways necessary for aerobic life. 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase-like protein (HPDL), encoded by HPDL, is an orphan paralogue of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPD), an iron-dependent dioxygenase involved in tyrosine catabolism. The function and association of HPDL with human diseases remain unknown.

Methods: We applied exome sequencing in a cohort of over 10,000 individuals with neurodevelopmental diseases. Effects of HPDL loss were investigated in vitro and in vivo, and through mass spectrometry analysis. Evolutionary analysis was performed to investigate the potential functional separation of HPDL from HPD.

Results: We identified biallelic variants in HPDL in eight families displaying recessive inheritance. Knockout mice closely phenocopied humans and showed evidence of apoptosis in multiple cellular lineages within the cerebral cortex. HPDL is a single-exonic gene that likely arose from a retrotransposition event at the base of the tetrapod lineage, and unlike HPD, HPDL is mitochondria-localized. Metabolic profiling of HPDL mutant cells and mice showed no evidence of altered tyrosine metabolites, but rather notable accumulations in other metabolic pathways.

Conclusion: The mitochondrial localization, along with its disrupted metabolic profile, suggests HPDL loss in humans links to a unique neurometabolic mitochondrial infantile neurodegenerative condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-01010-yDOI Listing
March 2021

Editorial overview: Neurodevelopment Diseases and Neurogenetics pivot towards mechanisms and therapies.

Curr Opin Genet Dev 2020 12 8;65:iii-vii. Epub 2020 Nov 8.

Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine, Departments of Neuroscience and Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, United States. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gde.2020.09.001DOI Listing
December 2020

Inhibition of G-protein signalling in cardiac dysfunction of intellectual developmental disorder with cardiac arrhythmia (IDDCA) syndrome.

J Med Genet 2021 12 10;58(12):815-831. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Neuromuscular Disorders, Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.

Background: Pathogenic variants of encoding the β subunit of the guanine nucleotide-binding protein cause IDDCA syndrome, an autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disorder associated with cognitive disability and cardiac arrhythmia, particularly severe bradycardia.

Methods: We used echocardiography and telemetric ECG recordings to investigate consequences of loss in mouse.

Results: We delineated a key role of in heart sinus conduction and showed that -inhibitory signalling is essential for parasympathetic control of heart rate (HR) and maintenance of the sympathovagal balance. mice were smaller and had a smaller heart than and , but exhibited better cardiac function. Lower autonomic nervous system modulation through diminished parasympathetic control and greater sympathetic regulation resulted in a higher baseline HR in mice. In contrast, mice exhibited profound bradycardia on treatment with carbachol, while sympathetic modulation of the cardiac stimulation was not altered. Concordantly, transcriptome study pinpointed altered expression of genes involved in cardiac muscle contractility in atria and ventricles of knocked-out mice. Homozygous loss resulted in significantly higher frequencies of sinus arrhythmias. Moreover, we described 13 affected individuals, increasing the IDDCA cohort to 44 patients.

Conclusions: Our data demonstrate that loss of negative regulation of the inhibitory G-protein signalling causes HR perturbations in mice, an effect mainly driven by impaired parasympathetic activity. We anticipate that unravelling the mechanism of signalling in the autonomic control of the heart will pave the way for future drug screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-107015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8639930PMC
December 2021

A founder mutation in PEX12 among Egyptian patients in peroxisomal biogenesis disorder.

Neurol Sci 2021 Jul 29;42(7):2737-2745. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Department of Neurosciences, University of California and Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093, USA.

At least 14 distinctive PEX genes function in the biogenesis of peroxisomes. Biallelic alterations in the peroxisomal biogenesis factor 12 (PEX12) gene lead to Zellweger syndrome spectrum (ZSS) with variable clinical expressivity ranging from early lethality to mildly affected with long-term survival. Herein, we define 20 patients derived from 14 unrelated Egyptian families, 19 of which show a homozygous PEX12 in-frame (c.1047_1049del p.(Gln349del)) deletion. This founder mutation, reported rarely outside of Egypt, was associated with a uniformly severe phenotype. Patients showed developmental delay in early life followed by motor and mental regression, progressive hypotonia, unsteadiness, and lack of speech. Seventeen patients had sparse hair or partial alopecia, a striking feature that was not noted previously in PEX12. Neonatal cholestasis was manifested in 2 siblings. Neurodiagnostics showed consistent cerebellar atrophy and variable white matter demyelination, axonal neuropathy in about half, and cardiomyopathy in 10% of patients. A single patient with a compound heterozygous PEX12 mutation exhibited milder features with late childhood onset with gait disturbance and learning disability. Thus, the PEX12 relatively common founder mutation accounts for the majority of PEX12-related disease in Egypt and delineates a uniform clinical and radiographic phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10072-020-04843-2DOI Listing
July 2021

Insight into developmental mechanisms of global and focal migration disorders of cortical development.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2021 02 21;66:77-84. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Department of Neurosciences, Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA. Electronic address:

Cortical development involves neurogenesis followed by migration, maturation, and myelination of immature neurons. Disruptions in these processes can cause malformations of cortical development (MCD). Radial glia (RG) are the stem cells of the brain, both generating neurons and providing the scaffold upon which immature neurons radially migrate. Germline mutations in genes required for cell migration, or cell-cell contact, often lead to global MCDs. Somatic mutations in RG in genes involved in homeostatic function, like mTOR signaling, often lead to focal MCDs. Two different mutations occurring in the same patient can combine in ways we are just beginning to understand. Our growing knowledge about MCD suggests mTOR inhibitors may have expanded utility in treatment-resistant epilepsy, while imaging techniques can better delineate the type and extent of these lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2020.10.005DOI Listing
February 2021

Alternative genomic diagnoses for individuals with a clinical diagnosis of Dubowitz syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 01 24;185(1):119-133. Epub 2020 Oct 24.

Department of Medical Genetics, Kanuni Sultan Suleyman Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.

Dubowitz syndrome (DubS) is considered a recognizable syndrome characterized by a distinctive facial appearance and deficits in growth and development. There have been over 200 individuals reported with Dubowitz or a "Dubowitz-like" condition, although no single gene has been implicated as responsible for its cause. We have performed exome (ES) or genome sequencing (GS) for 31 individuals clinically diagnosed with DubS. After genome-wide sequencing, rare variant filtering and computational and Mendelian genomic analyses, a presumptive molecular diagnosis was made in 13/27 (48%) families. The molecular diagnoses included biallelic variants in SKIV2L, SLC35C1, BRCA1, NSUN2; de novo variants in ARID1B, ARID1A, CREBBP, POGZ, TAF1, HDAC8, and copy-number variation at1p36.11(ARID1A), 8q22.2(VPS13B), Xp22, and Xq13(HDAC8). Variants of unknown significance in known disease genes, and also in genes of uncertain significance, were observed in 7/27 (26%) additional families. Only one gene, HDAC8, could explain the phenotype in more than one family (N = 2). All but two of the genomic diagnoses were for genes discovered, or for conditions recognized, since the introduction of next-generation sequencing. Overall, the DubS-like clinical phenotype is associated with extensive locus heterogeneity and the molecular diagnoses made are for emerging clinical conditions sharing characteristic features that overlap the DubS phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.61926DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8197629PMC
January 2021
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