Publications by authors named "Marjon A van Slegtenhorst"

33 Publications

Shared genetic pathways contribute to risk of hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathies with opposite directions of effect.

Nat Genet 2021 02 25;53(2):128-134. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Cardiology, Heart Center, Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The heart muscle diseases hypertrophic (HCM) and dilated (DCM) cardiomyopathies are leading causes of sudden death and heart failure in young, otherwise healthy, individuals. We conducted genome-wide association studies and multi-trait analyses in HCM (1,733 cases), DCM (5,521 cases) and nine left ventricular (LV) traits (19,260 UK Biobank participants with structurally normal hearts). We identified 16 loci associated with HCM, 13 with DCM and 23 with LV traits. We show strong genetic correlations between LV traits and cardiomyopathies, with opposing effects in HCM and DCM. Two-sample Mendelian randomization supports a causal association linking increased LV contractility with HCM risk. A polygenic risk score explains a significant portion of phenotypic variability in carriers of HCM-causing rare variants. Our findings thus provide evidence that polygenic risk score may account for variability in Mendelian diseases. More broadly, we provide insights into how genetic pathways may lead to distinct disorders through opposing genetic effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-00762-2DOI Listing
February 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impact of sex on timing and clinical outcome of septal myectomy for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Int J Cardiol 2021 Jan 22;323:133-139. Epub 2020 Aug 22.

Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, 3015GD Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Sex disparities are common in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Previous research has shown that at time of myectomy, women are older, have greater impairment of diastolic function and more advanced cardiac remodeling. The clinical impact of these differences is unknown.

Method: This study included 162 HCM patients (61% men) who underwent septal myectomy. Time to treatment was calculated in relation to symptom onset and diagnosis. Pre- and post-operative echocardiographic data were collected. Sex differences were assessed at baseline and in time-to-event survival analyses for the composite endpoint of all-cause mortality, cardiac transplantation, re-intervention and aborted sudden cardiac death.

Results: Women were generally older at time of myectomy (57 vs. 49 years, p < 0.01), with similar time to treatment as measured from symptom onset (2.3 [1.3-6.0] vs. 2.8 [1.1-5.3] years, p > 0.05), but a shorter time since diagnosis compared to men (2.6 [1.2-7.0] vs. 4.3 [2.4-8.3] years, p = 0.02). Mean wall thickness and left atrial diameter were the same for men and women, but were higher in women when correcting for body surface area (absolute: 20 vs. 19 mm, 48 vs 46 mm, p ≥ 0.05; corrected: 9.7 vs. 11.2 mm/m, 23.4 vs. 26.3 mm/m, p < 0.01). After 5.9 [3.0-9.1] years, 15% of men and 8% of women had reached the composite endpoint (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: In conclusion, although women present later in life and seem to have more advanced disease on echocardiography, time until myectomy was similar and clinical outcomes after myectomy are favourable for both men and women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2020.08.059DOI Listing
January 2021

Left-ventricular outflow tract acceleration time is associated with symptoms in patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

J Ultrasound 2020 Jul 25. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, Post Office box: 2040, 3015 GD, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Aims: Not all obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients are symptomatic. The relation between obstructive HCM and symptoms is not well understood. The hypothesis of this study is that left-ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) acceleration time (AT) is associated with symptoms.

Methods: We included 187 patients (61% men, mean age 55 ± 14 years) with obstructive HCM, defined as a maximal wall thickness ≥ 15 mm and a resting or provoked LVOT peak gradient ≥ 30 mmHg. Peak velocity (PV), left-ventricular (LV) ejection time (ET), and AT (the time between LVOT flow onset and the moment of PV) were measured on continuous-wave (CW) Doppler tracings. Logistic and Cox proportional hazard regression analyses were used to evaluate the relation between symptoms [New York Heart Association (NYHA) class ≥ II] and echocardiographic measurements, including AT. Reproducibility was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).

Results: Symptomatic patients were more often female and had higher mean AT values. Logistic regression demonstrated a significant association between AT and symptomatic status (odds ratio 1.31 per 10 ms, p < 0.01) after adjustment for sex, negative inotropes, PV, LVOT diameter, and diastolic dysfunction. AT was independently associated with symptoms and septal reduction during follow-up (hazard ratio 1.09 per 10 ms, p < 0.05). The ICC was 0.98 with a mean difference of 0.28 ± 8.4 ms.

Conclusion: In obstructive HCM patients, increased AT is significantly related to symptoms after adjustment for sex, negative inotropes, PV, LVOT diameter, and diastolic dysfunction, and is associated with the symptomatic status during follow-up. AT represents an easily measured echocardiographic variable with excellent inter-reader reproducibility.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40477-020-00513-3DOI Listing
July 2020

Expanding the clinical and genetic spectrum of ALPK3 variants: Phenotypes identified in pediatric cardiomyopathy patients and adults with heterozygous variants.

Am Heart J 2020 07 21;225:108-119. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

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

Introduction: Biallelic damaging variants in ALPK3, encoding alpha-protein kinase 3, cause pediatric-onset cardiomyopathy with manifestations that are incompletely defined.

Methods And Results: We analyzed clinical manifestations of damaging biallelic ALPK3 variants in 19 pediatric patients, including nine previously published cases. Among these, 11 loss-of-function (LoF) variants, seven compound LoF and deleterious missense variants, and one homozygous deleterious missense variant were identified. Among 18 live-born patients, 8 exhibited neonatal dilated cardiomyopathy (44.4%; 95% CI: 21.5%-69.2%) that subsequently transitioned into ventricular hypertrophy. The majority of patients had extracardiac phenotypes, including contractures, scoliosis, cleft palate, and facial dysmorphisms. We observed no association between variant type or location, disease severity, and/or extracardiac manifestations. Myocardial histopathology showed focal cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, subendocardial fibroelastosis in patients under 4 years of age, and myofibrillar disarray in adults. Rare heterozygous ALPK3 variants were also assessed in adult-onset cardiomyopathy patients. Among 1548 Dutch patients referred for initial genetic analyses, we identified 39 individuals with rare heterozygous ALPK3 variants (2.5%; 95% CI: 1.8%-3.4%), including 26 missense and 10 LoF variants. Among 149 U.S. patients without pathogenic variants in 83 cardiomyopathy-related genes, we identified six missense and nine LoF ALPK3 variants (10.1%; 95% CI: 5.7%-16.1%). LoF ALPK3 variants were increased in comparison to matched controls (Dutch cohort, P = 1.6×10; U.S. cohort, P = 2.2×10).

Conclusion: Biallelic damaging ALPK3 variants cause pediatric cardiomyopathy manifested by DCM transitioning to hypertrophy, often with poor contractile function. Additional extracardiac features occur in most patients, including musculoskeletal abnormalities and cleft palate. Heterozygous LoF ALPK3 variants are enriched in adults with cardiomyopathy and may contribute to their cardiomyopathy. Adults with ALPK3 LoF variants therefore warrant evaluations for cardiomyopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2020.03.023DOI Listing
July 2020

Diagnostic Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging Criteria in Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy and the Yield of Genetic Testing.

Can J Cardiol 2020 May 21. Epub 2020 May 21.

Department of Cardiology, Erasmus Medical Centre, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: Noncompaction cardiomyopathy (NCCM) is characterized by a thickened myocardial wall with excessive trabeculations of the left ventricle, and ∼30% is explained by a (likely) pathogenic variant [(L)PV] in a cardiomyopathy gene. Diagnosing an (L)PV is important because it allows accurate identification of which relatives are at risk and helps predicting prognosis. The goal of this study was to assess which specific clinical and morphologic characteristics of the myocardium may predict an (L)PV and which of the cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) diagnostic criteria for NCCM can best be used for that purpose.

Methods: Sixty-two patients with NCCM, diagnosed by means of echocardiographic Jenni criteria, underwent CMR imaging that was evaluated according the Petersen, Stacey, Jacquier, Captur, and Choi diagnostic CMR criteria for NCCM. Patients also underwent DNA testing and were stratified according to having an (L)PV.

Results: Thirty-three patients (53%) with NCCM had an (L)PV. The apical and mid-lateral segments were the dominant locations for meeting Petersen and/or Stacey criteria. Correlation between different CMR criteria varied from moderate to very strong. In multivariate binary logistic regression analysis with CMR and non-CMR parameters, independent positive predictors for an (L)PV were familial cardiomyopathy, trabecular mass, and meeting Petersen criteria in ≥ 2 out of 3 long-axis views, whereas left bundle branch block and hypertension were negative predictors. The receiver operating characteristic curve of this multivariate model had an area under the curve of 0.89 (95% confidence interval 0.82-0.97).

Conclusions: CMR criteria together with family history help to distinguish those patients in whom an (L)PV can be identified, consequently leading to referral for genetic diagnostics and cascade screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2020.05.021DOI Listing
May 2020

Biallelic Variants in , Encoding a Cytosolic Targeting Factor of Tail-Anchored Proteins, Cause Rapidly Progressive Pediatric Cardiomyopathy.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2019 09 28;12(9):397-406. Epub 2019 Aug 28.

Department of Clinical Genetics (J.M.A.V., M.v.d.B., H.C.v.d.L., L.M.A.v.U., M.H.-W., M.A.v.S., M.W.W., F.W.V., R.M.W.H., T.J.v.H., I.M.B.H.v.d.L.), Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam.

Background: Pediatric cardiomyopathies are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of heart muscle disorders associated with high morbidity and mortality. Although knowledge of the genetic basis of pediatric cardiomyopathy has improved considerably, the underlying cause remains elusive in a substantial proportion of cases.

Methods: Exome sequencing was used to screen for the causative genetic defect in a pair of siblings with rapidly progressive dilated cardiomyopathy and death in early infancy. Protein expression was assessed in patient samples, followed by an in vitro tail-anchored protein insertion assay and functional analyses in zebrafish.

Results: We identified compound heterozygous variants in the highly conserved gene (arsA arsenite transporter, ATP-binding, homolog), which encodes an ATPase required for post-translational membrane insertion of tail-anchored proteins. The c.913C>T variant on the paternal allele is predicted to result in a premature stop codon p.(Gln305*), and likely explains the decreased protein expression observed in myocardial tissue and skin fibroblasts. The c.488T>C variant on the maternal allele results in a valine to alanine substitution at residue 163 (p.Val163Ala). Functional studies showed that this variant leads to protein misfolding as well as less effective tail-anchored protein insertion. Loss of in zebrafish resulted in reduced cardiac contractility and early lethality. In contrast to wild-type mRNA, injection of either mutant mRNA failed to rescue this phenotype.

Conclusions: Biallelic variants in cause severe pediatric cardiomyopathy and early death. Our findings point toward a critical role of the tail-anchored membrane protein insertion pathway in vertebrate cardiac function and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002507DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7205403PMC
September 2019

Mortality Risk Associated With Truncating Founder Mutations in Titin.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2019 05;12(5):e002436

Department of Genetics (M.J., A.F.B., A.S.U., H.K.P.v.A., E.A.M.H., D.D.), University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Background Truncating titin variants (TTNtv) are the most prevalent genetic cause of dilated cardiomyopathy, found in ≤25% of familial cases. Moreover, TTNtv associated with dilated cardiomyopathy are estimated to be present in 0.5% of the general population. The prognosis of asymptomatic carriers of TTNtv is poorly understood because TTNtv are associated with a highly variable phenotype. We aim to assess the natural history and clinical relevance of TTNtv by analyzing standardized mortality ratios (SMR) in multigenerational pedigrees and in close relatives of present-day patients. Methods Haplotype and genealogical analyses were performed on 3 recurrent TTNtv. Subsequently, the family tree mortality ratio method was used to compare all-cause mortality of subjects at an a priori 50% risk of carrying TTNtv to the general Dutch population. SMRs were stratified for sex, age, and calendar period. Subgroups were compared with Poisson regression. Similarly, SMRs were calculated in parents of 128 present-day dilated cardiomyopathy probands with TTNtv using the reverse parent-offspring method. Results The TTNtv were established as founder mutations and traced to 18th century ancestors. In 20 522 person-years, overall mortality was not significantly increased (SMR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.95-1.18; P=0.162). However, mortality was significantly increased in subjects living after 1965 (SMR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.04-1.53; P=0.009) and aged ≥60 years (SMR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.01-1.35; P=0.02). The reverse parent-offspring analysis showed overall excess mortality (SMR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.07-1.48; P=0.003), driven by subjects aged ≥60 years. Conclusions The natural history of the analyzed TTNtv shows a relatively mild disease course with significant excess mortality in elderly patients. With increasing life expectancy, TTNtv-associated morbidity and mortality will likely become more prevalent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.118.002436DOI Listing
May 2019

Variants in DOCK3 cause developmental delay and hypotonia.

Eur J Hum Genet 2019 08 11;27(8):1225-1234. Epub 2019 Apr 11.

Division of Genetics and Genomic Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

The DOCK3 gene encodes the Dedicator of cytokinesis 3 (DOCK3) protein, which belongs to the family of guanine nucleotide exchange factors and is expressed almost exclusively in the brain and spinal cord. We used whole exome sequencing (WES) to investigate the molecular cause of developmental delay and hypotonia in three unrelated probands. WES identified truncating and splice site variants in Patient 1 and compound heterozygous and homozygous missense variants in Patients 2 and 3, respectively. We studied the effect of the three missense variants in vitro by using site-directed mutagenesis and pull-down assay and show that the induction of Rac1 activation was significantly lower in DOCK3 mutant cells compared with wild type human DOCK3 (P < 0.05). We generated a protein model to further examine the effect of the two missense variants within or adjacent to the DHR-2 domain in DOCK3 and this model supports pathogenicity. Our results support a loss of function mechanism but the data on the patients with missense variants should be cautiously interpreted because of the variability of the phenotypes and limited number of cases. Prior studies have described DOCK3 bi-allelic loss of function variants in two families with ataxia, hypotonia, and developmental delay. Here, we report on three patients with DOCK3-related developmental delay, wide-based or uncoordinated gait, and hypotonia, further supporting DOCK3's role in a neurodevelopmental syndrome and expanding the spectrum of phenotypic and genotypic variability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-019-0397-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6777627PMC
August 2019

Cardiac Phenotypes, Genetics, and Risks in Familial Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2019 04;73(13):1601-1611

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

Background: There is overlap in genetic causes and cardiac features in noncompaction cardiomyopathy (NCCM), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Objectives: The goal of this study was to predict phenotype and outcome in relatives according to the clinical features and genotype of NCCM index cases.

Methods: Retrospective DNA and cardiac screening of relatives of 113 families from 143 index patients were used to classify NCCM cases according to the cardiac phenotype. These cases were classified as isolated NCCM, NCCM with left ventricular (LV) dilation (DCM), and NCCM with LV hypertrophy (HCM).

Results: In 58 (51%) families, screening identified 73 relatives with NCCM and 34 with DCM or HCM without NCCM. The yield of family screening was higher in families with a mutation (p < 0.001). Fifty-four families had a mutation. Nonpenetrance was observed in 37% of the relatives with a mutation. Index cases were more often symptomatic than affected relatives (p < 0.001). NCCM with DCM (53%) was associated with LV systolic dysfunction (p < 0.001), increased risk for major adverse cardiac events, mutations in the tail of MYH7 (p < 0.001), and DCM without NCCM in relatives (p < 0.001). Isolated NCCM (43%) was associated with a milder course, mutations in the head of MYH7, asymptomatic NCCM (42%) (p = 0.018), and isolated NCCM in relatives (p = 0.004). NCCM with HCM (4%) was associated with MYBPC3 and HCM without NCCM in relatives (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The phenotype of relatives may be predicted according to the NCCM phenotype and the mutation of index patients. NCCM phenotypes were related to outcome. In this way, clinical and genetic features of index patients may help prediction of outcome in relatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2018.12.085DOI Listing
April 2019

Delayed Diagnosis of Danon Disease in Patients Presenting With Isolated Cardiomyopathy.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2019 03;12(3):e002395

Department of Clinical Genetics (S.D., M.A. v. S, M.L., M.W.W., G.J.S.), Sophia Children's Hospital, Erasmus Medical Centre, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.118.002395DOI Listing
March 2019

Expanding the Spectrum of BAF-Related Disorders: De Novo Variants in SMARCC2 Cause a Syndrome with Intellectual Disability and Developmental Delay.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 01 20;104(1):164-178. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

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

SMARCC2 (BAF170) is one of the invariable core subunits of the ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling BAF (BRG1-associated factor) complex and plays a crucial role in embryogenesis and corticogenesis. Pathogenic variants in genes encoding other components of the BAF complex have been associated with intellectual disability syndromes. Despite its significant biological role, variants in SMARCC2 have not been directly associated with human disease previously. Using whole-exome sequencing and a web-based gene-matching program, we identified 15 individuals with variable degrees of neurodevelopmental delay and growth retardation harboring one of 13 heterozygous variants in SMARCC2, most of them novel and proven de novo. The clinical presentation overlaps with intellectual disability syndromes associated with other BAF subunits, such as Coffin-Siris and Nicolaides-Baraitser syndromes and includes prominent speech impairment, hypotonia, feeding difficulties, behavioral abnormalities, and dysmorphic features such as hypertrichosis, thick eyebrows, thin upper lip vermilion, and upturned nose. Nine out of the fifteen individuals harbor variants in the highly conserved SMARCC2 DNA-interacting domains (SANT and SWIRM) and present with a more severe phenotype. Two of these individuals present cardiac abnormalities. Transcriptomic analysis of fibroblasts from affected individuals highlights a group of differentially expressed genes with possible roles in regulation of neuronal development and function, namely H19, SCRG1, RELN, and CACNB4. Our findings suggest a novel SMARCC2-related syndrome that overlaps with neurodevelopmental disorders associated with variants in BAF-complex subunits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.11.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6323608PMC
January 2019

Homozygous Truncating Variant in PKP2 Causes Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2018 12;11(12):e002397

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (J.M.A.V., M.v.d.B., S.K., I.M.B.H.v.d.L., M.A.v.S., M.W.W.).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.118.002397DOI Listing
December 2018

[Whole Exome Sequencing in daily practice: the possibilities and impossibilities of this diagnostic test].

Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 2018 11 26;162. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

Erasmus MC, afd. Klinische Genetica, Rotterdam.

Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) is becoming a standard diagnostic tool for patients who potentially suffer from an underlying monogenic condition. This is illustrated by the use of WES panels for specific medical conditions; in such instances, analysis is focused on a subset of genes that can be implicated in the pathogenesis of a condition such as epilepsy, intellectual disability, cardiomyopathy, etc. Physicians requesting WES diagnostics should be informed about the possibilities, limitations and pitfalls of this test. Here, we give a short introduction on the background of WES and also explain its potential in today's practice. In addition, we will discuss the limitations of WES and the WES classification system, which is used to indicate the pathogenic character of identified gene variants, will be further explained. We expect that WES will soon become a standard diagnostic tool for physicians from many disciplines.
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November 2018

MACF1 Mutations Encoding Highly Conserved Zinc-Binding Residues of the GAR Domain Cause Defects in Neuronal Migration and Axon Guidance.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 12 21;103(6):1009-1021. Epub 2018 Nov 21.

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam 3015 CN, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

To date, mutations in 15 actin- or microtubule-associated genes have been associated with the cortical malformation lissencephaly and variable brainstem hypoplasia. During a multicenter review, we recognized a rare lissencephaly variant with a complex brainstem malformation in three unrelated children. We searched our large brain-malformation databases and found another five children with this malformation (as well as one with a less severe variant), analyzed available whole-exome or -genome sequencing data, and tested ciliogenesis in two affected individuals. The brain malformation comprised posterior predominant lissencephaly and midline crossing defects consisting of absent anterior commissure and a striking W-shaped brainstem malformation caused by small or absent pontine crossing fibers. We discovered heterozygous de novo missense variants or an in-frame deletion involving highly conserved zinc-binding residues within the GAR domain of MACF1 in the first eight subjects. We studied cilium formation and found a higher proportion of mutant cells with short cilia than of control cells with short cilia. A ninth child had similar lissencephaly but only subtle brainstem dysplasia associated with a heterozygous de novo missense variant in the spectrin repeat domain of MACF1. Thus, we report variants of the microtubule-binding GAR domain of MACF1 as the cause of a distinctive and most likely pathognomonic brain malformation. A gain-of-function or dominant-negative mechanism appears likely given that many heterozygous mutations leading to protein truncation are included in the ExAC Browser. However, three de novo variants in MACF1 have been observed in large schizophrenia cohorts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.10.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6288423PMC
December 2018

PTRHD1 Loss-of-function mutation in an african family with juvenile-onset Parkinsonism and intellectual disability.

Mov Disord 2018 11 6;33(11):1814-1819. Epub 2018 Nov 6.

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

Background: The genetic bases of PD in sub-Saharan African (SSA) populations remain poorly characterized, and analysis of SSA families with PD might lead to the discovery of novel disease-related genes.

Objectives: To investigate the clinical features and identify the disease-causing gene in a black South African family with 3 members affected by juvenile-onset parkinsonism and intellectual disability.

Methods: Clinical evaluation, neuroimaging studies, whole-exome sequencing, homozygosity mapping, two-point linkage analysis, and Sanger sequencing of candidate variants.

Result: A homozygous 28-nucleotide frameshift deletion in the PTRHD1 coding region was identified in the 3 affected family members and linked to the disease with genome-wide significant evidence. PTRHD1 was recently nominated as the disease-causing gene in two Iranian families, each containing 2 siblings with similar phenotypes and homozygous missense mutations.

Conclusion: Together with the previous reports, we provide conclusive evidence that loss-of-function mutations in PTRHD1 cause autosomal-recessive juvenile parkinsonism and intellectual disability. © 2018 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.27501DOI Listing
November 2018

Mutated zinc finger protein of the cerebellum 1 leads to microcephaly, cortical malformation, callosal agenesis, cerebellar dysplasia, tethered cord and scoliosis.

Eur J Med Genet 2018 Dec 31;61(12):783-789. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

Department Clinical Genetics, Erasmus MC Sophia Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Heterozygous gain of function mutations in the ZIC1 gene have been described with syndromic craniosynostosis, variable cerebral or cerebellar abnormalities and mild to moderate developmental delay. Deletion of chromosome 3q25.1 including both adjacent ZIC1 and ZIC4 genes have been described as a cause of variable cerebellar abnormalities including Dandy-Walker malformation. We report two siblings presenting with neonatal microcephaly, agenesis of the corpus callosum, brachycephaly with reduced volume of the posterior fossa, cerebellar and pons hypoplasia, scoliosis and tethered cord (closed neural tube defect). One of the siblings had apparent partial rhombencephalosynapsis. Trio analysis of exome sequencing data revealed a novel heterozygous frameshift mutation in ZIC1 at the end of exon 3 in one sibling and was confirmed by Sanger sequencing in both children. The mutation was not detected in DNA of both parents, which suggests parental gonadal mosaicism. We show that expression of the mutant allele leads to synthesis of a stable abnormal transcript in patient cells, without evidence for nonsense-mediated decay. Craniosynostosis was not present at birth, which explains why ZIC1 mutations were not initially considered. This severe brain malformation indicates that premature closure of sutures can be independent of the abnormal brain development in subjects with pathogenic variants in ZIC1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2018.10.018DOI Listing
December 2018

Effect of Gender and Genetic Mutations on Outcomes in Patients With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Am J Cardiol 2018 12 8;122(11):1947-1954. Epub 2018 Sep 8.

Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Gender has been proposed to impact the phenotype and prognosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC). Our aims were to study gender differences in the clinical presentation, phenotype, genotype, and outcome of HC. This retrospective single-center cohort study included 1,007 patients with HC (62% male, 80% genotyped) evaluated between 1977 and 2017. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated using multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression models. At first evaluation, female patients presented more often with symptoms (43% vs 35%, p = 0.01), were older than male patients (56 ± 16 vs 49 ± 15 years, p <0.001), and more frequently had hypertension (38% vs 27%, p <0.001), left ventricular outflow tract obstruction (37% vs 27%, p <0.001), and impaired left ventricular systolic (17% vs 11%, p = 0.01) and diastolic (77% vs 62%, p <0.001) function. Overall, the genetic yield was similar between genders (54% vs 51%, p = 0.4); however, in patients ≥70 years, the genetic yield was less in women (15% vs 36%, p = 0.03). During 6.8-year follow-up (interquartile range 3.2 to 10.9), female gender was not independently associated with all-cause mortality (HR 1.25 [0.91 to 1.73]), cardiovascular mortality (HR 1.22 [0.83 to 1.79]), heart failure-related mortality (HR 1.77 [0.95 to 3.27]), or sudden cardiac death (SCD) and/or aborted SCD (HR 0.75 [0.44 to 1.30]). Interventions and nonfatal clinical events did not differ between the genders. In conclusion, female patients with HC present at a more advanced age with a different clinical, phenotypic, and genetic status. There is no independent association between female gender and all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, heart failure-related mortality, or SCD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.08.040DOI Listing
December 2018

Lack of evidence for a causal role of CALR3 in monogenic cardiomyopathy.

Eur J Hum Genet 2018 11 9;26(11):1603-1610. Epub 2018 Jul 9.

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

The pathogenicity of previously published disease-associated genes and variants is sometimes questionable. Large-scale, population-based sequencing studies have uncovered numerous false assignments of pathogenicity. Misinterpretation of sequence variants may have serious implications for the patients and families involved, as genetic test results are increasingly being used in medical decision making. In this study, we assessed the role of the calreticulin-3 gene (CALR3) in cardiomyopathy. CALR3 has been included in several cardiomyopathy gene panels worldwide. Its inclusion is based on a single publication describing two missense variants in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In our national cardiomyopathy cohort (n = 6154), we identified 17 unique, rare heterozygous CALR3 variants in 48 probands. Overall, our patient cohort contained a significantly higher number of rare CALR3 variants compared to the ExAC population (p = 0.0036). However, after removing a potential Dutch founder variant, no statistically significant difference was found (p = 0.89). In nine probands, the CALR3 variant was accompanied by a disease-causing variant in another, well-known cardiomyopathy gene. In three families, the CALR3 variant did not segregate with the disease. Furthermore, we could not demonstrate calreticulin-3 protein expression in myocardial tissues at various ages. On the basis of these findings, it seems highly questionable that variants in CALR3 are a monogenic cause of cardiomyopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-018-0208-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6189092PMC
November 2018

Outcomes of Contemporary Family Screening in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2018 04;11(4):e001896

Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter (H.G.v.V., A.F.L.S., S.J.B., M.M.), Department of Clinical Genetics (R.A.O., M.A.v.S.), and Department of Pediatrics (I.M.E.F.-M.), Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Contemporary hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) family screening includes clinical evaluation and genetic testing (GT). This screening strategy requires the identification of a pathogenic mutation in the proband. Our aim was to examine the results of this HCM screening strategy.

Methods: Between 1985 and 2016, 777 relatives of 209 probands were assessed in the context of HCM screening. Genotype-positive (G+) relatives and relatives without genetic testing (GT) underwent repeated clinical evaluations. In genotype-negative (G-) relatives mortality was assessed during follow-up.

Results: A pathogenic mutation was identified in 72% of probands. After counseling, GT was performed in 620 (80%) relatives: 264 (43%) were G+ (age 41±18 y) and 356 (57%) were G- (age 48±17 y). At first screening, HCM was diagnosed in 98 (37%) G+ relatives and 28 (17%) relatives without GT (<0.001). During 9 years follow-up of relatives diagnosed with HCM, 8 (6%) underwent septal reduction therapy, 16 (16%) received primary prevention ICDs, and cardiac mortality was 0.3%/year. During 7 years follow-up of relatives without HCM, 29 (16%) developed HCM. Survival at 5/10 years was 99%/95% in G+ relatives, 97%/94% in G- relatives (=0.8), and 100%/100% in relatives without GT.

Conclusions: HCM was identified in 30% of relatives at first screening, and 16% developed HCM during 7 years of repeated evaluation. GT led to a discharge from clinical follow-up in 46% of the study population. Survival in the relatives was good.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.117.001896DOI Listing
April 2018

Truncating Variants in NAA15 Are Associated with Variable Levels of Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Congenital Anomalies.

Am J Hum Genet 2018 05 12;102(5):985-994. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics, 1Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY 11724, USA. Electronic address:

N-alpha-acetylation is a common co-translational protein modification that is essential for normal cell function in humans. We previously identified the genetic basis of an X-linked infantile lethal Mendelian disorder involving a c.109T>C (p.Ser37Pro) missense variant in NAA10, which encodes the catalytic subunit of the N-terminal acetyltransferase A (NatA) complex. The auxiliary subunit of the NatA complex, NAA15, is the dimeric binding partner for NAA10. Through a genotype-first approach with whole-exome or genome sequencing (WES/WGS) and targeted sequencing analysis, we identified and phenotypically characterized 38 individuals from 33 unrelated families with 25 different de novo or inherited, dominantly acting likely gene disrupting (LGD) variants in NAA15. Clinical features of affected individuals with LGD variants in NAA15 include variable levels of intellectual disability, delayed speech and motor milestones, and autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, mild craniofacial dysmorphology, congenital cardiac anomalies, and seizures are present in some subjects. RNA analysis in cell lines from two individuals showed degradation of the transcripts with LGD variants, probably as a result of nonsense-mediated decay. Functional assays in yeast confirmed a deleterious effect for two of the LGD variants in NAA15. Further supporting a mechanism of haploinsufficiency, individuals with copy-number variant (CNV) deletions involving NAA15 and surrounding genes can present with mild intellectual disability, mild dysmorphic features, motor delays, and decreased growth. We propose that defects in NatA-mediated N-terminal acetylation (NTA) lead to variable levels of neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, supporting the importance of the NatA complex in normal human development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2018.03.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986698PMC
May 2018

Genetics, Clinical Features, and Long-Term Outcome of Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2018 02;71(7):711-722

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

Background: The clinical outcomes of noncompaction cardiomyopathy (NCCM) range from asymptomatic to heart failure, arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death. Genetics play an important role in NCCM.

Objectives: This study investigated the correlations among genetics, clinical features, and outcomes in adults and children diagnosed with NCCM.

Methods: A retrospective multicenter study from 4 cardiogenetic centers in the Netherlands classified 327 unrelated NCCM patients into 3 categories: 1) genetic, with a mutation in 32% (81 adults; 23 children) of patients; 2) probably genetic, familial cardiomyopathy without a mutation in 16% (45 adults; 8 children) of patients; or 3) sporadic, no family history, without mutation in 52% (149 adults; 21 children) of patients. Clinical features and major adverse cardiac events (MACE) during follow-up were compared across the children and adults.

Results: MYH7, MYBPC3, and TTN mutations were the most common mutations (71%) found in genetic NCCM. The risk of having reduced left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction was higher for genetic patients compared with the probably genetic and sporadic cases (p = 0.024), with the highest risk in patients with multiple mutations and TTN mutations. Mutations were more frequent in children (p = 0.04) and were associated with MACE (p = 0.025). Adults were more likely to have sporadic NCCM. High risk for cardiac events in children and adults was related to LV systolic dysfunction in mutation carriers, but not in sporadic cases. Patients with MYH7 mutations had low risk for MACE (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: NCCM is a heterogeneous condition, and genetic stratification has a role in clinical care. Distinguishing genetic from nongenetic NCCM complements prediction of outcome and may lead to management and follow-up tailored to genetic status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2017.12.019DOI Listing
February 2018

Clinical Characteristics and Long-Term Outcome of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Individuals With a MYBPC3 (Myosin-Binding Protein C) Founder Mutation.

Circ Cardiovasc Genet 2017 Aug;10(4)

From the Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter (H.G.v.V., A.F.L.S., M.M.), Department of Clinical Genetics (R.A.O., M.A.v.S.), and Department of Pediatrics (I.M.E.F.-M.), Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Physiology, Institute for Cardiovascular Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (J.v.d.V.); and Netherlands Heart Institute, Utrecht (J.v.d.V.).

Background: (Myosin-binding protein C) founder mutations account for 35% of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) cases in the Netherlands. We compared clinical characteristics and outcome of founder mutation (FG+) HCM with nonfounder genotype-positive (G+) and genotype-negative (G-) HCM.

Methods And Results: The study included 680 subjects: 271 FG+ carriers, 132 G+ probands with HCM, and 277 G- probands with HCM. FG+ carriers included 134 FG+ probands with HCM, 54 FG+ relatives diagnosed with HCM after family screening, 74 FG+/phenotype-negative relatives, and 9 with noncompaction or dilated cardiomyopathy. The clinical phenotype of FG+ and G+ probands with HCM was similar. FG+ and G+ probands were younger with less left ventricular outflow tract obstruction than G- probands, however, had more hypertrophy, and nonsustained ventricular tachycardia. FG+ relatives with HCM had less hypertrophy, smaller left atria, and less systolic and diastolic dysfunction than FG+ probands with HCM. After 8±6 years, cardiovascular mortality in FG+ probands with HCM was similar to G+ HCM (22% versus 14%; log-rank =0.14), but higher than G- HCM (22% versus 6%; log-rank <0.001) and FG+ relatives with HCM (22% versus 4%; =0.009). Cardiac events were absent in FG+/phenotype-negative relatives; subtle HCM developed in 11% during 6 years of follow-up.

Conclusions: Clinical phenotype and outcome of FG+ HCM was similar to G+ HCM but worse than G- HCM and FG+ HCM diagnosed in the context of family screening. These findings indicate the need for more intensive follow-up of FG+ and G+ HCM versus G- HCM and FG+ HCM in relatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.116.001660DOI Listing
August 2017

De Novo Truncating Mutations in the Last and Penultimate Exons of PPM1D Cause an Intellectual Disability Syndrome.

Am J Hum Genet 2017 Apr 23;100(4):650-658. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

Department of Human Genetics, Donders Centre for Neuroscience, Radboud University Medical Center, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Intellectual disability (ID) is a highly heterogeneous disorder involving at least 600 genes, yet a genetic diagnosis remains elusive in ∼35%-40% of individuals with moderate to severe ID. Recent meta-analyses statistically analyzing de novo mutations in >7,000 individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders highlighted mutations in PPM1D as a possible cause of ID. PPM1D is a type 2C phosphatase that functions as a negative regulator of cellular stress-response pathways by mediating a feedback loop of p38-p53 signaling, thereby contributing to growth inhibition and suppression of stress-induced apoptosis. We identified 14 individuals with mild to severe ID and/or developmental delay and de novo truncating PPM1D mutations. Additionally, deep phenotyping revealed overlapping behavioral problems (ASD, ADHD, and anxiety disorders), hypotonia, broad-based gait, facial dysmorphisms, and periods of fever and vomiting. PPM1D is expressed during fetal brain development and in the adult brain. All mutations were located in the last or penultimate exon, suggesting escape from nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. Both PPM1D expression analysis and cDNA sequencing in EBV LCLs of individuals support the presence of a stable truncated transcript, consistent with this hypothesis. Exposure of cells derived from individuals with PPM1D truncating mutations to ionizing radiation resulted in normal p53 activation, suggesting that p53 signaling is unaffected. However, a cell-growth disadvantage was observed, suggesting a possible effect on the stress-response pathway. Thus, we show that de novo truncating PPM1D mutations in the last and penultimate exons cause syndromic ID, which provides additional insight into the role of cell-cycle checkpoint genes in neurodevelopmental disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.02.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5384016PMC
April 2017

Value of Genetic Testing for the Prediction of Long-Term Outcome in Patients With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

Am J Cardiol 2016 09 27;118(6):881-887. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Pathogenic gene mutations are found in about 50% of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HC). Previous studies have shown an association between sarcomere mutations and medium-term outcome. The association with long-term outcome has not been described. The aim of this cohort study was to assess the long-term outcomes of patients with genotype positive (G+) and genotype negative (G-) HC. The study population consisted of 626 patients with HC (512 probands and 114 relatives) who underwent phenotyping and genetic testing from 1985 to 2014. End points were all-cause mortality, cardiovascular (CV) mortality, heart failure (HF)-related mortality, and sudden cardiac death/aborted sudden cardiac death (SCD/aborted SCD). Kaplan-Meier and multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed. A pathogenic mutation was detected in 327 patients (52%). G+ probands were younger than G- probands (46 ± 15 vs 55 ± 15 years, p <0.001), had more non sustained ventricular tachycardia (34% vs 13%; p <0.001), more often a history of syncope (14% vs 7%; p = 0.016), and more extreme hypertrophy (maximal wall thickness ≥30 mm, 7% vs 1%; p <0.001). G- probands were more symptomatic (New York Heart Association ≥II, 73% vs 53%, p <0.001) and had higher left ventricular outflow tract gradients (42 ± 39 vs 29 ± 33 mm Hg, p = 0.001). During 12 ± 9 years of follow-up, G+ status was an independent risk factor for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.90, 95% CI 1.14 to 3.15; p = 0.014), CV mortality (HR 2.82, 95% CI 1.49 to 5.36; p = 0.002), HF-related mortality (HR 6.33, 95% CI 1.79 to 22.41; p = 0.004), and SCD/aborted SCD (HR 2.88, 95% CI 1.23 to 6.71; p = 0.015). In conclusion, during long-term follow-up, patients with G+ HC are at increased risk of all-cause death, CV death, HF-related death, and SCD/aborted SCD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2016.06.038DOI Listing
September 2016

Mutations in HIVEP2 are associated with developmental delay, intellectual disability, and dysmorphic features.

Neurogenetics 2016 07 22;17(3):159-64. Epub 2016 Mar 22.

Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center, 1150 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York, 10032, NY, USA.

Human immunodeficiency virus type I enhancer binding protein 2 (HIVEP2) has been previously associated with intellectual disability and developmental delay in three patients. Here, we describe six patients with developmental delay, intellectual disability, and dysmorphic features with de novo likely gene-damaging variants in HIVEP2 identified by whole-exome sequencing (WES). HIVEP2 encodes a large transcription factor that regulates various neurodevelopmental pathways. Our findings provide further evidence that pathogenic variants in HIVEP2 lead to intellectual disabilities and developmental delay.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10048-016-0479-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4907844PMC
July 2016

Biallelic Truncating Mutations in ALPK3 Cause Severe Pediatric Cardiomyopathy.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2016 Feb;67(5):515-25

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

Background: Cardiomyopathies are usually inherited and predominantly affect adults, but they can also present in childhood. Although our understanding of the molecular basis of pediatric cardiomyopathy has improved, the underlying mechanism remains elusive in a substantial proportion of cases.

Objectives: This study aimed to identify new genes involved in pediatric cardiomyopathy.

Methods: The authors performed homozygosity mapping and whole-exome sequencing in 2 consanguineous families with idiopathic pediatric cardiomyopathy. Sixty unrelated patients with pediatric cardiomyopathy were subsequently screened for mutations in a candidate gene. First-degree relatives were submitted to cardiac screening and cascade genetic testing. Myocardial samples from 2 patients were processed for histological and immunohistochemical studies.

Results: We identified 5 patients from 3 unrelated families with pediatric cardiomyopathy caused by homozygous truncating mutations in ALPK3, a gene encoding a nuclear kinase that plays an essential role in early differentiation of cardiomyocytes. All patients with biallelic mutations presented with severe hypertrophic and/or dilated cardiomyopathy in utero, at birth, or in early childhood. Three patients died from heart failure within the first week of life. Moreover, 2 of 10 (20%) heterozygous family members showed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with an atypical distribution of hypertrophy. Deficiency of alpha-kinase 3 has previously been associated with features of both hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy in mice. Consistent with studies in knockout mice, we provide microscopic evidence for intercalated disc remodeling.

Conclusions: Biallelic truncating mutations in the newly identified gene ALPK3 give rise to severe, early-onset cardiomyopathy in humans. Our findings highlight the importance of transcription factor pathways in the molecular mechanisms underlying human cardiomyopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2015.10.093DOI Listing
February 2016

CSTB null mutation associated with microcephaly, early developmental delay, and severe dyskinesia.

Neurology 2016 Mar 3;86(9):877-8. Epub 2016 Feb 3.

From Erasmus University Medical Center (G.M.S.M., R.S., M.C.Y.d.W., R.F.d.C., R.O., K.B.-d.H., L.P.V.B., F.A.T.d.V., M.W., M.A.v.S.), Rotterdam; and Utrecht University Medical Center (M.H.L.), the Netherlands. L.P.V.B. is currently affiliated with the Department of Medical Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000002422DOI Listing
March 2016

Preserved cross-bridge kinetics in human hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients with MYBPC3 mutations.

Pflugers Arch 2014 Aug 2;466(8):1619-33. Epub 2013 Nov 2.

Laboratory for Physiology, Institute for Cardiovascular Research, VU University Medical Center, van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Mutations in the MYBPC3 gene, encoding cardiac myosin binding protein C (cMyBP-C) are frequent causes of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Previously, we have presented evidence for reduced cMyBP-C expression (haploinsufficiency), in patients with a truncation mutation in MYBPC3. In mice, lacking cMyBP-C cross-bridge kinetics was accelerated. In this study, we investigated whether cross-bridge kinetics was altered in myectomy samples from HCM patients harboring heterozygous MYBPC3 mutations (MYBPC3mut). Isometric force and the rate of force redevelopment (k tr) at different activating Ca(2+) concentrations were measured in mechanically isolated Triton-permeabilized cardiomyocytes from MYBPC3mut (n = 18) and donor (n = 7) tissue. Furthermore, the stretch activation response of cardiomyocytes was measured in tissue from eight MYBPC3mut patients and five donors to assess the rate of initial force relaxation (k 1) and the rate and magnitude of the transient increase in force (k 2 and P 3, respectively) after a rapid stretch. Maximal force development of the cardiomyocytes was reduced in MYBPC3mut (24.5 ± 2.3 kN/m(2)) compared to donor (34.9 ± 1.6 kN/m(2)). The rates of force redevelopment in MYBPC3mut and donor over a range of Ca(2+) concentrations were similar (k tr at maximal activation: 0.63 ± 0.03 and 0.75 ± 0.09 s(-1), respectively). Moreover, the stretch activation parameters did not differ significantly between MYBPC3mut and donor (k 1: 8.5±0.5 and 8.8 ± 0.4 s(-1); k 2: 0.77 ± 0.06 and 0.74 ± 0.09 s(-1); P 3: 0.08 ± 0.01 and 0.09 ± 0.01, respectively). Incubation with protein kinase A accelerated k 1 in MYBPC3mut and donor to a similar extent. Our experiments indicate that, at the cMyBP-C expression levels in this patient group (63 ± 6 % relative to donors), cross-bridge kinetics are preserved and that the depressed maximal force development is not explained by perturbation of cross-bridge kinetics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00424-013-1391-0DOI Listing
August 2014