Assessment of 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome implicates MBD5 as a single causal locus of intellectual disability, epilepsy, and autism spectrum disorder.
ABSTRACT: Persons with neurodevelopmental disorders or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often harbor chromosomal microdeletions, yet the individual genetic contributors within these regions have not been systematically evaluated. We established a consortium of clinical diagnostic and research laboratories to accumulate a large cohort with genetic alterations of chromosomal region 2q23.1 and acquired 65 subjects with microdeletion or translocation. We sequenced translocation breakpoints; aligned microdeletions to determine the critical region; assessed effects on mRNA expression; and examined medical records, photos, and clinical evaluations. We identified a single gene, methyl-CpG-binding domain 5 (MBD5), as the only locus that defined the critical region. Partial or complete deletion of MBD5 was associated with haploinsufficiency of mRNA expression, intellectual disability, epilepsy, and autistic features. Fourteen alterations, including partial deletions of noncoding regions not typically captured or considered pathogenic by current diagnostic screening, disrupted MBD5 alone. Expression profiles and clinical characteristics were largely indistinguishable between MBD5-specific alteration and deletion of the entire 2q23.1 interval. No copy-number alterations of MBD5 were observed in 7878 controls, suggesting MBD5 alterations are highly penetrant. We surveyed MBD5 coding variations among 747 ASD subjects compared to 2043 non-ASD subjects analyzed by whole-exome sequencing and detected an association with a highly conserved methyl-CpG-binding domain missense variant, p.79Gly>Glu (c.236G>A) (p = 0.012). These results suggest that genetic alterations of MBD5 cause features of 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome and that this epigenetic regulator significantly contributes to ASD risk, warranting further consideration in research and clinical diagnostic screening and highlighting the importance of chromatin remodeling in the etiology of these complex disorders.
Project description:2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome is characterized by intellectual disability, motor delay, autistic-like behaviors, and a distinctive craniofacial phenotype. All patients carry a partial or total deletion of methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 5 (MBD5), suggesting that haploinsufficiency of this gene is responsible for the phenotype. To confirm this hypothesis and to examine the role of MBD5 in vivo, we have generated and characterized an Mbd5 gene-trap mouse model. Our study indicates that the Mbd5(+/) (GT) mouse model recapitulates most of the hallmark phenotypes observed in 2q23.1 deletion carriers including abnormal social behavior, cognitive impairment, and motor and craniofacial abnormalities. In addition, neuronal cultures uncovered a deficiency in neurite outgrowth. These findings support a causal role of MBD5 in 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome and suggest a role for MBD5 in neuronal processes. The Mbd5(+/) (GT) mouse model will advance our understanding of the abnormal brain development underlying the emergence of 2q23.1 deletion-associated behavioral and cognitive symptoms.
Project description:2Iq23.1 microdeletion syndrome is a recently described rare disease that includes intellectual disability, motor delay, autistic-like behaviors, and craniofacial abnormalities. Dosage insufficiency of the methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 5 (MBD5) gene was suggested as the genetic cause, since all the described patients carry a partial or total heterozygous deletion of MBD5. We reported the generation and characterization of a mouse model with haploinsufficiency for Mbd5 that confirmed this hypothesis. As in human 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome, the MBD5 (+/GT) mouse model exhibited abnormal social behavior, cognitive impairment, and motor and craniofacial abnormalities, supporting a causal role for MBD5 in 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. The use of mouse neuronal cultures uncovered a deficiency in neurite outgrowth, suggesting the participation of MBD5 in neuronal processes. The study of the MBD5 (+/GT) mouse advanced our understanding of the abnormal brain development associated with behavioral and cognitive symptoms.
Project description:Copy number variations associated with abnormal gene dosage have an important role in the genetic etiology of many neurodevelopmental disorders, including intellectual disability (ID) and autism. We hypothesize that the chromosome 2q23.1 region encompassing MBD5 is a dosage-dependent region, wherein deletion or duplication results in altered gene dosage. We previously established the 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome and report herein 23 individuals with 2q23.1 duplications, thus establishing a complementary duplication syndrome. The observed phenotype includes ID, language impairments, infantile hypotonia and gross motor delay, behavioral problems, autistic features, dysmorphic facial features (pinnae anomalies, arched eyebrows, prominent nose, small chin, thin upper lip), and minor digital anomalies (fifth finger clinodactyly and large broad first toe). The microduplication size varies among all cases and ranges from 68 kb to 53.7 Mb, encompassing a region that includes MBD5, an important factor in methylation patterning and epigenetic regulation. We previously reported that haploinsufficiency of MBD5 is the primary causal factor in 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome and that mutations in MBD5 are associated with autism. In this study, we demonstrate that MBD5 is the only gene in common among all duplication cases and that overexpression of MBD5 is likely responsible for the core clinical features present in 2q23.1 microduplication syndrome. Phenotypic analyses suggest that 2q23.1 duplication results in a slightly less severe phenotype than the reciprocal deletion. The features associated with a deletion, mutation or duplication of MBD5 and the gene expression changes observed support MBD5 as a dosage-sensitive gene critical for normal development.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Microdeletions of 2q23.1 disrupting MBD5 and loss of function mutations of MBD5 cause MBD5-Associated Neurodevelopmental disorders (MAND). Nearly all reported patients have been isolated cases of de novo origin. METHODS:This study investigates three families with inherited MBD5 mutations from three different Regional Genetics Centres in the UK. RESULTS:Two of the parents in the study had MBD5 deletions in a mosaic form. The parent with an MBD5 deletion in an apparently nonmosaic form has a psychiatric disorder in the absence of developmental delay or dysmorphism. CONCLUSIONS:Inherited forms of MBD5 deletions are rare, but do occur, especially in a mosaic form. The phenotypic spectrum of MAND may be wider than previously thought.
Project description:We report on two patients with developmental delay, hypotonia, and autistic features associated with duplications of chromosome region 2q23.1-2q23.2 detected by chromosome microarray analysis. The duplications include one OMIM Morbid Map gene, MBD5, as well as seven known RefSeq genes (ACVR2A, ORC4L, EPC2, KIF5C, MIR1978, LYPD6B, and LYPD6). MBD5 lies in the minimum area of overlap of the 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. This report provides the first detailed clinical examination of two individuals with a duplication of this region and suggests that brain development and cognitive function may be affected by an increased dosage of the genes involved.
Project description:Roughly 20% of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are syndromic with a well-established genetic cause. Studying the genes involved can provide insight into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ASD. 2q23.1 deletion syndrome (causative gene, MBD5) is a recently identified genetic neurodevelopmental disorder associated with ASD. Mutations in MBD5 have been found in ASD cohorts. In this study, we provide a phenotypic update on the prevalent features of 2q23.1 deletion syndrome, which include severe intellectual disability, seizures, significant speech impairment, sleep disturbance, and autistic-like behavioral problems. Next, we examined the phenotypic, molecular, and network/pathway relationships between nine neurodevelopmental disorders associated with ASD: 2q23.1 deletion Rett, Angelman, Pitt-Hopkins, 2q23.1 duplication, 5q14.3 deletion, Kleefstra, Kabuki make-up, and Smith-Magenis syndromes. We show phenotypic overlaps consisting of intellectual disability, speech delay, seizures, sleep disturbance, hypotonia, and autistic-like behaviors. Molecularly, MBD5 possibly regulates the expression of UBE3A, TCF4, MEF2C, EHMT1 and RAI1. Network analysis reveals that there could be indirect protein interactions, further implicating function for these genes in common pathways. Further, we show that when MBD5 and RAI1 are haploinsufficient, they perturb several common pathways that are linked to neuronal and behavioral development. These findings support further investigations into the molecular and pathway relationships among genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders and ASD, which will hopefully lead to common points of regulation that may be targeted toward therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Six submicroscopic deletions comprising chromosome band 2q23.1 in patients with severe mental retardation (MR), short stature, microcephaly and epilepsy have been reported, suggesting that haploinsufficiency of one or more genes in the 2q23.1 region might be responsible for the common phenotypic features in these patients. In this study, we report the molecular and clinical characterisation of nine new 2q23.1 deletion patients and a clinical update on two previously reported patients. All patients were mentally retarded with pronounced speech delay and additional abnormalities including short stature, seizures, microcephaly and coarse facies. The majority of cases presented with stereotypic repetitive behaviour, a disturbed sleep pattern and a broad-based gait. These features led to the initial clinical impression of Angelman, Rett or Smith-Magenis syndromes in several patients. The overlapping 2q23.1 deletion region in all 15 patients comprises only one gene, namely, MBD5. Interestingly, MBD5 is a member of the methyl CpG-binding domain protein family, which also comprises MECP2, mutated in Rett's syndrome. Another gene in the 2q23.1 region, EPC2, was deleted in 12 patients who had a broader phenotype than those with a deletion of MBD5 only. EPC2 is a member of the polycomb protein family, involved in heterochromatin formation and might be involved in causing MR. Patients with a 2q23.1 microdeletion present with a variable phenotype and the diagnosis should be considered in mentally retarded children with coarse facies, seizures, disturbed sleeping patterns and additional specific behavioural problems.
Project description:BACKGROUND:MBD5, encoding the methyl-CpG-binding domain 5 protein, has been proposed as a necessary and sufficient driver of the 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. De novo missense and protein-truncating variants from exome sequencing studies have directly implicated MBD5 in the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). However, little is known concerning the specific function(s) of MBD5. METHODS:To gain insight into the complex interactions associated with alteration of MBD5 in individuals with ASD and related NDDs, we explored the transcriptional landscape of MBD5 haploinsufficiency across multiple mouse brain regions of a heterozygous hypomorphic Mbd5+/GT mouse model, and compared these results to CRISPR-mediated mutations of MBD5 in human iPSC-derived neuronal models. RESULTS:Gene expression analyses across three brain regions from Mbd5+/GT mice showed subtle transcriptional changes, with cortex displaying the most widespread changes following Mbd5 reduction, indicating context-dependent effects. Comparison with MBD5 reduction in human neuronal cells reinforced the context-dependence of gene expression changes due to MBD5 deficiency. Gene co-expression network analyses revealed gene clusters that were associated with reduced MBD5 expression and enriched for terms related to ciliary function. LIMITATIONS:These analyses included a limited number of mouse brain regions and neuronal models, and the effects of the gene knockdown are subtle. As such, these results will not reflect the full extent of MBD5 disruption across human brain regions during early neurodevelopment in ASD, or capture the diverse spectrum of cell-type-specific changes associated with MBD5 alterations. CONCLUSIONS:Our study points to modest and context-dependent transcriptional consequences of Mbd5 disruption in the brain. It also suggests a possible link between MBD5 and perturbations in ciliary function, which is an established pathogenic mechanism in developmental disorders and syndromes.
Project description:Microdeletions of chromosomal region 2q23.1 that disrupt MBD5 (methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 5) contribute to a spectrum of neurodevelopmental phenotypes; however, the impact of this locus on human psychopathology has not been fully explored. To characterize the structural variation landscape of MBD5 disruptions and the associated human psychopathology, 22 individuals with genomic disruption of MBD5 (translocation, point mutation and deletion) were identified through whole-genome sequencing or cytogenomic microarray at 11 molecular diagnostic centers. The genomic impact ranged from a single base pair to 5.4?Mb. Parents were available for 11 cases, all of which confirmed that the rearrangement arose de novo. Phenotypes were largely indistinguishable between patients with full-segment 2q23.1 deletions and those with intragenic MBD5 rearrangements, including alterations confined entirely to the 5'-untranslated region, confirming the critical impact of non-coding sequence at this locus. We identified heterogeneous, multisystem pathogenic effects of MBD5 disruption and characterized the associated spectrum of psychopathology, including the novel finding of anxiety and bipolar disorder in multiple patients. Importantly, one of the unique features of the oldest known patient was behavioral regression. Analyses also revealed phenotypes that distinguish MBD5 disruptions from seven well-established syndromes with significant diagnostic overlap. This study demonstrates that haploinsufficiency of MBD5 causes diverse phenotypes, yields insight into the spectrum of resulting neurodevelopmental and behavioral psychopathology and provides clinical context for interpretation of MBD5 structural variations. Empirical evidence also indicates that disruption of non-coding MBD5 regulatory regions is sufficient for clinical manifestation, highlighting the limitations of exon-focused assessments. These results suggest an ongoing perturbation of neurological function throughout the lifespan, including risks for neurobehavioral regression.
Project description:Intellectual disability (ID) is a clinical sign reflecting diverse neurodevelopmental disorders that are genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous. Just recently, partial or complete deletion of methyl-CpG-binding domain 5 (MBD5) gene has been implicated as causative in the phenotype associated with 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. In the course of systematic whole-genome screening of individuals with unexplained ID by array-based comparative genomic hybridization, we identified de novo intragenic deletions of MBD5 in three patients leading, as previously documented, to haploinsufficiency of MBD5. In addition, we described a patient with an unreported de novo MBD5 intragenic duplication. Reverse transcriptase-PCR and sequencing analyses showed the presence of numerous aberrant transcripts leading to premature termination codon. To further elucidate the involvement of MBD5 in ID, we sequenced ten coding, five non-coding exons and an evolutionary conserved region in intron 2, in a selected cohort of 78 subjects with a phenotype reminiscent of 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. Besides variants most often inherited from an healthy parent, we identified for the first time a de novo nonsense mutation associated with a much more damaging phenotype. Taken together, these results extend the mutation spectrum in MBD5 gene and contribute to refine the associated phenotype of neurodevelopmental disorder.