Publications by authors named "Lutz Garbes"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Autosomal-Recessive Mutations in MESD Cause Osteogenesis Imperfecta.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 10 26;105(4):836-843. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

Orthopaedic Research Laboratories, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) comprises a genetically heterogeneous group of skeletal fragility diseases. Here, we report on five independent families with a progressively deforming type of OI, in whom we identified four homozygous truncation or frameshift mutations in MESD. Affected individuals had recurrent fractures and at least one had oligodontia. MESD encodes an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone protein for the canonical Wingless-related integration site (WNT) signaling receptors LRP5 and LRP6. Because complete absence of MESD causes embryonic lethality in mice, we hypothesized that the OI-associated mutations are hypomorphic alleles since these mutations occur downstream of the chaperone activity domain but upstream of ER-retention domain. This would be consistent with the clinical phenotypes of skeletal fragility and oligodontia in persons deficient for LRP5 and LRP6, respectively. When we expressed wild-type (WT) and mutant MESD in HEK293T cells, we detected WT MESD in cell lysate but not in conditioned medium, whereas the converse was true for mutant MESD. We observed that both WT and mutant MESD retained the ability to chaperone LRP5. Thus, OI-associated MESD mutations produce hypomorphic alleles whose failure to remain within the ER significantly reduces but does not completely eliminate LRP5 and LRP6 trafficking. Since these individuals have no eye abnormalities (which occur in individuals completely lacking LRP5) and have neither limb nor brain patterning defects (both of which occur in mice completely lacking LRP6), we infer that bone mass accrual and dental patterning are more sensitive to reduced canonical WNT signaling than are other developmental processes. Biologic agents that can increase LRP5 and LRP6-mediated WNT signaling could benefit individuals with MESD-associated OI.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.08.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6817720PMC
October 2019

Neurocalcin Delta Suppression Protects against Spinal Muscular Atrophy in Humans and across Species by Restoring Impaired Endocytosis.

Am J Hum Genet 2017 02 26;100(2):297-315. Epub 2017 Jan 26.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany; Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany; Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, 50674 Cologne, Germany. Electronic address:

Homozygous SMN1 loss causes spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most common lethal genetic childhood motor neuron disease. SMN1 encodes SMN, a ubiquitous housekeeping protein, which makes the primarily motor neuron-specific phenotype rather unexpected. SMA-affected individuals harbor low SMN expression from one to six SMN2 copies, which is insufficient to functionally compensate for SMN1 loss. However, rarely individuals with homozygous absence of SMN1 and only three to four SMN2 copies are fully asymptomatic, suggesting protection through genetic modifier(s). Previously, we identified plastin 3 (PLS3) overexpression as an SMA protective modifier in humans and showed that SMN deficit impairs endocytosis, which is rescued by elevated PLS3 levels. Here, we identify reduction of the neuronal calcium sensor Neurocalcin delta (NCALD) as a protective SMA modifier in five asymptomatic SMN1-deleted individuals carrying only four SMN2 copies. We demonstrate that NCALD is a Ca-dependent negative regulator of endocytosis, as NCALD knockdown improves endocytosis in SMA models and ameliorates pharmacologically induced endocytosis defects in zebrafish. Importantly, NCALD knockdown effectively ameliorates SMA-associated pathological defects across species, including worm, zebrafish, and mouse. In conclusion, our study identifies a previously unknown protective SMA modifier in humans, demonstrates modifier impact in three different SMA animal models, and suggests a potential combinatorial therapeutic strategy to efficiently treat SMA. Since both protective modifiers restore endocytosis, our results confirm that endocytosis is a major cellular mechanism perturbed in SMA and emphasize the power of protective modifiers for understanding disease mechanism and developing therapies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.01.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5294679PMC
February 2017

Mutations in SEC24D, encoding a component of the COPII machinery, cause a syndromic form of osteogenesis imperfecta.

Am J Hum Genet 2015 Mar 12;96(3):432-9. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany. Electronic address:

As a result of a whole-exome sequencing study, we report three mutant alleles in SEC24D, a gene encoding a component of the COPII complex involved in protein export from the ER: the truncating mutation c.613C>T (p.Gln205(∗)) and the missense mutations c.3044C>T (p.Ser1015Phe, located in a cargo-binding pocket) and c.2933A>C (p.Gln978Pro, located in the gelsolin-like domain). Three individuals from two families affected by a similar skeletal phenotype were each compound heterozygous for two of these mutant alleles, with c.3044C>T being embedded in a 14 Mb founder haplotype shared by all three. The affected individuals were a 7-year-old boy with a phenotype most closely resembling Cole-Carpenter syndrome and two fetuses initially suspected to have a severe type of osteogenesis imperfecta. All three displayed a severely disturbed ossification of the skull and multiple fractures with prenatal onset. The 7-year-old boy had short stature and craniofacial malformations including macrocephaly, midface hypoplasia, micrognathia, frontal bossing, and down-slanting palpebral fissures. Electron and immunofluorescence microscopy of skin fibroblasts of this individual revealed that ER export of procollagen was inefficient and that ER tubules were dilated, faithfully reproducing the cellular phenotype of individuals with cranio-lentico-sutural dysplasia (CLSD). CLSD is caused by SEC23A mutations and displays a largely overlapping craniofacial phenotype, but it is not characterized by generalized bone fragility and presented with cataracts in the original family described. The cellular and morphological phenotypes we report are in concordance with the phenotypes described for the Sec24d-deficient fish mutants vbi (medaka) and bulldog (zebrafish).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.01.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4375534PMC
March 2015

RAD51C deletion screening identifies a recurrent gross deletion in breast cancer and ovarian cancer families.

Breast Cancer Res 2013 Dec 20;15(6):R120. Epub 2013 Dec 20.

RAD51C is an integral part of the DNA double-strand repair through homologous recombination, and monoallelic mutations were found in ~1.3% of BRCA1/2-negative breast cancer (BC) and/or ovarian cancer (OC) families. Several studies confirmed the occurrence of RAD51C mutations predominantly in BC and/or OC families, although with varying frequencies, clearly establishing RAD51C as a cancer-predisposing gene. There is ongoing debate whether pathogenic RAD51C alterations increase the relative risk for BC in addition to that for OC, which was estimated to be 5.88 (95% confidence interval = 2.91 to 11.88; P = 7.65 × 10(-7)).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/bcr3589DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3978715PMC
December 2013

A paucisymptomatic neuromuscular disease mimicking type III 5q-SMA with complex rearrangements in the SMN gene.

J Child Neurol 2014 Feb 11;29(2):254-9. Epub 2013 Dec 11.

1Department of Neuropathology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Spinal muscular atrophy is an autosomal-recessive neuromuscular disorder, causing progressive proximal weakness and atrophy of the voluntary muscles. More than 96% of the spinal muscular atrophy patients show a homozygous absence of exons 7 and 8, or exon 7 only, in SMN1, the telomeric copy of the SMN gene. We report a young male patient with neurogenic symptoms and sparse muscle fiber atrophy, suggestive of a mild form of type III spinal muscular atrophy. He was found to be a carrier of intragenic mutations in both copies of the SMN gene, exhibiting a homozygous duplication of exons 7 and 8 in SMN1 and a homozygous deletion of exon 8 as well as a heterozygous deletion of exon 7 in SMN2. However, an intact full-length SMN1 complementary deoxyribonucleic acid was identified, and SMN protein levels in a muscle specimen were identical to that of a healthy control, formally excluding the diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy III.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0883073813511858DOI Listing
February 2014

Exome sequencing identifies Laing distal myopathy MYH7 mutation in a Roma family previously diagnosed with distal neuronopathy.

Neuromuscul Disord 2014 Feb 11;24(2):156-61. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany; Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, 50674 Cologne, Germany; Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, 50931 Cologne, Germany.

We describe a Hungarian Roma family, originally investigated for autosomal dominant distal muscular atrophy. The mother started toe walking at 3 years and lost ambulation at age 27. Her three daughters presented with early steppage gait and showed variable progression. Muscle biopsies were nonspecific showing myogenic lesions in the mother and lesions resembling neurogenic atrophy in the two siblings. To identify the causative abnormality whole exome sequencing was performed in two affected girls and their unaffected father, unexpectedly revealing the MYH7 mutation c.4849_4851delAAG (p.K1617del) in both girls, reported to be causative for Laing distal myopathy. Sanger sequencing confirmed the mutation in the affected mother and third affected daughter. In line with variable severity in Laing distal myopathy our patients presented a more severe phenotype. Our case is the first demonstration of Laing distal myopathy in the Roma and the successful use of whole exome sequencing in obtaining a definitive diagnosis in ambiguous cases.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nmd.2013.10.010DOI Listing
February 2014

A nonclassical IFITM5 mutation located in the coding region causes severe osteogenesis imperfecta with prenatal onset.

J Bone Miner Res 2014 Jun;29(6):1387-91

Children's Hospital, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a hereditary connective tissue disorder characterized by a wide range of skeletal symptoms. Most patients have dominantly inherited or de novo mutations in COL1A1 or COL1A2. Up to 5% of patients have OI type V, characterized by hyperplastic callus formation after fractures, calcification of the interosseous membrane of the forearm, and a mesh-like lamellation pattern observed in bone histology. Recently, a heterozygous mutation in the 5'-untranslated region (UTR) of IFITM5 (c.-14C > T) was identified as the underlying cause of OI type V, and only this specific mutation was subsequently identified in all patient cohorts with this OI subtype. We now present a case of a heterozygous mutation within the coding region of IFITM5 (c.119C > T; p.S40L). The mutation occurred de novo in the patient and resulted in severe OI with prenatal onset and extreme short stature. At the age of 19 months, the typical clinical hallmarks of OI type V were not present. Our finding has important consequences for the genetic "work-up" of patients suspected to have OI, both in prenatal and in postnatal settings: The entire gene-not only the 5'-UTR harboring the "classical" OI type V mutation-has to be analyzed to exclude a causal role of IFITM5. We propose that this should be part of the initial diagnostic steps for genetic laboratories performing SANGER sequencing in OI patients.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbmr.2156DOI Listing
June 2014

The phenotypic spectrum of duplication 5q35.2-q35.3 encompassing NSD1: is it really a reversed Sotos syndrome?

Am J Med Genet A 2013 Sep 2;161A(9):2158-66. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

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

Loss-of-function mutations of NSD1 and 5q35 microdeletions encompassing NSD1 are a major cause of Sotos syndrome (Sos), which is characterized by overgrowth, macrocephaly, characteristic facies, and variable intellectual disability (ID). Microduplications of 5q35.2-q35.3 including NSD1 have been reported in only five patients so far and described clinically as a reversed Sos resulting from a hypothetical gene dosage effect of NSD1. Here, we report on nine patients from five families with interstitial duplication 5q35 including NSD1 detected by molecular karyotyping. The clinical features of all 14 individuals are reviewed. Patients with microduplications including NSD1 appear to have a consistent phenotype consisting of short stature, microcephaly, learning disability or mild to moderate ID, and distinctive facial features comprising periorbital fullness, short palpebral fissures, a long nose with broad or long nasal tip, a smooth philtrum and a thin upper lip vermilion. Behavioral problems, ocular and minor hand anomalies may be associated. Based on our findings, we discuss the possible etiology and conclude that it is possible, but so far unproven, that a gene dosage effect of NSD1 may be the major cause.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.36046DOI Listing
September 2013

Mutations in BICD2, which encodes a golgin and important motor adaptor, cause congenital autosomal-dominant spinal muscular atrophy.

Am J Hum Genet 2013 Jun 9;92(6):946-54. Epub 2013 May 9.

Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Centre, 6525 GA Nijmegen, the Netherlands; Institute for Genetic and Metabolic Disease, Radboud University Medical Centre, 6525 GA Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a heterogeneous group of neuromuscular disorders caused by degeneration of lower motor neurons. Although functional loss of SMN1 is associated with autosomal-recessive childhood SMA, the genetic cause for most families affected by dominantly inherited SMA is unknown. Here, we identified pathogenic variants in bicaudal D homolog 2 (Drosophila) (BICD2) in three families afflicted with autosomal-dominant SMA. Affected individuals displayed congenital slowly progressive muscle weakness mainly of the lower limbs and congenital contractures. In a large Dutch family, linkage analysis identified a 9q22.3 locus in which exome sequencing uncovered c.320C>T (p.Ser107Leu) in BICD2. Sequencing of 23 additional families affected by dominant SMA led to the identification of pathogenic variants in one family from Canada (c.2108C>T [p.Thr703Met]) and one from the Netherlands (c.563A>C [p.Asn188Thr]). BICD2 is a golgin and motor-adaptor protein involved in Golgi dynamics and vesicular and mRNA transport. Transient transfection of HeLa cells with all three mutant BICD2 cDNAs caused massive Golgi fragmentation. This observation was even more prominent in primary fibroblasts from an individual harboring c.2108C>T (p.Thr703Met) (affecting the C-terminal coiled-coil domain) and slightly less evident in individuals with c.563A>C (p.Asn188Thr) (affecting the N-terminal coiled-coil domain). Furthermore, BICD2 levels were reduced in affected individuals and trapped within the fragmented Golgi. Previous studies have shown that Drosophila mutant BicD causes reduced larvae locomotion by impaired clathrin-mediated synaptic endocytosis in neuromuscular junctions. These data emphasize the relevance of BICD2 in synaptic-vesicle recycling and support the conclusion that BICD2 mutations cause congenital slowly progressive dominant SMA.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.04.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3675237PMC
June 2013

How genetic modifiers influence the phenotype of spinal muscular atrophy and suggest future therapeutic approaches.

Curr Opin Genet Dev 2013 Jun 17;23(3):330-8. Epub 2013 Apr 17.

Institute of Human Genetics, Institute for Genetics, Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Both complex disorders and monogenetic diseases are often modulated in their phenotype by further genetic, epigenetic or extrinsic factors. This gives rise to extensive phenotypic variability and potentially protection from disease manifestations, known as incomplete penetrance. Approaches including whole transcriptome, exome, genome, methylome or proteome analyses of highly discordant phenotypes in a few individuals harboring mutations at the same locus can help to identify these modifiers. This review describes the complexity of modifying factors of one of the most frequent autosomal recessively inherited disorders in humans, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). We will outline how this knowledge contributes to understanding of the regulatory networks and molecular pathology of SMA and how this knowledge will influence future approaches to therapies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gde.2013.03.003DOI Listing
June 2013

Histone acetylation as a potential therapeutic target in motor neuron degenerative diseases.

Curr Pharm Des 2013 ;19(28):5093-104

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany.

Among hereditary diseases, the group of motor neuron diseases (MNDs) includes some of the most devastating and rapidly progressive lethal conditions. Although degeneration of motor neurons is common to all of them, the phenotypic spectrum of MNDs is relatively broad and ranges from perinatal conditions like spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to adult-onset diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While the understanding of the pathology of the diseases is constantly growing, the development of therapeutic approaches lags behind. In fact, there is no approved therapy for MNDs available at the moment. Recent findings demonstrated the existence of some patterns that are shared by several MNDs such as transcriptional dysregulation. In addition, conditions like SMA or certain types of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease provide some defined targets which may be amenable to therapeutic approaches. Consequently, counteracting this dysregulation may be a valuable therapeutic option and ameliorate disease progression in MND patients. The feasibility of such an approach has been proven during the past years by the epigenetic treatment of various neoplastic entities with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi). On these grounds, also epigenetic therapy of MNDs has become a promising option. So far, several HDACi have been tested in vitro and in animal models and some proceeded further and were evaluated in clinical trials. This review will summarize the advances of HDACi in MNDs and will give a perspective where the road will lead us.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/13816128113199990356DOI Listing
March 2014

VPA response in SMA is suppressed by the fatty acid translocase CD36.

Hum Mol Genet 2013 Jan 16;22(2):398-407. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

Institute of Human Genetics, Institute of Genetics and Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, Germany.

Functional loss of SMN1 causes proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the most common genetic condition accounting for infant lethality. Hence, the hypomorphic copy gene SMN2 is the only resource of functional SMN protein in SMA patients and influences SMA severity in a dose-dependent manner. Consequently, current therapeutic approaches focus on SMN2. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), such as the short chain fatty acid VPA (valproic acid), ameliorate the SMA phenotype by activating the SMN2 expression. By analyzing blood SMN2 expression in 16 VPA-treated SMA patients, about one-third of individuals were identified as positive responders presenting increased SMN2 transcript levels. In 66% of enrolled patients, a concordant response was detected in the respective fibroblasts. Most importantly, by taking the detour of reprograming SMA patients' fibroblasts, we showed that the VPA response was maintained even in GABAergic neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) cells. Differential expression microarray analysis revealed a complete lack of response to VPA in non-responders, which was associated with an increased expression of the fatty acid translocase CD36. The pivotal role of CD36 as the cause of non-responsiveness was proven in various in vitro approaches. Most importantly, knockdown of CD36 in SMA fibroblasts converted non- into pos-responders. In summary, the concordant response from blood to the central nervous system (CNS) to VPA may allow selection of pos-responders prior to therapy. Increased CD36 expression accounts for VPA non-responsiveness. These findings may be essential not only for SMA but also for other diseases such as epilepsy or migraine frequently treated with VPA.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/dds437DOI Listing
January 2013

Severe SMA mice show organ impairment that cannot be rescued by therapy with the HDACi JNJ-26481585.

Eur J Hum Genet 2013 Jun 17;21(6):643-52. Epub 2012 Oct 17.

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

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the leading genetic cause of early childhood death worldwide and no therapy is available today. Many drugs, especially histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), increase SMN levels. As all HDACi tested so far only mildly ameliorate the SMA phenotype or are unsuitable for use in humans, there is still need to identify more potent drugs. Here, we assessed the therapeutic power of the pan-HDACi JNJ-26481585 for SMA, which is currently used in various clinical cancer trials. When administered for 64 h at 100 nM, JNJ-26481585 upregulated SMN levels in SMA fibroblast cell lines, including those from non-responders to valproic acid. Oral treatment of Taiwanese SMA mice and control littermates starting at P0 showed no overt extension of lifespan, despite mild improvements in motor abilities and weight progression. Many treated and untreated animals showed a very rapid decline or unexpected sudden death. We performed exploratory autopsy and histological assessment at different disease stages and found consistent abnormalities in the intestine, heart and lung and skeletal muscle vasculature of SMA animals, which were not prevented by JNJ-26481585 treatment. Interestingly, some of these features may be only indirectly caused by α-motoneuron function loss but may be major life-limiting factors in the course of disease. A better understanding of - primary or secondary - non-neuromuscular organ involvement in SMA patients may improve standard of care and may lead to reassessment of how to investigate SMA patients clinically.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ejhg.2012.222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3658191PMC
June 2013

A mutation in the 5'-UTR of IFITM5 creates an in-frame start codon and causes autosomal-dominant osteogenesis imperfecta type V with hyperplastic callus.

Am J Hum Genet 2012 Aug 2;91(2):349-57. Epub 2012 Aug 2.

Children's Hospital, University of Cologne, 50924 Cologne, Germany.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder associated with bone fragility and susceptibility to fractures after minimal trauma. OI type V has an autosomal-dominant pattern of inheritance and is not caused by mutations in the type I collagen genes COL1A1 and COL1A2. The most remarkable and pathognomonic feature, observed in ~65% of affected individuals, is a predisposition to develop hyperplastic callus after fractures or surgical interventions. To identify the molecular cause of OI type V, we performed whole-exome sequencing in a female with OI type V and her unaffected parents and searched for de novo mutations. We found a heterozygous de novo mutation in the 5'-untranslated region of IFITM5 (the gene encoding Interferon induced transmembrane protein 5), 14 bp upstream of the annotated translation initiation codon (c.-14C>T). Subsequently, we identified an identical heterozygous de novo mutation in a second individual with OI type V by Sanger sequencing, thereby confirming that this is the causal mutation for the phenotype. IFITM5 is a protein that is highly enriched in osteoblasts and has a putative function in bone formation and osteoblast maturation. The mutation c.-14C>T introduces an upstream start codon that is in frame with the reference open-reading frame of IFITM5 and is embedded into a stronger Kozak consensus sequence for translation initiation than the annotated start codon. In vitro, eukaryotic cells were able to recognize this start codon, and they used it instead of the reference translation initiation signal. This suggests that five amino acids (Met-Ala-Leu-Glu-Pro) are added to the N terminus and alter IFITM5 function in individuals with the mutation.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.06.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3415541PMC
August 2012

SAHA ameliorates the SMA phenotype in two mouse models for spinal muscular atrophy.

Hum Mol Genet 2010 Apr 22;19(8):1492-506. Epub 2010 Jan 22.

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

Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common autosomal recessively inherited neuromuscular disorder determined by functional impairment of alpha-motor neurons within the spinal cord. SMA is caused by functional loss of the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1), whereas disease severity is mainly influenced by the number of SMN2 copies. SMN2, which produces only low levels of full-length mRNA/protein, can be modulated by small molecules and drugs, thus offering a unique possibility for SMA therapy. Here, we analysed suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), a FDA-approved histone deacetylase inhibitor, as potential drug in two severe SMA mouse models each carrying two SMN2 transgenes: US-SMA mice with one SMN2 per allele (Smn(-/-);SMN2(tg/tg)) and Taiwanese-SMA mice with two SMN2 per allele (Smn(-/-);SMN2(tg/wt)), both on pure FVB/N background. The US-SMA mice were embryonically lethal with heterozygous males showing significantly reduced fertility. SAHA treatment of pregnant mothers rescued the embryonic lethality giving rise to SMA offspring. By using a novel breeding strategy for the Taiwanese model (Smn(-/-);SMN2(tg/tg) x Smn(-/+) mice), we obtained 50% SMA offspring that survive approximately 10 days and 50% control carriers in each litter. Treatment with 25 mg/kg twice daily SAHA increased lifespan of SMA mice by 30%, significantly improved motor function abilities, reduced degeneration of motor neurons within the spinal cord and increased the size of neuromuscular junctions and muscle fibers compared with vehicle-treated SMA mice. SMN RNA and protein levels were significantly elevated in various tissues including spinal cord and muscle. Hence, SAHA, which lessens the progression of SMA, might be suitable for SMA therapy.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddq023DOI Listing
April 2010

LBH589 induces up to 10-fold SMN protein levels by several independent mechanisms and is effective even in cells from SMA patients non-responsive to valproate.

Hum Mol Genet 2009 Oct 7;18(19):3645-58. Epub 2009 Jul 7.

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

Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are potential candidates for therapeutic approaches in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)--a common autosomal recessive disorder and frequent cause of early childhood death. SMA is caused by homozygous absence of SMN1. Importantly, all SMA patients carry a nearly identical copy gene, SMN2, that produces only minor levels of correctly spliced full-length transcripts and SMN protein. Since an increased number of SMN2 copies strongly correlates with a milder SMA phenotype, activation or stabilization of SMN2 is considered as a therapeutic strategy. However, clinical trials demonstrated effectiveness of the HDACi valproate (VPA) and phenylbutyrate only in <50% of patients; therefore, identification of new drugs is of vital importance. Here we characterize the novel hydroxamic acid LBH589, an HDACi already widely used in cancer clinical trials. LBH589 treatment of human SMA fibroblasts induced up to 10-fold elevated SMN levels, the highest ever reported, accompanied by a markedly increased number of gems. FL-SMN2 levels were increased 2-3-fold by transcription activation via SMN2 promoter H3K9 hyperacetylation and restoration of correct splicing via elevated hTRA2-beta1 levels. Furthermore, LBH589 stabilizes SMN by reducing its ubiquitinylation as well as favouring incorporation into the SMN complex. Cytotoxic effects were not detectable at SMN2 activating concentrations. Notably, LBH589 also induces SMN2 expression in SMA fibroblasts inert to VPA, in human neural stem cells and in the spinal cord of SMN2-transgenic mice. Hence, LBH589, which is active already at nanomolar doses, is a highly promising candidate for SMA therapy.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddp313DOI Listing
October 2009

Nonsense-mediated messenger RNA decay of survival motor neuron 1 causes spinal muscular atrophy.

Hum Genet 2008 Mar 3;123(2):141-53. Epub 2008 Jan 3.

Institute of Human Genetics, and Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, Kerpener Str. 34, 50931, Cologne, Germany.

Autosomal recessive proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neurodegenerative disorder resulting from functional loss of survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1). Homozygous absence of SMN1 due to deletion or gene conversion accounts for about 96% of SMA cases. In the remaining 4%, subtle SMN1 mutations are commonly identified. Here, we describe two novel intragenic SMN1 mutations in three type I SMA individuals: a point mutation in exon 3 (c.469C > T) and a substitution in intron 4 (c.628-140A > G). In-vivo splicing assays demonstrated that the intronic substitution creates a novel splice donor site, culminating in aberrant splicing and insertion of 65 bp from intron 4 between exons 4 and 5 in SMN1 transcripts (c.627_628ins65). Both mutations render SMN1 transcripts susceptible to nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), resulting in mRNA degradation, insufficient SMN protein levels and development of an SMA phenotype. Treatment of patient cell lines with the translation inhibitors puromycin and emetine markedly increased the levels of mutant SMN1 transcripts. A similar effect was observed after siRNA-mediated knockdown of UPF1, a factor essential for NMD. This study provides first evidence that NMD of SMN1 transcripts is responsible for the molecular basis of disease in a subset of SMA patients.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-007-0455-7DOI Listing
March 2008
-->