Publications by authors named "Rami Abou Jamra"

118 Publications

The genetic landscape of intellectual disability and epilepsy in adults and the elderly: a systematic genetic work-up of 150 individuals.

Genet Med 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Leipzig Medical Center, Leipzig, Germany.

Purpose: Genetic diagnostics of neurodevelopmental disorders with epilepsy (NDDE) are predominantly applied in children, thus limited information is available regarding adults or elderly.

Methods: We investigated 150 adult/elderly individuals with NDDE by conventional karyotyping, FMR1 testing, chromosomal microarray, panel sequencing, and for unresolved cases, also by exome sequencing (n= 71, n= 24).

Results: We identified (likely) pathogenic variants in 71 cases (47.3%) comprising fragile X syndrome (n = 1), disease-causing copy number (n = 23), and single-nucleotide variants (n = 49). Seven individuals displayed multiple independent genetic diagnoses. The diagnostic yield correlated with the severity of intellectual disability. Individuals with anecdotal evidence of exogenic early-life events (e.g., nuchal cord, complications at delivery) with alleged/unproven association to the disorder had a particularly high yield of 58.3%. Screening for disease-specific comorbidities was indicated in 45.1% and direct treatment consequences arose in 11.8% of diagnosed individuals.

Conclusion: Panel/exome sequencing displayed the highest yield and should be considered as first-tier diagnostics in NDDE. This high yield and the numerous indications for additional screening or treatment modifications arising from genetic diagnoses indicate a current medical undersupply of genetically undiagnosed adult/elderly individuals with NDDE. Moreover, knowledge of the course of elderly individuals will ultimately help in counseling newly diagnosed individuals with NDDE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01153-6DOI Listing
April 2021

Heterozygous ANKRD17 loss-of-function variants cause a syndrome with intellectual disability, speech delay, and dysmorphism.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Institute for Human Genetics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

ANKRD17 is an ankyrin repeat-containing protein thought to play a role in cell cycle progression, whose ortholog in Drosophila functions in the Hippo pathway as a co-factor of Yorkie. Here, we delineate a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by de novo heterozygous ANKRD17 variants. The mutational spectrum of this cohort of 34 individuals from 32 families is highly suggestive of haploinsufficiency as the underlying mechanism of disease, with 21 truncating or essential splice site variants, 9 missense variants, 1 in-frame insertion-deletion, and 1 microdeletion (1.16 Mb). Consequently, our data indicate that loss of ANKRD17 is likely the main cause of phenotypes previously associated with large multi-gene chromosomal aberrations of the 4q13.3 region. Protein modeling suggests that most of the missense variants disrupt the stability of the ankyrin repeats through alteration of core structural residues. The major phenotypic characteristic of our cohort is a variable degree of developmental delay/intellectual disability, particularly affecting speech, while additional features include growth failure, feeding difficulties, non-specific MRI abnormalities, epilepsy and/or abnormal EEG, predisposition to recurrent infections (mostly bacterial), ophthalmological abnormalities, gait/balance disturbance, and joint hypermobility. Moreover, many individuals shared similar dysmorphic facial features. Analysis of single-cell RNA-seq data from the developing human telencephalon indicated ANKRD17 expression at multiple stages of neurogenesis, adding further evidence to the assertion that damaging ANKRD17 variants cause a neurodevelopmental disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.04.007DOI Listing
April 2021

PET/MRI Delivers Multimodal Brain Signature in Alzheimer's Disease with De Novo PSEN1 Mutation.

Curr Alzheimer Res 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig. Germany.

Background: Little is known so far about the brain phenotype and the spatial interplay of different Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers with structural and functional brain connectivity in the early phase of autosomal-dominant AD (ADAD). Multimodal PET/MRI might be suitable to fill this gap.

Material And Methods: We presented a 31-year-old male patient without a family history of de- mentia with progressive worsening of memory and motor function. Two separate sessions of 3T PET/MRI acquisitions were arranged with the ß-amyloid tracer [18F]Florbetaben and the second-- generation tau tracer [18F]PI-2620. Simultaneously acquired MRI consisted of high-resolution 3D T1, diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI), and resting-state fMRI. PET/MRI data were compared with ten age-matched healthy controls.

Results: Widespread β-amyloid depositions were found in cortical regions, and striatum (Thal stage III) along with tau pathology restricted to the mesial-temporal structures (Braak stage III/IV). Volumetric/shape analysis of subcortical structures revealed atrophy of the hippocampal-amygdala complex. In addition, cortical thinning was detected in the right middle temporal pole. Alterations of multiple DTI indices were noted in the major white matter fiber bundles, together with disrup- tion of default mode and sensory-motor network functional connectivity. Molecular genetic analy- sis by next-generation sequencing revealed a heterozygote missense pathogenic variant of the PSEN1 (Met233Val).

Conclusion: Multimodal PET/MR imaging is able to deliver, in a one-stop-shop approach, an ar- ray of molecular, structural and functional brain information in AD due to de novo pathogenic variant, which can be studied for spatial interplay and might provide a rationale for initiating an- ti-amyloid/tau therapeutic approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1567205018666210414111536DOI Listing
April 2021

Clinical, neuroimaging, and molecular spectrum of TECPR2-associated hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy with intellectual disability.

Hum Mutat 2021 Apr 13. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Oxford Centre for Genomic Medicine, Oxford, UK.

Bi-allelic TECPR2 variants have been associated with a complex syndrome with features of both a neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorder. Here, we provide a comprehensive clinical description and variant interpretation framework for this genetic locus. Through international collaboration, we identified 17 individuals from 15 families with bi-allelic TECPR2-variants. We systemically reviewed clinical and molecular data from this cohort and 11 cases previously reported. Phenotypes were standardized using Human Phenotype Ontology terms. A cross-sectional analysis revealed global developmental delay/intellectual disability, muscular hypotonia, ataxia, hyporeflexia, respiratory infections, and central/nocturnal hypopnea as core manifestations. A review of brain magnetic resonance imaging scans demonstrated a thin corpus callosum in 52%. We evaluated 17 distinct variants. Missense variants in TECPR2 are predominantly located in the N- and C-terminal regions containing β-propeller repeats. Despite constituting nearly half of disease-associated TECPR2 variants, classifying missense variants as (likely) pathogenic according to ACMG criteria remains challenging. We estimate a pathogenic variant carrier frequency of 1/1221 in the general and 1/155 in the Jewish Ashkenazi populations. Based on clinical, neuroimaging, and genetic data, we provide recommendations for variant reporting, clinical assessment, and surveillance/treatment of individuals with TECPR2-associated disorder. This sets the stage for future prospective natural history studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24206DOI Listing
April 2021

A DNA repair disorder caused by de novo monoallelic DDB1 variants is associated with a neurodevelopmental syndrome.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 04 19;108(4):749-756. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada; Newborn Screening Ontario, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L1, Canada.

The DNA damage-binding protein 1 (DDB1) is part of the CUL4-DDB1 ubiquitin E3 ligase complex (CRL4), which is essential for DNA repair, chromatin remodeling, DNA replication, and signal transduction. Loss-of-function variants in genes encoding the complex components CUL4 and PHIP have been reported to cause syndromic intellectual disability with hypotonia and obesity, but no phenotype has been reported in association with DDB1 variants. Here, we report eight unrelated individuals, identified through Matchmaker Exchange, with de novo monoallelic variants in DDB1, including one recurrent variant in four individuals. The affected individuals have a consistent phenotype of hypotonia, mild to moderate intellectual disability, and similar facies, including horizontal or slightly bowed eyebrows, deep-set eyes, full cheeks, a short nose, and large, fleshy and forward-facing earlobes, demonstrated in the composite face generated from the cohort. Digital anomalies, including brachydactyly and syndactyly, were common. Three older individuals have obesity. We show that cells derived from affected individuals have altered DDB1 function resulting in abnormal DNA damage signatures and histone methylation following UV-induced DNA damage. Overall, our study adds to the growing family of neurodevelopmental phenotypes mediated by disruption of the CRL4 ubiquitin ligase pathway and begins to delineate the phenotypic and molecular effects of DDB1 misregulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.03.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8059373PMC
April 2021

EIF3F-related neurodevelopmental disorder: refining the phenotypic and expanding the molecular spectrum.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2021 03 18;16(1):136. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Background: An identical homozygous missense variant in EIF3F, identified through a large-scale genome-wide sequencing approach, was reported as causative in nine individuals with a neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by variable intellectual disability, epilepsy, behavioral problems and sensorineural hearing-loss. To refine the phenotypic and molecular spectrum of EIF3F-related neurodevelopmental disorder, we examined independent patients.

Results: 21 patients were homozygous and one compound heterozygous for c.694T>G/p.(Phe232Val) in EIF3F. Haplotype analyses in 15 families suggested that c.694T>G/p.(Phe232Val) was a founder variant. All affected individuals had developmental delays including delayed speech development. About half of the affected individuals had behavioral problems, altered muscular tone, hearing loss, and short stature. Moreover, this study suggests that microcephaly, reduced sensitivity to pain, cleft lip/palate, gastrointestinal symptoms and ophthalmological symptoms are part of the phenotypic spectrum. Minor dysmorphic features were observed, although neither the individuals' facial nor general appearance were obviously distinctive. Symptoms in the compound heterozygous individual with an additional truncating variant were at the severe end of the spectrum in regard to motor milestones, speech delay, organic problems and pre- and postnatal growth of body and head, suggesting some genotype-phenotype correlation.

Conclusions: Our study refines the phenotypic and expands the molecular spectrum of EIF3F-related syndromic neurodevelopmental disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13023-021-01744-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7977188PMC
March 2021

Disruption of RFX family transcription factors causes autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disability, and dysregulated behavior.

Genet Med 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

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

Purpose: We describe a novel neurobehavioral phenotype of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability, and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) associated with de novo or inherited deleterious variants in members of the RFX family of genes. RFX genes are evolutionarily conserved transcription factors that act as master regulators of central nervous system development and ciliogenesis.

Methods: We assembled a cohort of 38 individuals (from 33 unrelated families) with de novo variants in RFX3, RFX4, and RFX7. We describe their common clinical phenotypes and present bioinformatic analyses of expression patterns and downstream targets of these genes as they relate to other neurodevelopmental risk genes.

Results: These individuals share neurobehavioral features including ASD, intellectual disability, and/or ADHD; other frequent features include hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli and sleep problems. RFX3, RFX4, and RFX7 are strongly expressed in developing and adult human brain, and X-box binding motifs as well as RFX ChIP-seq peaks are enriched in the cis-regulatory regions of known ASD risk genes.

Conclusion: These results establish a likely role of deleterious variation in RFX3, RFX4, and RFX7 in cases of monogenic intellectual disability, ADHD and ASD, and position these genes as potentially critical transcriptional regulators of neurobiological pathways associated with neurodevelopmental disease pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-021-01114-zDOI Listing
March 2021

Bi-allelic loss of function variants in SLC30A5 as cause of perinatal lethal cardiomyopathy.

Eur J Hum Genet 2021 May 5;29(5):808-815. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Perinatal mortality is a heavy burden for both affected parents and physicians. However, the underlying genetic causes have not been sufficiently investigated and most cases remain without diagnosis. This impedes appropriate counseling or therapy. We describe four affected children of two unrelated families with cardiomyopathy, hydrops fetalis, or cystic hygroma that all deceased perinatally. In the four patients, we found the following homozygous loss of function (LoF) variants in SLC30A5 NM_022902.4:c.832_836del p.(Ile278Phefs*33) and NM_022902.4:c.1981_1982del p.(His661Tyrfs*10). Knockout of SLC30A5 has previously been shown a cardiac phenotype in mouse models and no homozygous LoF variants in SLC30A5 are currently described in gnomAD. Taken together, we present SLC30A5 as a new gene for a severe and perinatally lethal form of cardiomyopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-020-00803-8DOI Listing
May 2021

Congenital cervical spine malformation due to bi-allelic RIPPLY2 variants in spondylocostal dysostosis type 6.

Clin Genet 2021 Apr 17;99(4):565-571. Epub 2021 Jan 17.

Department of Pediatric Neurology, University Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany.

RIPPLY2 is an essential part of the formation of somite patterning during embryogenesis and in establishment of rostro-caudal polarity. Here, we describe three individuals from two families with compound-heterozygous variants in RIPPLY2 (NM_001009994.2): c.238A > T, p.(Arg80*) and c.240-4 T > G, p.(?), in two 15 and 20-year-old sisters, and a homozygous nonsense variant, c.238A > T, p.(Arg80*), in an 8 year old boy. All patients had multiple vertebral body malformations in the cervical and thoracic region, small or absent rib involvement, myelopathies, and common clinical features of SCDO6 including scoliosis, mild facial asymmetry, spinal spasticity and hemivertebrae. The nonsense variant can be classified as likely pathogenic based on the ACMG criteria while the splice variants must be classified as a variant of unknown significance. With this report on two further families, we confirm RIPPLY2 as the gene for SCDO6 and broaden the phenotype by adding myelopathy with or without spinal canal stenosis and spinal spasticity to the symptom spectrum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13916DOI Listing
April 2021

mutations identified in autism spectrum disorder using forward genetics.

Elife 2020 12 22;9. Epub 2020 Dec 22.

Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, United States.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a constellation of neurodevelopmental disorders with high phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity, complicating the discovery of causative genes. Through a forward genetics approach selecting for defective vocalization in mice, we identified as a candidate ASD gene. To validate our discovery, we generated a knockout mouse model () and confirmed that inactivating disrupts vocalization. In addition, mice displayed repetitive behaviors, sociability deficits, cognitive dysfunction, and abnormal dendritic morphogenesis. Loss of KDM5A also resulted in dysregulation of the hippocampal transcriptome. To determine if mutations cause ASD in humans, we screened whole exome sequencing and microarray data from a clinical cohort. We identified pathogenic variants in nine patients with ASD and lack of speech. Our findings illustrate the power and efficacy of forward genetics in identifying ASD genes and highlight the importance of KDM5A in normal brain development and function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.56883DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7755391PMC
December 2020

In cis TP53 and RAD51C pathogenic variants may predispose to sebaceous gland carcinomas.

Eur J Hum Genet 2021 Mar 15;29(3):489-494. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Institute of Human Genetics, University of Leipzig Medical Center, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.

Pathogenic variants in TP53 have been classically thought to cause Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), a cancer predisposition with high risks for various childhood- and adult-onset malignancies. However, increased genetic testing has lately revealed, that pathogenic variant carriers exhibit a broader range of phenotypes and that penetrance may be dependent both on variant type and modifiers. Using next generation sequencing and short tandem repeat analysis, we identified germline pathogenic variants in TP53 and RAD51C located in cis on chromosome 17 in a 43-year-old male, who has developed a rare sebaceous gland carcinoma (SGC) but so far no tumors of the LFS spectrum. This course mirrors a Trp53-Rad51c-double-mutant cis mouse-model, which similarly develops SGC, while the characteristic Trp53-associated tumor spectrum occurs with significantly lower frequency. Therefore, we propose that co-occurent pathogenic variants in RAD51C and TP53 may predispose to SGC, reminiscent of Muir-Torre syndrome. Further, this report supports the diversity of clinical presentations associated with germline TP53 alterations, and thus, the proposed expansion of LFS to heritable TP53-related cancer syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-020-00781-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7940394PMC
March 2021

Variants in the SK2 channel gene (KCNN2) lead to dominant neurodevelopmental movement disorders.

Brain 2020 12;143(12):3564-3573

Institute of Human Genetics, University Hospital Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany.

KCNN2 encodes the small conductance calcium-activated potassium channel 2 (SK2). Rodent models with spontaneous Kcnn2 mutations show abnormal gait and locomotor activity, tremor and memory deficits, but human disorders related to KCNN2 variants are largely unknown. Using exome sequencing, we identified a de novo KCNN2 frameshift deletion in a patient with learning disabilities, cerebellar ataxia and white matter abnormalities on brain MRI. This discovery prompted us to collect data from nine additional patients with de novo KCNN2 variants (one nonsense, one splice site, six missense variants and one in-frame deletion) and one family with a missense variant inherited from the affected mother. We investigated the functional impact of six selected variants on SK2 channel function using the patch-clamp technique. All variants tested but one, which was reclassified to uncertain significance, led to a loss-of-function of SK2 channels. Patients with KCNN2 variants had motor and language developmental delay, intellectual disability often associated with early-onset movement disorders comprising cerebellar ataxia and/or extrapyramidal symptoms. Altogether, our findings provide evidence that heterozygous variants, likely causing a haploinsufficiency of the KCNN2 gene, lead to novel autosomal dominant neurodevelopmental movement disorders mirroring phenotypes previously described in rodents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa346DOI Listing
December 2020

Identification of a novel leptin receptor (LEPR) variant and proof of functional relevance directing treatment decisions in patients with morbid obesity.

Metabolism 2021 03 19;116:154438. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Center of Pediatric Research Leipzig, University Hospital for Children & Adolescents, Medical Faculty, University of Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Deficiency in the leptin-leptin receptor (LEPR) axis leads to severe, and potentially treatable, obesity in humans. To guide clinical decision-making, the functional relevance of variants in the LEPR gene needs to be carefully investigated.

Cases And Methods: We characterized the functional impact of LEPR variants identified in two patients with severe early-onset obesity (1: compound heterozygous for the novel variant p.Tyr411del and p.Trp664Arg; 2: heterozygous for p.Arg612His) by investigating leptin-mediated signaling, leptin binding, receptor expression on cell surfaces, and receptor dimerization and activation for either wild-type and/or mutant LEPR.

Results: Leptin-induced STAT3-phosphorylation was blunted the novel p.Tyr411del or the p.Trp664Arg variant and mildly reduced with the p.Arg612His variant. Computational structure prediction suggested impaired leptin binding for all three LEPR variants. Experimentally, reduced leptin binding of all mutant proteins was due to diminished LEPR expression on the cell surface, with the p.Trp664Arg mutations being the most affected. Considering the heterozygosity in our patients, we assessed the heterodimerization capacity with the wild-type LEPR, which was retained for the p.Tyr411del and p.Arg612His variants. Finally, mimicking (compound) heterozygosity, we confirmed abolished STAT3-phosphorylation for the variant combination [p.Tyr411del + p.Trp664Arg] as found in patient 1, whereas it was retained for [p.Arg612His + wilde type] as found in patient 2.

Conclusions: The novel p.Tyr411del mutation causes complete loss of function alone (and combined with p.Trp664Arg) and is likely the cause for the early onset obesity, qualifying the patient for pharmacologic treatment. Heterozygosity for the p.Arg612His variant, however, appears unlikely to be solely responsible for the phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2020.154438DOI Listing
March 2021

Germline AGO2 mutations impair RNA interference and human neurological development.

Nat Commun 2020 11 16;11(1):5797. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Department of Genetics, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

ARGONAUTE-2 and associated miRNAs form the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), which targets mRNAs for translational silencing and degradation as part of the RNA interference pathway. Despite the essential nature of this process for cellular function, there is little information on the role of RISC components in human development and organ function. We identify 13 heterozygous mutations in AGO2 in 21 patients affected by disturbances in neurological development. Each of the identified single amino acid mutations result in impaired shRNA-mediated silencing. We observe either impaired RISC formation or increased binding of AGO2 to mRNA targets as mutation specific functional consequences. The latter is supported by decreased phosphorylation of a C-terminal serine cluster involved in mRNA target release, increased formation of dendritic P-bodies in neurons and global transcriptome alterations in patient-derived primary fibroblasts. Our data emphasize the importance of gene expression regulation through the dynamic AGO2-RNA association for human neuronal development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19572-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7670403PMC
November 2020

Pontocerebellar hypoplasia due to bi-allelic variants in MINPP1.

Eur J Hum Genet 2021 Mar 9;29(3):411-421. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Pontocerebellar hypoplasia (PCH) describes a group of rare heterogeneous neurodegenerative diseases with prenatal onset. Here we describe eight children with PCH from four unrelated families harboring the homozygous MINPP1 (NM_004897.4) variants; c.75_94del, p.(Leu27Argfs*39), c.851 C > A, p.(Ala284Asp), c.1210 C > T, p.(Arg404*), and c.992 T > G, p.(Ile331Ser). The homozygous p.(Leu27Argfs*39) change is predicted to result in a complete absence of MINPP1. The p.(Arg404*) would likely lead to a nonsense mediated decay, or alternatively, a loss of several secondary structure elements impairing protein folding. The missense p.(Ala284Asp) affects a buried, hydrophobic residue within the globular domain. The introduction of aspartic acid is energetically highly unfavorable and therefore predicted to cause a significant reduction in protein stability. The missense p.(Ile331Ser) affects the tight hydrophobic interactions of the isoleucine by the disruption of the polar side chain of serine, destabilizing the structure of MINPP1. The overlap of the above-mentioned genotypes and phenotypes is highly improbable by chance. MINPP1 is the only enzyme that hydrolyses inositol phosphates in the endoplasmic reticulum lumen and several studies support its role in stress induced apoptosis. The pathomechanism explaining the disease mechanism remains unknown, however several others genes of the inositol phosphatase metabolism (e.g., INPP5K, FIG4, INPP5E, ITPR1) are correlated with phenotypes of neurodevelopmental disorders. Taken together, we present MINPP1 as a novel autosomal recessive pontocerebellar hypoplasia gene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41431-020-00749-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7940488PMC
March 2021

Hemiplegic Migraine in Glut1 Deficiency Syndrome and Paroxysmal Dyskinesia at Ketogenic Diet Induction: Case Report and Literature Review.

Mov Disord Clin Pract 2020 Nov 6;7(8):965-970. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Division of Neuropaediatrics, Hospital for Children and Adolescents University Hospital Leipzig Leipzig Germany.

Background: A rare symptom of Glut1 deficiency syndrome (Glut1 DS) is hemiplegic migraine (HM).

Case: We report a patient with Glut1 DS with a mild phenotype. His leading symptom was HM. As an unusual complication of the initiation of a ketogenic diet (KD), our patient developed paroxysmal nonkinesigenic dyskinesia. Paroxysmal dyskinesia occurred first and exclusively at the initiation of KD.

Literature Review: There are a few case reports for HM in Glut1 DS. All patients had additional neurological symptoms. Regarding central nervous system symptoms such as paroxysmal dyskinesia triggered by KD, we found only 1 other case report.

Discussion: HM is part of the symptom complex of Glut1 DS and can be effectively treated by KD. Paroxysmal dyskinesia trigged by the initiation of KD should not lead to the discontinuation of the diet in Glut1 DS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mdc3.13087DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7604676PMC
November 2020

Neonatal developmental and epileptic encephalopathy due to autosomal recessive variants in SLC13A5 gene.

Epilepsia 2020 11 16;61(11):2474-2485. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Department of Child Neuropsychiatry, Children's Hospital, Ancona, Italy.

Objective: Autosomal recessive pathogenic variants of the SLC13A5 gene are associated with severe neonatal epilepsy, developmental delay, and tooth hypoplasia/hypodontia. We report on 14 additional patients and compare their phenotypic features to previously published patients to identify the clinical hallmarks of this disorder.

Methods: We collected clinical features of 14 patients carrying biallelic variants in SLC13A5 and performed a PubMed search to identify previously published patients.

Results: All patients presented clonic or tonic seizures in the first days of life, evolving into status epilepticus in 57%. Analysis of seizure frequency and developmental milestones divided into five epochs showed an evolutionary trajectory of both items. In the first 3 years of life, 72% of patients had weekly/monthly seizures, often triggered by fever; 14% were seizure-free. Between the ages of 3 and 12 years, 60% become seizure-free; in the following years, up to age 18 years, 57% were seizure-free. After the age of 18 years, all three patients reaching this age were seizure-free. Similarly, 86% of patients at onset presented mild to moderate developmental impairment and diffuse hypotonia. In late childhood, all had developmental delay that was severe in most. Benzodiazepines, phenobarbital, phenytoin, and carbamazepine were the most effective drugs. Eight probands carried heterozygous compound variants, and homozygous pathogenic variants occurred in six. Literature review identified 45 patients carrying SLC13A5 gene pathogenic variants whose clinical features overlapped with our cohort. A peculiar and distinguishing sign is the presence of tooth hypoplasia and/or hypodontia in most patients.

Significance: Autosomal recessive pathogenic variants in SLC13A5 are associated with a distinct neonatal epileptic encephalopathy evolving into severe cognitive and motor impairment, yet with seizures that settle down in late childhood. Tooth hypoplasia or hypodontia remains the peculiar feature. The SLC13A5 gene should be screened in neonatal epileptic encephalopathies; its recessive inheritance has relevance for genetic counseling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/epi.16699DOI Listing
November 2020

QRICH1 variants in Ververi-Brady syndrome-delineation of the genotypic and phenotypic spectrum.

Clin Genet 2021 Jan 10;99(1):199-207. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Institute of Human Genetics, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Ververi-Brady syndrome (VBS, # 617982) is a rare developmental disorder, and loss-of-function variants in QRICH1 were implicated in its etiology. Furthermore, a recognizable phenotype was proposed comprising delayed speech, learning difficulties and dysmorphic signs. Here, we present four unrelated individuals with one known nonsense variant (c.1954C > T; p.[Arg652*]) and three novel de novo QRICH1 variants, respectively. These included two frameshift mutations (c.832_833del; p.(Ser278Leufs*25), c.1812_1813delTG; p.(Glu605Glyfs*25)) and interestingly one missense mutation (c.2207G > A; p.[Ser736Asn]), expanding the mutational spectrum. Enlargement of the cohort by these four individuals contributes to the delineation of the VBS phenotype and suggests expressive speech delay, moderate motor delay, learning difficulties/mild ID, mild microcephaly, short stature and notable social behavior deficits as clinical hallmarks. In addition, one patient presented with nephroblastoma. The possible involvement of QRICH1 in pediatric cancer assumes careful surveillance a key priority for outcome of these patients. Further research and enlargement of cohorts are warranted to learn about the genetic architecture and the phenotypic spectrum in more detail.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13853DOI Listing
January 2021

Biallelic MADD variants cause a phenotypic spectrum ranging from developmental delay to a multisystem disorder.

Brain 2020 08;143(8):2437-2453

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

In pleiotropic diseases, multiple organ systems are affected causing a variety of clinical manifestations. Here, we report a pleiotropic disorder with a unique constellation of neurological, endocrine, exocrine, and haematological findings that is caused by biallelic MADD variants. MADD, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activating death domain protein, regulates various cellular functions, such as vesicle trafficking, activity of the Rab3 and Rab27 small GTPases, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced signalling and prevention of cell death. Through national collaboration and GeneMatcher, we collected 23 patients with 21 different pathogenic MADD variants identified by next-generation sequencing. We clinically evaluated the series of patients and categorized the phenotypes in two groups. Group 1 consists of 14 patients with severe developmental delay, endo- and exocrine dysfunction, impairment of the sensory and autonomic nervous system, and haematological anomalies. The clinical course during the first years of life can be potentially fatal. The nine patients in Group 2 have a predominant neurological phenotype comprising mild-to-severe developmental delay, hypotonia, speech impairment, and seizures. Analysis of mRNA revealed multiple aberrant MADD transcripts in two patient-derived fibroblast cell lines. Relative quantification of MADD mRNA and protein in fibroblasts of five affected individuals showed a drastic reduction or loss of MADD. We conducted functional tests to determine the impact of the variants on different pathways. Treatment of patient-derived fibroblasts with TNF-α resulted in reduced phosphorylation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2, enhanced activation of the pro-apoptotic enzymes caspase-3 and -7 and increased apoptosis compared to control cells. We analysed internalization of epidermal growth factor in patient cells and identified a defect in endocytosis of epidermal growth factor. We conclude that MADD deficiency underlies multiple cellular defects that can be attributed to alterations of TNF-α-dependent signalling pathways and defects in vesicular trafficking. Our data highlight the multifaceted role of MADD as a signalling molecule in different organs and reveal its physiological role in regulating the function of the sensory and autonomic nervous system and endo- and exocrine glands.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7447524PMC
August 2020

Rare variants in the GABA receptor subunit ε identified in patients with a wide spectrum of epileptic phenotypes.

Mol Genet Genomic Med 2020 09 25;8(9):e1388. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Junior Research Group, Genetics of Childhood Brain Malformations, Faculty VI-School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany.

Background: Epilepsy belongs to a group of chronic and highly heterogeneous brain disorders. Many types of epilepsy and epileptic syndromes are caused by genetic factors. The neural amino acid y-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. It regulates activity of channel pores by binding to transmembrane GABA-receptors (GABRs). The GABRs are heteropentamers assembled from different receptor subunits (α1-6, β1-3, γ1-3, δ, ε, θ, π, and ρ1-3). Several epileptic disorders are caused by mutations in genes encoding single GABRs.

Methods: We applied trio- and single-whole exome sequencing to search for genetic sequence variants associated with a wide range of epileptic phenotypes accompanied by intellectual disability and/or global developmental delay in the investigated patients.

Results: We identified four hemizygous sequence variants in the GABA receptor subunit ε gene (GABRE), including one nonsense (NM_004961.3: c.399C>A, p.Tyr133*), two missense variants (NM_004961.3: c.664G>A, p.Glu222Lys; NM_004961.3: c.1045G>A, p.Val349Ile), and one variant affecting the translation initiation codon (NM_004961.3: c.1A>G, p.Met1?) in four unrelated families.

Conclusion: Our clinical and molecular genetic findings suggest that GABRE is a likely candidate gene for epilepsy. Nevertheless, functional studies are necessary to better understand pathogenicity of the GABRE-mutations and their associations with epileptic phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mgg3.1388DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7507344PMC
September 2020

mutations in the X-linked gene cause intellectual disability with pigmentary mosaicism and storage disorder-like features.

J Med Genet 2020 12 14;57(12):808-819. Epub 2020 May 14.

Division of Genomics and Genetics, Boston Children s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Introduction: Pigmentary mosaicism (PM) manifests by pigmentation anomalies along Blaschko's lines and represents a clue toward the molecular diagnosis of syndromic intellectual disability (ID). Together with new insights on the role for lysosomal signalling in embryonic stem cell differentiation, mutations in the X-linked transcription factor 3 () have recently been reported in five patients. Functional analysis suggested these mutations to result in ectopic nuclear gain of functions.

Materials And Methods: Subsequent data sharing allowed the clustering of variants identified by exome sequencing on DNA extracted from leucocytes in patients referred for syndromic ID with or without PM.

Results: We describe the detailed clinical and molecular data of 17 individuals harbouring a variant, including the patients that initially allowed reporting as a new disease-causing gene. The 12 females and 5 males presented with pigmentation anomalies on Blaschko's lines, severe ID, epilepsy, storage disorder-like features, growth retardation and recognisable facial dysmorphism. The variant was at a mosaic state in at least two male patients. All variants were missense except one splice variant. Eleven of the 13 variants were localised in exon 4, 2 in exon 3, and 3 were recurrent variants.

Conclusion: This series further delineates the specific storage disorder-like phenotype with PM ascribed to mutation in exons 3 and 4. It confirms the identification of a novel X-linked human condition associated with mosaicism and dysregulation within the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, as well as a link between lysosomal signalling and human development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2019-106508DOI Listing
December 2020

Novel congenital disorder of O-linked glycosylation caused by GALNT2 loss of function.

Brain 2020 04;143(4):1114-1126

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Human Genetics, Section of Biochemical Genetics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Congenital disorders of glycosylation are a growing group of rare genetic disorders caused by deficient protein and lipid glycosylation. Here, we report the clinical, biochemical, and molecular features of seven patients from four families with GALNT2-congenital disorder of glycosylation (GALNT2-CDG), an O-linked glycosylation disorder. GALNT2 encodes the Golgi-localized polypeptide N-acetyl-d-galactosamine-transferase 2 isoenzyme. GALNT2 is widely expressed in most cell types and directs initiation of mucin-type protein O-glycosylation. All patients showed loss of O-glycosylation of apolipoprotein C-III, a non-redundant substrate for GALNT2. Patients with GALNT2-CDG generally exhibit a syndrome characterized by global developmental delay, intellectual disability with language deficit, autistic features, behavioural abnormalities, epilepsy, chronic insomnia, white matter changes on brain MRI, dysmorphic features, decreased stature, and decreased high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Rodent (mouse and rat) models of GALNT2-CDG recapitulated much of the human phenotype, including poor growth and neurodevelopmental abnormalities. In behavioural studies, GALNT2-CDG mice demonstrated cerebellar motor deficits, decreased sociability, and impaired sensory integration and processing. The multisystem nature of phenotypes in patients and rodent models of GALNT2-CDG suggest that there are multiple non-redundant protein substrates of GALNT2 in various tissues, including brain, which are critical to normal growth and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7534148PMC
April 2020

Biallelic GRM7 variants cause epilepsy, microcephaly, and cerebral atrophy.

Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2020 05 14;7(5):610-627. Epub 2020 Apr 14.

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, 77030.

Objective: Defects in ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors are implicated in developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (DEE). Metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7), encoded by GRM7, is a presynaptic G-protein-coupled glutamate receptor critical for synaptic transmission. We previously proposed GRM7 as a candidate disease gene in two families with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). One additional family has been published since. Here, we describe three additional families with GRM7 biallelic variants and deeply characterize the associated clinical neurological and electrophysiological phenotype and molecular data in 11 affected individuals from six unrelated families.

Methods: Exome sequencing and family-based rare variant analyses on a cohort of 220 consanguineous families with NDDs revealed three families with GRM7 biallelic variants; three additional families were identified through literature search and collaboration with a clinical molecular laboratory.

Results: We compared the observed clinical features and variants of 11 affected individuals from the six unrelated families. Identified novel deleterious variants included two homozygous missense variants (c.2671G>A:p.Glu891Lys and c.1973G>A:p.Arg685Gln) and one homozygous stop-gain variant (c.1975C>T:p.Arg659Ter). Developmental delay, neonatal- or infantile-onset epilepsy, and microcephaly were universal. Three individuals had hypothalamic-pituitary-axis dysfunction without pituitary structural abnormality. Neuroimaging showed cerebral atrophy and hypomyelination in a majority of cases. Two siblings demonstrated progressive loss of myelination by 2 years in both and an acquired microcephaly pattern in one. Five individuals died in early or late childhood.

Conclusion: Detailed clinical characterization of 11 individuals from six unrelated families demonstrates that rare biallelic GRM7 pathogenic variants can cause DEEs, microcephaly, hypomyelination, and cerebral atrophy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acn3.51003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7261753PMC
May 2020

Genetic basis of neurodevelopmental disorders in 103 Jordanian families.

Clin Genet 2020 04 1;97(4):621-627. Epub 2020 Mar 1.

Institute of Medical Genetics and Applied Genomics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

We recruited 103 families from Jordan with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) and patterns of inheritance mostly suggestive of autosomal recessive inheritance. In each family, we investigated at least one affected individual using exome sequencing and an in-house diagnostic variant interpretation pipeline including a search for copy number variation. This approach led us to identify the likely molecular defect in established disease genes in 37 families. We could identify 25 pathogenic nonsense and 11 missense variants as well as 3 pathogenic copy number variants and 1 repeat expansion. Notably, 11 of the disease-causal variants occurred de novo. In addition, we prioritized a homozygous frameshift variant in PUS3 in two sisters with intellectual disability. To our knowledge, PUS3 has been postulated only recently as a candidate disease gene for intellectual disability in a single family with three affected siblings. Our findings provide additional evidence to establish loss of PUS3 function as a cause of intellectual disability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13720DOI Listing
April 2020

De novo and inherited variants in ZNF292 underlie a neurodevelopmental disorder with features of autism spectrum disorder.

Genet Med 2020 03 14;22(3):538-546. Epub 2019 Nov 14.

New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disability, NY, Staten Island, USA.

Purpose: Intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are genetically heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders. We sought to delineate the clinical, molecular, and neuroimaging spectrum of a novel neurodevelopmental disorder caused by variants in the zinc finger protein 292 gene (ZNF292).

Methods: We ascertained a cohort of 28 families with ID due to putatively pathogenic ZNF292 variants that were identified via targeted and exome sequencing. Available data were analyzed to characterize the canonical phenotype and examine genotype-phenotype relationships.

Results: Probands presented with ID as well as a spectrum of neurodevelopmental features including ASD, among others. All ZNF292 variants were de novo, except in one family with dominant inheritance. ZNF292 encodes a highly conserved zinc finger protein that acts as a transcription factor and is highly expressed in the developing human brain supporting its critical role in neurodevelopment.

Conclusion: De novo and dominantly inherited variants in ZNF292 are associated with a range of neurodevelopmental features including ID and ASD. The clinical spectrum is broad, and most individuals present with mild to moderate ID with or without other syndromic features. Our results suggest that variants in ZNF292 are likely a recurrent cause of a neurodevelopmental disorder manifesting as ID with or without ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-019-0693-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7060121PMC
March 2020

Disruptive mutations in TANC2 define a neurodevelopmental syndrome associated with psychiatric disorders.

Nat Commun 2019 10 15;10(1):4679. Epub 2019 Oct 15.

Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Postsynaptic density (PSD) proteins have been implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. Here, we present detailed clinical and genetic data for 20 patients with likely gene-disrupting mutations in TANC2-whose protein product interacts with multiple PSD proteins. Pediatric patients with disruptive mutations present with autism, intellectual disability, and delayed language and motor development. In addition to a variable degree of epilepsy and facial dysmorphism, we observe a pattern of more complex psychiatric dysfunction or behavioral problems in adult probands or carrier parents. Although this observation requires replication to establish statistical significance, it also suggests that mutations in this gene are associated with a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders consistent with its postsynaptic function. We find that TANC2 is expressed broadly in the human developing brain, especially in excitatory neurons and glial cells, but shows a more restricted pattern in Drosophila glial cells where its disruption affects behavioral outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12435-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6794285PMC
October 2019

Bi-allelic Variants in METTL5 Cause Autosomal-Recessive Intellectual Disability and Microcephaly.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 10 26;105(4):869-878. Epub 2019 Sep 26.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA. Electronic address:

Intellectual disability (ID) is a genetically and clinically heterogeneous disorder, characterized by limited cognitive abilities and impaired adaptive behaviors. In recent years, exome sequencing (ES) has been instrumental in deciphering the genetic etiology of ID. Here, through ES of a large cohort of individuals with ID, we identified two bi-allelic frameshift variants in METTL5, c.344_345delGA (p.Arg115Asnfs19) and c.571_572delAA (p.Lys191Valfs10), in families of Pakistani and Yemenite origin. Both of these variants were segregating with moderate to severe ID, microcephaly, and various facial dysmorphisms, in an autosomal-recessive fashion. METTL5 is a member of the methyltransferase-like protein family, which encompasses proteins with a seven-beta-strand methyltransferase domain. We found METTL5 expression in various substructures of rodent and human brains and METTL5 protein to be enriched in the nucleus and synapses of the hippocampal neurons. Functional studies of these truncating variants in transiently transfected orthologous cells and cultured hippocampal rat neurons revealed no effect on the localization of METTL5 but alter its level of expression. Our in silico analysis and 3D modeling simulation predict disruption of METTL5 function by both variants. Finally, mettl5 knockdown in zebrafish resulted in microcephaly, recapitulating the human phenotype. This study provides evidence that biallelic variants in METTL5 cause ID and microcephaly in humans and highlights the essential role of METTL5 in brain development and neuronal function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.09.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6817559PMC
October 2019

De novo variants in PAK1 lead to intellectual disability with macrocephaly and seizures.

Brain 2019 11;142(11):3351-3359

Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

Using trio exome sequencing, we identified de novo heterozygous missense variants in PAK1 in four unrelated individuals with intellectual disability, macrocephaly and seizures. PAK1 encodes the p21-activated kinase, a major driver of neuronal development in humans and other organisms. In normal neurons, PAK1 dimers reside in a trans-inhibited conformation, where each autoinhibitory domain covers the kinase domain of the other monomer. Upon GTPase binding via CDC42 or RAC1, the PAK1 dimers dissociate and become activated. All identified variants are located within or close to the autoinhibitory switch domain that is necessary for trans-inhibition of resting PAK1 dimers. Protein modelling supports a model of reduced ability of regular autoinhibition, suggesting a gain of function mechanism for the identified missense variants. Alleviated dissociation into monomers, autophosphorylation and activation of PAK1 influences the actin dynamics of neurite outgrowth. Based on our clinical and genetic data, as well as the role of PAK1 in brain development, we suggest that gain of function pathogenic de novo missense variants in PAK1 lead to moderate-to-severe intellectual disability, macrocephaly caused by the presence of megalencephaly and ventriculomegaly, (febrile) seizures and autism-like behaviour.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz264DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6821231PMC
November 2019

CTCF variants in 39 individuals with a variable neurodevelopmental disorder broaden the mutational and clinical spectrum.

Genet Med 2019 12 26;21(12):2723-2733. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Center for Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.

Purpose: Pathogenic variants in the chromatin organizer CTCF were previously reported in seven individuals with a neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD).

Methods: Through international collaboration we collected data from 39 subjects with variants in CTCF. We performed transcriptome analysis on RNA from blood samples and utilized Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the impact of Ctcf dosage alteration on nervous system development and function.

Results: The individuals in our cohort carried 2 deletions, 8 likely gene-disruptive, 2 splice-site, and 20 different missense variants, most of them de novo. Two cases were familial. The associated phenotype was of variable severity extending from mild developmental delay or normal IQ to severe intellectual disability. Feeding difficulties and behavioral abnormalities were common, and variable other findings including growth restriction and cardiac defects were observed. RNA-sequencing in five individuals identified 3828 deregulated genes enriched for known NDD genes and biological processes such as transcriptional regulation. Ctcf dosage alteration in Drosophila resulted in impaired gross neurological functioning and learning and memory deficits.

Conclusion: We significantly broaden the mutational and clinical spectrum ofCTCF-associated NDDs. Our data shed light onto the functional role of CTCF by identifying deregulated genes and show that Ctcf alterations result in nervous system defects in Drosophila.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41436-019-0585-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6892744PMC
December 2019