Publications by authors named "Kimberly Foss"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Germline AGO2 mutations impair RNA interference and human neurological development.

Nat Commun 2020 11 16;11(1):5797. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Department of Genetics, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

ARGONAUTE-2 and associated miRNAs form the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), which targets mRNAs for translational silencing and degradation as part of the RNA interference pathway. Despite the essential nature of this process for cellular function, there is little information on the role of RISC components in human development and organ function. We identify 13 heterozygous mutations in AGO2 in 21 patients affected by disturbances in neurological development. Each of the identified single amino acid mutations result in impaired shRNA-mediated silencing. We observe either impaired RISC formation or increased binding of AGO2 to mRNA targets as mutation specific functional consequences. The latter is supported by decreased phosphorylation of a C-terminal serine cluster involved in mRNA target release, increased formation of dendritic P-bodies in neurons and global transcriptome alterations in patient-derived primary fibroblasts. Our data emphasize the importance of gene expression regulation through the dynamic AGO2-RNA association for human neuronal development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19572-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7670403PMC
November 2020

De novo and inherited variants in ZNF292 underlie a neurodevelopmental disorder with features of autism spectrum disorder.

Genet Med 2020 03 14;22(3):538-546. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disability, NY, Staten Island, USA.

Purpose: Intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are genetically heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders. We sought to delineate the clinical, molecular, and neuroimaging spectrum of a novel neurodevelopmental disorder caused by variants in the zinc finger protein 292 gene (ZNF292).

Methods: We ascertained a cohort of 28 families with ID due to putatively pathogenic ZNF292 variants that were identified via targeted and exome sequencing. Available data were analyzed to characterize the canonical phenotype and examine genotype-phenotype relationships.

Results: Probands presented with ID as well as a spectrum of neurodevelopmental features including ASD, among others. All ZNF292 variants were de novo, except in one family with dominant inheritance. ZNF292 encodes a highly conserved zinc finger protein that acts as a transcription factor and is highly expressed in the developing human brain supporting its critical role in neurodevelopment.

Conclusion: De novo and dominantly inherited variants in ZNF292 are associated with a range of neurodevelopmental features including ID and ASD. The clinical spectrum is broad, and most individuals present with mild to moderate ID with or without other syndromic features. Our results suggest that variants in ZNF292 are likely a recurrent cause of a neurodevelopmental disorder manifesting as ID with or without ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-019-0693-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7060121PMC
March 2020

Haploinsufficiency of the Notch Ligand DLL1 Causes Variable Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 09 25;105(3):631-639. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

GeneDx, Gaithersburg, MD 20877, USA.

Notch signaling is an established developmental pathway for brain morphogenesis. Given that Delta-like 1 (DLL1) is a ligand for the Notch receptor and that a few individuals with developmental delay, intellectual disability, and brain malformations have microdeletions encompassing DLL1, we hypothesized that insufficiency of DLL1 causes a human neurodevelopmental disorder. We performed exome sequencing in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. The cohort was identified using known Matchmaker Exchange nodes such as GeneMatcher. This method identified 15 individuals from 12 unrelated families with heterozygous pathogenic DLL1 variants (nonsense, missense, splice site, and one whole gene deletion). The most common features in our cohort were intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, seizures, variable brain malformations, muscular hypotonia, and scoliosis. We did not identify an obvious genotype-phenotype correlation. Analysis of one splice site variant showed an in-frame insertion of 12 bp. In conclusion, heterozygous DLL1 pathogenic variants cause a variable neurodevelopmental phenotype and multi-systemic features. The clinical and molecular data support haploinsufficiency as a mechanism for the pathogenesis of this DLL1-related disorder and affirm the importance of DLL1 in human brain development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.07.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6731356PMC
September 2019

Expanding clinical phenotype in CACNA1C related disorders: From neonatal onset severe epileptic encephalopathy to late-onset epilepsy.

Am J Med Genet A 2018 12 4;176(12):2733-2739. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Neurology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

CACNA1C (NM_000719.6) encodes an L-type calcium voltage-gated calcium channel (Ca 1.2), and pathogenic variants have been associated with two distinct clinical entities: Timothy syndrome and Brugada syndrome. Thus far, CACNA1C has not been reported as a gene associated with epileptic encephalopathy and is less commonly associated with epilepsy. We report three individuals from two families with variants in CACNA1C. Patient 1 presented with neonatal onset epileptic encephalopathy (NOEE) and was found to have a de novo missense variant in CACNA1C (c.4087G>A (p.V1363M)) on exome sequencing. In Family 2, Patient 2 presented with congenital cardiac anomalies and cardiomyopathy and was found to have a paternally inherited splice site variant, c.3717+1_3717+2insA, on a cardiomyopathy panel. Her father, Patient 3, presented with learning difficulties, late-onset epilepsy, and congenital cardiac anomalies. Family 2 highlights variable expressivity seen within a family. This case series expands the clinical and molecular phenotype of CACNA1C-related disorders and highlights the need to include CACNA1C on epilepsy gene panels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.40657DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6312477PMC
December 2018

A de novo in-frame deletion of CASK gene causes early onset infantile spasms and supratentorial cerebral malformation in a female patient.

Am J Med Genet A 2018 11 5;176(11):2425-2429. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

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

We report a female patient with a novel, heterozygous, de novo in-frame deletion in the CASK gene (c.2179-2181 del GTA, p.Val727del) who presents with early onset infantile spasms, hypsarrhythmia on electroencephalogram (EEG), and frontal lobe abnormalities on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without microcephaly and pontocerebellar hypoplasia. This is the first case report of an in-frame deletion in the CASK gene causing early onset infantile spasms and supratentorial focal brain malformation on brain MRI in the literature. This is also the first report of a female with CASK-related disorder with hypsarrhythmia pattern on EEG. This report expands the clinical phenotypic spectrum in CASK-related disorders in female patients. A heterozygous de novo variant in RORA (c.88 C>G, p.Gln 30Glu) was reported in this patient as a variant of uncertain significance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.40429DOI Listing
November 2018

Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast Cancer: The Decision to Decline.

Am Surg 2018 Jan;84(1):154-160

Genetic testing is important for comprehensive cancer care. Commercial analysis of the BRCA1/2 genes has been available since 1996, and testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome is well established. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines identify individuals for whom BRCA1/2 analysis is appropriate and define management recommendations for mutation carriers. Despite recommendations, not all who meet NCCN criteria undergo genetic testing. We assess the frequency that individuals meeting NCCN criteria decline BRCA1/2 analysis, as well as factors that affect the decision-making process. A retrospective chart review was performed from September 2013 through August 2014 of individuals who received genetic counseling at the Levine Cancer Institute. A total of 1082 individuals identified through the retrospective chart review met NCCN criteria for BRCA1/2 analysis. Of these, 267 (24.7%) did not pursue genetic testing. Of the Nontested cohort, 59 (22.1%) were disinterested in testing and 108 (40.4%) were advised to gather additional genetic or medical information about their relatives before testing. The remaining 100 (37.5%) individuals were insured and desired to undergo genetic testing but were prohibited by the expense. Eighty five of these 100 patients were responsible for the total cost of the test, whereas the remaining 15 faced a prohibitive copay expense. Financial concerns are a major deterrent to the pursuit of BRCA1/2 analysis among those who meet NCNN criteria, especially in patients diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer. These findings highlight the need to address financial concerns for genetic testing in this high-risk population.
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January 2018

De Novo Mutations in Protein Kinase Genes CAMK2A and CAMK2B Cause Intellectual Disability.

Am J Hum Genet 2017 Nov;101(5):768-788

Nottingham Regional Genetics Service, City Hospital Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, The Gables, Hucknall Road, Nottingham NG5 1PB, UK.

Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CAMK2) is one of the first proteins shown to be essential for normal learning and synaptic plasticity in mice, but its requirement for human brain development has not yet been established. Through a multi-center collaborative study based on a whole-exome sequencing approach, we identified 19 exceedingly rare de novo CAMK2A or CAMK2B variants in 24 unrelated individuals with intellectual disability. Variants were assessed for their effect on CAMK2 function and on neuronal migration. For both CAMK2A and CAMK2B, we identified mutations that decreased or increased CAMK2 auto-phosphorylation at Thr286/Thr287. We further found that all mutations affecting auto-phosphorylation also affected neuronal migration, highlighting the importance of tightly regulated CAMK2 auto-phosphorylation in neuronal function and neurodevelopment. Our data establish the importance of CAMK2A and CAMK2B and their auto-phosphorylation in human brain function and expand the phenotypic spectrum of the disorders caused by variants in key players of the glutamatergic signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.10.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5673671PMC
November 2017

Mutations of KIF5C cause a neurodevelopmental disorder of infantile-onset epilepsy, absent language, and distinctive malformations of cortical development.

Am J Med Genet A 2017 Dec 19;173(12):3127-3131. Epub 2017 Oct 19.

Center for Integrative Brain Research, Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, Washington.

The clinical diagnosis of malformations of cortical development (MCDs) is often challenging due to the complexity of the brain malformation by neuroimaging, the rarity of individual malformation syndromes, and the rapidly evolving genetic landscape of these disorders facilitated with the use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) methods. While the clinical and molecular diagnosis of severe cortical malformations, such as classic lissencephaly, is often straightforward, the diagnosis of more subtle and complex types of cortical malformations, such as pachygyria and polymicrogyria (PMG), can be more challenging due to limited knowledge regarding their genetic etiologies. Here, we report two individuals with the same de novo KIF5C mutation who present with subtle MCDs, early onset epilepsy and significant neurodevelopmental and behavioral issues including absent language. Our data, combined with the limited literature on KIF5C mutations, to date, support that KIF5C mutations are associated with a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by infantile onset epilepsy, and subtle but recognizable types of brain malformations. We also show that the spectrum of KIF5C mutations is narrow, as five out of the six identified individuals have mutations affecting amino acid Glu237. Therefore, the identification of the clinical and neuroimaging features of this disorder may strongly facilitate rapid and efficient molecular diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.38496DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5687290PMC
December 2017

Seasonal Patterns in Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus Antibody in Songbirds in Southern Maine.

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2017 05 13;17(5):325-330. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

1 Vector-Borne Disease Laboratory, Maine Medical Center Research Institute , Scarborough, Maine.

The intent of this study was to assess passerine eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEv) seroprevalence during the breeding season in southern Maine by testing songbird species identified in the literature as amplifying hosts of this virus. In 2013 and 2014, we collected serum samples from songbirds at a mainland site and an offshore island migratory stopover site, and screened samples for EEEv antibodies using plaque reduction neutralization tests. We compared seasonal changes in EEEv antibody seroprevalence in young (hatched in year of capture) and adult birds at the mainland site, and also compared early season seroprevalence in mainland versus offshore adult birds. EEEv seroprevalence did not differ significantly between years at either site. During the early season (May), EEEv antibody seroprevalence was substantially lower (9.6%) in the island migrant adults than in mainland adults (42.9%), 2013-2014. On the mainland, EEEv antibody seroprevalence in young birds increased from 12.9% in midseason (June-August) to 45.6% in late season (September/October), 2013-2014. Seroprevalence in adult birds did not differ between seasons (48.8% vs. 53.3%). EEEv activity in Maine has increased in the past decade as measured by increased virus detection in mosquitoes and veterinary cases. High EEEv seroprevalence in young birds-as compared to that of young birds in other studies-corresponded with two consecutive active EEEv years in Maine. We suggest that young, locally hatched songbirds be sampled as a part of long-term EEEv surveillance, and provide a list of suggested species to sample, including EEEv "superspreaders."
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2016.2029DOI Listing
May 2017

An epizootic of eastern equine encephalitis virus, Maine, USA in 2009: outbreak description and entomological studies.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2013 Jan 3;88(1):95-102. Epub 2012 Dec 3.

Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Vector-borne Disease Laboratory, South Portland, Maine 04106, USA.

From July to September, 2009, an outbreak of eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEv) occurred in five counties in Maine. The virus was isolated from 15 horses, 1 llama, and pheasants in three separate captive flocks. One wild turkey, screened before translocation, also showed exposure to the virus in January 2010. Two pools of Culiseta melanura (Coquillett) tested positive for EEEv during routine seasonal surveillance in York County in September, but none of the mosquitoes collected during rapid response surveys tested positive. There were more Cs. melanura in July, August, and September 2009 than in preceding (2006-08) and subsequent (2010-11) years. August and September Cs. melanura abundances were correlated with July rainfall, and abundance of all species combined was correlated with total rainfall for the meteorological summer. This outbreak represents a substantial expansion of the range of EEEv activity in northern New England.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0358DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3541751PMC
January 2013

New record of Psorophora ciliata in Maine, United States.

J Am Mosq Control Assoc 2007 Dec;23(4):476-7

Municipal Pest Management Services, Inc., PO Box 316, York, ME 03909, USA.

The first confirmed record of Psorophora ciliata from Maine was made at South Berwick, ME, from a carbon dioxide-baited light trap collection on July 25, 2006. Included are collection site data and species bionomics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2987/5582.1DOI Listing
December 2007

A checklist of the mosquitoes of Maine with new state records.

J Am Mosq Control Assoc 2006 Jun;22(2):327-9

Maine Medical Center Research Institute, 75 John Roberts Road Suite 9B, South Portland, ME 04106, USA.

A revised checklist of the mosquito fauna known to occur in Maine is reported. In addition we are detailing the finding of eight new state records in five genera, that is, Anopheles barberi, Culiseta minnesotae, Ochlerotatus dorsalis, Oc. japonicus, Oc. riparius, Oc. taeniorhynchus, Psorophora ferox, and Uranotaenia sapphirina. Locality records are given.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2987/8756-971X(2006)22[327:ACOTMO]2.0.CO;2DOI Listing
June 2006
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