Publications by authors named "Peter Krawitz"

81 Publications

Tumor rejection in mice depends on IL-9 and Th9 cells.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Jul;9(7)

Oncology, Hematology, Immunoncology and Rheumatology, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Background: Casitas B lymphoma-b (Cbl-b) is a central negative regulator of cytotoxic T and natural killer (NK) cells and functions as an intracellular checkpoint in cancer. In particular, Th9 cells support mast cell activation, promote dendritic cell recruitment, enhance the cytolytic function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and NK cells, and directly kill tumor cells, thereby contributing to tumor immunity. However, the role of Cbl-b in the differentiation and antitumor function of Th9 cells is not sufficiently resolved.

Methods: Using mice, we investigated the effect of knocking out on the differentiation process and function of different T helper cell subsets, focusing on regulatory T cell (Treg) and Th9 cells. We applied single-cell RNA (scRNA) sequencing of differentiated Th9 cells to understand how Cbl-b shapes the transcriptome and regulates the differentiation and function of Th9 cells. We transferred tumor-model antigen-specific Th9 cells into melanoma-bearing mice and assessed tumor control . In addition, we blocked interleukin (IL)-9 in melanoma cell-exposed mice to investigate the role of IL-9 in tumor immunity.

Results: Here, we provide experimental evidence that Cbl-b acts as a rheostat favoring Tregs at the expense of Th9 cell differentiation. Th9 cells exert superior antitumor activity leading to improved melanoma control . Accordingly, blocking IL-9 in melanoma cell-exposed mice reversed their tumor rejection phenotype. Furthermore, scRNA sequencing of in vitro differentiated Th9 cells from naïve T cells isolated from wildtype and animals revealed a transcriptomic basis for increased Th9 cell differentiation.

Conclusion: We established IL-9 and Th9 cells as key antitumor executers in animals. This knowledge may be helpful for the future improvement of adoptive T cell therapies in cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002889DOI Listing
July 2021

TBK1 and TNFRSF13B mutations and an autoinflammatory disease in a child with lethal COVID-19.

NPJ Genom Med 2021 Jul 1;6(1):55. Epub 2021 Jul 1.

Neonatology and Pediatric Intensive Care, University of Bonn, School of Medicine & University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

Among children, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections are typically mild. Here, we describe the case of a 3.5-year-old girl with an unusually severe presentation of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The child had an autoinflammatory disorder of unknown etiology, which had been treated using prednisolone and methotrexate, and her parents were half cousins of Turkish descent. After 5 days of nonspecific viral infection symptoms, tonic-clonic seizures occurred followed by acute cardiac insufficiency, multi-organ insufficiency, and ultimate death. Trio exome sequencing identified a homozygous splice-variant in the gene TBK1, and a homozygous missense variant in the gene TNFRSF13B. Heterozygous deleterious variants in the TBK1 gene have been associated with severe COVID-19, and the variant in the TNFRSF13B gene has been associated with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). We suggest that the identified variants, the autoinflammatory disorder and its treatment, or a combination of these factors probably predisposed to lethal COVID-19 in the present case.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41525-021-00220-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8249618PMC
July 2021

Genome sequencing in families with congenital limb malformations.

Hum Genet 2021 Aug 22;140(8):1229-1239. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Institute of Medical Genetics and Human Genetics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

The extensive clinical and genetic heterogeneity of congenital limb malformation calls for comprehensive genome-wide analysis of genetic variation. Genome sequencing (GS) has the potential to identify all genetic variants. Here we aim to determine the diagnostic potential of GS as a comprehensive one-test-for-all strategy in a cohort of undiagnosed patients with congenital limb malformations. We collected 69 cases (64 trios, 1 duo, 5 singletons) with congenital limb malformations with no molecular diagnosis after standard clinical genetic testing and performed genome sequencing. We also developed a framework to identify potential noncoding pathogenic variants. We identified likely pathogenic/disease-associated variants in 12 cases (17.4%) including four in known disease genes, and one repeat expansion in HOXD13. In three unrelated cases with ectrodactyly, we identified likely pathogenic variants in UBA2, establishing it as a novel disease gene. In addition, we found two complex structural variants (3%). We also identified likely causative variants in three novel high confidence candidate genes. We were not able to identify any noncoding variants. GS is a powerful strategy to identify all types of genomic variants associated with congenital limb malformation, including repeat expansions and complex structural variants missed by standard diagnostic approaches. In this cohort, no causative noncoding SNVs could be identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00439-021-02295-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8263393PMC
August 2021

Extending the allelic spectrum at noncoding risk loci of orofacial clefting.

Hum Mutat 2021 Aug 3;42(8):1066-1078. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

Institute of Human Genetics, School of Medicine, University Hospital Bonn, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have generated unprecedented insights into the genetic etiology of orofacial clefting (OFC). The moderate effect sizes of associated noncoding risk variants and limited access to disease-relevant tissue represent considerable challenges for biological interpretation of genetic findings. As rare variants with stronger effect sizes are likely to also contribute to OFC, an alternative approach to delineate pathogenic mechanisms is to identify private mutations and/or an increased burden of rare variants in associated regions. This report describes a framework for targeted resequencing at selected noncoding risk loci contributing to nonsyndromic cleft lip with/without cleft palate (nsCL/P), the most frequent OFC subtype. Based on GWAS data, we selected three risk loci and identified candidate regulatory regions (CRRs) through the integration of credible SNP information, epigenetic data from relevant cells/tissues, and conservation scores. The CRRs (total 57 kb) were resequenced in a multiethnic study population (1061 patients; 1591 controls), using single-molecule molecular inversion probe technology. Combining evidence from in silico variant annotation, pedigree- and burden analyses, we identified 16 likely deleterious rare variants that represent new candidates for functional studies in nsCL/P. Our framework is scalable and represents a promising approach to the investigation of additional congenital malformations with multifactorial etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24219DOI Listing
August 2021

DeepCNV: a deep learning approach for authenticating copy number variations.

Brief Bioinform 2021 Jan 12. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Department of Computer Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ 07102, USA.

Copy number variations (CNVs) are an important class of variations contributing to the pathogenesis of many disease phenotypes. Detecting CNVs from genomic data remains difficult, and the most currently applied methods suffer from an unacceptably high false positive rate. A common practice is to have human experts manually review original CNV calls for filtering false positives before further downstream analysis or experimental validation. Here, we propose DeepCNV, a deep learning-based tool, intended to replace human experts when validating CNV calls, focusing on the calls made by one of the most accurate CNV callers, PennCNV. The sophistication of the deep neural network algorithm is enriched with over 10 000 expert-scored samples that are split into training and testing sets. Variant confidence, especially for CNVs, is a main roadblock impeding the progress of linking CNVs with the disease. We show that DeepCNV adds to the confidence of the CNV calls with an optimal area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.909, exceeding other machine learning methods. The superiority of DeepCNV was also benchmarked and confirmed using an experimental wet-lab validation dataset. We conclude that the improvement obtained by DeepCNV results in significantly fewer false positive results and failures to replicate the CNV association results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbaa381DOI Listing
January 2021

A CRISPR-Cas9-engineered mouse model for GPI-anchor deficiency mirrors human phenotypes and exhibits hippocampal synaptic dysfunctions.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 01;118(2)

Institute for Genomic Statistics and Bioinformatics, University of Bonn, 53127 Bonn, Germany;

Pathogenic germline mutations in lead to glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthesis deficiency (GPIBD). Individuals with pathogenic biallelic mutations in genes of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchor pathway exhibit cognitive impairments, motor delay, and often epilepsy. Thus far, the pathophysiology underlying the disease remains unclear, and suitable rodent models that mirror all symptoms observed in human patients have not been available. Therefore, we used CRISPR-Cas9 to introduce the most prevalent hypomorphic missense mutation in European patients, :c.1022C > A (p.A341E), at a site that is conserved in mice. Mirroring the human pathology, mutant mice exhibited deficits in motor coordination, cognitive impairments, and alterations in sociability and sleep patterns, as well as increased seizure susceptibility. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry revealed reduced synaptophysin immunoreactivity in mice, and electrophysiology recordings showed decreased hippocampal synaptic transmission that could underlie impaired memory formation. In single-cell RNA sequencing, -hippocampal cells exhibited changes in gene expression, most prominently in a subtype of microglia and subicular neurons. A significant reduction in transcript levels in several cell clusters suggested a link to the signaling pathway of GPI-anchored ephrins. We also observed elevated levels of transcripts, which might affect histamine metabolism with consequences for circadian rhythm. This mouse model will not only open the doors to further investigation into the pathophysiology of GPIBD, but will also deepen our understanding of the role of GPI-anchor-related pathways in brain development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2014481118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7812744PMC
January 2021

Multimodal Machine Learning Workflows for Prediction of Psychosis in Patients With Clinical High-Risk Syndromes and Recent-Onset Depression.

JAMA Psychiatry 2021 Feb;78(2):195-209

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.

Importance: Diverse models have been developed to predict psychosis in patients with clinical high-risk (CHR) states. Whether prediction can be improved by efficiently combining clinical and biological models and by broadening the risk spectrum to young patients with depressive syndromes remains unclear.

Objectives: To evaluate whether psychosis transition can be predicted in patients with CHR or recent-onset depression (ROD) using multimodal machine learning that optimally integrates clinical and neurocognitive data, structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI), and polygenic risk scores (PRS) for schizophrenia; to assess models' geographic generalizability; to test and integrate clinicians' predictions; and to maximize clinical utility by building a sequential prognostic system.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multisite, longitudinal prognostic study performed in 7 academic early recognition services in 5 European countries followed up patients with CHR syndromes or ROD and healthy volunteers. The referred sample of 167 patients with CHR syndromes and 167 with ROD was recruited from February 1, 2014, to May 31, 2017, of whom 26 (23 with CHR syndromes and 3 with ROD) developed psychosis. Patients with 18-month follow-up (n = 246) were used for model training and leave-one-site-out cross-validation. The remaining 88 patients with nontransition served as the validation of model specificity. Three hundred thirty-four healthy volunteers provided a normative sample for prognostic signature evaluation. Three independent Swiss projects contributed a further 45 cases with psychosis transition and 600 with nontransition for the external validation of clinical-neurocognitive, sMRI-based, and combined models. Data were analyzed from January 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Accuracy and generalizability of prognostic systems.

Results: A total of 668 individuals (334 patients and 334 controls) were included in the analysis (mean [SD] age, 25.1 [5.8] years; 354 [53.0%] female and 314 [47.0%] male). Clinicians attained a balanced accuracy of 73.2% by effectively ruling out (specificity, 84.9%) but ineffectively ruling in (sensitivity, 61.5%) psychosis transition. In contrast, algorithms showed high sensitivity (76.0%-88.0%) but low specificity (53.5%-66.8%). A cybernetic risk calculator combining all algorithmic and human components predicted psychosis with a balanced accuracy of 85.5% (sensitivity, 84.6%; specificity, 86.4%). In comparison, an optimal prognostic workflow produced a balanced accuracy of 85.9% (sensitivity, 84.6%; specificity, 87.3%) at a much lower diagnostic burden by sequentially integrating clinical-neurocognitive, expert-based, PRS-based, and sMRI-based risk estimates as needed for the given patient. Findings were supported by good external validation results.

Conclusions And Relevance: These findings suggest that psychosis transition can be predicted in a broader risk spectrum by sequentially integrating algorithms' and clinicians' risk estimates. For clinical translation, the proposed workflow should undergo large-scale international validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.3604DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7711566PMC
February 2021

Sex-Specific Genetic Associations for Barrett's Esophagus and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma.

Gastroenterology 2020 12 9;159(6):2065-2076.e1. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Institute for Genomic Statistics and Bioinformatics, Medical Faculty, University of Bonn, Germany.

Background & Aims: Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) and its premalignant lesion, Barrett's esophagus (BE), are characterized by a strong and yet unexplained male predominance (with a male-to-female ratio in EA incidence of up to 6:1). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified more than 20 susceptibility loci for these conditions. However, potential sex differences in genetic associations with BE/EA remain largely unexplored.

Methods: Given strong genetic overlap, BE and EA cases were combined into a single case group for analysis. These were compared with population-based controls. We performed sex-specific GWAS of BE/EA in 3 separate studies and then used fixed-effects meta-analysis to provide summary estimates for >9 million variants for male and female individuals. A series of downstream analyses were conducted separately in male and female individuals to identify genes associated with BE/EA and the genetic correlations between BE/EA and other traits.

Results: We included 6758 male BE/EA cases, 7489 male controls, 1670 female BE/EA cases, and 6174 female controls. After Bonferroni correction, our meta-analysis of sex-specific GWAS identified 1 variant at chromosome 6q11.1 (rs112894788, KHDRBS2-MTRNR2L9, P = .039) that was statistically significantly associated with BE/EA risk in male individuals only, and 1 variant at chromosome 8p23.1 (rs13259457, PRSS55-RP1L1, P = 0.057) associated, at borderline significance, with BE/EA risk in female individuals only. We also observed strong genetic correlations of BE/EA with gastroesophageal reflux disease in male individuals and obesity in female individuals.

Conclusions: The identified novel sex-specific variants associated with BE/EA could improve the understanding of the genetic architecture of the disease and the reasons for the male predominance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2020.08.052DOI Listing
December 2020

New technologies for intensive prevention programs after myocardial infarction: rationale and design of the NET-IPP trial.

Clin Res Cardiol 2021 Feb 30;110(2):153-161. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Medical Clinic II, Lübeck University Heart Center, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538, Lübeck, Germany.

Introduction: Current health care data reveal suboptimal prevention in patients with coronary artery disease and an unmet need to develop effective preventive strategies. The New Technologies for Intensive Prevention Programs (NET-IPP) Trial will investigate if a long-term web-based prevention program after myocardial infarction (MI) will reduce clinical events and risk factors. In a genetic sub study the impact of disclosure of genetic risk using polygenic risk scores (PRS) will be assessed.

Study Design: Patients hospitalized for MI will be prospectively enrolled and assigned to either a 12-months web-based intensive prevention program or standard care. The web-based program will include telemetric transmission of risk factor data, e-learning and electronic contacts between a prevention assistant and the patients. The combined primary study endpoint will comprise severe adverse cardiovascular events after 2 years. Secondary endpoints will be risk factor control, adherence to medication and quality of life. In a genetic sub study genetic risk will be assessed in all patients of the web-based intensive prevention program group by PRS and patients will be randomly assigned to genetic risk disclosure vs. no disclosure. The study question will be if disclosure of genetic risk has an impact on patient motivation and cardiovascular risk factor control.

Conclusions: The randomized multicenter NET-IPP study will evaluate for the first time the effects of a long-term web-based prevention program after MI on clinical events and risk factor control. In a genetic sub study the impact of disclosure of genetic risk using PRS will be investigated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00392-020-01695-wDOI Listing
February 2021

Evidence of the milder phenotypic spectrum of c.1582G>A PIGT variant: Delineation based on seven novel Polish patients.

Clin Genet 2020 11;98(5):468-476

Department of Medical Genetics, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.

PIGT is one of over 29 glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthesis defect genes. Mutations cause genetically determined disorders characterized mainly by epilepsy with fever-sensitivity, central hypotonia, psychomotor delay and congenital malformations. The disease is known as multiple congenital anomalies-hypotonia-seizures syndrome 3 (MCAHS3) or glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthesis defect-7. Twenty-eight cases have been reported until today. We present seven novel Polish patients, all harboring 1582G>A variant in a homozygous or compound heterozygous state which seems to cause a milder phenotype of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13822DOI Listing
November 2020

Hematologist-Level Classification of Mature B-Cell Neoplasm Using Deep Learning on Multiparameter Flow Cytometry Data.

Cytometry A 2020 10 9;97(10):1073-1080. Epub 2020 Jun 9.

MLL Munich Leukemia Laboratory, Munich, Germany.

The wealth of information captured by multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) can be analyzed by recent methods of computer vision when represented as a single image file. We therefore transformed MFC raw data into a multicolor 2D image by a self-organizing map and classified this representation using a convolutional neural network. By this means, we built an artificial intelligence that is not only able to distinguish diseased from healthy samples, but it can also differentiate seven subtypes of mature B-cell neoplasm. We trained our model with 18,274 cases including chronic lymphocytic leukemia and its precursor monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis, marginal zone lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, prolymphocytic leukemia, follicular lymphoma, hairy cell leukemia, lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma and achieved a weighted F1 score of 0.94 on a separate test set of 2,348 cases. Furthermore, we estimated the trustworthiness of a classification and could classify 70% of all cases with a confidence of 0.95 and higher. Our performance analyses indicate that particularly for rare subtypes further improvement can be expected when even more samples are available for training. © 2020 The Authors. Cytometry Part A published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. on behalf of International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cyto.a.24159DOI Listing
October 2020

Integrative analysis of key candidate genes and signaling pathways in autoimmune thyroid dysfunction related to anti-CTLA-4 therapy by bioinformatics.

Invest New Drugs 2020 12 4;38(6):1717-1729. Epub 2020 Jun 4.

Department of Integrated Oncology, Center for Integrated Oncology (CIO), University Hospital Bonn, Venusberg-Campus 1, D-53127, Bonn, Germany.

Cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4), the first immune checkpoint to be targeted clinically, has provided an effective treatment option for various malignancies. However, the clinical advantages associated with CTLA-4 inhibitors can be offset by the potentially severe immune-related adverse events (IRAEs), including autoimmune thyroid dysfunction. To investigate the candidate genes and signaling pathways involving in autoimmune thyroid dysfunction related to anti-CTLA-4 therapy, integrated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were extracted from the intersection of genes from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets and text mining. The functional enrichment was performed by gene ontology (GO) annotation and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, module enrichment, and hub gene identification were constructed and visualized by the online Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes (STRING) and Cytoscape software. A total of 22 and 17 integrated human DEGs in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism group related to anti-CTLA-4 therapy were identified, respectively. Functional enrichment analysis revealed 24 GO terms and 1 KEGG pathways in the hypothyroid group and 21 GO terms and 2 KEGG pathways in the hyperthyroid group. After PPI network construction, the top five hub genes associated with hypothyroidism were extracted, including ALB, MAPK1, SPP1, PPARG, and MIF, whereas those associated with hyperthyroidism were ALB, FCGR2B, CD44, LCN2, and CD74. The identification of the candidate key genes and enriched signaling pathways provides potential biomarkers for autoimmune thyroid dysfunction related to anti-CTLA-4 therapy and might contribute to the future diagnosis and management of IRAEs for cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-020-00952-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7575511PMC
December 2020

Lessons learned from 40 novel PIGA patients and a review of the literature.

Epilepsia 2020 06 26;61(6):1142-1155. Epub 2020 May 26.

Division of Genetic and Genomic Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Objective: To define the phenotypic spectrum of phosphatidylinositol glycan class A protein (PIGA)-related congenital disorder of glycosylation (PIGA-CDG) and evaluate genotype-phenotype correlations.

Methods: Our cohort encompasses 40 affected males with a pathogenic PIGA variant. We performed a detailed phenotypic assessment, and in addition, we reviewed the available clinical data of 36 previously published cases and assessed the variant pathogenicity using bioinformatical approaches.

Results: Most individuals had hypotonia, moderate to profound global developmental delay, and intractable seizures. We found that PIGA-CDG spans from a pure neurological phenotype at the mild end to a Fryns syndrome-like phenotype. We found a high frequency of cardiac anomalies including structural anomalies and cardiomyopathy, and a high frequency of spontaneous death, especially in childhood. Comparative bioinformatical analysis of common variants, found in the healthy population, and pathogenic variants, identified in affected individuals, revealed a profound physiochemical dissimilarity of the substituted amino acids in variant constrained regions of the protein.

Significance: Our comprehensive analysis of the largest cohort of published and novel PIGA patients broadens the spectrum of PIGA-CDG. Our genotype-phenotype correlation facilitates the estimation on pathogenicity of variants with unknown clinical significance and prognosis for individuals with pathogenic variants in PIGA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16545DOI Listing
June 2020

Significantly different clinical phenotypes associated with mutations in synthesis and transamidase+remodeling glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchor biosynthesis genes.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2020 02 4;15(1):40. Epub 2020 Feb 4.

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, 10 Discovery Drive, Farmington, CT, 06032, USA.

Background: Defects in the glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) biosynthesis pathway can result in a group of congenital disorders of glycosylation known as the inherited GPI deficiencies (IGDs). To date, defects in 22 of the 29 genes in the GPI biosynthesis pathway have been identified in IGDs. The early phase of the biosynthetic pathway assembles the GPI anchor (Synthesis stage) and the late phase transfers the GPI anchor to a nascent peptide in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) (Transamidase stage), stabilizes the anchor in the ER membrane using fatty acid remodeling and then traffics the GPI-anchored protein to the cell surface (Remodeling stage).

Results: We addressed the hypothesis that disease-associated variants in either the Synthesis stage or Transamidase+Remodeling-stage GPI pathway genes have distinct phenotypic spectra. We reviewed clinical data from 58 publications describing 152 individual patients and encoded the phenotypic information using the Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO). We showed statistically significant differences between the Synthesis and Transamidase+Remodeling Groups in the frequencies of phenotypes in the musculoskeletal system, cleft palate, nose phenotypes, and cognitive disability. Finally, we hypothesized that phenotypic defects in the IGDs are likely to be at least partially related to defective GPI anchoring of their target proteins. Twenty-two of one hundred forty-two proteins that receive a GPI anchor are associated with one or more Mendelian diseases and 12 show some phenotypic overlap with the IGDs, represented by 34 HPO terms. Interestingly, GPC3 and GPC6, members of the glypican family of heparan sulfate proteoglycans bound to the plasma membrane through a covalent GPI linkage, are associated with 25 of these phenotypic abnormalities.

Conclusions: IGDs associated with Synthesis and Transamidase+Remodeling stages of the GPI biosynthesis pathway have significantly different phenotypic spectra. GPC2 and GPC6 genes may represent a GPI target of general disruption to the GPI biosynthesis pathway that contributes to the phenotypes of some IGDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-020-1313-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7001271PMC
February 2020

A post glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) attachment to proteins, type 2 (PGAP2) variant identified in Mabry syndrome index cases: Molecular genetics of the prototypical inherited GPI disorder.

Eur J Med Genet 2020 Apr 2;63(4):103822. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, United States.

We report that recessive inheritance of a post-GPI attachment to proteins 2 (PGAP2) gene variant results in the hyperphosphatasia with neurologic deficit (HPMRS) phenotype described by Mabry et al., in 1970. HPMRS, or Mabry syndrome, is now known to be one of 21 inherited glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) deficiencies (IGDs), or GPI biosynthesis defects (GPIBDs). Bi-allelic mutations in at least six genes result in HPMRS phenotypes. Disruption of four phosphatidylinositol glycan (PIG) biosynthesis genes, PIGV, PIGO, PIGW and PIGY, expressed in the endoplasmic reticulum, result in HPMRS 1, 2, 5 and 6; disruption of the PGAP2 and PGAP3 genes, necessary for stabilizing the association of GPI anchored proteins (AP) with the Golgi membrane, result in HPMRS 3 and 4. We used exome sequencing to identify a novel homozygous missense PGAP2 variant NM_014489.3:c.881C > T, p.Thr294Met in two index patients and targeted sequencing to identify this variant in an unrelated patient. Rescue assays were conducted in two PGAP2 deficient cell lines, PGAP2 KO cells generated by CRISPR/Cas9 and PGAP2 deficient CHO cells, in order to examine the pathogenicity of the PGAP2 variant. First, we used the CHO rescue assay to establish that the wild type PGAP2 isoform 1, translated from transcript 1, is less active than the wild type PGAP2 isoform 8, translated from transcript 12 (alternatively spliced to omit exon 3). As a result, in our variant rescue assays, we used the more active NM_001256240.2:c.698C > T, p.Thr233Met isoform 8 instead of NM_014489.3:c.881C > T, p.Thr294Met isoform 1. Flow cytometric analysis showed that restoration of cell surface CD59 and CD55 with variant PGAP2 isoform 8, driven by the weak (pTA FLAG) promoter, was less efficient than wild type isoform 8. Therefore, we conclude that recessive inheritance of c.881C > T PGAP2, expressed as the hypomorphic PGAP2 c.698C > T, p.Thr233Met isoform 8, results in prototypical Mabry phenotype, HPMRS3 (GPIBD 8 [MIM: 614207]). This study highlights the need for long-term follow up of individuals with rare diseases in order to ensure that they benefit from innovations in diagnosis and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmg.2019.103822DOI Listing
April 2020

Complement and inflammasome overactivation mediates paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria with autoinflammation.

J Clin Invest 2019 12;129(12):5123-5136

Research Institute for Microbial Diseases and.

Patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) have a clonal population of blood cells deficient in glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored (GPI-anchored) proteins, resulting from a mutation in the X-linked gene PIGA. Here we report on a set of patients in whom PNH results instead from biallelic mutation of PIGT on chromosome 20. These PIGT-PNH patients have clinically typical PNH, but they have in addition prominent autoinflammatory features, including recurrent attacks of aseptic meningitis. In all these patients we find a germ-line point mutation in one PIGT allele, whereas the other PIGT allele is removed by somatic deletion of a 20q region comprising maternally imprinted genes implicated in myeloproliferative syndromes. Unlike in PIGA-PNH cells, GPI is synthesized in PIGT-PNH cells and, since its attachment to proteins is blocked, free GPI is expressed on the cell surface. From studies of patients' leukocytes and of PIGT-KO THP-1 cells we show that, through increased IL-1β secretion, activation of the lectin pathway of complement and generation of C5b-9 complexes, free GPI is the agent of autoinflammation. Eculizumab treatment abrogates not only intravascular hemolysis, but also autoinflammation. Thus, PIGT-PNH differs from PIGA-PNH both in the mechanism of clonal expansion and in clinical manifestations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI123501DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6877298PMC
December 2019

Enabling Global Clinical Collaborations on Identifiable Patient Data: The Minerva Initiative.

Front Genet 2019 29;10:611. Epub 2019 Jul 29.

Department of Medical Genetics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

The clinical utility of computational phenotyping for both genetic and rare diseases is increasingly appreciated; however, its true potential is yet to be fully realized. Alongside the growing clinical and research availability of sequencing technologies, precise deep and scalable phenotyping is required to serve unmet need in genetic and rare diseases. To improve the lives of individuals affected with rare diseases through deep phenotyping, global big data interrogation is necessary to aid our understanding of disease biology, assist diagnosis, and develop targeted treatment strategies. This includes the application of cutting-edge machine learning methods to image data. As with most digital tools employed in health care, there are ethical and data governance challenges associated with using identifiable personal image data. There are also risks with failing to deliver on the patient benefits of these new technologies, the biggest of which is posed by data siloing. The Minerva Initiative has been designed to enable the public good of deep phenotyping while mitigating these ethical risks. Its open structure, enabling collaboration and data sharing between individuals, clinicians, researchers and private enterprise, is key for delivering precision public health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2019.00611DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6681681PMC
July 2019

Mutations in PIGU Impair the Function of the GPI Transamidase Complex, Causing Severe Intellectual Disability, Epilepsy, and Brain Anomalies.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 08 25;105(2):395-402. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Institute for Genomic Statistics and Bioinformatics, University Hospital Bonn, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, 53127 Bonn, Germany.

The glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor links over 150 proteins to the cell surface and is present on every cell type. Many of these proteins play crucial roles in neuronal development and function. Mutations in 18 of the 29 genes implicated in the biosynthesis of the GPI anchor have been identified as the cause of GPI biosynthesis deficiencies (GPIBDs) in humans. GPIBDs are associated with intellectual disability and seizures as their cardinal features. An essential component of the GPI transamidase complex is PIGU, along with PIGK, PIGS, PIGT, and GPAA1, all of which link GPI-anchored proteins (GPI-APs) onto the GPI anchor in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Here, we report two homozygous missense mutations (c.209T>A [p.Ile70Lys] and c.1149C>A [p.Asn383Lys]) in five individuals from three unrelated families. All individuals presented with global developmental delay, severe-to-profound intellectual disability, muscular hypotonia, seizures, brain anomalies, scoliosis, and mild facial dysmorphism. Using multicolor flow cytometry, we determined a characteristic profile for GPI transamidase deficiency. On granulocytes this profile consisted of reduced cell-surface expression of fluorescein-labeled proaerolysin (FLAER), CD16, and CD24, but not of CD55 and CD59; additionally, B cells showed an increased expression of free GPI anchors determined by T5 antibody. Moreover, computer-assisted facial analysis of different GPIBDs revealed a characteristic facial gestalt shared among individuals with mutations in PIGU and GPAA1. Our findings improve our understanding of the role of the GPI transamidase complex in the development of nervous and skeletal systems and expand the clinical spectrum of disorders belonging to the group of inherited GPI-anchor deficiencies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.06.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6698879PMC
August 2019

Mutations in PIGB Cause an Inherited GPI Biosynthesis Defect with an Axonal Neuropathy and Metabolic Abnormality in Severe Cases.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 08 27;105(2):384-394. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Department of Paediatric Neurology, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK.

Proteins anchored to the cell surface via glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) play various key roles in the human body, particularly in development and neurogenesis. As such, many developmental disorders are caused by mutations in genes involved in the GPI biosynthesis and remodeling pathway. We describe ten unrelated families with bi-allelic mutations in PIGB, a gene that encodes phosphatidylinositol glycan class B, which transfers the third mannose to the GPI. Ten different PIGB variants were found in these individuals. Flow cytometric analysis of blood cells and fibroblasts from the affected individuals showed decreased cell surface presence of GPI-anchored proteins. Most of the affected individuals have global developmental and/or intellectual delay, all had seizures, two had polymicrogyria, and four had a peripheral neuropathy. Eight children passed away before four years old. Two of them had a clinical diagnosis of DOORS syndrome (deafness, onychodystrophy, osteodystrophy, mental retardation, and seizures), a condition that includes sensorineural deafness, shortened terminal phalanges with small finger and toenails, intellectual disability, and seizures; this condition overlaps with the severe phenotypes associated with inherited GPI deficiency. Most individuals tested showed elevated alkaline phosphatase, which is a characteristic of the inherited GPI deficiency but not DOORS syndrome. It is notable that two severely affected individuals showed 2-oxoglutaric aciduria, which can be seen in DOORS syndrome, suggesting that severe cases of inherited GPI deficiency and DOORS syndrome might share some molecular pathway disruptions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.05.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6698938PMC
August 2019

PEDIA: prioritization of exome data by image analysis.

Genet Med 2019 12 5;21(12):2807-2814. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

National Research and Applied Medicine Centre 'Mother and Child'', Minsk, Belarus.

Purpose: Phenotype information is crucial for the interpretation of genomic variants. So far it has only been accessible for bioinformatics workflows after encoding into clinical terms by expert dysmorphologists.

Methods: Here, we introduce an approach driven by artificial intelligence that uses portrait photographs for the interpretation of clinical exome data. We measured the value added by computer-assisted image analysis to the diagnostic yield on a cohort consisting of 679 individuals with 105 different monogenic disorders. For each case in the cohort we compiled frontal photos, clinical features, and the disease-causing variants, and simulated multiple exomes of different ethnic backgrounds.

Results: The additional use of similarity scores from computer-assisted analysis of frontal photos improved the top 1 accuracy rate by more than 20-89% and the top 10 accuracy rate by more than 5-99% for the disease-causing gene.

Conclusion: Image analysis by deep-learning algorithms can be used to quantify the phenotypic similarity (PP4 criterion of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics guidelines) and to advance the performance of bioinformatics pipelines for exome analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-019-0566-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6892739PMC
December 2019

PIGT-CDG, a disorder of the glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor: description of 13 novel patients and expansion of the clinical characteristics.

Genet Med 2019 10 12;21(10):2216-2223. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

Danish Epilepsy Centre, Dianalund, Denmark.

Purpose: To provide a detailed electroclinical description and expand the phenotype of PIGT-CDG, to perform genotype-phenotype correlation, and to investigate the onset and severity of the epilepsy associated with the different genetic subtypes of this rare disorder. Furthermore, to use computer-assisted facial gestalt analysis in PIGT-CDG and to the compare findings with other glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor deficiencies.

Methods: We evaluated 13 children from eight unrelated families with homozygous or compound heterozygous pathogenic variants in PIGT.

Results: All patients had hypotonia, severe developmental delay, and epilepsy. Epilepsy onset ranged from first day of life to two years of age. Severity of the seizure disorder varied from treatable seizures to severe neonatal onset epileptic encephalopathies. The facial gestalt of patients resembled that of previously published PIGT patients as they were closest to the center of the PIGT cluster in the clinical face phenotype space and were distinguishable from other gene-specific phenotypes.

Conclusion: We expand our knowledge of PIGT. Our cases reaffirm that the use of genetic testing is essential for diagnosis in this group of disorders. Finally, we show that computer-assisted facial gestalt analysis accurately assigned PIGT cases to the multiple congenital anomalies-hypotonia-seizures syndrome phenotypic series advocating the additional use of next-generation phenotyping technology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-019-0512-3DOI Listing
October 2019

The Discovery of a LEMD2-Associated Nuclear Envelopathy with Early Progeroid Appearance Suggests Advanced Applications for AI-Driven Facial Phenotyping.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 04 21;104(4):749-757. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne, Cologne, 50931, Germany; Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, 50931, Germany. Electronic address:

Over a relatively short period of time, the clinical geneticist's "toolbox" has been expanded by machine-learning algorithms for image analysis, which can be applied to the task of syndrome identification on the basis of facial photographs, but these technologies harbor potential beyond the recognition of established phenotypes. Here, we comprehensively characterized two individuals with a hitherto unknown genetic disorder caused by the same de novo mutation in LEMD2 (c.1436C>T;p.Ser479Phe), the gene which encodes the nuclear envelope protein LEM domain-containing protein 2 (LEMD2). Despite different ages and ethnic backgrounds, both individuals share a progeria-like facial phenotype and a distinct combination of physical and neurologic anomalies, such as growth retardation; hypoplastic jaws crowded with multiple supernumerary, yet unerupted, teeth; and cerebellar intention tremor. Immunofluorescence analyses of patient fibroblasts revealed mutation-induced disturbance of nuclear architecture, recapitulating previously published data in LEMD2-deficient cell lines, and additional experiments suggested mislocalization of mutant LEMD2 protein within the nuclear lamina. Computational analysis of facial features with two different deep neural networks showed phenotypic proximity to other nuclear envelopathies. One of the algorithms, when trained to recognize syndromic similarity (rather than specific syndromes) in an unsupervised approach, clustered both individuals closely together, providing hypothesis-free hints for a common genetic etiology. We show that a recurrent de novo mutation in LEMD2 causes a nuclear envelopathy whose prognosis in adolescence is relatively good in comparison to that of classical Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, and we suggest that the application of artificial intelligence to the analysis of patient images can facilitate the discovery of new genetic disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.02.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6451726PMC
April 2019

Identifying facial phenotypes of genetic disorders using deep learning.

Nat Med 2019 01 7;25(1):60-64. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

Division of Medical Genetics, A. I. du Pont Hospital for Children/Nemours, Wilmington, DE, USA.

Syndromic genetic conditions, in aggregate, affect 8% of the population. Many syndromes have recognizable facial features that are highly informative to clinical geneticists. Recent studies show that facial analysis technologies measured up to the capabilities of expert clinicians in syndrome identification. However, these technologies identified only a few disease phenotypes, limiting their role in clinical settings, where hundreds of diagnoses must be considered. Here we present a facial image analysis framework, DeepGestalt, using computer vision and deep-learning algorithms, that quantifies similarities to hundreds of syndromes. DeepGestalt outperformed clinicians in three initial experiments, two with the goal of distinguishing subjects with a target syndrome from other syndromes, and one of separating different genetic subtypes in Noonan syndrome. On the final experiment reflecting a real clinical setting problem, DeepGestalt achieved 91% top-10 accuracy in identifying the correct syndrome on 502 different images. The model was trained on a dataset of over 17,000 images representing more than 200 syndromes, curated through a community-driven phenotyping platform. DeepGestalt potentially adds considerable value to phenotypic evaluations in clinical genetics, genetic testing, research and precision medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-018-0279-0DOI Listing
January 2019

Multisite de novo mutations in human offspring after paternal exposure to ionizing radiation.

Sci Rep 2018 10 2;8(1):14611. Epub 2018 Oct 2.

Institute for Genomic Statistics and Bioinformatics, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität, Bonn, 53127, Germany.

A genome-wide evaluation of the effects of ionizing radiation on mutation induction in the mouse germline has identified multisite de novo mutations (MSDNs) as marker for previous exposure. Here we present the results of a small pilot study of whole genome sequencing in offspring of soldiers who served in radar units on weapon systems that were emitting high-frequency radiation. We found cases of exceptionally high MSDN rates as well as an increased mean in our cohort: While a MSDN mutation is detected in average in 1 out of 5 offspring of unexposed controls, we observed 12 MSDNs in altogether 18 offspring, including a family with 6 MSDNs in 3 offspring. Moreover, we found two translocations, also resulting from neighboring mutations. Our findings indicate that MSDNs might be suited in principle for the assessment of DNA damage from ionizing radiation also in humans. However, as exact person-related dose values in risk groups are usually not available, the interpretation of MSDNs in single families would benefit from larger molecular epidemiologic studies on this new biomarker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-33066-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6168503PMC
October 2018

Advances in computer-assisted syndrome recognition by the example of inborn errors of metabolism.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2018 05 5;41(3):533-539. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

Institute of Human Genetics and Medical Genetics, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

Significant improvements in automated image analysis have been achieved in recent years and tools are now increasingly being used in computer-assisted syndromology. However, the ability to recognize a syndromic facial gestalt might depend on the syndrome and may also be confounded by severity of phenotype, size of available training sets, ethnicity, age, and sex. Therefore, benchmarking and comparing the performance of deep-learned classification processes is inherently difficult. For a systematic analysis of these influencing factors we chose the lysosomal storage diseases mucolipidosis as well as mucopolysaccharidosis type I and II that are known for their wide and overlapping phenotypic spectra. For a dysmorphic comparison we used Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome as another inborn error of metabolism and Nicolaides-Baraitser syndrome as another disorder that is also characterized by coarse facies. A classifier that was trained on these five cohorts, comprising 289 patients in total, achieved a mean accuracy of 62%. We also developed a simulation framework to analyze the effect of potential confounders, such as cohort size, age, sex, or ethnic background on the distinguishability of phenotypes. We found that the true positive rate increases for all analyzed disorders for growing cohorts (n = [10...40]) while ethnicity and sex have no significant influence. The dynamics of the accuracies strongly suggest that the maximum distinguishability is a phenotype-specific value, which has not been reached yet for any of the studied disorders. This should also be a motivation to further intensify data sharing efforts, as computer-assisted syndrome classification can still be improved by enlarging the available training sets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-018-0174-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5959962PMC
May 2018

Characterization of glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthesis defects by clinical features, flow cytometry, and automated image analysis.

Genome Med 2018 01 9;10(1). Epub 2018 Jan 9.

The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, 06032, Farmington, USA.

Background: Glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthesis defects (GPIBDs) cause a group of phenotypically overlapping recessive syndromes with intellectual disability, for which pathogenic mutations have been described in 16 genes of the corresponding molecular pathway. An elevated serum activity of alkaline phosphatase (AP), a GPI-linked enzyme, has been used to assign GPIBDs to the phenotypic series of hyperphosphatasia with mental retardation syndrome (HPMRS) and to distinguish them from another subset of GPIBDs, termed multiple congenital anomalies hypotonia seizures syndrome (MCAHS). However, the increasing number of individuals with a GPIBD shows that hyperphosphatasia is a variable feature that is not ideal for a clinical classification.

Methods: We studied the discriminatory power of multiple GPI-linked substrates that were assessed by flow cytometry in blood cells and fibroblasts of 39 and 14 individuals with a GPIBD, respectively. On the phenotypic level, we evaluated the frequency of occurrence of clinical symptoms and analyzed the performance of computer-assisted image analysis of the facial gestalt in 91 individuals.

Results: We found that certain malformations such as Morbus Hirschsprung and diaphragmatic defects are more likely to be associated with particular gene defects (PIGV, PGAP3, PIGN). However, especially at the severe end of the clinical spectrum of HPMRS, there is a high phenotypic overlap with MCAHS. Elevation of AP has also been documented in some of the individuals with MCAHS, namely those with PIGA mutations. Although the impairment of GPI-linked substrates is supposed to play the key role in the pathophysiology of GPIBDs, we could not observe gene-specific profiles for flow cytometric markers or a correlation between their cell surface levels and the severity of the phenotype. In contrast, it was facial recognition software that achieved the highest accuracy in predicting the disease-causing gene in a GPIBD.

Conclusions: Due to the overlapping clinical spectrum of both HPMRS and MCAHS in the majority of affected individuals, the elevation of AP and the reduced surface levels of GPI-linked markers in both groups, a common classification as GPIBDs is recommended. The effectiveness of computer-assisted gestalt analysis for the correct gene inference in a GPIBD and probably beyond is remarkable and illustrates how the information contained in human faces is pivotal in the delineation of genetic entities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-017-0510-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5759841PMC
January 2018

De Novo Mutations in SLC25A24 Cause a Craniosynostosis Syndrome with Hypertrichosis, Progeroid Appearance, and Mitochondrial Dysfunction.

Am J Hum Genet 2017 Nov;101(5):833-843

Institut für Humangenetik, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.

Gorlin-Chaudhry-Moss syndrome (GCMS) is a dysmorphic syndrome characterized by coronal craniosynostosis and severe midface hypoplasia, body and facial hypertrichosis, microphthalmia, short stature, and short distal phalanges. Variable lipoatrophy and cutis laxa are the basis for a progeroid appearance. Using exome and genome sequencing, we identified the recurrent de novo mutations c.650G>A (p.Arg217His) and c.649C>T (p.Arg217Cys) in SLC25A24 in five unrelated girls diagnosed with GCMS. Two of the girls had pronounced neonatal progeroid features and were initially diagnosed with Wiedemann-Rautenstrauch syndrome. SLC25A24 encodes a mitochondrial inner membrane ATP-Mg/P carrier. In fibroblasts from affected individuals, the mutated SLC25A24 showed normal stability. In contrast to control cells, the probands' cells showed mitochondrial swelling, which was exacerbated upon treatment with hydrogen peroxide (HO). The same effect was observed after overexpression of the mutant cDNA. Under normal culture conditions, the mitochondrial membrane potential of the probands' fibroblasts was intact, whereas ATP content in the mitochondrial matrix was lower than that in control cells. However, upon HO exposure, the membrane potential was significantly elevated in cells harboring the mutated SLC25A24. No reduction of mitochondrial DNA copy number was observed. These findings demonstrate that mitochondrial dysfunction with increased sensitivity to oxidative stress is due to the SLC25A24 mutations. Our results suggest that the SLC25A24 mutations induce a gain of pathological function and link mitochondrial ATP-Mg/P transport to the development of skeletal and connective tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2017.09.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5673623PMC
November 2017

Mutations in cause a recessive form of central hypoventilation with autonomic dysfunction.

J Med Genet 2017 11 4;54(11):754-761. Epub 2017 Aug 4.

Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS) is a rare life-threatening disorder of respiratory and autonomic regulation. It is classically caused by dominant mutations in the transcription factor . The objective of the present study was to identify the molecular cause of a recessive form of central hypoventilation with autonomic dysfunction.

Methods: Here, we used homozygosity mapping and whole-genome sequencing in a consanguineous family with CCHS in combination with functional analyses in CRISPR/Cas9 engineered mice.

Results: We report on a consanguineous family with three affected children, all tested mutation negative, presenting with alveolar hypoventilation and symptoms of autonomic dysregulation. Whole-genome sequencing revealed a homozygous frameshift mutation in exon 25 of the gene (c.2524_2524delA) segregating with the phenotype in the family. encodes for the unconventional myosin IH, which is thought to function as a motor protein in intracellular transport and vesicle trafficking. We show that is broadly expressed in the mouse lower medulla, including the CO-sensitive Phox2b+ retrotrapezoid neurons. To test the pathogenicity of the variant, we engineered two mutant mouse strains: the first strain () resembling the human mutation and the second being a full knock-out ( ). Whole-body plethysmography studies in newborns with the re-engineered human mutation revealed hypoventilation and a blunted response to CO, recapitulating the breathing phenotype observed in the kindred.

Conclusions: Our results identify as an important gene in CO sensitivity and respiratory control and as the cause of a rare recessive form of congenital central hypoventilation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2017-104765DOI Listing
November 2017

Reduced cell surface levels of GPI-linked markers in a new case with PIGG loss of function.

Hum Mutat 2017 10 12;38(10):1394-1401. Epub 2017 Jun 12.

Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) is a glycolipid that tethers more than 150 different proteins to the cell surface. Aberrations in biosynthesis of GPI anchors cause congenital disorders of glycosylation with clinical features including intellectual disability (ID), seizures, and facial dysmorphism. Here, we present two siblings with ID, cerebellar hypoplasia, cerebellar ataxia, early-onset seizures, and minor facial dysmorphology. Using exome sequencing, we identified a homozygous nonsense variant (NM_001127178.1:c.1640G>A, p.Trp547*) in the gene Phosphatidylinositol Glycan Anchor Biosynthesis, Class G (PIGG) in both the patients. Variants in several other GPI anchor synthesis genes lead to a reduced expression of GPI-anchored proteins (GPI-APs) that can be measured by flow cytometry. No significant differences in GPI-APs could be detected in patient granulocytes, consistent with recent findings. However, fibroblasts showed a reduced global level of GPI anchors and of specific GPI-linked markers. These findings suggest that fibroblasts might be more sensitive to pathogenic variants in GPI synthesis pathway and are well suited to screen for GPI-anchor deficiencies. Based on genetic and functional evidence, we confirm that pathogenic variants in PIGG cause an ID syndrome, and we find that loss of function of PIGG is associated with GPI deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.23268DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6180480PMC
October 2017
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