Publications by authors named "Richard P Lifton"

285 Publications

X-linked recessive TLR7 deficiency in ~1% of men under 60 years old with life-threatening COVID-19.

Sci Immunol 2021 08;6(62)

Specialized Immunology Laboratory of Dr. Shahrooei, Sina Medical Complex, Ahvaz, Iran.

Autosomal inborn errors of type I IFN immunity and autoantibodies against these cytokines underlie at least 10% of critical COVID-19 pneumonia cases. We report very rare, biochemically deleterious X-linked variants in 16 unrelated male individuals aged 7 to 71 years (mean: 36.7 years) from a cohort of 1,202 male patients aged 0.5 to 99 years (mean: 52.9 years) with unexplained critical COVID-19 pneumonia. None of the 331 asymptomatically or mildly infected male individuals aged 1.3 to 102 years (mean: 38.7 years) tested carry such variants ( = 3.5 × 10). The phenotypes of five hemizygous relatives of index cases infected with SARS-CoV-2 include asymptomatic or mild infection (=2, 5 and 38 years), or moderate (=1, 5 years), severe (=1, 27 years), or critical (=1, 29 years) pneumonia. Two boys (aged 7 and 12 years) from a cohort of 262 male patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia (mean: 51.0 years) are hemizygous for a deleterious TLR7 variant. The cumulative allele frequency for deleterious variants in the male general population is < 6.5x10 We also show that blood B cell lines and myeloid cell subsets from the patients do not respond to TLR7 stimulation, a phenotype rescued by wild-type The patients' blood plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) produce low levels of type I IFNs in response to SARS-CoV-2. Overall, X-linked recessive TLR7 deficiency is a highly penetrant genetic etiology of critical COVID-19 pneumonia, in about 1.8% of male patients below the age of 60 years. Human TLR7 and pDCs are essential for protective type I IFN immunity against SARS-CoV-2 in the respiratory tract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciimmunol.abl4348DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8532080PMC
August 2021

Autoantibodies neutralizing type I IFNs are present in 4% of uninfected individuals over 70 years old and account for 20% of COVID-19 deaths.

Sci Immunol 2021 08;6(62)

Joint Research Unit, Hospices Civils de Lyon-bio Mérieux, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon Sud Hospital, Pierre-Bénite, France; International Center of Research in Infectiology, Lyon University, INSERM U1111, CNRS UMR 5308, ENS, UCBL, Lyon, France.

Circulating autoantibodies (auto-Abs) neutralizing high concentrations (10 ng/mL, in plasma diluted 1 to 10) of IFN-α and/or -ω are found in about 10% of patients with critical COVID-19 pneumonia, but not in subjects with asymptomatic infections. We detect auto-Abs neutralizing 100-fold lower, more physiological, concentrations of IFN-α and/or -ω (100 pg/mL, in 1/10 dilutions of plasma) in 13.6% of 3,595 patients with critical COVID-19, including 21% of 374 patients > 80 years, and 6.5% of 522 patients with severe COVID-19. These antibodies are also detected in 18% of the 1,124 deceased patients (aged 20 days-99 years; mean: 70 years). Moreover, another 1.3% of patients with critical COVID-19 and 0.9% of the deceased patients have auto-Abs neutralizing high concentrations of IFN-β. We also show, in a sample of 34,159 uninfected subjects from the general population, that auto-Abs neutralizing high concentrations of IFN-α and/or -ω are present in 0.18% of individuals between 18 and 69 years, 1.1% between 70 and 79 years, and 3.4% >80 years. Moreover, the proportion of subjects carrying auto-Abs neutralizing lower concentrations is greater in a subsample of 10,778 uninfected individuals: 1% of individuals <70 years, 2.3% between 70 and 80 years, and 6.3% >80 years. By contrast, auto-Abs neutralizing IFN-β do not become more frequent with age. Auto-Abs neutralizing type I IFNs predate SARS-CoV-2 infection and sharply increase in prevalence after the age of 70 years. They account for about 20% of both critical COVID-19 cases in the over-80s, and total fatal COVID-19 cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciimmunol.abl4340DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8521484PMC
August 2021

Exome survey of individuals affected by VATER/VACTERL with renal phenotypes identifies phenocopies and novel candidate genes.

Am J Med Genet A 2021 Aug 2. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Department of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

The acronym VATER/VACTERL refers to the rare nonrandom association of the following component features (CFs): vertebral defects (V), anorectal malformations (ARM) (A), cardiac anomalies (C), tracheoesophageal fistula with or without esophageal atresia (TE), renal malformations (R), and limb anomalies (L). For the clinical diagnosis, the presence of at least three CFs is required, individuals presenting with only two CFs have been categorized as VATER/VACTERL-like. The majority of VATER/VACTERL individuals displays a renal phenotype. Hitherto, variants in FGF8, FOXF1, HOXD13, LPP, TRAP1, PTEN, and ZIC3 have been associated with the VATER/VACTERL association; however, large-scale re-sequencing could only confirm TRAP1 and ZIC3 as VATER/VACTERL disease genes, both associated with a renal phenotype. In this study, we performed exome sequencing in 21 individuals and their families with a renal VATER/VACTERL or VATER/VACTERL-like phenotype to identify potentially novel genetic causes. Exome analysis identified biallelic and X-chromosomal hemizygous potentially pathogenic variants in six individuals (29%) in B9D1, FREM1, ZNF157, SP8, ACOT9, and TTLL11, respectively. The online tool GeneMatcher revealed another individual with a variant in ZNF157. Our study suggests six biallelic and X-chromosomal hemizygous VATER/VACTERL disease genes implicating all six genes in the expression of human renal malformations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.62447DOI Listing
August 2021

Inherited PD-1 deficiency underlies tuberculosis and autoimmunity in a child.

Nat Med 2021 09 28;27(9):1646-1654. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Virology, Cochin Hospital, University of Paris, Paris, France.

The pathophysiology of adverse events following programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) blockade, including tuberculosis (TB) and autoimmunity, remains poorly characterized. We studied a patient with inherited PD-1 deficiency and TB who died of pulmonary autoimmunity. The patient's leukocytes did not express PD-1 or respond to PD-1-mediated suppression. The patient's lymphocytes produced only small amounts of interferon (IFN)-γ upon mycobacterial stimuli, similarly to patients with inborn errors of IFN-γ production who are vulnerable to TB. This phenotype resulted from a combined depletion of Vδ2 γδ T, mucosal-associated invariant T and CD56 natural killer lymphocytes and dysfunction of other T lymphocyte subsets. Moreover, the patient displayed hepatosplenomegaly and an expansion of total, activated and RORγT CD4CD8 double-negative αβ T cells, similar to patients with STAT3 gain-of-function mutations who display lymphoproliferative autoimmunity. This phenotype resulted from excessive amounts of STAT3-activating cytokines interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-23 produced by activated T lymphocytes and monocytes, and the STAT3-dependent expression of RORγT by activated T lymphocytes. Our work highlights the indispensable role of human PD-1 in governing both antimycobacterial immunity and self-tolerance, while identifying potentially actionable molecular targets for the diagnostic and therapeutic management of TB and autoimmunity in patients on PD-1 blockade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01388-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8446316PMC
September 2021

DIAPH1 Variants in Non-East Asian Patients With Sporadic Moyamoya Disease.

JAMA Neurol 2021 Aug;78(8):993-1003

Yale Center for Genome Analysis, West Haven, Connecticut.

Importance: Moyamoya disease (MMD), a progressive vasculopathy leading to narrowing and ultimate occlusion of the intracranial internal carotid arteries, is a cause of childhood stroke. The cause of MMD is poorly understood, but genetic factors play a role. Several familial forms of MMD have been identified, but the cause of most cases remains elusive, especially among non-East Asian individuals.

Objective: To assess whether ultrarare de novo and rare, damaging transmitted variants with large effect sizes are associated with MMD risk.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A genetic association study was conducted using whole-exome sequencing case-parent MMD trios in a small discovery cohort collected over 3.5 years (2016-2019); data were analyzed in 2020. Medical records from US hospitals spanning a range of 1 month to 1.5 years were reviewed for phenotyping. Exomes from a larger validation cohort were analyzed to identify additional rare, large-effect variants in the top candidate gene. Participants included patients with MMD and, when available, their parents. All participants who met criteria and were presented with the option to join the study agreed to do so; none were excluded. Twenty-four probands (22 trios and 2 singletons) composed the discovery cohort, and 84 probands (29 trios and 55 singletons) composed the validation cohort.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Gene variants were identified and filtered using stringent criteria. Enrichment and case-control tests assessed gene-level variant burden. In silico modeling estimated the probability of variant association with protein structure. Integrative genomics assessed expression patterns of MMD risk genes derived from single-cell RNA sequencing data of human and mouse brain tissue.

Results: Of the 24 patients in the discovery cohort, 14 (58.3%) were men and 18 (75.0%) were of European ancestry. Three of 24 discovery cohort probands contained 2 do novo (1-tailed Poisson P = 1.1 × 10-6) and 1 rare, transmitted damaging variant (12.5% of cases) in DIAPH1 (mammalian diaphanous-1), a key regulator of actin remodeling in vascular cells and platelets. Four additional ultrarare damaging heterozygous DIAPH1 variants (3 unphased) were identified in 3 other patients in an 84-proband validation cohort (73.8% female, 77.4% European). All 6 patients were non-East Asian. Compound heterozygous variants were identified in ena/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoproteinlike protein EVL, a mammalian diaphanous-1 interactor that regulates actin polymerization. DIAPH1 and EVL mutant probands had severe, bilateral MMD associated with transfusion-dependent thrombocytopenia. DIAPH1 and other MMD risk genes are enriched in mural cells of midgestational human brain. The DIAPH1 coexpression network converges in vascular cell actin cytoskeleton regulatory pathways.

Conclusions And Relevance: These findings provide the largest collection to date of non-East Asian individuals with sporadic MMD harboring pathogenic variants in the same gene. The results suggest that DIAPH1 is a novel MMD risk gene and impaired vascular cell actin remodeling in MMD pathogenesis, with diagnostic and therapeutic ramifications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.1681DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8204259PMC
August 2021

Genetic Defects in Underlie Male Infertility With Multiple Morphological Abnormalities of the Sperm Flagella in Humans and Mice.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 23;9:662903. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States.

Asthenozoospermia accounts for over 80% of primary male infertility cases. Reduced sperm motility in asthenozoospermic patients are often accompanied by teratozoospermia, or defective sperm morphology, with varying severity. Multiple morphological abnormalities of the flagella (MMAF) is one of the most severe forms of asthenoteratozoospermia, characterized by heterogeneous flagellar abnormalities. Among various genetic factors known to cause MMAF, multiple variants in the gene are reported to underlie MMAF in humans. However, the pathogenicity by DNAH2 mutations remains largely unknown. In this study, we identified a novel recessive variant (NM_020877:c.12720G > T;p.W4240C) in by whole-exome sequencing, which fully co-segregated with the infertile male members in a consanguineous Pakistani family diagnosed with asthenozoospermia. 80-90% of the sperm from the patients are morphologically abnormal, and analysis models reveal that the non-synonymous variant substitutes a residue in dynein heavy chain domain and destabilizes DNAH2. To better understand the pathogenicity of various variants underlying MMAF in general, we functionally characterized -mutant mice generated by CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. -null males, but not females, are infertile. -null sperm cells display absent, short, bent, coiled, and/or irregular flagella consistent with the MMAF phenotype. We found misexpression of centriolar proteins and delocalization of annulus proteins in -null spermatids and sperm, suggesting dysregulated flagella development in spermiogenesis. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy analyses revealed that flagella ultrastructure is severely disorganized in -null sperm. Absence of DNAH2 compromises the expression of other axonemal components such as DNAH1 and RSPH3. Our results demonstrate that DNAH2 is essential for multiple steps in sperm flagella formation and provide insights into molecular and cellular mechanisms of MMAF pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.662903DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8103034PMC
April 2021

GIMAP5 maintains liver endothelial cell homeostasis and prevents portal hypertension.

J Exp Med 2021 07 6;218(7). Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Internal Medicine (Digestive Diseases), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

Portal hypertension is a major contributor to decompensation and death from liver disease, a global health problem. Here, we demonstrate homozygous damaging mutations in GIMAP5, a small organellar GTPase, in four families with unexplained portal hypertension. We show that GIMAP5 is expressed in hepatic endothelial cells and that its loss in both humans and mice results in capillarization of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs); this effect is also seen when GIMAP5 is selectively deleted in endothelial cells. Single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis in a GIMAP5-deficient mouse model reveals replacement of LSECs with capillarized endothelial cells, a reduction of macrovascular hepatic endothelial cells, and places GIMAP5 upstream of GATA4, a transcription factor required for LSEC specification. Thus, GIMAP5 is a critical regulator of liver endothelial cell homeostasis and, when absent, produces portal hypertension. These findings provide new insight into the pathogenesis of portal hypertension, a major contributor to morbidity and mortality from liver disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20201745DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8105721PMC
July 2021

Enhanced Ca signaling, mild primary aldosteronism, and hypertension in a familial hyperaldosteronism mouse model ( ).

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Apr;118(17)

Department of Nephrology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10115 Berlin, Germany;

Gain-of-function mutations in the gene (encoding the T-type calcium channel Ca3.2) cause autosomal-dominant familial hyperaldosteronism type IV (FH-IV) and early-onset hypertension in humans. We used CRISPR/Cas9 to generate knockin mice as a model of the most common FH-IV mutation, along with corresponding knockout mice ( ). Adrenal morphology of both and mice was normal. mice had elevated aldosterone:renin ratios (a screening parameter for primary aldosteronism). Their adrenal (aldosterone synthase) expression was increased and remained elevated on a high-salt diet (relative autonomy, characteristic of primary aldosteronism), but plasma aldosterone was only elevated in male animals. The systolic blood pressure of mice was 8 mmHg higher than in wild-type littermates and remained elevated on a high-salt diet. mice had elevated renal (renin-1) expression but normal adrenal levels, suggesting that in the absence of Ca3.2, stimulation of the renin-angiotensin system activates alternative calcium entry pathways to maintain normal aldosterone production. On a cellular level, adrenal slices showed increased baseline and peak intracellular calcium concentrations in the zona glomerulosa compared to controls, but the frequency of calcium spikes did not rise. We conclude that FH-IV, on a molecular level, is caused by elevated intracellular Ca concentrations as a signal for aldosterone production in adrenal glomerulosa cells. We demonstrate that a germline gain-of-function mutation is sufficient to cause mild primary aldosteronism, whereas loss of Ca3.2 channel function can be compensated for in a chronic setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2014876118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8092574PMC
April 2021

Integrated mutational landscape analysis of uterine leiomyosarcomas.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Apr;118(15)

Department of Pathology, University of Brescia, Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale degli Spedali Civili di Brescia, 25100 Brescia, Italy.

Uterine leiomyosarcomas (uLMS) are aggressive tumors arising from the smooth muscle layer of the uterus. We analyzed 83 uLMS sample genetics, including 56 from Yale and 27 from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Among them, a total of 55 Yale samples including two patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and 27 TCGA samples have whole-exome sequencing (WES) data; 10 Yale and 27 TCGA samples have RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) data; and 11 Yale and 10 TCGA samples have whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data. We found recurrent somatic mutations in TP53, MED12, and PTEN genes. Top somatic mutated genes included TP53, ATRX, PTEN, and MEN1 genes. Somatic copy number variation (CNV) analysis identified 8 copy-number gains, including 5p15.33 (TERT), 8q24.21 (C-MYC), and 17p11.2 (MYOCD, MAP2K4) amplifications and 29 copy-number losses. Fusions involving tumor suppressors or oncogenes were deetected, with most fusions disrupting RB1, TP53, and ATRX/DAXX, and one fusion (ACTG2-ALK) being potentially targetable. WGS results demonstrated that 76% (16 of 21) of the samples harbored chromoplexy and/or chromothripsis. Clinically actionable mutational signatures of homologous-recombination DNA-repair deficiency (HRD) and microsatellite instability (MSI) were identified in 25% (12 of 48) and 2% (1 of 48) of fresh frozen uLMS, respectively. Finally, we found olaparib (PARPi; = 0.002), GS-626510 (C-MYC/BETi; < 0.000001 and = 0.0005), and copanlisib (PIK3CAi; = 0.0001) monotherapy to significantly inhibit uLMS-PDXs harboring derangements in C-MYC and PTEN/PIK3CA/AKT genes (LEY11) and/or HRD signatures (LEY16) compared to vehicle-treated mice. These findings define the genetic landscape of uLMS and suggest that a subset of uLMS may benefit from existing PARP-, PIK3CA-, and C-MYC/BET-targeted drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2025182118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8053980PMC
April 2021

Recessive Mutations in as a Candidate of Monogenic Nephrotic Syndrome.

Kidney Int Rep 2021 Feb 10;6(2):472-483. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Introduction: Most of the approximately 60 genes that if mutated cause steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) are highly expressed in the glomerular podocyte, rendering SRNS a "podocytopathy."

Methods: We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) in 1200 nephrotic syndrome (NS) patients.

Results: We discovered homozygous truncating and homozygous missense mutation in (synaptopodin-2) (p.Lys1124∗ and p.Ala1134Thr) in 2 patients with childhood-onset NS. We found SYNPO2 expression in both podocytes and mesangial cells; however, notably, immunofluorescence staining of adult human and rat kidney cryosections indicated that SYNPO2 is localized mainly in mesangial cells. Subcellular localization studies reveal that in these cells SYNPO2 partially co-localizes with α-actinin and filamin A-containing F-actin filaments. Upon transfection in mesangial cells or podocytes, EGFP-SYNPO2 co-localized with α-actinin-4, which gene is mutated in autosomal dominant SRNS in humans. SYNPO2 overexpression increases mesangial cell migration rate (MMR), whereas shRNA knockdown reduces MMR. Decreased MMR was rescued by transfection of wild-type mouse cDNA but only partially by cDNA representing mutations from the NS patients. The increased mesangial cell migration rate (MMR) by SYNPO2 overexpression was inhibited by ARP complex inhibitor CK666. shRNA knockdown in podocytes decreased active Rac1, which was rescued by transfection of wild-type cDNA but not by cDNA representing any of the 2 mutant variants.

Conclusion: We show that SYNPO2 variants may lead to Rac1-ARP3 dysregulation, and may play a role in the pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ekir.2020.10.040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7879128PMC
February 2021

Generation of Monogenic Candidate Genes for Human Nephrotic Syndrome Using 3 Independent Approaches.

Kidney Int Rep 2021 Feb 3;6(2):460-471. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Introduction: Steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) is the second most common cause of chronic kidney disease during childhood. Identification of 63 monogenic human genes has delineated 12 distinct pathogenic pathways.

Methods: Here, we generated 2 independent sets of nephrotic syndrome (NS) candidate genes to augment the discovery of additional monogenic causes based on whole-exome sequencing (WES) data from 1382 families with NS.

Results: We first identified 63 known monogenic causes of NS in mice from public databases and scientific publications, and 12 of these genes overlapped with the 63 known human monogenic SRNS genes. Second, we used a set of 64 genes that are regulated by the transcription factor Wilms tumor 1 (WT1), which causes SRNS if mutated. Thirteen of these WT1-regulated genes overlapped with human or murine NS genes. Finally, we overlapped these lists of murine and WT1 candidate genes with our list of 120 candidate genes generated from WES in 1382 NS families, to identify novel candidate genes for monogenic human SRNS. Using this approach, we identified 7 overlapping genes, of which 3 genes were shared by all datasets, including . We show that loss-of-function of leads to decreased CDC42 activity and reduced podocyte migration rate, both of which are rescued by overexpression of wild-type complementary DNA (cDNA), but not by cDNA representing the patient mutation.

Conclusion: Thus, we identified 3 novel candidate genes for human SRNS using 3 independent, nonoverlapping hypotheses, and generated functional evidence for as a novel potential monogenic cause of NS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ekir.2020.11.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7879125PMC
February 2021

Mutations in Are a Novel Cause of Galloway-Mowat Syndrome.

J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 03 16;32(3):580-596. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Institute of Human Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Background: Galloway-Mowat syndrome (GAMOS) is characterized by neurodevelopmental defects and a progressive nephropathy, which typically manifests as steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. The prognosis of GAMOS is poor, and the majority of children progress to renal failure. The discovery of monogenic causes of GAMOS has uncovered molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of disease.

Methods: Homozygosity mapping, whole-exome sequencing, and linkage analysis were used to identify mutations in four families with a GAMOS-like phenotype, and high-throughput PCR technology was applied to 91 individuals with GAMOS and 816 individuals with isolated nephrotic syndrome. and studies determined the functional significance of the mutations identified.

Results: Three biallelic variants of the transcriptional regulator were detected in six families with proteinuric kidney disease. Four families with a variant in the protein's zinc-finger (ZNF) domain have additional GAMOS-like features, including brain anomalies, cardiac defects, and skeletal defects. All variants destabilize the PRDM15 protein, and the ZNF variant additionally interferes with transcriptional activation. Morpholino oligonucleotide-mediated knockdown of Prdm15 in embryos disrupted pronephric development. Human wild-type RNA rescued the disruption, but the three variants did not. Finally, CRISPR-mediated knockout of in human podocytes led to dysregulation of several renal developmental genes.

Conclusions: Variants in can cause either isolated nephrotic syndrome or a GAMOS-type syndrome on an allelic basis. PRDM15 regulates multiple developmental kidney genes, and is likely to play an essential role in renal development in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1681/ASN.2020040490DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7920168PMC
March 2021

Recessive variants impair actin remodeling and cause glomerulopathy in humans and mice.

Sci Adv 2021 Jan 1;7(1). Epub 2021 Jan 1.

Molecular Medicine Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease. We found recessive variants in two families with early-onset NS by exome sequencing. Overexpression of wild-type (WT) , but not cDNA constructs bearing patient variants, increased active CDC42 and promoted filopodia and podosome formation. Pharmacologic inhibition of CDC42 or its effectors, formin proteins, reduced NOS1AP-induced filopodia formation. knockdown reduced podocyte migration rate (PMR), which was rescued by overexpression of WT but not by constructs bearing patient variants. PMR in knockdown podocytes was also rescued by constitutively active or the formin Modeling a patient variant in knock-in human kidney organoids revealed malformed glomeruli with increased apoptosis. mice recapitulated the human phenotype, exhibiting proteinuria, foot process effacement, and glomerulosclerosis. These findings demonstrate that recessive variants impair CDC42/DIAPH-dependent actin remodeling, cause aberrant organoid glomerulogenesis, and lead to a glomerulopathy in humans and mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abe1386DOI Listing
January 2021

De novo TRIM8 variants impair its protein localization to nuclear bodies and cause developmental delay, epilepsy, and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 02 27;108(2):357-367. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Division of Pediatric Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is the main pathology underlying steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) and a leading cause of chronic kidney disease. Monogenic forms of pediatric SRNS are predominantly caused by recessive mutations, while the contribution of de novo variants (DNVs) to this trait is poorly understood. Using exome sequencing (ES) in a proband with FSGS/SRNS, developmental delay, and epilepsy, we discovered a nonsense DNV in TRIM8, which encodes the E3 ubiquitin ligase tripartite motif containing 8. To establish whether TRIM8 variants represent a cause of FSGS, we aggregated exome/genome-sequencing data for 2,501 pediatric FSGS/SRNS-affected individuals and 48,556 control subjects, detecting eight heterozygous TRIM8 truncating variants in affected subjects but none in control subjects (p = 3.28 × 10). In all six cases with available parental DNA, we demonstrated de novo inheritance (p = 2.21 × 10). Reverse phenotyping revealed neurodevelopmental disease in all eight families. We next analyzed ES from 9,067 individuals with epilepsy, yielding three additional families with truncating TRIM8 variants. Clinical review revealed FSGS in all. All TRIM8 variants cause protein truncation clustering within the last exon between residues 390 and 487 of the 551 amino acid protein, indicating a correlation between this syndrome and loss of the TRIM8 C-terminal region. Wild-type TRIM8 overexpressed in immortalized human podocytes and neuronal cells localized to nuclear bodies, while constructs harboring patient-specific variants mislocalized diffusely to the nucleoplasm. Co-localization studies demonstrated that Gemini and Cajal bodies frequently abut a TRIM8 nuclear body. Truncating TRIM8 DNVs cause a neuro-renal syndrome via aberrant TRIM8 localization, implicating nuclear bodies in FSGS and developmental brain disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.01.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895901PMC
February 2021

Unexpected role of variants in craniosynostosis: expanding the phenotype of -related disorders.

J Med Genet 2021 Jan 12. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Clinical Genetics Group, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Background: Pathogenic heterozygous variants (predominantly missense) occur in branchio-otic syndrome (BOS), but an association with craniosynostosis has not been reported.

Methods: We investigated probands with craniosynostosis of unknown cause using whole exome/genome (n=628) or RNA (n=386) sequencing, and performed targeted resequencing of in 615 additional patients. Expression of SIX1 protein in embryonic cranial sutures was examined in the reporter mouse.

Results: From 1629 unrelated cases with craniosynostosis we identified seven different variants (three missense, including two de novo mutations, and four nonsense, one of which was also present in an affected twin). Compared with population data, enrichment of loss-of-function variants was highly significant (p=0.00003). All individuals with craniosynostosis had sagittal suture fusion; additionally four had bilambdoid synostosis. Associated BOS features were often attenuated; some carrier relatives appeared non-penetrant. SIX1 is expressed in a layer basal to the calvaria, likely corresponding to the dura mater, and in the mid-sagittal mesenchyme.

Conclusion: Craniosynostosis is associated with heterozygous variants, with possible enrichment of loss-of-function variants compared with classical BOS. We recommend screening of in craniosynostosis, particularly when sagittal±lambdoid synostosis and/or any BOS phenotypes are present. These findings highlight the role of in cranial suture homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2020-107459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8273188PMC
January 2021

DAAM2 Variants Cause Nephrotic Syndrome via Actin Dysregulation.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 12 23;107(6):1113-1128. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Pediatric Genomics Discovery Program, Department of Pediatrics and Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

The discovery of >60 monogenic causes of nephrotic syndrome (NS) has revealed a central role for the actin regulators RhoA/Rac1/Cdc42 and their effectors, including the formin INF2. By whole-exome sequencing (WES), we here discovered bi-allelic variants in the formin DAAM2 in four unrelated families with steroid-resistant NS. We show that DAAM2 localizes to the cytoplasm in podocytes and in kidney sections. Further, the variants impair DAAM2-dependent actin remodeling processes: wild-type DAAM2 cDNA, but not cDNA representing missense variants found in individuals with NS, rescued reduced podocyte migration rate (PMR) and restored reduced filopodia formation in shRNA-induced DAAM2-knockdown podocytes. Filopodia restoration was also induced by the formin-activating molecule IMM-01. DAAM2 also co-localizes and co-immunoprecipitates with INF2, which is intriguing since variants in both formins cause NS. Using in vitro bulk and TIRF microscopy assays, we find that DAAM2 variants alter actin assembly activities of the formin. In a Xenopus daam2-CRISPR knockout model, we demonstrate actin dysregulation in vivo and glomerular maldevelopment that is rescued by WT-DAAM2 mRNA. We conclude that DAAM2 variants are a likely cause of monogenic human SRNS due to actin dysregulation in podocytes. Further, we provide evidence that DAAM2-associated SRNS may be amenable to treatment using actin regulating compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.11.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820625PMC
December 2020

Association of Damaging Variants in Genes With Increased Cancer Risk Among Patients With Congenital Heart Disease.

JAMA Cardiol 2021 Apr;6(4):457-462

Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Patients with congenital heart disease (CHD), the most common birth defect, have increased risks for cancer. Identification of the variables that contribute to cancer risk is essential for recognizing patients with CHD who warrant longitudinal surveillance and early interventions.

Objective: To compare the frequency of damaging variants in cancer risk genes among patients with CHD and control participants and identify associated clinical variables in patients with CHD who have cancer risk variants.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This multicenter case-control study included participants with CHD who had previously been recruited to the Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium based on presence of structural cardiac anomaly without genetic diagnosis at the time of enrollment. Permission to use published sequencing data from unaffected adult participants was obtained from 2 parent studies. Data were collected for this study from December 2010 to April 2019.

Exposures: Presence of rare (allele frequency, <1 × 10-5) loss-of-function (LoF) variants in cancer risk genes.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Frequency of LoF variants in cancer risk genes (defined in the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer-Cancer Gene Consensus database), were statistically assessed by binomial tests in patients with CHD and control participants.

Results: A total of 4443 individuals with CHD (mean [range] age, 13.0 [0-84] years; 2225 of 3771 with reported sex [59.0%] male) and 9808 control participants (mean [range] age, 52.1 [1-92] years; 4967 of 9808 [50.6%] male) were included. The frequency of LoF variants in regulatory cancer risk genes was significantly higher in patients with CHD than control participants (143 of 4443 [3.2%] vs 166 of 9808 [1.7%]; odds ratio [OR], 1.93 [95% CI, 1.54-2.42]; P = 1.38 × 10-12), and among CHD genes previously associated with cancer risk (58 of 4443 [1.3%] vs 18 of 9808 [0.18%]; OR, 7.2 [95% CI, 4.2-12.2]; P < 2.2 × 10-16). The LoF variants were also nominally increased in 14 constrained cancer risk genes with high expression in the developing heart. Seven of these genes (ARHGEF12, CTNNB1, LPP, MLLT4, PTEN, TCF12, and TFRC) harbored LoF variants in multiple patients with unexplained CHD. The highest rates for LoF variants in cancer risk genes occurred in patients with CHD and extracardiac anomalies (248 of 1482 individuals [16.7%]; control: 1099 of 9808 individuals [11.2%]; OR, 1.59 [95% CI, 1.37-1.85]; P = 1.3 × 10-10) and/or neurodevelopmental delay (209 of 1393 individuals [15.0%]; control: 1099 of 9808 individuals [11.2%]; OR, 1.40 [95% CI, 1.19-1.64]; P = 9.6 × 10-6).

Conclusions And Relevance: Genotypes of CHD may account for increased cancer risks. In this cohort, damaging variants were prominent in the 216 genes that predominantly encode regulatory proteins. Consistent with their fundamental developmental functions, patients with CHD and damaging variants in these genes often had extracardiac manifestations. These data may also implicate cancer risk genes that are repeatedly varied in patients with unexplained CHD as CHD genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2020.4947DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7578917PMC
April 2021

Exome Sequencing Implicates Impaired GABA Signaling and Neuronal Ion Transport in Trigeminal Neuralgia.

iScience 2020 Oct 11;23(10):101552. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Yale Center for Genome Analysis, West Haven, CT, USA.

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a common, debilitating neuropathic face pain syndrome often resistant to therapy. The familial clustering of TN cases suggests that genetic factors play a role in disease pathogenesis. However, no unbiased, large-scale genomic study of TN has been performed to date. Analysis of 290 whole exome-sequenced TN probands, including 20 multiplex kindreds and 70 parent-offspring trios, revealed enrichment of rare, damaging variants in GABA receptor-binding genes in cases. Mice engineered with a TN-associated mutation (p.Cys188Trp) in the GABA receptor Cl channel γ-1 subunit () exhibited trigeminal mechanical allodynia and face pain behavior. Other TN probands harbored rare damaging variants in Na and Ca channels, including a significant variant burden in the α-1H subunit of the voltage-gated Ca channel Ca3.2 (). These results provide exome-level insight into TN and implicate genetically encoded impairment of GABA signaling and neuronal ion transport in TN pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2020.101552DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7554653PMC
October 2020

Exome sequencing implicates genetic disruption of prenatal neuro-gliogenesis in sporadic congenital hydrocephalus.

Nat Med 2020 11 19;26(11):1754-1765. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Departments of Neurosurgery, Engineering Science & Mechanics, and Physics; Center for Neural Engineering and Infectious Disease Dynamics, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.

Congenital hydrocephalus (CH), characterized by enlarged brain ventricles, is considered a disease of excessive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulation and thereby treated with neurosurgical CSF diversion with high morbidity and failure rates. The poor neurodevelopmental outcomes and persistence of ventriculomegaly in some post-surgical patients highlight our limited knowledge of disease mechanisms. Through whole-exome sequencing of 381 patients (232 trios) with sporadic, neurosurgically treated CH, we found that damaging de novo mutations account for >17% of cases, with five different genes exhibiting a significant de novo mutation burden. In all, rare, damaging mutations with large effect contributed to ~22% of sporadic CH cases. Multiple CH genes are key regulators of neural stem cell biology and converge in human transcriptional networks and cell types pertinent for fetal neuro-gliogenesis. These data implicate genetic disruption of early brain development, not impaired CSF dynamics, as the primary pathomechanism of a significant number of patients with sporadic CH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1090-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7871900PMC
November 2020

Late-Onset Bartter Syndrome Type II Due to a Homozygous Mutation in KCNJ1 Gene: A Case Report and Literature Review.

Am J Case Rep 2020 Sep 30;21:e924527. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Department of Nephrology, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

BACKGROUND Bartter syndrome is a rare genetic disease characterized by hypokalemia, metabolic alkalosis, and hyperreninemic hyperaldosteronism. Five different subtypes have been described based on the genetic defect identified. Bartter syndrome type II is caused by homozygous or compound heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the KCNJ1 gene encoding ROMK. This subtype is typically described as a severe antenatal form of the disease, often presenting with polyhydramnios before childbirth. CASE REPORT Here, we describe the case of a 26-year-old man who presented with generalized body weakness and hypokalemia and was ultimately diagnosed with Bartter syndrome type II based on his clinical features coupled with the identification of a homozygous missense mutation in KCNJ1. CONCLUSIONS To the best of our knowledge, this is the fifth case of late-onset Bartter syndrome type II. Interestingly, the mutation identified in our patient has been previously described in patients with antenatal Bartter's Syndrome. The late presentation in our patient suggests a surprising degree of phenotypic variability, even in patients carrying the identical disease-causing mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12659/AJCR.924527DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7534490PMC
September 2020

Mutations disrupting neuritogenesis genes confer risk for cerebral palsy.

Nat Genet 2020 10 28;52(10):1046-1056. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Henan Key Laboratory of Child Brain Injury, Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China.

In addition to commonly associated environmental factors, genomic factors may cause cerebral palsy. We performed whole-exome sequencing of 250 parent-offspring trios, and observed enrichment of damaging de novo mutations in cerebral palsy cases. Eight genes had multiple damaging de novo mutations; of these, two (TUBA1A and CTNNB1) met genome-wide significance. We identified two novel monogenic etiologies, FBXO31 and RHOB, and showed that the RHOB mutation enhances active-state Rho effector binding while the FBXO31 mutation diminishes cyclin D levels. Candidate cerebral palsy risk genes overlapped with neurodevelopmental disorder genes. Network analyses identified enrichment of Rho GTPase, extracellular matrix, focal adhesion and cytoskeleton pathways. Cerebral palsy risk genes in enriched pathways were shown to regulate neuromotor function in a Drosophila reverse genetics screen. We estimate that 14% of cases could be attributed to an excess of damaging de novo or recessive variants. These findings provide evidence for genetically mediated dysregulation of early neuronal connectivity in cerebral palsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-0695-1DOI Listing
October 2020

Autoantibodies against type I IFNs in patients with life-threatening COVID-19.

Science 2020 10 24;370(6515). Epub 2020 Sep 24.

St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, Rockefeller Branch, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA.

Interindividual clinical variability in the course of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is vast. We report that at least 101 of 987 patients with life-threatening coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia had neutralizing immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies (auto-Abs) against interferon-ω (IFN-ω) (13 patients), against the 13 types of IFN-α (36), or against both (52) at the onset of critical disease; a few also had auto-Abs against the other three type I IFNs. The auto-Abs neutralize the ability of the corresponding type I IFNs to block SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. These auto-Abs were not found in 663 individuals with asymptomatic or mild SARS-CoV-2 infection and were present in only 4 of 1227 healthy individuals. Patients with auto-Abs were aged 25 to 87 years and 95 of the 101 were men. A B cell autoimmune phenocopy of inborn errors of type I IFN immunity accounts for life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia in at least 2.6% of women and 12.5% of men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abd4585DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7857397PMC
October 2020

Inborn errors of type I IFN immunity in patients with life-threatening COVID-19.

Science 2020 10 24;370(6515). Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, USA.

Clinical outcome upon infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) ranges from silent infection to lethal coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We have found an enrichment in rare variants predicted to be loss-of-function (LOF) at the 13 human loci known to govern Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3)- and interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7)-dependent type I interferon (IFN) immunity to influenza virus in 659 patients with life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia relative to 534 subjects with asymptomatic or benign infection. By testing these and other rare variants at these 13 loci, we experimentally defined LOF variants underlying autosomal-recessive or autosomal-dominant deficiencies in 23 patients (3.5%) 17 to 77 years of age. We show that human fibroblasts with mutations affecting this circuit are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2. Inborn errors of TLR3- and IRF7-dependent type I IFN immunity can underlie life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia in patients with no prior severe infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abd4570DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7857407PMC
October 2020

Mutations of the Transcriptional Corepressor ZMYM2 Cause Syndromic Urinary Tract Malformations.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 10 4;107(4):727-742. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) constitute one of the most frequent birth defects and represent the most common cause of chronic kidney disease in the first three decades of life. Despite the discovery of dozens of monogenic causes of CAKUT, most pathogenic pathways remain elusive. We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) in 551 individuals with CAKUT and identified a heterozygous de novo stop-gain variant in ZMYM2 in two different families with CAKUT. Through collaboration, we identified in total 14 different heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in ZMYM2 in 15 unrelated families. Most mutations occurred de novo, indicating possible interference with reproductive function. Human disease features are replicated in X. tropicalis larvae with morpholino knockdowns, in which expression of truncated ZMYM2 proteins, based on individual mutations, failed to rescue renal and craniofacial defects. Moreover, heterozygous Zmym2-deficient mice recapitulated features of CAKUT with high penetrance. The ZMYM2 protein is a component of a transcriptional corepressor complex recently linked to the silencing of developmentally regulated endogenous retrovirus elements. Using protein-protein interaction assays, we show that ZMYM2 interacts with additional epigenetic silencing complexes, as well as confirming that it binds to FOXP1, a transcription factor that has also been linked to CAKUT. In summary, our findings establish that loss-of-function mutations of ZMYM2, and potentially that of other proteins in its interactome, as causes of human CAKUT, offering new routes for studying the pathogenesis of the disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.08.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7536580PMC
October 2020

A genome-wide case-only test for the detection of digenic inheritance in human exomes.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 08 27;117(32):19367-19375. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases, Necker Branch, INSERM UMR 1163, Necker Hospital for Sick Children, 75015 Paris, France;

Whole-exome sequencing (WES) has facilitated the discovery of genetic lesions underlying monogenic disorders. Incomplete penetrance and variable expressivity suggest a contribution of additional genetic lesions to clinical manifestations and outcome. Some monogenic disorders may therefore actually be digenic. However, only a few digenic disorders have been reported, all discovered by candidate gene approaches applied to at least one locus. We propose here a two-locus genome-wide test for detecting digenic inheritance in WES data. This approach uses the gene as the unit of analysis and tests all pairs of genes to detect pairwise gene × gene interactions underlying disease. It is a case-only method, which has several advantages over classic case-control tests, in particular by avoiding recruitment of controls. Our simulation studies based on real WES data identified two major sources of type I error inflation in this case-only test: linkage disequilibrium and population stratification. Both were corrected by specific procedures. Moreover, our case-only approach is more powerful than the corresponding case-control test for detecting digenic interactions in various population stratification scenarios. Finally, we confirmed the potential of our unbiased, genome-wide approach by successfully identifying a previously reported digenic lesion in patients with craniosynostosis. Our case-only test is a powerful and timely tool for detecting digenic inheritance in WES data from patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1920650117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7430978PMC
August 2020

Mutations in ASPRV1 Cause Dominantly Inherited Ichthyosis.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 07 8;107(1):158-163. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA; Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA; Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA. Electronic address:

The discovery of genetic causes of inherited skin disorders has been pivotal to the understanding of epidermal differentiation, function, and renewal. Here we show via exome sequencing that mutations in ASPRV1 (aspartic peptidase retroviral-like 1) cause a dominant Mendelian disorder featuring palmoplantar keratoderma and lamellar ichthyosis, a phenotype that has otherwise been exclusively recessive. ASPRV1 encodes a mammalian-specific and stratified epithelia-specific protease important in processing of filaggrin, a critical component of the uppermost epidermal layer. Three different heterozygous ASPRV1 missense mutations in four unrelated ichthyosis kindreds segregate with disease and disrupt protein residues within close proximity to each other and autocatalytic cleavage sites. Expression of mutant ASPRV1 proteins demonstrates that all three mutations alter ASPRV1 auto-cleavage and filaggrin processing, a function vital to epidermal barrier integrity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.05.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7332602PMC
July 2020

Systems Analysis Implicates WAVE2 Complex in the Pathogenesis of Developmental Left-Sided Obstructive Heart Defects.

JACC Basic Transl Sci 2020 Apr 8;5(4):376-386. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Mindich Child Health and Development Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

Genetic variants are the primary driver of congenital heart disease (CHD) pathogenesis. However, our ability to identify causative variants is limited. To identify causal CHD genes that are associated with specific molecular functions, the study used prior knowledge to filter de novo variants from 2,881 probands with sporadic severe CHD. This approach enabled the authors to identify an association between left ventricular outflow tract obstruction lesions and genes associated with the WAVE2 complex and regulation of small GTPase-mediated signal transduction. Using CRISPR zebrafish knockdowns, the study confirmed that WAVE2 complex proteins , , and and the regulators of small GTPase signaling and are critical to cardiac development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacbts.2020.01.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7188873PMC
April 2020

EM-mosaic detects mosaic point mutations that contribute to congenital heart disease.

Genome Med 2020 04 29;12(1):42. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Columbia University Medical Center, 1130 St Nicholas Ave, New York, NY, 10032, USA.

Background: The contribution of somatic mosaicism, or genetic mutations arising after oocyte fertilization, to congenital heart disease (CHD) is not well understood. Further, the relationship between mosaicism in blood and cardiovascular tissue has not been determined.

Methods: We developed a new computational method, EM-mosaic (Expectation-Maximization-based detection of mosaicism), to analyze mosaicism in exome sequences derived primarily from blood DNA of 2530 CHD proband-parent trios. To optimize this method, we measured mosaic detection power as a function of sequencing depth. In parallel, we analyzed our cohort using MosaicHunter, a Bayesian genotyping algorithm-based mosaic detection tool, and compared the two methods. The accuracy of these mosaic variant detection algorithms was assessed using an independent resequencing method. We then applied both methods to detect mosaicism in cardiac tissue-derived exome sequences of 66 participants for which matched blood and heart tissue was available.

Results: EM-mosaic detected 326 mosaic mutations in blood and/or cardiac tissue DNA. Of the 309 detected in blood DNA, 85/97 (88%) tested were independently confirmed, while 7/17 (41%) candidates of 17 detected in cardiac tissue were confirmed. MosaicHunter detected an additional 64 mosaics, of which 23/46 (50%) among 58 candidates from blood and 4/6 (67%) of 6 candidates from cardiac tissue confirmed. Twenty-five mosaic variants altered CHD-risk genes, affecting 1% of our cohort. Of these 25, 22/22 candidates tested were confirmed. Variants predicted as damaging had higher variant allele fraction than benign variants, suggesting a role in CHD. The estimated true frequency of mosaic variants above 10% mosaicism was 0.14/person in blood and 0.21/person in cardiac tissue. Analysis of 66 individuals with matched cardiac tissue available revealed both tissue-specific and shared mosaicism, with shared mosaics generally having higher allele fraction.

Conclusions: We estimate that ~ 1% of CHD probands have a mosaic variant detectable in blood that could contribute to cardiac malformations, particularly those damaging variants with relatively higher allele fraction. Although blood is a readily available DNA source, cardiac tissues analyzed contributed ~ 5% of somatic mosaic variants identified, indicating the value of tissue mosaicism analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-020-00738-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7189690PMC
April 2020
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