Publications by authors named "Matias Wagner"

92 Publications

Human COQ4 deficiency: delineating the clinical, metabolic and neuroimaging phenotypes.

J Med Genet 2021 Oct 16. Epub 2021 Oct 16.

Institute of Medical Genetics, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Human coenzyme Q4 (COQ4) is essential for coenzyme Q (CoQ) biosynthesis. Pathogenic variants in cause childhood-onset neurodegeneration. We aimed to delineate the clinical spectrum and the cellular consequences of COQ4 deficiency.

Methods: Clinical course and neuroradiological findings in a large cohort of paediatric patients with COQ4 deficiency were analysed. Functional studies in patient-derived cell lines were performed.

Results: We characterised 44 individuals from 36 families with COQ4 deficiency (16 newly described). A total of 23 different variants were identified, including four novel variants in . Correlation analyses of clinical and neuroimaging findings revealed three disease patterns: type 1: early-onset phenotype with neonatal brain anomalies and epileptic encephalopathy; type 2: intermediate phenotype with distinct stroke-like lesions; and type 3: moderate phenotype with non-specific brain pathology and a stable disease course. The functional relevance of variants was supported by in vitro studies using patient-derived fibroblast lines. Experiments revealed significantly decreased COQ4 protein levels, reduced levels of cellular CoQ and elevated levels of the metabolic intermediate 6-demethoxyubiquinone.

Conclusion: Our study describes the heterogeneous clinical presentation of COQ4 deficiency and identifies phenotypic subtypes. Cell-based studies support the pathogenic characteristics of variants. Due to the insufficient clinical response to oral CoQ supplementation, alternative treatment strategies are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2021-107729DOI Listing
October 2021

Bi-allelic variants in SPATA5L1 lead to intellectual disability, spastic-dystonic cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and hearing loss.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 10;108(10):2006-2016

Institute of Human Genetics, Klinikum rechts der Isar, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, 81675 Munich, Germany.

Spermatogenesis-associated 5 like 1 (SPATA5L1) represents an orphan gene encoding a protein of unknown function. We report 28 bi-allelic variants in SPATA5L1 associated with sensorineural hearing loss in 47 individuals from 28 (26 unrelated) families. In addition, 25/47 affected individuals (53%) presented with microcephaly, developmental delay/intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, and/or epilepsy. Modeling indicated damaging effect of variants on the protein, largely via destabilizing effects on protein domains. Brain imaging revealed diminished cerebral volume, thin corpus callosum, and periventricular leukomalacia, and quantitative volumetry demonstrated significantly diminished white matter volumes in several individuals. Immunofluorescent imaging in rat hippocampal neurons revealed localization of Spata5l1 in neuronal and glial cell nuclei and more prominent expression in neurons. In the rodent inner ear, Spata5l1 is expressed in the neurosensory hair cells and inner ear supporting cells. Transcriptomic analysis performed with fibroblasts from affected individuals was able to distinguish affected from controls by principal components. Analysis of differentially expressed genes and networks suggested a role for SPATA5L1 in cell surface adhesion receptor function, intracellular focal adhesions, and DNA replication and mitosis. Collectively, our results indicate that bi-allelic SPATA5L1 variants lead to a human disease characterized by sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) with or without a nonprogressive mixed neurodevelopmental phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.08.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8546233PMC
October 2021

Blood DNA methylation provides an accurate biomarker of KMT2B-related dystonia and predicts onset.

Brain 2021 Sep 30. Epub 2021 Sep 30.

Institute of Neurogenomics (ING), Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany.

Dystonia is a prevalent, heterogeneous movement disorder characterized by involuntarily abnormal postures. Biomarkers of dystonia are notoriously lacking. Here, a biomarker is reported for histone lysine methyltransferase (KMT2B)-deficient dystonia, a leading subtype among the individually rare monogenic dystonias. It was derived by applying a support vector machine to an episignature of 113 DNA CpG sites which, in blood cells, showed significant epigenome-wide association with KMT2B deficiency and at least 1x log-fold change of methylation. This classifier was accurate both when tested on the general population and on samples with various other deficiencies of the epigenetic machinery, thus allowing for definitive evaluation of variants of uncertain significance and identifying patients who may profit from deep brain stimulation, a highly successful treatment in KMT2B-deficient dystonia. Methylation was increased in KMT2B deficiency at all 113 CpG sites. The coefficients of variation of the normalized methylation levels at these sites also perfectly classified the samples with KMT2B-deficient dystonia. Moreover, the mean of the normalized methylation levels correlated well with the age at onset of dystonia (p = 0.003) - being lower in samples with late or incomplete penetrance-thus serving as a predictor of disease onset and severity. Similarly, it may also function in monitoring the recently envisioned treatment of KMT2B deficiency by inhibition of DNA methylation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab360DOI Listing
September 2021

Clinico-genetic findings in 509 frontotemporal dementia patients.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Sep 24. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Department of Neurology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder. To which extent genetic aberrations dictate clinical presentation remains elusive. We investigated the spectrum of genetic causes and assessed the genotype-driven differences in biomarker profiles, disease severity and clinical manifestation by recruiting 509 FTD patients from different centers of the German FTLD consortium where individuals were clinically assessed including biomarker analysis. Exome sequencing as well as C9orf72 repeat analysis were performed in all patients. These genetic analyses resulted in a diagnostic yield of 18.1%. Pathogenic variants in C9orf72 (n = 47), GRN (n = 26), MAPT (n = 11), TBK1 (n = 5), FUS (n = 1), TARDBP (n = 1), and CTSF (n = 1) were identified across all clinical subtypes of FTD. TBK1-associated FTD was frequent accounting for 5.4% of solved cases. Detection of a homozygous missense variant verified CTSF as an FTD gene. ABCA7 was identified as a candidate gene for monogenic FTD. The distribution of APOE alleles did not differ significantly between FTD patients and the average population. Male sex was weakly associated with clinical manifestation of the behavioral variant of FTD. Age of onset was lowest in MAPT patients. Further, high CSF neurofilament light chain levels were found to be related to GRN-associated FTD. Our study provides large-scale retrospective clinico-genetic data such as on disease manifestation and progression of FTD. These data will be relevant for counseling patients and their families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01271-2DOI Listing
September 2021

CADA: phenotype-driven gene prioritization based on a case-enriched knowledge graph.

NAR Genom Bioinform 2021 Sep 3;3(3):lqab078. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Fraunhofer SCAI, Department of Bioinformatics, 53757 Sankt Augustin, Germany.

Many rare syndromes can be well described and delineated from other disorders by a combination of characteristic symptoms. These phenotypic features are best documented with terms of the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO), which are increasingly used in electronic health records (EHRs), too. Many algorithms that perform HPO-based gene prioritization have also been developed; however, the performance of many such tools suffers from an over-representation of atypical cases in the medical literature. This is certainly the case if the algorithm cannot handle features that occur with reduced frequency in a disorder. With Cada, we built a knowledge graph based on both case annotations and disorder annotations. Using network representation learning, we achieve gene prioritization by link prediction. Our results suggest that Cada exhibits superior performance particularly for patients that present with the pathognomonic findings of a disease. Additionally, information about the frequency of occurrence of a feature can readily be incorporated, when available. Crucial in the design of our approach is the use of the growing amount of phenotype-genotype information that diagnostic labs deposit in databases such as ClinVar. By this means, Cada is an ideal reference tool for differential diagnostics in rare disorders that can also be updated regularly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nargab/lqab078DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8415429PMC
September 2021

Prevalence and clinical prediction of mitochondrial disorders in a large neuropediatric cohort.

Clin Genet 2021 12 19;100(6):766-770. Epub 2021 Sep 19.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.

Neurological symptoms are frequent and often a leading feature of childhood-onset mitochondrial disorders (MD) but the exact incidence of MD in unselected neuropediatric patients is unknown. Their early detection is desirable due to a potentially rapid clinical decline and the availability of management options. In 491 children with neurological symptoms, a comprehensive diagnostic work-up including exome sequencing was performed. The success rate in terms of a molecular genetic diagnosis within our cohort was 51%. Disease-causing variants in a mitochondria-associated gene were detected in 12% of solved cases. In order to facilitate the clinical identification of MDs within neuropediatric cohorts, we have created an easy-to-use bedside-tool, the MDC-NP. In our cohort, the MDC-NP predicted disease conditions related to MDs with a sensitivity of 0.83, and a specificity of 0.96.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.14061DOI Listing
December 2021

Dystonia as a prominent presenting feature in developmental and epileptic encephalopathies: A case series.

Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2021 Sep 11;90:73-78. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Institute of Neurogenomics, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Munich, Germany; Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany; School of Medicine, Institute of Human Genetics. Electronic address:

Introduction: Although there has been increasing recognition of the occurrence of non-epileptic involuntary movements in developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs), the spectrum of dystonic presentations associated with these conditions remains poorly described. We sought to expand the catalogue of dystonia-predominant phenotypes in monogenic DEEs, building on the recently introduced concept of an epilepsy-movement disorder spectrum.

Methods: Cases were identified from a whole-exome-sequenced cohort of 45 pediatric index patients with complex dystonia (67% sequenced as parent-child trios). Review of molecular findings in DEE-associated genes was performed. For five individuals with identified DEE-causing variants, detailed information about presenting phenotypic features and the natural history of disease was obtained.

Results: De-novo pathogenic and likely pathogenic missense variants in GABRA1, GABBR2, GNAO1, and FOXG1 gave rise to infantile-onset persistent and paroxysmal dystonic manifestations, beginning in the limb or truncal musculature and progressing gradually to a generalized state. Coexisting, less prominent movement-disorder symptoms were observed and included myoclonic, ballistic, and stereotypic abnormal movements as well as choreoathetosis. Dystonia dominated over epileptic neurodevelopmental comorbidities in all four subjects and represented the primary indication for molecular genetic analysis. We also report the unusual case of an adult female patient with dystonia, tremor, and mild learning disability who was found to harbor a pathogenic frameshift variant in MECP2.

Conclusions: Dystonia can be a leading clinical manifestation in different DEEs. A monogenic basis of disease should be considered on the association of dystonia and developmental delay-epilepsy presentations, justifying a molecular screening for variants in DEE-associated genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2021.08.007DOI Listing
September 2021

Muscular and Molecular Pathology Associated with SPATA5 Deficiency in a Child with EHLMRS.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Jul 22;22(15). Epub 2021 Jul 22.

Centre for Neuromuscular Disorders, Centre for Translational Neuro- and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Pediatric Neurology, University Duisburg-Essen, 45147 Essen, Germany.

Mutations in the gene are associated with epilepsy, hearing loss and mental retardation syndrome (EHLMRS). While is ubiquitously expressed and is attributed a role within mitochondrial morphogenesis during spermatogenesis, there is only limited knowledge about the associated muscular and molecular pathology. This study reports on a comprehensive workup of muscular pathology, including proteomic profiling and microscopic studies, performed on an 8-year-old girl with typical clinical presentation of EHLMRS, where exome analysis revealed two clinically relevant, compound-heterozygous variants in . Proteomic profiling of a quadriceps biopsy showed the dysregulation of 82 proteins, out of which 15 were localized in the mitochondrion, while 19 were associated with diseases presenting with phenotypical overlap to EHLMRS. Histological staining of our patient's muscle biopsy hints towards mitochondrial pathology, while the identification of dysregulated proteins attested to the vulnerability of the cell beyond the mitochondria. Through our study we provide insights into the molecular etiology of EHLMRS and provide further evidence for a muscle pathology associated with SPATA5 deficiency, including a pathological histochemical pattern accompanied by dysregulated protein expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22157835DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8345956PMC
July 2021

A C-terminal BCOR nonsense variant in a male patient expands the phenotypic spectrum of BCOR-associated syndromic microphthalmia.

Clin Genet 2021 10 26;100(4):489-490. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Institute of Human Genetics, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.14034DOI Listing
October 2021

MATR3 haploinsufficiency and early-onset neurodegeneration.

Brain 2021 Oct;144(9):e72

Department of General Pediatrics, Neonatology and Pediatric Cardiology, University Children's Hospital, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab240DOI Listing
October 2021

Neutropenia and intellectual disability are hallmarks of biallelic and de novo CLPB deficiency.

Genet Med 2021 09 17;23(9):1705-1714. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

United for Metabolic Diseases (UMD), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Purpose: To investigate monoallelic CLPB variants. Pathogenic variants in many genes cause congenital neutropenia. While most patients exhibit isolated hematological involvement, biallelic CLPB variants underlie a neurological phenotype ranging from nonprogressive intellectual disability to prenatal encephalopathy with progressive brain atrophy, movement disorder, cataracts, 3-methylglutaconic aciduria, and neutropenia. CLPB was recently shown to be a mitochondrial refoldase; however, the exact function remains elusive.

Methods: We investigated six unrelated probands from four countries in three continents, with neutropenia and a phenotype dominated by epilepsy, developmental issues, and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria with next-generation sequencing.

Results: In each individual, we identified one of four different de novo monoallelic missense variants in CLPB. We show that these variants disturb refoldase and to a lesser extent ATPase activity of CLPB in a dominant-negative manner. Complexome profiling in fibroblasts showed CLPB at very high molecular mass comigrating with the prohibitins. In control fibroblasts, HAX1 migrated predominantly as monomer while in patient samples multiple HAX1 peaks were observed at higher molecular masses comigrating with CLPB thus suggesting a longer-lasting interaction between CLPB and HAX1.

Conclusion: Both biallelic as well as specific monoallelic CLPB variants result in a phenotypic spectrum centered around neurodevelopmental delay, seizures, and neutropenia presumably mediated via HAX1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01194-xDOI Listing
September 2021

PIGG variant pathogenicity assessment reveals characteristic features within 19 families.

Genet Med 2021 10 10;23(10):1873-1881. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Sydney Children's Hospital, Centre for Clinical Genetics, Sydney Children's Hospital, High St, Randwick, UK.

Purpose: Phosphatidylinositol Glycan Anchor Biosynthesis, class G (PIGG) is an ethanolamine phosphate transferase catalyzing the modification of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI). GPI serves as an anchor on the cell membrane for surface proteins called GPI-anchored proteins (GPI-APs). Pathogenic variants in genes involved in the biosynthesis of GPI cause inherited GPI deficiency (IGD), which still needs to be further characterized.

Methods: We describe 22 individuals from 19 unrelated families with biallelic variants in PIGG. We analyzed GPI-AP surface levels on granulocytes and fibroblasts for three and two individuals, respectively. We demonstrated enzymatic activity defects for PIGG variants in vitro in a PIGG/PIGO double knockout system.

Results: Phenotypic analysis of reported individuals reveals shared PIGG deficiency-associated features. All tested GPI-APs were unchanged on granulocytes whereas CD73 level in fibroblasts was decreased. In addition to classic IGD symptoms such as hypotonia, intellectual disability/developmental delay (ID/DD), and seizures, individuals with PIGG variants of null or severely decreased activity showed cerebellar atrophy, various neurological manifestations, and mitochondrial dysfunction, a feature increasingly recognized in IGDs. Individuals with mildly decreased activity showed autism spectrum disorder.

Conclusion: This in vitro system is a useful method to validate the pathogenicity of variants in PIGG and to study PIGG physiological functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01215-9DOI Listing
October 2021

De novo and bi-allelic variants in AP1G1 cause neurodevelopmental disorder with developmental delay, intellectual disability, and epilepsy.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 07 7;108(7):1330-1341. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Adaptor protein (AP) complexes mediate selective intracellular vesicular trafficking and polarized localization of somatodendritic proteins in neurons. Disease-causing alleles of various subunits of AP complexes have been implicated in several heritable human disorders, including intellectual disabilities (IDs). Here, we report two bi-allelic (c.737C>A [p.Pro246His] and c.1105A>G [p.Met369Val]) and eight de novo heterozygous variants (c.44G>A [p.Arg15Gln], c.103C>T [p.Arg35Trp], c.104G>A [p.Arg35Gln], c.229delC [p.Gln77Lys11], c.399_400del [p.Glu133Aspfs37], c.747G>T [p.Gln249His], c.928-2A>C [p.?], and c.2459C>G [p.Pro820Arg]) in AP1G1, encoding gamma-1 subunit of adaptor-related protein complex 1 (AP1γ1), associated with a neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD) characterized by mild to severe ID, epilepsy, and developmental delay in eleven families from different ethnicities. The AP1γ1-mediated adaptor complex is essential for the formation of clathrin-coated intracellular vesicles. In silico analysis and 3D protein modeling simulation predicted alteration of AP1γ1 protein folding for missense variants, which was consistent with the observed altered AP1γ1 levels in heterologous cells. Functional studies of the recessively inherited missense variants revealed no apparent impact on the interaction of AP1γ1 with other subunits of the AP-1 complex but rather showed to affect the endosome recycling pathway. Knocking out ap1g1 in zebrafish leads to severe morphological defect and lethality, which was significantly rescued by injection of wild-type AP1G1 mRNA and not by transcripts encoding the missense variants. Furthermore, microinjection of mRNAs with de novo missense variants in wild-type zebrafish resulted in severe developmental abnormalities and increased lethality. We conclude that de novo and bi-allelic variants in AP1G1 are associated with neurodevelopmental disorder in diverse populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.05.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8322935PMC
July 2021

Biallelic and monoallelic variants in PLXNA1 are implicated in a novel neurodevelopmental disorder with variable cerebral and eye anomalies.

Genet Med 2021 09 30;23(9):1715-1725. Epub 2021 May 30.

Department of Medical Genetics, Centre for Applied Neurogenetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Purpose: To investigate the effect of PLXNA1 variants on the phenotype of patients with autosomal dominant and recessive inheritance patterns and to functionally characterize the zebrafish homologs plxna1a and plxna1b during development.

Methods: We assembled ten patients from seven families with biallelic or de novo PLXNA1 variants. We describe genotype-phenotype correlations, investigated the variants by structural modeling, and used Morpholino knockdown experiments in zebrafish to characterize the embryonic role of plxna1a and plxna1b.

Results: Shared phenotypic features among patients include global developmental delay (9/10), brain anomalies (6/10), and eye anomalies (7/10). Notably, seizures were predominantly reported in patients with monoallelic variants. Structural modeling of missense variants in PLXNA1 suggests distortion in the native protein. Our zebrafish studies enforce an embryonic role of plxna1a and plxna1b in the development of the central nervous system and the eye.

Conclusion: We propose that different biallelic and monoallelic variants in PLXNA1 result in a novel neurodevelopmental syndrome mainly comprising developmental delay, brain, and eye anomalies. We hypothesize that biallelic variants in the extracellular Plexin-A1 domains lead to impaired dimerization or lack of receptor molecules, whereas monoallelic variants in the intracellular Plexin-A1 domains might impair downstream signaling through a dominant-negative effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01196-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8460429PMC
September 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

Scoring Algorithm-Based Genomic Testing in Dystonia: A Prospective Validation Study.

Mov Disord 2021 08 5;36(8):1959-1964. Epub 2021 May 5.

Klinik für Neurologie, Asklepios Fachklinikum Stadtroda, Stadtroda, Germany.

Background: Despite the established value of genomic testing strategies, practice guidelines for their use do not exist in many indications.

Objectives: We sought to validate a recently introduced scoring algorithm for dystonia, predicting the diagnostic utility of whole-exome sequencing (WES) based on individual phenotypic aspects (age-at-onset, body distribution, presenting comorbidity).

Methods: We prospectively enrolled a set of 209 dystonia-affected families and obtained summary scores (0-5 points) according to the algorithm. Singleton (N = 146), duo (N = 11), and trio (N = 52) WES data were generated to identify genetic diagnoses.

Results: Diagnostic yield was highest (51%) among individuals with a summary score of 5, corresponding to a manifestation of early-onset segmental or generalized dystonia with coexisting non-movement disorder-related neurological symptoms. Sensitivity and specificity at the previously suggested threshold for implementation of WES (3 points) was 96% and 52%, with area under the curve of 0.81.

Conclusions: The algorithm is a useful predictive tool and could be integrated into dystonia routine diagnostic protocols. © 2021 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson Movement Disorder Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mds.28614DOI Listing
August 2021

Multisystem inflammation and susceptibility to viral infections in human ZNFX1 deficiency.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2021 08 17;148(2):381-393. Epub 2021 Apr 17.

Division of Immunology and Children's Research Center, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Recognition of viral nucleic acids is one of the primary triggers for a type I interferon-mediated antiviral immune response. Inborn errors of type I interferon immunity can be associated with increased inflammation and/or increased susceptibility to viral infections as a result of dysbalanced interferon production. NFX1-type zinc finger-containing 1 (ZNFX1) is an interferon-stimulated double-stranded RNA sensor that restricts the replication of RNA viruses in mice. The role of ZNFX1 in the human immune response is not known.

Objective: We studied 15 patients from 8 families with an autosomal recessive immunodeficiency characterized by severe infections by both RNA and DNA viruses and virally triggered inflammatory episodes with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis-like disease, early-onset seizures, and renal and lung disease.

Methods: Whole exome sequencing was performed on 13 patients from 8 families. We investigated the transcriptome, posttranscriptional regulation of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) and predisposition to viral infections in primary cells from patients and controls stimulated with synthetic double-stranded nucleic acids.

Results: Deleterious homozygous and compound heterozygous ZNFX1 variants were identified in all 13 patients. Stimulation of patient-derived primary cells with synthetic double-stranded nucleic acids was associated with a deregulated pattern of expression of ISGs and alterations in the half-life of the mRNA of ISGs and also associated with poorer clearance of viral infections by monocytes.

Conclusion: ZNFX1 is an important regulator of the response to double-stranded nucleic acids stimuli following viral infections. ZNFX1 deficiency predisposes to severe viral infections and a multisystem inflammatory disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2021.03.045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8569286PMC
August 2021

Functional interpretation of ATAD3A variants in neuro-mitochondrial phenotypes.

Genome Med 2021 04 12;13(1):55. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Aging and Metabolism Research Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA.

Background: ATPase family AAA-domain containing protein 3A (ATAD3A) is a nuclear-encoded mitochondrial membrane-anchored protein involved in diverse processes including mitochondrial dynamics, mitochondrial DNA organization, and cholesterol metabolism. Biallelic deletions (null), recessive missense variants (hypomorph), and heterozygous missense variants or duplications (antimorph) in ATAD3A lead to neurological syndromes in humans.

Methods: To expand the mutational spectrum of ATAD3A variants and to provide functional interpretation of missense alleles in trans to deletion alleles, we performed exome sequencing for identification of single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and copy number variants (CNVs) in ATAD3A in individuals with neurological and mitochondrial phenotypes. A Drosophila Atad3a Gal4 knockin-null allele was generated using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to aid the interpretation of variants.

Results: We report 13 individuals from 8 unrelated families with biallelic ATAD3A variants. The variants included four missense variants inherited in trans to loss-of-function alleles (p.(Leu77Val), p.(Phe50Leu), p.(Arg170Trp), p.(Gly236Val)), a homozygous missense variant p.(Arg327Pro), and a heterozygous non-frameshift indel p.(Lys568del). Affected individuals exhibited findings previously associated with ATAD3A pathogenic variation, including developmental delay, hypotonia, congenital cataracts, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and cerebellar atrophy. Drosophila studies indicated that Phe50Leu, Gly236Val, Arg327Pro, and Lys568del are severe loss-of-function alleles leading to early developmental lethality. Further, we showed that Phe50Leu, Gly236Val, and Arg327Pro cause neurogenesis defects. On the contrary, Leu77Val and Arg170Trp are partial loss-of-function alleles that cause progressive locomotion defects and whose expression leads to an increase in autophagy and mitophagy in adult muscles.

Conclusion: Our findings expand the allelic spectrum of ATAD3A variants and exemplify the use of a functional assay in Drosophila to aid variant interpretation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-021-00873-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042885PMC
April 2021

Delineation of epileptic and neurodevelopmental phenotypes associated with variants in STX1B.

Seizure 2021 Apr 27;87:25-29. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Institute of Human Genetics, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany; Institute for Neurogenomics, Helmholtz Center Munich, Neuherberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: To further delineate the clinical and genetic spectrum of epileptic and neurodevelopmental conditions associated with variants in STX1B.

Methods: We screened our diagnostic in-house database (comprising >20,000 exome sequencing datasets) for pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants inSTX1B. The detected cases were phenotyped in detail, and the findings were compared to previously published case reports.

Results: We identified four unrelated individuals with pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in STX1B (one missense and three loss-of-function variants). All patients displayed epileptic phenotypes, including epileptiform discharges on electroencephalography (without apparent seizures), developmental and epileptic encephalopathy and focal epilepsy. Three of the four patients had developmental delay. Febrile seizures occurred in two individuals. One patient with focal epilepsy underwent epilepsy surgery without lasting improvement. The neuropathological workup of brain tissue revealed a mild malformation of cortical development without alterations of cortical lamination or dysplastic neurons.

Conclusions: Our findings confirm the wide clinical range ofSTX1B-related epileptic conditions and highlight the necessity of genetic testing prior to epilepsy surgery in cases with monogenic epilepsy. The identification of loss-of-function variants in very differently affected individuals suggests that no clear genotype-phenotype correlation can be established.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.seizure.2021.02.027DOI Listing
April 2021

De novo variants in neurodevelopmental disorders-experiences from a tertiary care center.

Clin Genet 2021 07 1;100(1):14-28. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Institute of Human Genetics, Klinikum rechts der Isar, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Up to 40% of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) such as intellectual disability, developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, and developmental motor abnormalities have a documented underlying monogenic defect, primarily due to de novo variants. Still, the overall burden of de novo variants as well as novel disease genes in NDDs await discovery. We performed parent-offspring trio exome sequencing in 231 individuals with NDDs. Phenotypes were compiled using human phenotype ontology terms. The overall diagnostic yield was 49.8% (n = 115/231) with de novo variants contributing to more than 80% (n = 93/115) of all solved cases. De novo variants affected 72 different-mostly constrained-genes. In addition, we identified putative pathogenic variants in 16 genes not linked to NDDs to date. Reanalysis performed in 80 initially unsolved cases revealed a definitive diagnosis in two additional cases. Our study consolidates the contribution and genetic heterogeneity of de novo variants in NDDs highlighting trio exome sequencing as effective diagnostic tool for NDDs. Besides, we illustrate the potential of a trio-approach for candidate gene discovery and the power of systematic reanalysis of unsolved cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13946DOI Listing
July 2021

Clinically relevant copy-number variants in exome sequencing data of patients with dystonia.

Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2021 03 12;84:129-134. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Lehrstuhl für Sozialpädiatrie, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany; Kbo-Kinderzentrum München, Munich, Germany.

Introduction: Next-generation sequencing is now used on a routine basis for molecular testing but studies on copy-number variant (CNV) detection from next-generation sequencing data are underrepresented. Utilizing an existing whole-exome sequencing (WES) dataset, we sought to investigate the contribution of rare CNVs to the genetic causality of dystonia.

Methods: The CNV read-depth analysis tool ExomeDepth was applied to the exome sequences of 953 unrelated patients with dystonia (600 with isolated dystonia and 353 with combined dystonia; 33% with additional neurological involvement). We prioritized rare CNVs that affected known disease genes and/or were known to be associated with defined microdeletion/microduplication syndromes. Pathogenicity assessment of CNVs was based on recently published standards of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the Clinical Genome Resource.

Results: We identified pathogenic or likely pathogenic CNVs in 14 of 953 patients (1.5%). Of the 14 different CNVs, 12 were deletions and 2 were duplications, ranging in predicted size from 124bp to 17 Mb. Within the deletion intervals, BRPF1, CHD8, DJ1, EFTUD2, FGF14, GCH1, PANK2, SGCE, UBE3A, VPS16, WARS2, and WDR45 were determined as the most clinically relevant genes. The duplications involved chromosomal regions 6q21-q22 and 15q11-q13. CNV analysis increased the diagnostic yield in the total cohort from 18.4% to 19.8%, as compared to the assessment of single-nucleotide variants and small insertions and deletions alone.

Conclusions: WES-based CNV analysis in dystonia is feasible, increases the diagnostic yield, and should be combined with the assessment of single-nucleotide variants and small insertions and deletions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2021.02.013DOI Listing
March 2021

Mutation-specific pathophysiological mechanisms define different neurodevelopmental disorders associated with SATB1 dysfunction.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 02 28;108(2):346-356. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Department of Rehabilitation and Development, Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Portland, OR 97227, USA.

Whereas large-scale statistical analyses can robustly identify disease-gene relationships, they do not accurately capture genotype-phenotype correlations or disease mechanisms. We use multiple lines of independent evidence to show that different variant types in a single gene, SATB1, cause clinically overlapping but distinct neurodevelopmental disorders. Clinical evaluation of 42 individuals carrying SATB1 variants identified overt genotype-phenotype relationships, associated with different pathophysiological mechanisms, established by functional assays. Missense variants in the CUT1 and CUT2 DNA-binding domains result in stronger chromatin binding, increased transcriptional repression, and a severe phenotype. In contrast, variants predicted to result in haploinsufficiency are associated with a milder clinical presentation. A similarly mild phenotype is observed for individuals with premature protein truncating variants that escape nonsense-mediated decay, which are transcriptionally active but mislocalized in the cell. Our results suggest that in-depth mutation-specific genotype-phenotype studies are essential to capture full disease complexity and to explain phenotypic variability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.01.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895900PMC
February 2021

Impaired complex I repair causes recessive Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy.

J Clin Invest 2021 03;131(6)

IRCCS Istituto delle Scienze Neurologiche di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is the most frequent mitochondrial disease and was the first to be genetically defined by a point mutation in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). A molecular diagnosis is achieved in up to 95% of cases, the vast majority of which are accounted for by 3 mutations within mitochondrial complex I subunit-encoding genes in the mtDNA (mtLHON). Here, we resolve the enigma of LHON in the absence of pathogenic mtDNA mutations. We describe biallelic mutations in a nuclear encoded gene, DNAJC30, in 33 unsolved patients from 29 families and establish an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance for LHON (arLHON), which to date has been a prime example of a maternally inherited disorder. Remarkably, all hallmarks of mtLHON were recapitulated, including incomplete penetrance, male predominance, and significant idebenone responsivity. Moreover, by tracking protein turnover in patient-derived cell lines and a DNAJC30-knockout cellular model, we measured reduced turnover of specific complex I N-module subunits and a resultant impairment of complex I function. These results demonstrate that DNAJC30 is a chaperone protein needed for the efficient exchange of complex I subunits exposed to reactive oxygen species and integral to a mitochondrial complex I repair mechanism, thereby providing the first example to our knowledge of a disease resulting from impaired exchange of assembled respiratory chain subunits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI138267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7954600PMC
March 2021

Expanding the clinical and genetic spectrum of FDXR deficiency by functional validation of variants of uncertain significance.

Hum Mutat 2021 Mar 3;42(3):310-319. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Institute of Human Genetics, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany.

Ferrodoxin reductase (FDXR) deficiency is a mitochondrial disease described in recent years primarily in association with optic atrophy, acoustic neuropathy, and developmental delays. Here, we identified seven unpublished patients with FDXR deficiency belonging to six independent families. These patients show a broad clinical spectrum ranging from Leigh syndrome with early demise and severe infantile-onset encephalopathy, to milder movement disorders. In total nine individual pathogenic variants, of which seven were novel, were identified in FDXR using whole exome sequencing in suspected mitochondrial disease patients. Over 80% of these variants are missense, a challenging variant class in which to determine pathogenic consequence, especially in the setting of nonspecific phenotypes and in the absence of a reliable biomarker, necessitating functional validation. Here we implement an Arh1-null yeast model to confirm the pathogenicity of variants of uncertain significance in FDXR, bypassing the requirement for patient-derived material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24160DOI Listing
March 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
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