Publications by authors named "Lacey A Smith"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

De Novo Pathogenic Variants in CACNA1E Cause Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathy with Contractures, Macrocephaly, and Dyskinesias.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 11 18;103(5):666-678. Epub 2018 Oct 18.

Division of Genetics and Metabolism, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA.

Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) are severe neurodevelopmental disorders often beginning in infancy or early childhood that are characterized by intractable seizures, abundant epileptiform activity on EEG, and developmental impairment or regression. CACNA1E is highly expressed in the central nervous system and encodes the α-subunit of the voltage-gated Ca2.3 channel, which conducts high voltage-activated R-type calcium currents that initiate synaptic transmission. Using next-generation sequencing techniques, we identified de novo CACNA1E variants in 30 individuals with DEE, characterized by refractory infantile-onset seizures, severe hypotonia, and profound developmental impairment, often with congenital contractures, macrocephaly, hyperkinetic movement disorders, and early death. Most of the 14, partially recurring, variants cluster within the cytoplasmic ends of all four S6 segments, which form the presumed Ca2.3 channel activation gate. Functional analysis of several S6 variants revealed consistent gain-of-function effects comprising facilitated voltage-dependent activation and slowed inactivation. Another variant located in the domain II S4-S5 linker results in facilitated activation and increased current density. Five participants achieved seizure freedom on the anti-epileptic drug topiramate, which blocks R-type calcium channels. We establish pathogenic variants in CACNA1E as a cause of DEEs and suggest facilitated R-type calcium currents as a disease mechanism for human epilepsy and developmental disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.09.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6216110PMC
November 2018

A Recurrent De Novo PACS2 Heterozygous Missense Variant Causes Neonatal-Onset Developmental Epileptic Encephalopathy, Facial Dysmorphism, and Cerebellar Dysgenesis.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 05 12;102(5):995-1007. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Genetics, 9700 RB Groningen, the Netherlands.

Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) represent a large clinical and genetic heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental diseases. The identification of pathogenic genetic variants in DEEs remains crucial for deciphering this complex group and for accurately caring for affected individuals (clinical diagnosis, genetic counseling, impacting medical, precision therapy, clinical trials, etc.). Whole-exome sequencing and intensive data sharing identified a recurrent de novo PACS2 heterozygous missense variant in 14 unrelated individuals. Their phenotype was characterized by epilepsy, global developmental delay with or without autism, common cerebellar dysgenesis, and facial dysmorphism. Mixed focal and generalized epilepsy occurred in the neonatal period, controlled with difficulty in the first year, but many improved in early childhood. PACS2 is an important PACS1 paralog and encodes a multifunctional sorting protein involved in nuclear gene expression and pathway traffic regulation. Both proteins harbor cargo(furin)-binding regions (FBRs) that bind cargo proteins, sorting adaptors, and cellular kinase. Compared to the defined PACS1 recurrent variant series, individuals with PACS2 variant have more consistently neonatal/early-infantile-onset epilepsy that can be challenging to control. Cerebellar abnormalities may be similar but PACS2 individuals exhibit a pattern of clear dysgenesis ranging from mild to severe. Functional studies demonstrated that the PACS2 recurrent variant reduces the ability of the predicted autoregulatory domain to modulate the interaction between the PACS2 FBR and client proteins, which may disturb cellular function. These findings support the causality of this recurrent de novo PACS2 heterozygous missense in DEEs with facial dysmorphim and cerebellar dysgenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.03.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986694PMC
May 2018

A Model Program for Translational Medicine in Epilepsy Genetics.

J Child Neurol 2017 03 6;32(4):429-436. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

1 Epilepsy Genetics Program, Division of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology, Department of Neurology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Recent technological advances in gene sequencing have led to a rapid increase in gene discovery in epilepsy. However, the ability to assess pathogenicity of variants, provide functional analysis, and develop targeted therapies has not kept pace with rapid advances in sequencing technology. Thus, although clinical genetic testing may lead to a specific molecular diagnosis for some patients, test results often lead to more questions than answers. As the field begins to focus on therapeutic applications of genetic diagnoses using precision medicine, developing processes that offer more than equivocal test results is essential. The success of precision medicine in epilepsy relies on establishing a correct genetic diagnosis, analyzing functional consequences of genetic variants, screening potential therapeutics in the preclinical laboratory setting, and initiating targeted therapy trials for patients. The authors describe the structure of a comprehensive, pediatric Epilepsy Genetics Program that can serve as a model for translational medicine in epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0883073816685654DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5625332PMC
March 2017

Reporting Incidental Findings in Clinical Whole Exome Sequencing: Incorporation of the 2013 ACMG Recommendations into Current Practices of Genetic Counseling.

J Genet Couns 2015 Aug 18;24(4):654-62. Epub 2014 Nov 18.

Genetic Counseling Program, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA,

The purpose of this study was to investigate how the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) March 2013 recommendations for reporting incidental findings (IFs) have influenced current practices of genetic counselors involved in utilizing whole exome sequencing (WES) for clinical diagnosis. An online survey was sent to all members of the National Society of Genetic Counselors; members were eligible to participate if they currently offered WES for clinical diagnosis. Forty-six respondents completed the survey of whom 34 were in practice prior to the March 2013 ACMG recommendations. Half of respondents (N = 19, 54.9 %) in practice prior to March 2013 reported that the ACMG recommendations have had a significant impact on the content of their counseling sessions. Approximately half of respondents (N = 21, 45.5 %) report all IFs, regardless of patient age, while one third (N = 14, 30.4 %) consider factors such as age and parent preference in reporting IFs. Approximately 40 % (N = 18) of respondents reported that the testing laboratory's policy for returning IFs has an influence on their choice of laboratory; of those, 72.2 % (N = 13) reported that the option to opt out of receiving reports of IFs has a significant influence on their choice of laboratory. A majority of respondents (N = 43, 93.5 %) found that most patients want to receive reports of IFs. However, respondents report there are patients who wish to decline receiving this information. This study querying genetic counselors identified benefits and challenges that the 2013 ACMG recommendations elicited. Some challenges, such as not having the option to opt out of IFs, have been addressed by the ACMG's most recent updates to their recommendations. Further investigation into larger and more inclusive provider populations as well as patient populations will be valuable for the ongoing discussion surrounding IFs in WES.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10897-014-9794-4DOI Listing
August 2015

Maternal smoking and the retinoid pathway in the developing lung.

Respir Res 2012 Jun 1;13:42. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Maternal smoking is a risk factor for pediatric lung disease, including asthma. Animal models suggest that maternal smoking causes defective alveolarization in the offspring. Retinoic acid signaling modulates both lung development and postnatal immune function. Thus, abnormalities in this pathway could mediate maternal smoking effects. We tested whether maternal smoking disrupts retinoic acid pathway expression and functioning in a murine model.

Methods: Female C57Bl/6 mice with/without mainstream cigarette smoke exposure (3 research cigarettes a day, 5 days a week) were mated to nonsmoking males. Cigarette smoke exposure continued throughout the pregnancy and after parturition. Lung tissue from the offspring was examined by mean linear intercept analysis and by quantitative PCR. Cell culture experiments using the type II cell-like cell line, A549, tested whether lipid-soluble cigarette smoke components affected binding and activation of retinoic acid response elements in vitro.

Results: Compared to tobacco-naïve mice, juvenile mice with tobacco toxin exposure had significantly (P < 0.05) increased mean linear intercepts, consistent with an alveolarization defect. Tobacco toxin exposure significantly (P < 0.05) decreased mRNA and protein expression of retinoic acid signaling pathway elements, including retinoic acid receptor alpha and retinoic acid receptor beta, with the greatest number of changes observed between postnatal days 3-5. Lipid-soluble cigarette smoke components significantly (P < 0.05) decreased retinoic acid-induced binding and activation of the retinoic acid receptor response element in A549 cells.

Conclusions: A murine model of maternal cigarette smoking causes abnormal alveolarization in association with altered retinoic acid pathway element expression in the offspring. An in vitro cell culture model shows that lipid-soluble components of cigarette smoke decrease retinoic acid response element activation. It is feasible that disruption of retinoic acid signaling contributes to the pediatric lung dysfunction caused by maternal smoking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1465-9921-13-42DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3479035PMC
June 2012

RUNX transcription factors: association with pediatric asthma and modulated by maternal smoking.

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 2011 Nov 29;301(5):L693-701. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

Brigham and Women's Hospital, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, PBB-3, 75 Francis St., Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Intrauterine smoke exposure (IUS) is a strong risk factor for development of airways responsiveness and asthma in childhood. Runt-related transcription factors (RUNX1-3) have critical roles in immune system development and function. We hypothesized that genetic variations in RUNX1 would be associated with airway responsiveness in asthmatic children and that this association would be modified by IUS. Family-based association testing analysis in the Childhood Asthma Management Program genome-wide genotype data showed that 17 of 100 RUNX1 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were significantly (P < 0.03-0.04) associated with methacholine responsiveness. The association between methacholine responsiveness and one of the SNPs was significantly modified by a history of IUS exposure. Quantitative PCR analysis of immature human lung tissue with and without IUS suggested that IUS increased RUNX1 expression at the pseudoglandular stage of lung development. We examined these associations by subjecting murine neonatal lung tissue with and without IUS to quantitative PCR (N = 4-14 per group). Our murine model showed that IUS decreased RUNX expression at postnatal days (P)3 and P5 (P < 0.05). We conclude that 1) SNPs in RUNX1 are associated with airway responsiveness in asthmatic children and these associations are modified by IUS exposure, 2) IUS tended to increase the expression of RUNX1 in early human development, and 3) a murine IUS model showed that the effects of developmental cigarette smoke exposure persisted for at least 2 wk after birth. We speculate that IUS exposure-altered expression of RUNX transcription factors increases the risk of asthma in children with IUS exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajplung.00348.2010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3213989PMC
November 2011
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