LINE-1 elements at the sites of molecular rearrangements in Alport syndrome-diffuse leiomyomatosis.
ABSTRACT: Deletions encompassing the 5' termini of the paired type IV collagen genes COL4A5 and COL4A6 on chromosome Xq22 give rise to Alport syndrome (AS) and associated diffuse leiomyomatosis (DL), a syndrome of disseminated smooth-muscle tumors involving the esophagus, large airways, and female reproductive tract. In this study, we report isolation and characterization of two deletion junctions. The first, in a patient described elsewhere, arose by a nonhomologous recombination event fusing a LINE-1 (L1) repetitive element in intron 1 of COL4A5 to intron 2 of COL4A6, resulting in a 13.4-kb deletion. The second, in a previously undescribed family, arose by unequal homologous recombination between the same L1 and a colinear L1 element in intron 2 of COL4A6, resulting in a>40-kb deletion. L1 elements have contributed to the emergence of this locus as a site of frequent recombinations by diverse mechanisms. These give rise to AS-DL by disruption of type IV collagen and perhaps other as yet unidentified genes, evidenced by deletions as small as 13.4 kb.
Project description:Diffuse esophageal leiomyomatosis (DL), a benign smooth-muscle-cell tumor, is characterized by abnormal cell proliferation. DL is sometimes associated with X-linked Alport syndrome (AS), an inherited nephropathy caused by COL4A5 gene mutations. COL4A5 is tightly linked, in a head-to-head fashion, to the functionally related and coordinately regulated COL4A6 gene. No X-linked AS cases are due to COL4A6 mutations, but all DL/AS cases are always associated with deletions spanning the 5' regions of the COL4A5/COL4A6 cluster. Unlike the COL4A5 breakpoints, those of COL4A6 are clustered within intron 2 of the gene. We identified a DL/AS deletion and the first characterization of the breakpoint sequences. We show that a deletion eliminates the first coding exon of COL4A5 and the first two coding exons of COL4A6. The breakpoints share the same sequence, which, in turn, is closely homologous to the consensus sequences of topoisomerases I and II. Additional DNA evidence suggested that the male patient is a somatic mosaic for the mutation. Immunohistochemical analysis using alpha-chain-specific monoclonal antibodies supported this conclusion, since it revealed the absence of the alpha5(IV) and alpha6(IV) collagen chains in most but not all of the basement membranes of the smooth-muscle-cell tumor. We also documented a similar segmental staining pattern in the glomerular basement membranes of the patient's kidney. This study is particularly relevant to the understanding of DL pathogenesis and its etiology.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Diffuse oesophageal leiomyomatosis (DOL) is a rare disorder characterized by tumorous overgrowth of the muscular wall of the oesophagus. DOL is present in 5 % of Alport syndrome (AS) patients. AS is a rare hereditary disease that involves varying degrees of hearing impairment, ocular changes and progressive glomerulonephritis leading to renal failure. In DOL-AS patients, the genetic defect consists of a deletion involving the COL4A5 and COL4A6 genes on the X chromosome. CASE PRESENTATION: We report a two-generation family (4 individuals; parents and two children, one male and one female) with two members (mother and son) affected with oesophageal leiomyomatosis. Signs of potential renal failure, which characterizes AS, were only apparent in the index patient (son) 2 years and three months after the initial diagnosis of DOL. Blood DNA from the four family members were submitted to exome sequencing and array genotyping to perform a genome wide screening for disease causal single nucleotide (SN) and copy number (CN) variations. Analyses revealed a new 40kb deletion encompassing from intron 2 of COL4A5 to intron 1 of COL4A6 at Xq22.3. The breakpoints were also identified. Possible confounding pathogenic exonic variants in genes known to be involved in other extracellular matrices disorders were also shared by the two affected individuals. Meticulous analysis of the maternal DNA revealed a case of gonosomal mosaicism. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of gonadosomal mosaicism associated to DOL-AS.
Project description:Hereditary hearing loss is the most common human sensorineural disorder. Genetic causes are highly heterogeneous, with mutations detected in >40 genes associated with nonsyndromic hearing loss, to date. Whereas autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant inheritance is prevalent, X-linked forms of nonsyndromic hearing impairment are extremely rare. Here, we present a Hungarian three-generation family with X-linked nonsyndromic congenital hearing loss and the underlying genetic defect. Next-generation sequencing and subsequent segregation analysis detected a missense mutation (c.1771G>A, p.Gly591Ser) in the type IV collagen gene COL4A6 in all affected family members. Bioinformatic analysis and expression studies support this substitution as being causative. COL4A6 encodes the alpha-6 chain of type IV collagen of basal membranes, which forms a heterotrimer with two alpha-5 chains encoded by COL4A5. Whereas mutations in COL4A5 and contiguous X-chromosomal deletions involving COL4A5 and COL4A6 are associated with X-linked Alport syndrome, a nephropathy associated with deafness and cataract, mutations in COL4A6 alone have not been related to any hereditary disease so far. Moreover, our index patient and other affected family members show normal renal and ocular function, which is not consistent with Alport syndrome, but with a nonsyndromic type of hearing loss. In situ hybridization and immunostaining demonstrated expression of the COL4A6 homologs in the otic vesicle of the zebrafish and in the murine inner ear, supporting its role in normal ear development and function. In conclusion, our results suggest COL4A6 as being the fourth gene associated with X-linked nonsyndromic hearing loss.
Project description:X-linked Alport syndrome is a progressive nephropathy associated with mutations in the COL4A5 gene. The kidney usually lacks the alpha3-alpha6 chains of collagen type IV, although each is coded by a separate gene. The molecular basis for this loss remains unclear. In canine X-linked hereditary nephritis, a model for X-linked Alport syndrome, a COL4A5 mutation results in reduced mRNA levels for the alpha3, alpha4, and alpha5 chains in the kidney, implying a mechanism coordinating the production of these 3 chains. To examine whether production of alpha6 chain is under the same control, we studied smooth muscle cells from this animal model. We determined the canine COL4A5 and COL4A6 genes are separated by 435 bp, with two first exons for COL4A6 separated by 978 bp. These two regions are >/= 78% identical to the human sequences that have promoter activity. Despite this potential basis for coordinated transcription of the COL4A5 and COL4A6 genes, the alpha6 mRNA level remained normal in affected male dog smooth muscle while the alpha5 mRNA level was markedly reduced. However, both alpha5 and alpha6 chains were absent at the protein level. Our results suggest that production of the alpha6 chain is under a control mechanism separate from that coordinating the alpha3-alpha5 chains and that the lack of the alpha6 chain in Alport syndrome is related to a failure at the protein assembly level, raising the possibility that the alpha5 and alpha6 chains are present in the same network. The lack of the alpha6 chain does not obviously result in disease, in particular leiomyomatosis, as is seen in Alport patients with deletions involving the COL4A5 and COL4A6 genes.
Project description:Granule cells (GCs) are the major glutamatergic neurons in the cerebellum, and GC axon formation is an initial step in establishing functional cerebellar circuits. In the zebrafish cerebellum, GCs can be classified into rostromedial and caudolateral groups, according to the locations of their somata in the corresponding cerebellar lobes. The axons of the GCs in the caudolateral lobes terminate on crest cells in the dorsal hindbrain, as well as forming en passant synapses with Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. In the zebrafish mutant shiomaneki, the caudolateral GCs extend aberrant axons. Positional cloning revealed that the shiomaneki (sio) gene locus encodes Col4a6, a subunit of type IV collagen, which, in a complex with Col4a5, is a basement membrane (BM) component. Both col4a5 and col4a6 mutants displayed similar abnormalities in the axogenesis of GCs and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Although type IV collagen is reported to control axon targeting by regulating the concentration gradient of an axonal guidance molecule Slit, Slit overexpression did not affect the GC axons. The structure of the BM surrounding the tectum and dorsal hindbrain was disorganized in the col4a5 and col4a6 mutants. Moreover, the abnormal axogenesis of the caudolateral GCs and the RGCs was coupled with aberrant BM structures in the type IV collagen mutants. The regrowth of GC axons after experimental ablation revealed that the original and newly formed axons displayed similar branching and extension abnormalities in the col4a6 mutants. These results collectively suggest that type IV collagen controls GC axon formation by regulating the integrity of the BM, which provides axons with the correct path to their targets.
Project description:The genes for the alpha 5(IV) and alpha 6(IV) chains of human basement membrane collagen type IV have been found together on chromosome X at segment q22 and have been reported to be arranged in a head-to-head fashion. Here we report the 5' flanking sequences of COL4A5 and COL4A6 and that COL4A6 is transcribed from two alternative promoters in a tissue-specific fashion. Analysis of the sequence immediately upstream of the transcription start sites revealed some features of housekeeping genes--i.e., the lack of a TATA motif and the presence of CCAAT and CTC boxes. Further analysis revealed that COL4A6 contains two alternative promoters that control the generation of two different transcripts. One transcription start site (from exon 1') is 442 bp away from the transcription start site of COL4A5, while an alternative transcription start site (from exon 1) is located 1050 bp from the first one and drives the expression of a second transcript that encodes an alpha 6(IV) chain with a different signal peptide. Reverse transcription-PCR experiments revealed that the transcript from exon 1' is abundant in placenta, whereas the transcript from exon 1 is more frequently found in kidney and lung. These results provide additional clues to answering the general question of what mechanisms are used to generate unique basement membrane structures in different tissues.
Project description:Mutation-induced activation of splice sites in intronic repetitive sequences has contributed significantly to the evolution of exon-intron structure and genetic disease. Such events have been associated with mutations within transposable elements, most frequently in mutation hot-spots of Alus. Here, we report a case of Alu exonization resulting from a 367-nt genomic COL4A5 deletion that did not encompass any recognizable transposed element, leading to the Alport syndrome. The deletion brought to proximity the 5' splice site of COL4A5 exon 33 and a cryptic 3' splice site in an antisense AluY copy in intron 32. The fusion exon was depleted of purines and purine-rich splicing enhancers, but had low levels of intramolecular secondary structure, was flanked by short introns and had strong 5' and Alu-derived 3' splice sites, apparently compensating poor composition and context of the new exon. This case demonstrates that Alu splice sites can be activated by outlying deletions, highlighting Alu versatility in shaping the exon-intron organization and expanding the spectrum of mutational mechanisms that introduce repetitive sequences in mRNAs.
Project description:Haploinsufficiency of FOXF1 causes an autosomal dominant neonatally lethal lung disorder, alveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of pulmonary veins (ACDMPV). We identified novel 0.8-kb deletion within the 1.4-kb intron of FOXF1 in a deceased newborn diagnosed with ACDMPV. The deletion arose de novo on the maternal copy of the chromosome 16, and did not affect FOXF1 minigene splicing tested in lung fibroblasts. However, FOXF1 transcript level in the ACDMPV peripheral lung tissue was reduced by almost 40%. We found that, in an in vitro reporter assay, the FOXF1 intron exhibited moderate transcriptional enhancer activity, correlating with the presence of binding sites for expression regulators CTCF and CEBPB, whereas its truncated copy, which lost major CTCF and CEBPB-binding sites, inhibited the FOXF1 promoter. Our data further emphasize the importance of testing the non-protein coding regions of the genome currently not covered by diagnostic chromosomal microarray analyses or whole-exome sequencing.
Project description:Mutations in the COL4A5 gene, located at Xq22, cause Alport syndrome (AS), a nephritis characterized by progressive deterioration of the glomerular basement membrane and usually associated with progressive hearing loss. We have identified a novel mutation, L1649R, present in 9 of 121 independently ascertained families. Affected males shared the same haplotype of eight polymorphic markers tightly linked to COL4A5, indicating common ancestry. Genealogical studies place the birth of this ancestor >200 years ago. The L1649R mutation is a relatively common cause of Alport syndrome in the western United States, in part because of the rapid growth and migratory expansion of mid-nineteenth-century pioneer populations carrying the gene. L1649R affects a highly conserved residue in the NC1 domain, which is involved in key inter- and intramolecular interactions, but results in a relatively mild disease phenotype. Renal failure in an L1649R male typically occurs in the 4th or 5th decade and precedes the onset of significant hearing loss by approximately 10 years.
Project description:Disease-causing mutations that activate transposon-derived exons without creating a new splice-site consensus have been reported rarely, but they provided unique insights into our understanding of structural motifs required for inclusion of intronic sequences in mature transcripts.We employ a combination of experimental and computational techniques to characterize the first de novo bipartite exon activation in genetic disease.The exon originated from two separate introns as a result of an in-frame COL4A5 deletion associated with a typical Alport syndrome. The deletion encompassed exons 38 through 41 and activated a cryptic 3' and 5' splice site that were derived from intron 37 and intron 41, respectively. The deletion breakpoint was in the middle of the new exon, with considerable complementarity between the two exonic parts, potentially bringing the cryptic 3' and 5' splice site into proximity. The 3' splice site, polypyrimidine tract and the branch site of the new exon were derived from an inactive, 5' truncated LINE-1 retrotransposon. This ancient LINE-1 copy sustained a series of mutations that created the highly conserved AG dinucleotide at the 3' splice site early in primate development. The exon was fully included in mature transcripts and introduced a stop codon in the shortened COL4A5 mRNA, illustrating pitfalls of inferring disease severity from DNA mutation alone.These results expand the repertoire of mutational mechanisms that alter RNA processing in genetic disease and illustrate the extraordinary versatility of transposed elements in shaping the new exon-intron structure and the phenotypic variability.