Publications by authors named "Maha S Zaki"

130 Publications

Biallelic loss-of-function variants in the splicing regulator NSRP1 cause a severe neurodevelopmental disorder with spastic cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

Genet Med 2021 Aug 12. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX, USA.

Purpose: Alternative splicing plays a critical role in mouse neurodevelopment, regulating neurogenesis, cortical lamination, and synaptogenesis, yet few human neurodevelopmental disorders are known to result from pathogenic variation in splicing regulator genes. Nuclear Speckle Splicing Regulator Protein 1 (NSRP1) is a ubiquitously expressed splicing regulator not known to underlie a Mendelian disorder.

Methods: Exome sequencing and rare variant family-based genomics was performed as a part of the Baylor-Hopkins Center for Mendelian Genomics Initiative. Additional families were identified via GeneMatcher.

Results: We identified six patients from three unrelated families with homozygous loss-of-function variants in NSRP1. Clinical features include developmental delay, epilepsy, variable microcephaly (Z-scores -0.95 to -5.60), hypotonia, and spastic cerebral palsy. Brain abnormalities included simplified gyral pattern, underopercularization, and/or vermian hypoplasia. Molecular analysis identified three pathogenic NSRP1 predicted loss-of-function variant alleles: c.1359_1362delAAAG (p.Glu455AlafsTer20), c.1272dupG (p.Lys425GlufsTer5), and c.52C>T (p.Gln18Ter). The two frameshift variants result in a premature termination codon in the last exon, and the mutant transcripts are predicted to escape nonsense mediated decay and cause loss of a C-terminal nuclear localization signal required for NSRP1 function.

Conclusion: We establish NSRP1 as a gene for a severe autosomal recessive neurodevelopmental disease trait characterized by developmental delay, epilepsy, microcephaly, and spastic cerebral palsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01291-xDOI Listing
August 2021

Samia Temtamy.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 Jul 5. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Clinical Genetics Department, Human Genetics and Genome Research Division, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62409DOI Listing
July 2021

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

Genet Med 2021 Jun 25. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loss of function mutations in GEMIN5 cause a neurodevelopmental disorder.

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

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

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

Combining exome/genome sequencing with data repository analysis reveals novel gene-disease associations for a wide range of genetic disorders.

Genet Med 2021 08 19;23(8):1551-1568. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, MNGHA, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Purpose: Within this study, we aimed to discover novel gene-disease associations in patients with no genetic diagnosis after exome/genome sequencing (ES/GS).

Methods: We followed two approaches: (1) a patient-centered approach, which after routine diagnostic analysis systematically interrogates variants in genes not yet associated to human diseases; and (2) a gene variant centered approach. For the latter, we focused on de novo variants in patients that presented with neurodevelopmental delay (NDD) and/or intellectual disability (ID), which are the most common reasons for genetic testing referrals. Gene-disease association was assessed using our data repository that combines ES/GS data and Human Phenotype Ontology terms from over 33,000 patients.

Results: We propose six novel gene-disease associations based on 38 patients with variants in the BLOC1S1, IPO8, MMP15, PLK1, RAP1GDS1, and ZNF699 genes. Furthermore, our results support causality of 31 additional candidate genes that had little published evidence and no registered OMIM phenotype (56 patients). The phenotypes included syndromic/nonsyndromic NDD/ID, oral-facial-digital syndrome, cardiomyopathies, malformation syndrome, short stature, skeletal dysplasia, and ciliary dyskinesia.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate the value of data repositories which combine clinical and genetic data for discovering and confirming gene-disease associations. Genetic laboratories should be encouraged to pursue such analyses for the benefit of undiagnosed patients and their families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01159-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8354858PMC
August 2021

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

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

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

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

Novel NDUFA12 variants are associated with isolated complex I defect and variable clinical manifestation.

Hum Mutat 2021 Jun 25;42(6):699-710. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Neurosciences, Unit of Muscular and Neurodegenerative Disorders, Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Isolated biochemical deficiency of mitochondrial complex I is the most frequent signature among mitochondrial diseases and is associated with a wide variety of clinical symptoms. Leigh syndrome represents the most frequent neuroradiological finding in patients with complex I defect and more than 80 monogenic causes have been involved in the disease. In this report, we describe seven patients from four unrelated families harboring novel NDUFA12 variants, with six of them presenting with Leigh syndrome. Molecular genetic characterization was performed using next-generation sequencing combined with the Sanger method. Biochemical and protein studies were achieved by enzymatic activities, blue native gel electrophoresis, and western blot analysis. All patients displayed novel homozygous mutations in the NDUFA12 gene, leading to the virtual absence of the corresponding protein. Surprisingly, despite the fact that in none of the analyzed patients, NDUFA12 protein was detected, they present a different onset and clinical course of the disease. Our report expands the array of genetic alterations in NDUFA12 and underlines phenotype variability associated with NDUFA12 defect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24195DOI Listing
June 2021

Neurodevelopmental disorder in an Egyptian family with a biallelic ALKBH8 variant.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 04 5;185(4):1288-1293. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

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

Alkylated DNA repair protein AlkB homolog 8 (ALKBH8) is a member of the AlkB family of dioxygenases. ALKBH8 is a methyltransferase of the highly variable wobble nucleoside position in the anticodon loop of tRNA and thus plays a critical role in tRNA modification by preserving codon recognition and preventing errors in amino acid incorporation during translation. Moreover, its activity catalyzes uridine modifications that are proposed to be critical for accurate protein translation. Previously, two distinct homozygous truncating variants in the final exon of ALKBH8 were described in two unrelated large Saudi Arabian kindreds with intellectual developmental disorder and autosomal recessive 71 (MRT71) syndrome (MIM# 618504). Here, we report a third family-of Egyptian descent-harboring a novel homozygous frame-shift variant in the last exon of ALKBH8. Two affected siblings in this family exhibit global developmental delay and intellectual disability as shared characteristic features of MRT71 syndrome, and we further characterize their observed dysmorphic features and brain MRI findings. This description of a third family with a truncating ALKBH8 variant from a distinct population broadens the phenotypic and genotypic spectrum of MRT71 syndrome, affirms that perturbations in tRNA biogenesis can contribute to neurogenetic disease traits, and firmly establishes ALKBH8 as a novel neurodevelopmental disease gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62100DOI Listing
April 2021

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

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

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

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

UBR7 functions with UBR5 in the Notch signaling pathway and is involved in a neurodevelopmental syndrome with epilepsy, ptosis, and hypothyroidism.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 01 18;108(1):134-147. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC H3T 1C5, Canada. Electronic address:

The ubiquitin-proteasome system facilitates the degradation of unstable or damaged proteins. UBR1-7, which are members of hundreds of E3 ubiquitin ligases, recognize and regulate the half-life of specific proteins on the basis of their N-terminal sequences ("N-end rule"). In seven individuals with intellectual disability, epilepsy, ptosis, hypothyroidism, and genital anomalies, we uncovered bi-allelic variants in UBR7. Their phenotype differs significantly from that of Johanson-Blizzard syndrome (JBS), which is caused by bi-allelic variants in UBR1, notably by the presence of epilepsy and the absence of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and hypoplasia of nasal alae. While the mechanistic etiology of JBS remains uncertain, mutation of both Ubr1 and Ubr2 in the mouse or of the C. elegans UBR5 ortholog results in Notch signaling defects. Consistent with a potential role in Notch signaling, C. elegans ubr-7 expression partially overlaps with that of ubr-5, including in neurons, as well as the distal tip cell that plays a crucial role in signaling to germline stem cells via the Notch signaling pathway. Analysis of ubr-5 and ubr-7 single mutants and double mutants revealed genetic interactions with the Notch receptor gene glp-1 that influenced development and embryo formation. Collectively, our findings further implicate the UBR protein family and the Notch signaling pathway in a neurodevelopmental syndrome with epilepsy, ptosis, and hypothyroidism that differs from JBS. Further studies exploring a potential role in histone regulation are warranted given clinical overlap with KAT6B disorders and the interaction of UBR7 and UBR5 with histones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.11.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820726PMC
January 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clinical and genetic characterization of ten Egyptian patients with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome and review of literature.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2021 02 20;9(2):e1546. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Clinical Genetics Department, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

Background: Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) (OMIM 194190) is a multiple congenital anomalies/intellectual disability syndrome. It is caused by partial loss of genetic material from the distal portion of the short arm of chromosome.

Methods: We studied the phenotype-genotype correlation.

Results: We present the clinical manifestations and cytogenetic results of 10 unrelated Egyptian patients with 4p deletions. Karyotyping, FISH and MLPA was performed for screening for microdeletion syndromes. Array CGH was done for two patients. All patients exhibited the cardinal clinical manifestation of WHS. FISH proved deletion of the specific WHS locus in all patients. MLPA detected microdeletion of the specific locus in two patients with normal karyotypes, while array CGH, performed for two patients, has delineated the extent of the deleted segments and the involved genes. LETM1, the main candidate gene for the seizure phenotype, was found deleted in the two patients tested by array CGH; nevertheless, one of them did not manifest seizures. The study emphasized the previous.

Conclusion: WHS is a contiguous gene syndrome resulting from hemizygosity of the terminal 2 Mb of 4p16.3 region. The Branchial fistula, detected in one of our patients is a new finding that, to our knowledge, was not reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8077161PMC
February 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clinical, Biochemical, and Molecular Characterization of Metachromatic Leukodystrophy Among Egyptian Pediatric Patients: Expansion of the ARSA Mutational Spectrum.

J Mol Neurosci 2021 May 13;71(5):1112-1130. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Clinical Genetics Department, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

Metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive demyelination due to deficiency of the enzyme arylsulfatase A (ARSA) in leukocytes, and consequently leads to impaired degradation and accumulation of cerebroside-3-sulfate (sulfatide). This study aimed to sequence the ARSA gene in a total of 43 patients with metachromatic leukodystrophy descendant from 40 Egyptian families. In addition, four carrier parents from two families with children who had died from MLD came to the clinic for genetic analysis. Prenatal diagnosis was performed for four families with molecularly diagnosed MLD sibs. Different mutations were characterized in our cohort, including missense, nonsense, splice, and deletion. Overall, 21 different mutations in the ARSA gene were detected, with 12 novel mutations, i.e. p.Arg60Pro, p.Tyr65*, p.Val112Asp, p.Arg116*, p.Gly124Asp, p.Pro193Ser, p.Gln238*, p.Gln456*, p.Thr276Lys, and p.Gly311Arg, in addition to two new acceptor splice-site mutations 685-1G > A and c.954_956 delCTT. The amniotic fluid samples revealed two carrier fetuses with heterozygous monoallelic mutations, and two affected fetuses had the homozygous biallelic mutations. In conclusion, the current study sheds light on the underlying ARSA gene defect, with an expansion of the mutation spectrum. To our knowledge, this is the first molecular study of MLD among the Egyptian population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12031-020-01734-1DOI Listing
May 2021

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

J Med Genet 2020 Nov 10. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defining the clinical, molecular and imaging spectrum of adaptor protein complex 4-associated hereditary spastic paraplegia.

Brain 2020 10;143(10):2929-2944

Division of Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Bi-allelic loss-of-function variants in genes that encode subunits of the adaptor protein complex 4 (AP-4) lead to prototypical yet poorly understood forms of childhood-onset and complex hereditary spastic paraplegia: SPG47 (AP4B1), SPG50 (AP4M1), SPG51 (AP4E1) and SPG52 (AP4S1). Here, we report a detailed cross-sectional analysis of clinical, imaging and molecular data of 156 patients from 101 families. Enrolled patients were of diverse ethnic backgrounds and covered a wide age range (1.0-49.3 years). While the mean age at symptom onset was 0.8 ± 0.6 years [standard deviation (SD), range 0.2-5.0], the mean age at diagnosis was 10.2 ± 8.5 years (SD, range 0.1-46.3). We define a set of core features: early-onset developmental delay with delayed motor milestones and significant speech delay (50% non-verbal); intellectual disability in the moderate to severe range; mild hypotonia in infancy followed by spastic diplegia (mean age: 8.4 ± 5.1 years, SD) and later tetraplegia (mean age: 16.1 ± 9.8 years, SD); postnatal microcephaly (83%); foot deformities (69%); and epilepsy (66%) that is intractable in a subset. At last follow-up, 36% ambulated with assistance (mean age: 8.9 ± 6.4 years, SD) and 54% were wheelchair-dependent (mean age: 13.4 ± 9.8 years, SD). Episodes of stereotypic laughing, possibly consistent with a pseudobulbar affect, were found in 56% of patients. Key features on neuroimaging include a thin corpus callosum (90%), ventriculomegaly (65%) often with colpocephaly, and periventricular white-matter signal abnormalities (68%). Iron deposition and polymicrogyria were found in a subset of patients. AP4B1-associated SPG47 and AP4M1-associated SPG50 accounted for the majority of cases. About two-thirds of patients were born to consanguineous parents, and 82% carried homozygous variants. Over 70 unique variants were present, the majority of which are frameshift or nonsense mutations. To track disease progression across the age spectrum, we defined the relationship between disease severity as measured by several rating scales and disease duration. We found that the presence of epilepsy, which manifested before the age of 3 years in the majority of patients, was associated with worse motor outcomes. Exploring genotype-phenotype correlations, we found that disease severity and major phenotypes were equally distributed among the four subtypes, establishing that SPG47, SPG50, SPG51 and SPG52 share a common phenotype, an 'AP-4 deficiency syndrome'. By delineating the core clinical, imaging, and molecular features of AP-4-associated hereditary spastic paraplegia across the age spectrum our results will facilitate early diagnosis, enable counselling and anticipatory guidance of affected families and help define endpoints for future interventional trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz307DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780481PMC
October 2020

Blepharophimosis-ptosis-intellectual disability syndrome: A report of nine Egyptian patients with further expansion of phenotypic and mutational spectrum.

Am J Med Genet A 2020 12 19;182(12):2857-2866. Epub 2020 Sep 19.

Medical Molecular Genetics Department, Human Genetics and Genome Research Division, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

Blepharophimosis-ptosis-intellectual disability syndrome (BPID) is an extremely rare recognizable blepharophimosis intellectual disability syndrome (BID). It is caused by biallelic variants in the UBE3B gene with only 24 patients described worldwide. Herein, we report on the clinical, brain imaging and molecular findings of additional nine patients from six unrelated Egyptian families. Patients presented with the characteristic features of the syndrome including blepharophimosis, ptosis, upslanted palpebral fissures with epicanthic folds, hypertelorism, long philtrum, high arched palate, micrognathia, microcephaly, and intellectual disability. Other findings were congenital heart disease (5 patients), talipes equinovarus (5 patients), genital anomalies (5 patients), autistic features (4 patients), cleft palate (2 patients), hearing loss (2 patients), and renal anomalies (1 patient). New or rarely reported findings were spherophakia, subvalvular aortic stenosis and hypoplastic nails, and terminal phalanges. Brain MRI, performed for 7 patients, showed hypogenesis or almost complete agenesis of corpus callosum. Genetic studies revealed five novel homozygous UBE3B variants. Of them, the c.1076G>A (p.W359*) was found in three patients from two unrelated families who shared similar haplotype suggesting a likely founder effect. Our results strengthen the clinical, dysmorphic, and brain imaging characteristic of this unique type of BID and extend the mutational spectrum associated with the disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.61857DOI Listing
December 2020

A relatively common homozygous TRAPPC4 splicing variant is associated with an early-infantile neurodegenerative syndrome.

Eur J Hum Genet 2021 02 8;29(2):271-279. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Department of Pediatrics, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.

Trafficking protein particle (TRAPP) complexes, which include the TRAPPC4 protein, regulate membrane trafficking between lipid organelles in a process termed vesicular tethering. TRAPPC4 was recently implicated in a recessive neurodevelopmental condition in four unrelated families due to a shared c.454+3A>G splice variant. Here, we report 23 patients from 17 independent families with an early-infantile-onset neurodegenerative presentation, where we also identified the homozygous variant hg38:11:119020256 A>G (NM_016146.5:c.454+3A>G) in TRAPPC4 through exome or genome sequencing. No other clinically relevant TRAPPC4 variants were identified among any of over 10,000 patients with neurodevelopmental conditions. We found the carrier frequency of TRAPPC4 c.454+3A>G was 2.4-5.4 per 10,000 healthy individuals. Affected individuals with the homozygous TRAPPC4 c.454+3A>G variant showed profound psychomotor delay, developmental regression, early-onset epilepsy, microcephaly and progressive spastic tetraplegia. Based upon RNA sequencing, the variant resulted in partial exon 3 skipping and generation of an aberrant transcript owing to use of a downstream cryptic splice donor site, predicting a premature stop codon and nonsense mediated decay. These data confirm the pathogenicity of the TRAPPC4 c.454+3A>G variant, and refine the clinical presentation of TRAPPC4-related encephalopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-020-00717-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7868361PMC
February 2021

International consensus recommendations on the diagnostic work-up for malformations of cortical development.

Nat Rev Neurol 2020 Nov 7;16(11):618-635. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Institute for Clinical Genetics, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany.

Malformations of cortical development (MCDs) are neurodevelopmental disorders that result from abnormal development of the cerebral cortex in utero. MCDs place a substantial burden on affected individuals, their families and societies worldwide, as these individuals can experience lifelong drug-resistant epilepsy, cerebral palsy, feeding difficulties, intellectual disability and other neurological and behavioural anomalies. The diagnostic pathway for MCDs is complex owing to wide variations in presentation and aetiology, thereby hampering timely and adequate management. In this article, the international MCD network Neuro-MIG provides consensus recommendations to aid both expert and non-expert clinicians in the diagnostic work-up of MCDs with the aim of improving patient management worldwide. We reviewed the literature on clinical presentation, aetiology and diagnostic approaches for the main MCD subtypes and collected data on current practices and recommendations from clinicians and diagnostic laboratories within Neuro-MIG. We reached consensus by 42 professionals from 20 countries, using expert discussions and a Delphi consensus process. We present a diagnostic workflow that can be applied to any individual with MCD and a comprehensive list of MCD-related genes with their associated phenotypes. The workflow is designed to maximize the diagnostic yield and increase the number of patients receiving personalized care and counselling on prognosis and recurrence risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41582-020-0395-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7790753PMC
November 2020

ASAH1-related disorders: Description of 15 novel pediatric patients and expansion of the clinical phenotype.

Clin Genet 2020 12 2;98(6):598-605. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Pediatrics Department, Neurology and Metabolic division, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

Acid ceramidase deficiency is an orphan lysosomal disorder caused by ASAH1 pathogenic variants and presenting with either Farber disease or spinal muscle atrophy with progressive myoclonic epilepsy (SMA-PME). Phenotypic and genotypic features are rarely explored beyond the scope of case reports. Furthermore, the new biomarker C26-Ceramide requires validation in a clinical setting. We evaluated the clinical, biomarker and genetic spectrum of 15 Egyptian children from 14 unrelated families with biallelic pathogenic variants in ASAH1 (12 Farber and 3 SMA-PME). Recruited children were nine females/six males ranging in age at diagnosis from 13 to 118 months. We detected ASAH1 pathogenic variants in all 30 alleles including three novel variants (c.1126A>G (p.Thr376Ala), c.1205G>A (p.Arg402Gln), exon-5-deletion). Both total C26-Ceramide and its trans- isomer showed 100% sensitivity for the detection of ASAH1-related disorders in tested patients. A 10-year-old girl with the novel variant c.1205G>A (p.Arg402Gln) presented with a new peculiar phenotype of PME without muscle atrophy. We expanded the phenotypic spectrum of ASAH1-related disorders and validated the biomarker C26-Ceramide for supporting diagnosis in symptomatic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13834DOI Listing
December 2020

Biallelic loss of function variants in SYT2 cause a treatable congenital onset presynaptic myasthenic syndrome.

Am J Med Genet A 2020 10 10;182(10):2272-2283. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Neuromuscular and Neurogenetic Disorders of Childhood Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Synaptotagmins are integral synaptic vesicle membrane proteins that function as calcium sensors and regulate neurotransmitter release at the presynaptic nerve terminal. Synaptotagmin-2 (SYT2), is the major isoform expressed at the neuromuscular junction. Recently, dominant missense variants in SYT2 have been reported as a rare cause of distal motor neuropathy and myasthenic syndrome, manifesting with stable or slowly progressive distal weakness of variable severity along with presynaptic NMJ impairment. These variants are thought to have a dominant-negative effect on synaptic vesicle exocytosis, although the precise pathomechanism remains to be elucidated. Here we report seven patients of five families, with biallelic loss of function variants in SYT2, clinically manifesting with a remarkably consistent phenotype of severe congenital onset hypotonia and weakness, with variable degrees of respiratory involvement. Electrodiagnostic findings were consistent with a presynaptic congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) in some. Treatment with an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor pursued in three patients showed clinical improvement with increased strength and function. This series further establishes SYT2 as a CMS-disease gene and expands its clinical and genetic spectrum to include recessive loss-of-function variants, manifesting as a severe congenital onset presynaptic CMS with potential treatment implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.61765DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7959540PMC
October 2020

Micro and Martsolf syndromes in 34 new patients: Refining the phenotypic spectrum and further molecular insights.

Clin Genet 2020 11;98(5):445-456

Clinical Genetics Department, Human Genetics and Genome Research Division, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

Micro and Martsolf syndromes are rare clinically and genetically overlapping disorders caused by mutations in RAB3GAP1, RAB3GAP2, RAB18 and TBC1D20 genes. We describe 34 new patients, 27 with Micro and seven with Martsolf. Patients presented with the characteristic clinical manifestations of the two syndromes, including postnatal microcephaly, congenital cataracts, microphthalmia, optic atrophy, spasticity and intellectual disability. Brain imaging showed in the majority of cases polymicrogyria, thin corpus callosum, cortical atrophy, and white matter dysmyelination. Unusual additional findings were pectus excavatum (four patients), pectus carinatum (three patients), congenital heart disease (three patients) and bilateral calcification in basal ganglia (one patient). Mutational analysis of RAB3GAP1 and RAB3GAP2 revealed 21 mutations, including 14 novel variants. RAB3GAP1 mutations were identified in 22 patients with Micro, including a deletion of the entire gene in one patient. On the other hand, RAB3GAP2 mutations were identified in two patients with Micro and all Martsolf patients. Moreover, exome sequencing unraveled a TBC1D20 mutation in an additional family with Micro syndrome. Our results expand the phenotypic and mutational spectrum associated with Micro and Martsolf syndromes. Due to the overlapped severities and genetic basis of both syndromes, we suggest to be comprehended as one entity "Micro/Martsolf spectrum" or "RAB18 deficiency."
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13825DOI Listing
November 2020

Biallelic variants in , encoding a dsRNA-specific adenosine deaminase, cause a severe developmental and epileptic encephalopathy.

J Med Genet 2021 Jul 27;58(7):495-504. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Department of Neuromuscular Disorders, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, WC1N 3BG, UK

Background: Adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing is a co-transcriptional/post-transcriptional modification of double-stranded RNA, catalysed by one of two active adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs), ADAR1 and ADAR2. encodes the enzyme ADAR2 that is highly expressed in the brain and essential to modulate the function of glutamate and serotonin receptors. Impaired ADAR2 editing causes early onset progressive epilepsy and premature death in mice. In humans, ADAR2 dysfunction has been very recently linked to a neurodevelopmental disorder with microcephaly and epilepsy in four unrelated subjects.

Methods: We studied three children from two consanguineous families with severe developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (DEE) through detailed physical and instrumental examinations. Exome sequencing (ES) was used to identify mutations as the underlying genetic cause and in vitro assays with transiently transfected cells were performed to ascertain the impact on ADAR2 enzymatic activity and splicing.

Results: All patients showed global developmental delay, intractable early infantile-onset seizures, microcephaly, severe-to-profound intellectual disability, axial hypotonia and progressive appendicular spasticity. ES revealed the novel missense c.1889G>A, p.(Arg630Gln) and deletion c.1245_1247+1 del, p.(Leu415PhefsTer14) variants in (NM_015833.4). The p.(Leu415PhefsTer14) variant leads to incorrect splicing resulting in frameshift with a premature stop codon and loss of enzyme function. In vitro RNA editing assays showed that the p.(Arg630Gln) variant resulted in a severe impairment of ADAR2 enzymatic activity.

Conclusion: In conclusion, these data support the pathogenic role of biallelic variants as the cause of a distinctive form of DEE, reinforcing the importance of RNA editing in brain function and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-107048DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8327408PMC
July 2021
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