Publications by authors named "Maureen Bocian"

9 Publications

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De novo mutations in NALCN cause a syndrome characterized by congenital contractures of the limbs and face, hypotonia, and developmental delay.

Am J Hum Genet 2015 Mar 12;96(3):462-73. Epub 2015 Feb 12.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA; Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. Electronic address:

Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, or distal arthrogryposis type 2A (DA2A), is an autosomal-dominant condition caused by mutations in MYH3 and characterized by multiple congenital contractures of the face and limbs and normal cognitive development. We identified a subset of five individuals who had been putatively diagnosed with "DA2A with severe neurological abnormalities" and for whom congenital contractures of the limbs and face, hypotonia, and global developmental delay had resulted in early death in three cases; this is a unique condition that we now refer to as CLIFAHDD syndrome. Exome sequencing identified missense mutations in the sodium leak channel, non-selective (NALCN) in four families affected by CLIFAHDD syndrome. We used molecular-inversion probes to screen for NALCN in a cohort of 202 distal arthrogryposis (DA)-affected individuals as well as concurrent exome sequencing of six other DA-affected individuals, thus revealing NALCN mutations in ten additional families with "atypical" forms of DA. All 14 mutations were missense variants predicted to alter amino acid residues in or near the S5 and S6 pore-forming segments of NALCN, highlighting the functional importance of these segments. In vitro functional studies demonstrated that NALCN alterations nearly abolished the expression of wild-type NALCN, suggesting that alterations that cause CLIFAHDD syndrome have a dominant-negative effect. In contrast, homozygosity for mutations in other regions of NALCN has been reported in three families affected by an autosomal-recessive condition characterized mainly by hypotonia and severe intellectual disability. Accordingly, mutations in NALCN can cause either a recessive or dominant condition characterized by varied though overlapping phenotypic features, perhaps based on the type of mutation and affected protein domain(s).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.01.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4375444PMC
March 2015

Impact of Cell-Free Fetal DNA Screening on Patients' Choice of Invasive Procedures after a Positive California Prenatal Screen Result.

J Clin Med 2014 Jul 24;3(3):849-64. Epub 2014 Jul 24.

San Diego, Fetal Care & Genetics San Diego, University of California, CA 92037, USA.

Until recently, maternal serum analyte levels paired with sonographic fetal nuchal translucency measurement was the most accurate prenatal screen available for Trisomies 18 and 21, (91% and 94% detection and false positive rates of 0.31% and 4.5% respectively). Women with positive California Prenatal Screening Program (CPSP) results have the option of diagnostic testing to determine definitively if the fetus has a chromosomal abnormality. Cell-free fetal (cff-) DNA screening for Trisomies 13, 18, and 21 was first offered in 2012, allowing women with positive screens to choose additional screening before diagnostic testing. Cff-DNA sensitivity rates are as high as 99.9% and 99.1%, with false positive rates of 0.4% and 0.1%, for Trisomies 18 and 21, respectively. A retrospective chart review was performed in 2012 on 500 CPSP referrals at the University of California, San Diego Thornton Hospital. Data were collected prior to and after the introduction of cff-DNA. There was a significant increase in the number of participants who chose to pursue additional testing and a decrease in the number of invasive procedures performed after cff-DNA screening was available. We conclude that as fetal aneuploidy screening improves, the number of invasive procedures will continue to decrease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm3030849DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4449655PMC
July 2014

Molecular analysis expands the spectrum of phenotypes associated with GLI3 mutations.

Hum Mutat 2010 Oct;31(10):1142-54

Genetic Disease Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4472, USA.

A range of phenotypes including Greig cephalopolysyndactyly and Pallister-Hall syndromes (GCPS, PHS) are caused by pathogenic mutation of the GLI3 gene. To characterize the clinical variability of GLI3 mutations, we present a subset of a cohort of 174 probands referred for GLI3 analysis. Eighty-one probands with typical GCPS or PHS were previously reported, and we report the remaining 93 probands here. This includes 19 probands (12 mutations) who fulfilled clinical criteria for GCPS or PHS, 48 probands (16 mutations) with features of GCPS or PHS but who did not meet the clinical criteria (sub-GCPS and sub-PHS), 21 probands (6 mutations) with features of PHS or GCPS and oral-facial-digital syndrome, and 5 probands (1 mutation) with nonsyndromic polydactyly. These data support previously identified genotype-phenotype correlations and demonstrate a more variable degree of severity than previously recognized. The finding of GLI3 mutations in patients with features of oral-facial-digital syndrome supports the observation that GLI3 interacts with cilia. We conclude that the phenotypic spectrum of GLI3 mutations is broader than that encompassed by the clinical diagnostic criteria, but the genotype-phenotype correlation persists. Individuals with features of either GCPS or PHS should be screened for mutations in GLI3 even if they do not fulfill clinical criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.21328DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2947617PMC
October 2010

Development and validation of a measure of dysmorphology: useful for autism subgroup classification.

Am J Med Genet A 2008 May;146A(9):1101-16

Department of Child Health, Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) comprise a class of neurodevelopmental disorders that can originate from a variety of genetic and environmental causes. To delineate autism's heterogeneity we have looked for biologically-based phenotypes found in consistent proportions of ASD individuals. One informative phenotype is that of generalized dysmorphology, based on whole body examinations by medical geneticists trained in the nuances of anomalous embryologic development. We identified a need for a dysmorphology measure that could be completed by medical clinicians not extensively trained in dysmorphology that would still retain the level of sensitivity and specificity of the comprehensive dysmorphology examination. Based on expert-derived consensus dysmorphology designation of 222 autism patients and a classification validation study of 30 subjects by four dysmorphologists, we determined that dysmorphology designations based on body areas provided superior inter-rater reliability. Using 34 body area designations, we performed a classification and regression tree (CART) analysis to construct a scoring algorithm. Compared to the consensus classification, the model performed with 81% sensitivity and 99% specificity, and classification of a replication dataset of 31 ASD individuals performed well, with 82% sensitivity and 95% specificity. The autism dysmorphology measure (ADM) directs the clinician to score 12 body areas sequentially to arrive at a determination of "dysmorphic" or "nondysmorphic." We anticipate the ADM will permit clinicians to differentiate accurately between dysmorphic and nondysmorphic individuals-allowing better diagnostic classification, prognostication, recurrence risk assessment, and laboratory analysis decisions-and research scientists to better define more homogeneous autism subtypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.32244DOI Listing
May 2008

Computed tomographic reconstruction of a fetus with the dysgnathia complex (agnathia-otocephaly).

Prenat Diagn 2007 Feb;27(2):130-2

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of California Irvine Medical Center, 101 The City Drive, Building 56, Suite 800, Orange, CA 92868, USA.

The dysgnathia complex (agnathia-otocephaly) (AO) is a lethal malformation that consists of congenital absence of the lower jaw with union or close approximation of the lower ears on the front of the neck, microstomia, and hypoglossia. We present a novel case of agnathia-otocephaly with associated organomegaly and the use of postmortem 3-D computed tomographic rendering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.1626DOI Listing
February 2007

Head circumference and height in autism: a study by the Collaborative Program of Excellence in Autism.

Am J Med Genet A 2006 Nov;140(21):2257-74

Department of Psychiatry, The Brain Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108, USA.

Data from 10 sites of the NICHD/NIDCD Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism were combined to study the distribution of head circumference and relationship to demographic and clinical variables. Three hundred thirty-eight probands with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) including 208 probands with autism were studied along with 147 parents, 149 siblings, and typically developing controls. ASDs were diagnosed, and head circumference and clinical variables measured in a standardized manner across all sites. All subjects with autism met ADI-R, ADOS-G, DSM-IV, and ICD-10 criteria. The results show the distribution of standardized head circumference in autism is normal in shape, and the mean, variance, and rate of macrocephaly but not microcephaly are increased. Head circumference tends to be large relative to height in autism. No site, gender, age, SES, verbal, or non-verbal IQ effects were present in the autism sample. In addition to autism itself, standardized height and average parental head circumference were the most important factors predicting head circumference in individuals with autism. Mean standardized head circumference and rates of macrocephaly were similar in probands with autism and their parents. Increased head circumference was associated with a higher (more severe) ADI-R social algorithm score. Macrocephaly is associated with delayed onset of language. Although mean head circumference and rates of macrocephaly are increased in autism, a high degree of variability is present, underscoring the complex clinical heterogeneity of the disorder. The wide distribution of head circumference in autism has major implications for genetic, neuroimaging, and other neurobiological research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.31465DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4899843PMC
November 2006

Preconception and prenatal testing of biologic fathers for carrier status. American College of Medical Genetics.

Genet Med 2006 Feb;8(2):134-5

American College of Medical Genetics, Bethesda, MD 20814-3998, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/01.gim.0000200948.58427.e2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110958PMC
February 2006

A case of autism with an interstitial deletion on 4q leading to hemizygosity for genes encoding for glutamine and glycine neurotransmitter receptor sub-units (AMPA 2, GLRA3, GLRB) and neuropeptide receptors NPY1R, NPY5R.

BMC Med Genet 2004 Apr 16;5:10. Epub 2004 Apr 16.

Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA.

Background: Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by a triad of deficits: qualitative impairments in social interactions, communication deficits, and repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Although autism is etiologically heterogeneous, family and twin studies have established a definite genetic basis. The inheritance of idiopathic autism is presumed to be complex, with many genes involved; environmental factors are also possibly contributory. The analysis of chromosome abnormalities associated with autism contributes greatly to the identification of autism candidate genes.

Case Presentation: We describe a child with autistic disorder and an interstitial deletion on chromosome 4q. This child first presented at 12 months of age with developmental delay and minor dysmorphic features. At 4 years of age a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder was made. At 11 years of age he met diagnostic criteria for autism. Cytogenetic studies revealed a chromosome 4q deletion. The karyotype was 46, XY del 4 (q31.3-q33). Here we report the clinical phenotype of the child and the molecular characterization of the deletion using molecular cytogenetic techniques and analysis of polymorphic markers. These studies revealed a 19 megabase deletion spanning 4q32 to 4q34. Analysis of existing polymorphic markers and new markers developed in this study revealed that the deletion arose on a paternally derived chromosome. To date 33 genes of known or inferred function are deleted as a consequence of the deletion. Among these are the AMPA 2 gene that encodes the glutamate receptor GluR2 sub-unit, GLRA3 and GLRB genes that encode glycine receptor subunits and neuropeptide Y receptor genes NPY1R and NPY5R.

Conclusions: The deletion in this autistic subject serves to highlight specific autism candidate genes. He is hemizygous for AMPA 2, GLRA3, GLRB, NPY1R and NPY5R. GluR2 is the major determinant of AMPA receptor structure. Glutamate receptors maintain structural and functional plasticity of synapses. Neuropeptide Y and its receptors NPY1R and NPY5R play a role in hippocampal learning and memory. Glycine receptors are expressed in very early cortical development. Molecular cytogenetic studies and DNA sequence analysis in other patients with autism will be necessary to confirm that these genes are involved in autism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2350-5-10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC411038PMC
April 2004

Mitochondrial dysfunction in autistic patients with 15q inverted duplication.

Ann Neurol 2003 Jun;53(6):801-4

Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.

Two autistic children with a chromosome 15q11-q13 inverted duplication are presented. Both had uneventful perinatal courses, normal electroencephalogram and magnetic resonance imaging scans, moderate motor delay, lethargy, severe hypotonia, and modest lactic acidosis. Both had muscle mitochondrial enzyme assays that showed a pronounced mitochondrial hyperproliferation and a partial respiratory chain block most parsimoniously placed at the level of complex III, suggesting candidate gene loci for autism within the critical region may affect pathways influencing mitochondrial function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.10596DOI Listing
June 2003