Publications by authors named "Karin E M Diderich"

25 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

SPEN haploinsufficiency causes a neurodevelopmental disorder overlapping proximal 1p36 deletion syndrome with an episignature of X chromosomes in females.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 03 16;108(3):502-516. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, USA.

Deletion 1p36 (del1p36) syndrome is the most common human disorder resulting from a terminal autosomal deletion. This condition is molecularly and clinically heterogeneous. Deletions involving two non-overlapping regions, known as the distal (telomeric) and proximal (centromeric) critical regions, are sufficient to cause the majority of the recurrent clinical features, although with different facial features and dysmorphisms. SPEN encodes a transcriptional repressor commonly deleted in proximal del1p36 syndrome and is located centromeric to the proximal 1p36 critical region. Here, we used clinical data from 34 individuals with truncating variants in SPEN to define a neurodevelopmental disorder presenting with features that overlap considerably with those of proximal del1p36 syndrome. The clinical profile of this disease includes developmental delay/intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, aggressive behavior, attention deficit disorder, hypotonia, brain and spine anomalies, congenital heart defects, high/narrow palate, facial dysmorphisms, and obesity/increased BMI, especially in females. SPEN also emerges as a relevant gene for del1p36 syndrome by co-expression analyses. Finally, we show that haploinsufficiency of SPEN is associated with a distinctive DNA methylation episignature of the X chromosome in affected females, providing further evidence of a specific contribution of the protein to the epigenetic control of this chromosome, and a paradigm of an X chromosome-specific episignature that classifies syndromic traits. We conclude that SPEN is required for multiple developmental processes and SPEN haploinsufficiency is a major contributor to a disorder associated with deletions centromeric to the previously established 1p36 critical regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.01.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8008487PMC
March 2021

Patient-friendly integrated first trimester screening by NIPT and fetal anomaly scan.

Mol Cytogenet 2021 Jan 9;14(1). Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus MC, Wytemaweg 80, 3015 CN, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Many major structural fetal anomalies can be diagnosed by first trimester fetal anomaly scan. NIPT can accurately detect aneuploidies and large chromosomal aberrations in cfDNA in maternal blood plasma. This study shows how a patient-friendly first trimester screening for both chromosomal and structural fetal anomalies in only two outpatient visits can be provided. Genotype-first approach assures not only the earliest diagnosis of trisomy 21 (the most prevalent chromosome aberration), but also completion of the screening at 12-14 weeks. To ensure proper management and avoid unnecessary anxiety abnormal NIPT different from trisomy 21, 18 and 13 should be referred for genetic counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13039-020-00525-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7797124PMC
January 2021

The potential diagnostic yield of whole exome sequencing in pregnancies complicated by fetal ultrasound anomalies.

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2020 Nov 29. Epub 2020 Nov 29.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Introduction: The aim of this retrospective cohort study was to determine the potential diagnostic yield of prenatal whole exome sequencing in fetuses with structural anomalies on expert ultrasound scans and normal chromosomal microarray results.

Material And Methods: In the period 2013-2016, 391 pregnant women with fetal ultrasound anomalies who received normal chromosomal microarray results, were referred for additional genetic counseling and opted for additional molecular testing pre- and/or postnatally. Most of the couples received only a targeted molecular test and in 159 cases (40.7%) whole exome sequencing (broad gene panels or open exome) was performed. The results of these molecular tests were evaluated retrospectively, regardless of the time of the genetic diagnosis (prenatal or postnatal).

Results: In 76 of 391 fetuses (19.4%, 95% CI 15.8%-23.6%) molecular testing provided a genetic diagnosis with identification of (likely) pathogenic variants. In the majority of cases (91.1%, 73/76) the (likely) pathogenic variant would be detected by prenatal whole exome sequencing analysis.

Conclusions: Our retrospective cohort study shows that prenatal whole exome sequencing, if offered by a clinical geneticist, in addition to chromosomal microarray, would notably increase the diagnostic yield in fetuses with ultrasound anomalies and would allow early diagnosis of a genetic disorder irrespective of the (incomplete) fetal phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aogs.14053DOI Listing
November 2020

Warsaw Breakage Syndrome associated DDX11 helicase resolves G-quadruplex structures to support sister chromatid cohesion.

Nat Commun 2020 08 27;11(1):4287. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Section of Oncogenetics, Cancer Center Amsterdam and Department of Clinical Genetics, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, De Boelelaan 1118, 1081, HV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Warsaw Breakage Syndrome (WABS) is a rare disorder related to cohesinopathies and Fanconi anemia, caused by bi-allelic mutations in DDX11. Here, we report multiple compound heterozygous WABS cases, each displaying destabilized DDX11 protein and residual DDX11 function at the cellular level. Patient-derived cell lines exhibit sensitivity to topoisomerase and PARP inhibitors, defective sister chromatid cohesion and reduced DNA replication fork speed. Deleting DDX11 in RPE1-TERT cells inhibits proliferation and survival in a TP53-dependent manner and causes chromosome breaks and cohesion defects, independent of the expressed pseudogene DDX12p. Importantly, G-quadruplex (G4) stabilizing compounds induce chromosome breaks and cohesion defects which are strongly aggravated by inactivation of DDX11 but not FANCJ. The DNA helicase domain of DDX11 is essential for sister chromatid cohesion and resistance to G4 stabilizers. We propose that DDX11 is a DNA helicase protecting against G4 induced double-stranded breaks and concomitant loss of cohesion, possibly at DNA replication forks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18066-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7452896PMC
August 2020

Parental experiences of uncertainty following an abnormal fetal anomaly scan: Insights using Han's taxonomy of uncertainty.

J Genet Couns 2021 Feb 7;30(1):198-210. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

North Thames Genomic Laboratory Hub, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

For a number of prospective parents, uncertainty during pregnancy starts when an anomaly is found during a routine fetal anomaly scan. This may be followed by numerous tests to determine the etiology and nature of the anomaly. In this study, we aimed to understand how prospective parents perceive and manage uncertainty after being confronted with a structural anomaly during their routine ultrasound. Han's taxonomy of uncertainty was used as a framework to identify and understand the different types of uncertainty experienced. Interviews were held in the UK (n = 8 women and n = 1 male partner) and in the Netherlands (n = 7 women) with participants who had experienced uncertainty in their pregnancy after a fetal scan. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis, and the uncertainties experienced by parents were mapped against the dimensions of the Han taxonomy (sources, issues, and locus). Participants' experience of uncertainty was relevant to all dimensions and subcategories of the Han taxonomy, showing its applicability in the prenatal setting. Sources of uncertainty included receiving probabilistic or ambiguous information about the anomaly, or information that was complex and challenging to understand. Issues of uncertainty included were those that were scientific-such as a probable diagnosis with no further information, personal-such as the emotional impact of uncertainty, and practical-such as limited information about medical procedures and practical aspects of care. Additionally, participants described what helped them to manage uncertainty. This included active coping strategies such as searching for information on the Internet, external coping resources such as seeking social support, and internal coping resources such as using positivity and hope. Several recommendations for the healthcare professional to minimize uncertainty and help the patient deal with uncertainty have been proposed based on these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgc4.1311DOI Listing
February 2021

Rapid whole exome sequencing in pregnancies to identify the underlying genetic cause in fetuses with congenital anomalies detected by ultrasound imaging.

Prenat Diagn 2020 07 5;40(8):972-983. Epub 2020 May 5.

Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the diagnostic yield and clinical utility of trio-based rapid whole exome sequencing (rWES) in pregnancies of fetuses with a wide range of congenital anomalies detected by ultrasound imaging.

Methods: In this observational study, we analyzed the first 54 cases referred to our laboratory for prenatal rWES to support clinical decision making, after the sonographic detection of fetal congenital anomalies. The most common identified congenital anomalies were skeletal dysplasia (n = 20), multiple major fetal congenital anomalies (n = 17) and intracerebral structural anomalies (n = 7).

Results: A conclusive diagnosis was identified in 18 of the 54 cases (33%). Pathogenic variants were detected most often in fetuses with skeletal dysplasia (n = 11) followed by fetuses with multiple major fetal congenital anomalies (n = 4) and intracerebral structural anomalies (n = 3). A survey, completed by the physicians for 37 of 54 cases, indicated that the rWES results impacted clinical decision making in 68% of cases.

Conclusions: These results suggest that rWES improves prenatal diagnosis of fetuses with congenital anomalies, and has an important impact on prenatal and peripartum parental and clinical decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.5717DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7497059PMC
July 2020

Nuchal translucency of 3.0-3.4 mm an indication for NIPT or microarray? Cohort analysis and literature review.

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2020 06 12;99(6):765-774. Epub 2020 May 12.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Introduction: Currently fetal nuchal translucency (NT) ≥3.5 mm is an indication for invasive testing often followed by chromosomal microarray. The aim of this study was to assess the risks for chromosomal aberrations in fetuses with an NT 3.0-3.4 mm, to determine whether invasive prenatal testing would be relevant in these cases and to assess the residual risks in fetuses with normal non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) results.

Material And Methods: A retrospective study and meta-analysis of literature cases with NT between 3.0 and 3.4 mm and 2 cohorts of pregnant women referred for invasive testing and chromosomal microarray was performed: Rotterdam region (with a risk >1:200 and NT between 3.0 and 3.4 mm) tested in the period July 2012 to June 2019 and Central Denmark region (with a risk >1:300 and NT between 3.0 and 3.4 mm) tested between September 2015 and December 2018.

Results: A total of 522 fetuses were referred for invasive testing and chromosomal microarray. Meta-analysis indicated that in 1:7.4 (13.5% [95% CI 8.2%-21.5%]) fetuses a chromosomal aberration was diagnosed. Of these aberrant cases, 47/68 (69%) involved trisomy 21, 18, and 13 and would potentially be detected by all NIPT approaches. The residual risk for missing a (sub)microscopic chromosome aberration depends on the NIPT approach and is highest if NIPT was performed only for common trisomies-1:21 (4.8% [95% CI 3.2%-7.3%]). However, it may be substantially lowered if a genome-wide 10-Mb resolution NIPT test was offered (~1:464).

Conclusions: Based on these data, we suggest that the NT cut-off for invasive testing could be 3.0 mm (instead of 3.5 mm) because of the high risk of 1:7.4 for a chromosomal aberration. If women were offered NIPT first, there would be a significant diagnostic delay because all abnormal NIPT results need to be confirmed by diagnostic testing. If the woman had already received a normal NIPT result, the residual risk of 1:21 to 1:464 for chromosome aberrations other than common trisomies, dependent on the NIPT approach, should be raised. If a pregnant woman declines invasive testing, but still wants a test with a broader coverage of clinically significant conditions then the genome-wide >10-Mb resolution NIPT test, which detects most aberrations, could be proposed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aogs.13877DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7318216PMC
June 2020

Social and medical need for whole genome high resolution NIPT.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2020 01 1;8(1):e1062. Epub 2019 Dec 1.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Background: Two technological innovations in the last decade significantly influenced the diagnostic yield of prenatal cytogenetic testing: genomic microarray allowing high resolution analysis and noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) focusing on aneuploidy. To anticipate future trends in prenatal screening and diagnosis, we evaluated the number of invasive tests in our center and the number of aberrant cases diagnosed in the last decade.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed fetal chromosomal aberrations diagnosed in 2009-2018 in 8,608 pregnancies without ultrasound anomalies.

Results: The introduction of NIPT as the first-tier test led to a substantial decrease in the number of invasive tests and a substantially increased diagnostic yield of aneuploidies in the first trimester. However, we have also noted a decreased detection of submicroscopic aberrations, since the number of invasive tests substantially decreased. We have observed that pregnant women were interested in broader scope of prenatal screening and diagnosis than detection of common trisomies.

Conclusion: Since the frequency of syndromic disorders caused by microdeletions/microduplications is substantial and current routine NIPT and ultrasound investigations are not able to detect them, we suggest that a noninvasive test with resolution comparable to microarrays should be developed, which will also meet patient's needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6978273PMC
January 2020

TRIDENT-2: National Implementation of Genome-wide Non-invasive Prenatal Testing as a First-Tier Screening Test in the Netherlands.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 12 7;105(6):1091-1101. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, 1105AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The Netherlands launched a nationwide implementation study on non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) as a first-tier test offered to all pregnant women. This started on April 1, 2017 as the TRIDENT-2 study, licensed by the Dutch Ministry of Health. In the first year, NIPT was performed in 73,239 pregnancies (42% of all pregnancies), 7,239 (4%) chose first-trimester combined testing, and 54% did not participate. The number of trisomies 21 (239, 0.33%), 18 (49, 0.07%), and 13 (55, 0.08%) found in this study is comparable to earlier studies, but the Positive Predictive Values (PPV)-96% for trisomy 21, 98% for trisomy 18, and 53% for trisomy 13-were higher than expected. Findings other than trisomy 21, 18, or 13 were reported on request of the pregnant women; 78% of women chose to have these reported. The number of additional findings was 207 (0.36%); these included other trisomies (101, 0.18%, PPV 6%, many of the remaining 94% of cases are likely confined placental mosaics and possibly clinically significant), structural chromosomal aberrations (95, 0.16%, PPV 32%,) and complex abnormal profiles indicative of maternal malignancies (11, 0.02%, PPV 64%). The implementation of genome-wide NIPT is under debate because the benefits of detecting other fetal chromosomal aberrations must be balanced against the risks of discordant positives, parental anxiety, and a potential increase in (invasive) diagnostic procedures. Our first-year data, including clinical data and laboratory follow-up data, will fuel this debate. Furthermore, we describe how NIPT can successfully be embedded into a national screening program with a single chain for prenatal care including counseling, testing, and follow-up.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.10.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6904791PMC
December 2019

Placental studies elucidate discrepancies between NIPT showing a structural chromosome aberration and a differently abnormal fetal karyotype.

Prenat Diagn 2019 10 13;39(11):1016-1025. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: Placental cytogenetic studies may reveal the origin of discordant noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT). We performed placental studies to elucidate discordances between NIPT showing a structural chromosome aberration and the fetus having a different chromosome aberration in three cases.

Method: Diagnostic testing with genomic SNP microarray was performed in three cases with NIPT showing a duplication on 4q (case 1), a terminal deletion of 13q (case 2), and a terminal deletion of 15q (case 3). Placental studies involved SNP array analysis of cytotrophoblast and mesenchymal core of chorionic villi of four placental quadrants. Clinical follow-up was performed as well.

Results: Amniotic fluid revealed a different structural chromosome aberration than predicted by NIPT: a terminal 2q deletion (case 1), a segmental uniparental isodisomy of 13q (case 2), and a terminal duplication of 15q and of 13q (case 3). Placental studies revealed the aberration detected with NIPT in the cytotrophoblast, whereas the fetal karyotype was confirmed in the placental mesenchymal core.

Conclusion: Our study shows that targeted cytogenetic investigations for confirmation of NIPT showing a microscopically visible structural chromosome aberration should be avoided, since another aberration, even a submicroscopic one or one involving another chromosome, may be present in the fetus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.5531DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6899775PMC
October 2019

Unexpected finding of uniparental disomy mosaicism in term placentas: Is it a common feature in trisomic placentas?

Prenat Diagn 2018 11 27;38(12):911-919. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) detects placental chromosome aberrations. When amniocentesis reveals a normal karyotype, confined placental mosaicism (CPM) may be assumed. In order to confirm this, placental cytogenetic studies were performed.

Method: NIPT was conducted in the course of the Dutch TRIDENT study. Placentas of 10 cases with NIPT results indicating an autosomal trisomy and showing a normal (N = 9) or low mosaic karyotype (N = 1) in amniotic fluid (AF) were investigated. The cytotrophoblast as well as the mesenchymal core of two to four placental chorionic villi biopsies were studied with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. Clinical outcome data were collected.

Results: In 10/10 cases, CPM was proven. In 3/10 cases trisomy/uniparental disomy (UPD)/biparental disomy (BPD) mosaicism was discovered. In 2/3 cases, all three cell lines were present in the placenta, whereas BPD was found in AF. In 1/3 cases trisomy 22/UPD22 was present in AF while trisomy 22/BPD22 mosaicism was found in the placenta. Five of 10 pregnancies were affected with pre-eclampsia, low birth weight, preterm delivery, and/or congenital malformations.

Conclusion: The presence of trisomy/UPD/BPD mosaicism in 3/10 cases that we investigated proves that trisomic zygote rescue may involve multiple rescue events during early embryogenesis. UPD mosaicism, when present in crucial fetal tissues, may explain the abnormal phenotype in undiagnosed cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.5354DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6282787PMC
November 2018

The influence of SNP-based chromosomal microarray and NIPT on the diagnostic yield in 10,000 fetuses with and without fetal ultrasound anomalies.

Hum Mutat 2017 07 30;38(7):880-888. Epub 2017 May 30.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Prenatal diagnostics has been impacted by technological changes in the past decade, which have affected the diagnostic yield. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of SNP array and noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) on the diagnostic yield and the number of invasive tests in our center. The frequency of pathogenic fetal unbalanced chromosome aberrations was studied in 10,005 cases referred for prenatal testing in 2009-2015. Chromosomal SNP microarray analysis replaced karyotyping in all invasively tested pregnancies and since 2014 a choice between NIPT and diagnostic testing with microarray was offered to women with an increased risk for common aneuploidy. The introduction of microarray led to an additional yield of submicroscopic pathogenic chromosome aberrations: 3.6% in fetuses with ultrasound anomalies and 1.9% in fetuses without ultrasound anomalies. The introduction of NIPT led to a decrease of invasive tests and of diagnostic yield. Moreover, a diagnostic delay in about 1:350 cases was observed. Since 20%-33% of pathogenic fetal chromosome aberrations are different from the common aneuploidies and triploidy, whole-genome analysis should be offered after invasive sampling. Because NIPT (as a second screening) has led to a decreased diagnostic yield, it should be accompanied by an appropriate pretest counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23232DOI Listing
July 2017

Tissue-specific mosaicism for a lethal osteogenesis imperfecta COL1A1 mutation causes mild OI/EDS overlap syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2017 Apr 6;173(4):1047-1050. Epub 2017 Mar 6.

Center for Medical Genetics Ghent, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Type I collagen is the predominant protein of connective tissues such as skin and bone. Mutations in the type I collagen genes (COL1A1 and COL1A2) mainly cause osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). We describe a patient with clinical signs of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), including fragile skin, easy bruising, recurrent luxations, and fractures resembling mild OI. Biochemical collagen analysis of the patients' dermal fibroblasts showed faint overmodification of the type I collagen bands, a finding specific for structural defects in type I collagen. Bidirectional Sanger sequencing detected an in-frame deletion in exon 44 of COL1A1 (c.3150_3158del), resulting in the deletion of three amino acids (p.Ala1053_Gly1055del) in the collagen triple helix. This COL1A1 mutation was hitherto identified in four probands with lethal OI, and never in EDS patients. As the peaks on the electropherogram corresponding to the mutant allele were decreased in intensity, we performed next generation sequencing of COL1A1 to study mosaicism in skin and blood. While approximately 9% of the reads originating from fibroblast gDNA harbored the COL1A1 deletion, the deletion was not detected in gDNA from blood. Most likely, the mild clinical symptoms observed in our patient can be explained by the mosaic state of the mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38135DOI Listing
April 2017

Enlarged NT (≥3.5 mm) in the first trimester - not all chromosome aberrations can be detected by NIPT.

Mol Cytogenet 2016 7;9(1):69. Epub 2016 Sep 7.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Center, Wytemaweg 80, 3015 CN Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Since non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) in maternal blood became available, we evaluated which chromosome aberrations found in our cohort of fetuses with an enlarged NT in the first trimester of pregnancy (tested with SNP microarray) could be detected by NIPT as well.

Method: 362 fetuses were referred for cytogenetic testing due to an enlarged NT (≥3.5 mm). Chromosome aberrations were investigated using QF-PCR, karyotyping and whole genome SNP array.

Results: After invasive testing a chromosomal abnormality was detected in 137/362 (38 %) fetuses. 100/362 (28 %) cases concerned trisomy 21, 18 or 13, 25/362 (7 %) an aneuploidy of sex chromosomes and 3/362 (0.8 %) triploidy. In 6/362 (1.6 %) a pathogenic structural unbalanced chromosome aberration was seen and in 3/362 (0.8 %) a susceptibility locus for neurodevelopmental disorders was found. We estimated that in 2-10 % of fetuses with enlarged NT a chromosome aberration would be missed by current NIPT approaches.

Conclusion: Based on our cohort of fetuses with enlarged NT we may conclude that NIPT, depending on the approach, will miss chromosome aberrations in a significant percentage of pregnancies. Moreover all abnormal NIPT results require confirmatory studies with invasive testing, which will delay definitive diagnosis in ca. 30 % of patients. These figures are important for pretest counseling enabling pregnant women to make informed choices on the prenatal test. Larger cohorts of fetuses with an enlarged NT should be investigated to assess the additional diagnostic value of high resolution array testing for this indication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13039-016-0279-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015200PMC
September 2016

Interstitial 6q21q23 duplication - variant of variable phenotype and incomplete penetrance or benign duplication?

Mol Cytogenet 2016 2;9:43. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus MC, Ee2475, Wytemaweg 80, 3015 CN Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Chromosome 6q duplication syndrome is a chromosome abnormality associated with characteristic phenotypic features such as intellectual disability (ID), short stature, feeding difficulties, microcephaly, dysmorphic features (prominent forehead, downslanting palpebral fissures, flat nasal bridge, tented upper lip, micrognathia, short webbed neck) and joint contractures. Only a few cases of pure partial 6q trisomy have been published and the severity of the phenotype seems to depend on the breakpoint position. Unfortunately, most of these cases were identified using karyotyping or FISH, so breakpoints at the molecular level and thus gene content are not known.

Cases Presentation: We report the first two families with an interstitial 6q duplication identified by karyotyping where the gene content and breakpoints were characterized with microarray. In family 1, the 6q22.1q23.2 duplication was detected in a female patient with ID. In family 2, the 6q21q22.33 duplication was identified in a male fetus with multiple congenital malformations. In both families, the duplication seems to show phenotypic heterogeneity and in family 1 also incomplete penetrance suggesting the co-existence of an "additional hit" in affected patients. This "additional hit" was identified in the first family to be a microduplication in 16p11.2, a known susceptibility locus (SL) for neurodevelopmental disorders, that co-segregated with an abnormal phenotype in the affected family members.

Conclusions: Our study shows that interstitial 6q21q23 duplication may represent a private variant that is benign, but may also contribute to developmental disorders of variable expressivity in a "multi-hit" model. Finding the "additional hit" within the family is therefore very important for genetic counseling and assessment of the CNV penetrance within the particular family.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13039-016-0253-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4891832PMC
June 2016

False Negative NIPT Results: Risk Figures for Chromosomes 13, 18 and 21 Based on Chorionic Villi Results in 5967 Cases and Literature Review.

PLoS One 2016 15;11(1):e0146794. Epub 2016 Jan 15.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) demonstrated a small chance for a false negative result. Since the "fetal" DNA in maternal blood originates from the cytotrophoblast of chorionic villi (CV), some false negative results will have a biological origin. Based on our experience with cytogenetic studies of CV, we tried to estimate this risk. 5967 CV samples of pregnancies at high risk for common aneuplodies were cytogenetically investigated in our centre between January 2000 and December 2011. All cases of fetal trisomy 13, 18 and 21 were retrospectively studied for the presence of a normal karyotype or mosaicism < 30% in short-term cultured (STC-) villi. 404 cases of trisomies 13, 18 and 21 were found amongst 5967 samples (6,8%). Of these 404 cases, 14 (3,7%) had a normal or low mosaic karyotype in STC-villi and therefore would potentially be missed with NIPT. It involved 2% (5/242) of all trisomy 21 cases and 7.3% (9/123) of all trisomy 18 cases. In 1:426 (14/5967) NIPT samples of patients at high risk for common aneuploidies, a trisomy 18 or 21 will potentially be missed due to the biological phenomenon of absence of the chromosome aberration in the cytotrophoblast.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0146794PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4714811PMC
July 2016

The Psychological Challenges of Replacing Conventional Karyotyping with Genomic SNP Array Analysis in Prenatal Testing.

J Clin Med 2014 Jul 3;3(3):713-23. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Centre, P.O. Box 2040, Rotterdam 3000 CA, The Netherlands.

Pregnant couples tend to prefer a maximum of information about the health of their fetus. Therefore, we implemented whole genome microarray instead of conventional karyotyping (CK) for all indications for prenatal diagnosis (PND). The array detects more clinically relevant anomalies, including early onset disorders, not related to the indication and more genetic anomalies of yet unquantifiable risk, so-called susceptibility loci (SL) for mainly neurodevelopmental disorders. This manuscript highlights the psychological challenges in prenatal genetic counselling when using the array and provides counselling suggestions. First, we suggest that pre-test decision counselling should emphasize deliberation about what pregnant couples wish to learn about the future health of their fetus more than information about possible outcomes. Second, pregnant couples need support in dealing with SL. Therefore, in order to consider the SL in a proportionate perspective, the presence of phenotypes associated with SL in the family, the incidence of a particular SL in control populations and in postnatally ascertained patients needs highlighting during post-test genetic counselling. Finally, the decision that couples need to make about the course of their pregnancy is more complicated when the expected phenotype is variable and not quantifiable. Therefore, during post-test psychological counseling, couples should concretize the options of continuing and ending their pregnancy; all underlying feelings and thoughts should be made explicit, as well as the couple's resources, in order to attain adequate decision-making. As such, pre- and post-test counselling aids pregnant couples in handling the uncertainties that may accompany offering a broader scope of genetic PND using the array.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm3030713DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4449635PMC
July 2014

Novel FOXF1 mutations in sporadic and familial cases of alveolar capillary dysplasia with misaligned pulmonary veins imply a role for its DNA binding domain.

Hum Mutat 2013 Jun 12;34(6):801-11. Epub 2013 Apr 12.

Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

Alveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of pulmonary veins (ACD/MPV) is a rare and lethal developmental disorder of the lung defined by a constellation of characteristic histopathological features. Nonpulmonary anomalies involving organs of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and genitourinary systems have been identified in approximately 80% of patients with ACD/MPV. We have collected DNA and pathological samples from more than 90 infants with ACD/MPV and their family members. Since the publication of our initial report of four point mutations and 10 deletions, we have identified an additional 38 novel nonsynonymous mutations of FOXF1 (nine nonsense, seven frameshift, one inframe deletion, 20 missense, and one no stop). This report represents an up to date list of all known FOXF1 mutations to the best of our knowledge. Majority of the cases are sporadic. We report four familial cases of which three show maternal inheritance, consistent with paternal imprinting of the gene. Twenty five mutations (60%) are located within the putative DNA-binding domain, indicating its plausible role in FOXF1 function. Five mutations map to the second exon. We identified two additional genic and eight genomic deletions upstream to FOXF1. These results corroborate and extend our previous observations and further establish involvement of FOXF1 in ACD/MPV and lung organogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.22313DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3663886PMC
June 2013

Phenotypic variability of atypical 22q11.2 deletions not including TBX1.

Am J Med Genet A 2012 Oct 14;158A(10):2412-20. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Interstitial deletions of the chromosome 22q11.2 region are the most common microdeletions in humans. The TBX1 gene is considered to be the major candidate gene for the main features in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, including congenital heart malformations, (para)thyroid hypoplasia, and craniofacial abnormalities. We report on eight patients with atypical deletions of chromosome 22q11.2. These deletions comprise the distal part of the common 22q11.2 deleted region but do not encompass the TBX1 gene. Ten similar patients with overlapping distal 22q11.2 deletions have been reported previously. The clinical features of these patients are described and compared to those found in the classic 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. We discuss the possible roles of a position effect or haploinsufficiency of distally located genes (e.g., CRKL) in the molecular pathogenesis of the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.35517DOI Listing
October 2012

Age-related skeletal dynamics and decrease in bone strength in DNA repair deficient male trichothiodystrophy mice.

PLoS One 2012 10;7(4):e35246. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Accumulation of DNA damage caused by oxidative stress is thought to be one of the main contributors of human tissue aging. Trichothiodystrophy (TTD) mice have a mutation in the Ercc2 DNA repair gene, resulting in accumulation of DNA damage and several features of segmental accelerated aging. We used male TTD mice to study the impact of DNA repair on bone metabolism with age. Analysis of bone parameters, measured by micro-computed tomography, displayed an earlier decrease in trabecular and cortical bone as well as a loss of periosteal apposition and a reduction in bone strength in TTD mice with age compared to wild type mice. Ex vivo analysis of bone marrow differentiation potential showed an accelerated reduction in the number of osteogenic and osteoprogenitor cells with unaltered differentiation capacity. Adipocyte differentiation was normal. Early in life, osteoclast number tended to be increased while at 78 weeks it was significantly lower in TTD mice. Our findings reveal the importance of genome stability and proper DNA repair for skeletal homeostasis with age and support the idea that accumulation of damage interferes with normal skeletal maintenance, causing reduction in the number of osteoblast precursors that are required for normal bone remodeling leading to a loss of bone structure and strength.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0035246PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3323647PMC
October 2012

Bone fragility and decline in stem cells in prematurely aging DNA repair deficient trichothiodystrophy mice.

Age (Dordr) 2012 Aug 4;34(4):845-61. Epub 2011 Aug 4.

MGC Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Center for Biomedical Genetics, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Trichothiodystrophy (TTD) is a rare, autosomal recessive nucleotide excision repair (NER) disorder caused by mutations in components of the dual functional NER/basal transcription factor TFIIH. TTD mice, carrying a patient-based point mutation in the Xpd gene, strikingly resemble many features of the human syndrome and exhibit signs of premature aging. To examine to which extent TTD mice resemble the normal process of aging, we thoroughly investigated the bone phenotype. Here, we show that female TTD mice exhibit accelerated bone aging from 39 weeks onwards as well as lack of periosteal apposition leading to reduced bone strength. Before 39 weeks have passed, bones of wild-type and TTD mice are identical excluding a developmental defect. Albeit that bone formation is decreased, osteoblasts in TTD mice retain bone-forming capacity as in vivo PTH treatment leads to increased cortical thickness. In vitro bone marrow cell cultures showed that TTD osteoprogenitors retain the capacity to differentiate into osteoblasts. However, after 13 weeks of age TTD females show decreased bone nodule formation. No increase in bone resorption or the number of osteoclasts was detected. In conclusion, TTD mice show premature bone aging, which is preceded by a decrease in mesenchymal stem cells/osteoprogenitors and a change in systemic factors, identifying DNA damage and repair as key determinants for bone fragility by influencing osteogenesis and bone metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11357-011-9291-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3682057PMC
August 2012

Impaired genome maintenance suppresses the growth hormone--insulin-like growth factor 1 axis in mice with Cockayne syndrome.

PLoS Biol 2007 Jan;5(1):e2

Department of Genetics, Center for Biomedical Genetics, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Cockayne syndrome (CS) is a photosensitive, DNA repair disorder associated with progeria that is caused by a defect in the transcription-coupled repair subpathway of nucleotide excision repair (NER). Here, complete inactivation of NER in Csb(m/m)/Xpa(-/-) mutants causes a phenotype that reliably mimics the human progeroid CS syndrome. Newborn Csb(m/m)/Xpa(-/-) mice display attenuated growth, progressive neurological dysfunction, retinal degeneration, cachexia, kyphosis, and die before weaning. Mouse liver transcriptome analysis and several physiological endpoints revealed systemic suppression of the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1 (GH/IGF1) somatotroph axis and oxidative metabolism, increased antioxidant responses, and hypoglycemia together with hepatic glycogen and fat accumulation. Broad genome-wide parallels between Csb(m/m)/Xpa(-/-) and naturally aged mouse liver transcriptomes suggested that these changes are intrinsic to natural ageing and the DNA repair-deficient mice. Importantly, wild-type mice exposed to a low dose of chronic genotoxic stress recapitulated this response, thereby pointing to a novel link between genome instability and the age-related decline of the somatotroph axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0050002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1698505PMC
January 2007

Accelerated bone aging in the trichothiodystrophy mouse model.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2003 Nov;58(11):969

Department of Cell Biology & Genetics, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/58.11.b969DOI Listing
November 2003