Alstrom Syndrome protein ALMS1 localizes to basal bodies of cochlear hair cells and regulates cilium-dependent planar cell polarity.
ABSTRACT: Alström Syndrome is a life-threatening disease characterized primarily by numerous metabolic abnormalities, retinal degeneration, cardiomyopathy, kidney and liver disease, and sensorineural hearing loss. The cellular localization of the affected protein, ALMS1, has suggested roles in ciliary function and/or ciliogenesis. We have investigated the role of ALMS1 in the cochlea and the pathogenesis of hearing loss in Alström Syndrome. In neonatal rat organ of Corti, ALMS1 was localized to the basal bodies of hair cells and supporting cells. ALMS1 was also evident at the basal bodies of differentiating fibrocytes and marginal cells in the lateral wall. Centriolar ALMS1 expression was retained into maturity. In Alms1-disrupted mice, which recapitulate the neurosensory deficits of human Alström Syndrome, cochleae displayed several cyto-architectural defects including abnormalities in the shape and orientation of hair cell stereociliary bundles. Developing hair cells were ciliated, suggesting that ciliogenesis was largely normal. In adult mice, in addition to bundle abnormalities, there was an accelerated loss of outer hair cells and the progressive appearance of large lesions in stria vascularis. Although the mice progressively lost distortion product otoacoustic emissions, suggesting defects in outer hair cell amplification, their endocochlear potentials were normal, indicating the strial atrophy did not affect its function. These results identify previously unrecognized cochlear histopathologies associated with this ciliopathy that (i) implicate ALMS1 in planar cell polarity signaling and (ii) suggest that the loss of outer hair cells causes the majority of the hearing loss in Alström Syndrome.
Project description:Premature truncation alleles in the ALMS1 gene are a frequent cause of human Alström syndrome. Alström syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by early obesity and sensory impairment, symptoms shared with other genetic diseases affecting proteins of the primary cilium. ALMS1 localizes to centrosomes and ciliary basal bodies, but truncation mutations in Alms1/ALMS1 do not preclude formation of cilia. Here, we show that in vitro knockdown of Alms1 in mice causes stunted cilia on kidney epithelial cells and prevents these cells from increasing calcium influx in response to mechanical stimuli. The stunted-cilium phenotype can be rescued with a 5' fragment of the Alms1 cDNA, which resembles disease-associated alleles. In a mouse model of Alström syndrome, Alms1 protein can be stably expressed from the mutant allele and is required for cilia formation in primary cells. Aged mice developed specific loss of cilia from the kidney proximal tubules, which is associated with foci of apoptosis or proliferation. As renal failure is a common cause of mortality in Alström syndrome patients, we conclude that this disease should be considered as a further example of the class of renal ciliopathies: wild-type or mutant alleles of the Alström syndrome gene can support normal kidney ciliogenesis in vitro and in vivo, but mutant alleles are associated with age-dependent loss of kidney primary cilia.
Project description:Alström syndrome is a clinically complex disorder characterized by childhood retinal degeneration leading to blindness, sensorineural hearing loss, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiomyopathy, systemic fibrosis, and pulmonary, hepatic, and renal failure. Alström syndrome is caused by recessively inherited mutations in the ALMS1 gene, which codes for a putative ciliary protein. Alström syndrome is characterized by extensive allelic heterogeneity, however, founder effects have been observed in some populations. To date, more than 100 causative ALMS1 mutations have been identified, mostly frameshift and non-sense alterations resulting in termination signals in ALMS1. Here, we report a complex Turkish kindred in which sequence analysis uncovered an insertion of a novel 333 basepair Alu Ya5 SINE retrotransposon in the ALMS1 coding sequence, a previously unrecognized mechanism underlying the mutations causing Alström syndrome. It is extraordinarily rare to encounter the insertion of an Alu retrotransposon in the coding sequence of a gene. The high frequency of the mutant ALMS1 allele in this isolated population suggests that this recent retrotransposition event spreads quickly, and may be used as a model to study the population dynamics of deleterious alleles in isolated communities.
Project description:Mutations in the human ALMS1 gene cause Alström syndrome (AS), a progressive disease characterized by neurosensory deficits and by metabolic defects including childhood obesity, hyperinsulinemia and Type 2 diabetes. Other features that are more variable in expressivity include dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia, scoliosis, developmental delay and pulmonary and urological dysfunctions. ALMS1 encodes a ubiquitously expressed protein of unknown function. To obtain an animal model in which the etiology of the observed pathologies could be further studied, we generated a mouse model using an Alms1 gene-trapped ES cell line. Alms1-/- mice develop features similar to patients with AS, including obesity, hypogonadism, hyperinsulinemia, retinal dysfunction and late-onset hearing loss. Insulin resistance and increased body weight are apparent between 8 and 12 weeks of age, with hyperglycemia manifesting at approximately 16 weeks of age. In addition, Alms1-/- mice have normal hearing until 8 months of age, after which they display abnormal auditory brainstem responses. Diminished cone ERG b-wave response is observed early, followed by the degeneration of photoreceptor cells. Electron microscopy revealed accumulation of intracellular vesicles in the inner segments of photoreceptors, whereas immunohistochemical analysis showed mislocalization of rhodopsin to the outer nuclear layer. These findings suggest that ALMS1 has a role in intracellular trafficking.
Project description:Alström syndrome (AS) is a rare autosomal recessive ciliopathy caused by mutations in the ALMS1 gene. Hallmark characteristics include childhood onset of severe retinal degeneration, sensorineural hearing loss, obesity, insulin-resistant diabetes, and cardiomyopathy. Here we comprehensively characterize the auditory and otologic manifestations in a prospective case series of 38 individuals, aged 1.7-37.9 years, with genetically confirmed AS. Hearing loss was preceded by retinal dystrophy in all cases, and had an average age of detection of 7.45 years (range 1.5-15). Audiometric assessments showed mean pure tone averages (0.5, 1, 2, 4?kHz) of 48.6 and 47.5?dB HL in the right and left ears, respectively. Hearing was within normal limits for only 8/74 ears (11%). For the 66 ears with hearing loss, the degree was mild (12%), moderate (54%), or severe (8%). Type of hearing loss was predominantly sensorineural (77%), while three ears had mixed loss, no ears had conductive loss, and type of hearing loss was indeterminate for the remaining 12 ears. Serial audiograms available for 33 patients showed hearing loss progression of approximately 10-15?dB/decade. Our data show that hearing loss associated with AS begins in childhood and is a predominantly symmetric, sensory hearing loss that may progress to a severe degree. Absent otoacoustic emissions, intact speech discrimination, and disproportionately normal auditory brainstem responses suggest an outer hair cell site of lesion. These findings indicate that individuals with AS would benefit from sound amplification and if necessary, cochlear implantation.
Project description:Alström syndrome is a rare disorder typified by early childhood obesity, neurosensory deficits, cardiomyopathy, progressive renal and hepatic dysfunction, and endocrinological features such as severe insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and hypogonadism. Widespread fibrosis leads to multiple organ failure. Mutations in ALMS1 cause Alström syndrome. Two age-matched, unrelated adolescent males of Serbian descent with Alström syndrome underwent an extensive workup of blood chemistries, and ophthalmological, audiological, and genetic evaluations. Although both showed typical features of Alström syndrome in childhood, several differences were observed that have not been reported previously. Patient 1 was first studied at the age of 13 years for multisystemic disease and re-evaluated at the age of 15.5 years. Patient 2 is a 15-year-old boy who presented at birth with epilepsy and psychomotor developmental delay and generalized tonic-clonic seizures with severe cognitive impairment, features not documented previously in this syndrome. Sequencing analysis indicated two novel ALMS1 mutations in exon 8: p.E1055GfsX4 and p.T1386NfsX15. Metabolic and physiological similarities were observed in both patients, including severe insulin resistance, and truncal obesity with fat loss suggestive of partial lipodystrophy, supporting evidence for a role for ALMS1 in adipose tissue function. The unusual phenotypes of clonic-tonic seizures and severe cognitive abnormalities and lipodystrophy-like adiposity pattern have not been documented previously in Alström syndrome and may be an under-reported abnormality.
Project description:Alström syndrome (ALMS) is a progressive multi-systemic disorder characterized by cone-rod dystrophy, sensorineural hearing loss, childhood obesity, insulin resistance and cardiac, renal, and hepatic dysfunction. The gene responsible for Alström syndrome, ALMS1, is ubiquitously expressed and has multiple splice variants. The protein encoded by this gene has been implicated in ciliary function, cell cycle control, and intracellular transport. To gain better insight into the pathways through which ALMS1 functions, we carried out a yeast two hybrid (Y2H) screen in several mouse tissue libraries to identify ALMS1 interacting partners. The majority of proteins found to interact with the murine carboxy-terminal end (19/32) of ALMS1 were ?-actinin isoforms. Interestingly, several of the identified ALMS1 interacting partners (?-actinin 1, ?-actinin 4, myosin Vb, rad50 interacting 1 and huntingtin associated protein1A) have been previously associated with endosome recycling and/or centrosome function. We examined dermal fibroblasts from human subjects bearing a disruption in ALMS1 for defects in the endocytic pathway. Fibroblasts from these patients had a lower uptake of transferrin and reduced clearance of transferrin compared to controls. Antibodies directed against ALMS1 N- and C-terminal epitopes label centrosomes and endosomal structures at the cleavage furrow of dividing MDCK cells, respectively, suggesting isoform-specific cellular functions. Our results suggest a role for ALMS1 variants in the recycling endosome pathway and give us new insights into the pathogenesis of a subset of clinical phenotypes associated with ALMS.
Project description:Alström syndrome (AS) is a type of monogenic syndromic ciliopathy disease. The main clinical features of AS include cone?rod malnutrition, sensorineural hearing loss, metabolic dysfunctions and multiple organ failure, which are caused by mutations of Alström syndrome protein 1 (ALMS1) gene. The current study aimed to identify pathogenic variants in a Chinese patient with AS and to review the relevant literature. Genomic DNA extracted from a 10?year?old male with AS was evaluated using a disease?targeted gene panel. According to the bioinformatics analysis, the current study identified a novel frameshift mutation in exon 8 (c.2988_2989del, p.T996fs) and a rare nonsense mutation in exon 10 (c.9535C>T, p.R3179*) of the ALMS1 gene. Both parents were heterozygous carriers of this gene. To the best of our knowledge, these mutations have not been reported in normal population databases. According to the criteria of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, the mutations were pathogenic. Based on these findings, amniotic fluid sample was used for prenatal diagnosis of the couple's fetus, and it was observed that the fetus carried c.9535C>T, and not c.2988del. During the follow?up duration of >2 years of the fetus, it was confirmed that he was a healthy male. The results of the present study identified two compound heterozygous ALMS1 mutations in a patient with the symptoms of Alström syndrome and reported a novel ALMS1 variant which expands the spectrum of ALMS1 variants in AS.
Project description:Alström syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder characterized by cone-rod dystrophy, hearing loss, childhood truncal obesity, insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, type 2 diabetes, hypertriglyceridemia, short stature in adulthood, cardiomyopathy, and progressive pulmonary, hepatic, and renal dysfunction. Symptoms first appear in infancy and progressive development of multi-organ pathology leads to a reduced life expectancy. Variability in age of onset and severity of clinical symptoms, even within families, is likely due to genetic background.Alström syndrome is caused by mutations in ALMS1, a large gene comprised of 23 exons and coding for a protein of 4,169 amino acids. In general, ALMS1 gene defects include insertions, deletions, and nonsense mutations leading to protein truncations and found primarily in exons 8, 10 and 16. Multiple alternate splice forms exist. ALMS1 protein is found in centrosomes, basal bodies, and cytosol of all tissues affected by the disease. The identification of ALMS1 as a ciliary protein explains the range of observed phenotypes and their similarity to those of other ciliopathies such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome.Studies involving murine and cellular models of Alström syndrome have provided insight into the pathogenic mechanisms underlying obesity and type 2 diabetes, and other clinical problems. Ultimately, research into the pathogenesis of Alström syndrome should lead to better management and treatments for individuals, and have potentially important ramifications for other rare ciliopathies, as well as more common causes of obesity and diabetes, and other conditions common in the general population.
Project description:Alström syndrome (ALMS) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by multiple organ involvement, including neurosensory vision and hearing loss, childhood obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiomyopathy, hypogonadism, and pulmonary, hepatic, renal failure and systemic fibrosis. Alström Syndrome is caused by mutations in ALMS1, and ALMS1 protein is thought to have a role in microtubule organization, intraflagellar transport, endosome recycling and cell cycle regulation. Here, we report extensive phenotypic and genetic analysis of a large cohort of Turkish patients with ALMS. We evaluated 61 Turkish patients, including 11 previously reported, for both clinical spectrum and mutations in ALMS1. To reveal the molecular diagnosis of the patients, different approaches were used in combination, a cohort of patients were screened by the gene array to detect the common mutations in ALMS1 gene, then in patients having any of the common ALMS1 mutations were subjected to direct DNA sequencing or next-generation sequencing for the screening of mutations in all coding regions of the gene. In total, 20 distinct disease-causing nucleotide changes in ALMS1 have been identified, eight of which are novel, thereby increasing the reported ALMS1 mutations by 6% (8/120). Five disease-causing variants were identified in more than one kindred, but most of the alleles were unique to each single patient and identified only once (16/20). So far, 16 mutations identified were specific to the Turkish population, and four have also been reported in other ethnicities. In addition, 49 variants of uncertain pathogenicity were noted, and four of these were very rare and probably or likely deleterious according to in silico mutation prediction analyses. ALMS has a relatively high incidence in Turkey and the present study shows that the ALMS1 mutations are largely heterogeneous; thus, these data from a particular population may provide a unique source for the identification of additional mutations underlying Alström Syndrome and contribute to genotype-phenotype correlation studies.
Project description:Alström syndrome and Bardet-Biedl syndrome are autosomal recessively inherited ciliopathies with common characteristics of obesity, diabetes, and blindness. Alström syndrome is caused by a mutation in the ALMS1 gene, and Bardet-Biedl syndrome is caused by mutations in BBS1-16 genes. Herein we report genetically confirmed cases of Alström syndrome and Bardet-Biedl syndrome in Korea using whole exome sequencing.Exome capture was done using SureSelect Human All Exon Kit V4+UTRs (Agilent Technologies). HiSeq2000 system (Illumina) was used for massive parallel sequencing. Sanger sequencing was used for genotype confirmation and familial cosegregation analysis.A 21-year old Korean woman was clinically diagnosed with Alström syndrome. She had diabetes, blindness, obesity, severe insulin resistance, and hearing loss. Whole exome sequencing revealed a nonsense mutation in exon 10 of ALMS1 (c.8776C>T, p.R2926X) and a seven base-pair deletion resulting in frameshift mutation in exon 8 (c.6410_6416del, p.2137_2139del). A 24-year-old Korean man had Bardet-Biedl syndrome with diabetes, blindness, obesity, and a history of polydactyly. Whole exome sequencing revealed a nonsynonymous mutation in exon 11 of the BBS1 gene (c.1061A>G, p.E354G) and mutation at the normal splicing recognition site of exon 7 of the BBS1 gene (c.519-1G>T).We found novel compound heterozygous mutations of Alström syndrome and Bardet-Biedl syndrome using whole exome sequencing. The whole exome sequencing successfully identified novel genetic variants of ciliopathy-associated diabetes.