Telomere phenotypes in females with heterozygous mutations in the dyskeratosis congenita 1 (DKC1) gene.
ABSTRACT: Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a telomere-mediated syndrome defined by mucocutaneous features. The X-linked mode of inheritance accounts for half the cases, and is thought to predominantly manifest in childhood as bone marrow failure. We identified two male probands who presented in the fifth decade with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and cancer. Their pedigrees displayed consecutively affected generations. Five of six females (83%) manifested mucocutaneous features of DC, and two had wound-healing complications. No mutations in autosomal dominant telomere genes were present, but exome sequencing revealed novel variants in the X-chromosome DKC1 gene that predicted missense mutations in conserved residues, p.Thr49Ser and p.Pro409Arg. Variants segregated with the telomere phenotype, and affected females were heterozygotes, showing skewed X-inactivation. Telomerase RNA levels were compromised in cells from DKC1 mutation carriers, consistent with their pathogenic role. These findings indicate that females with heterozygous DKC1 mutations may be at increased risk for developing penetrant telomere phenotypes that, at times, may be associated with clinical morbidity.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a rare inherited syndrome exhibiting marked clinical and genetic heterogeneity. It is characterised by mucocutaneous abnormalities, bone marrow failure and a predisposition to cancer. Bone marrow failure is the principal cause of premature mortality. Studies over the last 10 years have demonstrated that DC is principally a disease of defective telomere maintenance. All DC patients have very short telomeres and the genetically characterised cases of DC have mutations in six genes which either encode components of the telomerase complex (DKC1, TERC, TERT, NOP10, NHP2) or shelterin (TINF2); these are important in the elongation and protection of the telomeric end, respectively. These advances have led to the recognition of cryptic forms of DC, such as presentations with aplastic anaemia and myelodysplasia. They have also increased our understanding of normal haematopoiesis and provided new insights to the aetiology of some cases of aplastic anaemia and related haematological disorders.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a rare genetic disorder of bone marrow failure inherited in an X-linked, autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive pattern. It has a wide array of clinical features and patients may be cared for by many medical sub specialties. The typical clinical features consist of lacy reticular skin pigmentation, nail dystrophy and oral leukoplakia. As the disease advances, patients may develop progressive bone marrow failure, pulmonary fibrosis, oesophageal stenosis, urethral stenosis, liver cirrhosis as well as haematological and solid malignancies. Several genes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of dyskeratosis congenita, with the dyskerin pseudouridine synthase 1 (DKC1) gene mutations being the X-linked recessive gene. CASE PRESENTATION:Herein, we report a 31-year-old male with history of recurrent febrile episodes who was found to have reticulate skin pigmentation interspersed with hypopigmented macules involving the face, neck and extremities, hyperkeratosis of palms and soles, nail dystrophy, leukoplakia of the tongue, premature graying of hair, watery eyes and dental caries. Several of his male relatives, including two maternal uncles and three maternal cousins were affected with a similar type of disease condition. Pedigree analysis suggested a possible X-linked pattern of inheritance. Genetic testing in the proband showed a novel hemizygous, non-synonymous likely pathogenic variant [NM_001363.4: c.1054A?>?G: p.Thr352Ala] in the PUA domain of the DKC1 gene. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction for relative telomere length measurements performed in the proband showed that he had very short telomeres [0.38, compared to a control median of 0.71 (range 0.44-1.19)], which is consistent with the DC diagnosis. Co-segregation analysis of the novel mutation and telomere length measurements in the extended family members could not be performed as they were unwilling to provide consent for testing. CONCLUSIONS:The novel variant detected in the DKC1 gene adds further to the existing scientific literature on the genotype-phenotype correlation of DC, and has important implications for the clinical and molecular characterization of the disease.
Project description:RNA modifications play a fundamental role in cellular function. Pseudouridylation, the most abundant RNA modification, is catalyzed by the H/ACA small ribonucleoprotein (snoRNP) complex that shares four core proteins, dyskerin (DKC1), NOP10, NHP2, and GAR1. Mutations in DKC1, NOP10, or NHP2 cause dyskeratosis congenita (DC), a disorder characterized by telomere attrition. Here, we report a phenotype comprising nephrotic syndrome, cataracts, sensorineural deafness, enterocolitis, and early lethality in two pedigrees: males with DKC1 p.Glu206Lys and two children with homozygous NOP10 p.Thr16Met. Females with heterozygous DKC1 p.Glu206Lys developed cataracts and sensorineural deafness, but nephrotic syndrome in only one case of skewed X-inactivation. We found telomere attrition in both pedigrees, but no mucocutaneous abnormalities suggestive of DC. Both mutations fall at the dyskerin-NOP10 binding interface in a region distinct from those implicated in DC, impair the dyskerin-NOP10 interaction, and disrupt the catalytic pseudouridylation site. Accordingly, we found reduced pseudouridine levels in the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) of the patients. Zebrafish dkc1 mutants recapitulate the human phenotype and show reduced 18S pseudouridylation, ribosomal dysregulation, and a cell-cycle defect in the absence of telomere attrition. We therefore propose that this human disorder is the consequence of defective snoRNP pseudouridylation and ribosomal dysfunction.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a syndrome resulting from defective telomere maintenance. Immunodeficiency associated with DC can cause significant morbidity and lead to premature mortality, but the immunological characteristics and molecular hallmark of DC patients, especially young patients, have not been described in detail. METHODS:We summarize the clinical data of two juvenile patients with DC. Gene mutations were identified by whole-exome and direct sequencing. Swiss-PdbViewer was used to predict the pathogenicity of identified mutations. The relative telomere length was determined by QPCR, and a comprehensive analysis of lymphocyte subsets and CD57 expression was performed by flow cytometry. RESULTS:Both patients showed typical features of DC without severe infection. In addition, patient 1 (P1) was diagnosed with Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson syndrome due to cerebellar hypoplasia. Gene sequencing showed P1 had a compound heterozygous mutation (c.204G > T and c.178-245del) in PARN and P2 had a novel hemizygous mutation in DKC1 (c.1051A > G). Lymphocyte subset analysis showed B and NK cytopenia, an inverted CD4:CD8 ratio, and decreased naïve CD4 and CD8 cells. A significant increase in CD21low B cells and skewed numbers of helper T cells (Th), regulatory T cells (Treg), follicular regulatory T cells (Tfr), and follicular helper T cells (Tfh) were also detected. Short telomere lengths, increased CD57 expression, and an expansion of CD8 effector memory T cells re-expressing CD45RA (TEMRA) were also found in both patients. CONCLUSION:Unique immunologic abnormalities, CD8 T-cell senescence, and shortened telomere together as a hallmark occur in young DC patients before progression to severe disease.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome associated with characteristic mucocutaneous features and a variable series of other somatic abnormalities. The disease is heterogeneous at the genetic and clinical levels. Determination of the genetic basis of DC has established that the disease is caused by a number of genes, all of which encode products involved in telomere maintenance, either as part of telomerase or as part of the shelterin complex that caps and protects telomeres. There is overlap at the genetic and clinical levels with other, more common conditions, including aplastic anemia (AA), pulmonary fibrosis (PF), and liver cirrhosis. Although part of the spectrum of disorders known to be associated with DC, it has emerged that mutations in telomere maintenance genes can lead to the development of AA and PF in the absence of other DC features. Here we discuss the genetics of DC and its relationship to disease presentation.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a multisystem bone marrow failure syndrome characterized by a triad of mucocutaneous abnormalities and an increased predisposition to malignancy. X-linked DC is due to mutations in DKC1, while heterozygous mutations in TERC (telomerase RNA component) and TERT (telomerase reverse transcriptase) have been found in autosomal dominant DC. Many patients with DC remain uncharacterized, particularly families displaying autosomal recessive (AR) inheritance. We have now identified novel homozygous TERT mutations in 2 unrelated consanguineous families, where the index cases presented with classical DC or the more severe variant, Hoyeraal-Hreidarsson (HH) syndrome. These TERT mutations resulted in reduced telomerase activity and extremely short telomeres. As these mutations are homozygous, these patients are predicted to have significantly reduced telomerase activity in vivo. Interestingly, in contrast to patients with heterozygous TERT mutations or hemizygous DKC1 mutations, these 2 homozygous TERT patients were observed to have higher-than-expected TERC levels compared with controls. Collectively, the findings from this study demonstrate that homozygous TERT mutations, resulting in a pure but severe telomerase deficiency, produce a phenotype of classical AR-DC and its severe variant, the HH syndrome.
Project description:Reduced levels of TERC, the telomerase RNA component, cause dyskeratosis congenita (DC) in patients harboring mutations in TERC, PARN, NOP10, NHP2, NAF1, or DKC1. Inhibition of the noncanonical poly(A) polymerase PAPD5, or the exosome RNA degradation complex, partially restores TERC levels in immortalized DKC1 mutant cells, but it remains unknown if modulation of posttranscriptional processing of TERC could improve hematopoietic output in DC. We used human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) with a common dyskerin mutation (DKC1_A353V), which have defective telomere maintenance and reduced definitive hematopoietic potential, to understand the effects of reducing EXOSC3 activity, or silencing PAPD5-mediated oligoadenylation, on hematopoietic progenitor specification and function in DC. Reduction of EXOSC3 or PAPD5 levels in DKC1 mutant hESCs led to functional improvements in TERC levels and telomerase activity, with concomitant telomere elongation and reduced levels of DNA damage signaling. Interestingly, the silencing of PAPD5, but not EXOSC3, significantly restored definitive hematopoietic potential in DKC1 mutant cells. Mechanistically, we show that PAPD5 inhibition is sustained in differentiated CD34+ cells, with a concomitant increase in mature, functional, forms of TERC, indicating that regulation of PAPD5 is a potential strategy to reverse hematologic dysfunction in DC patients.
Project description:Patients with dyskeratosis congenita (DC), a heterogeneous inherited bone marrow failure syndrome, have abnormalities in telomere biology, including very short telomeres and germline mutations in DKC1, TERC, TERT, or NOP10, but approximately 60% of DC patients lack an identifiable mutation. With the very short telomere phenotype and a highly penetrant, rare disease model, a linkage scan was performed on a family with autosomal-dominant DC and no mutations in DKCI, TERC, or TERT. Evidence favoring linkage was found at 2p24 and 14q11.2, and this led to the identification of TINF2 (14q11.2) mutations, K280E, in the proband and her five affected relatives and TINF2 R282H in three additional unrelated DC probands, including one with Revesz syndrome; a fifth DC proband had a R282S mutation. TINF2 mutations were not present in unaffected relatives, DC probands with mutations in DKC1, TERC, or TERT or 298 control subjects. We demonstrate that a fifth gene, TINF2, is mutated in classical DC and, for the first time, in Revesz syndrome. This represents the first shelterin complex mutation linked to human disease and confirms the role of very short telomeres as a diagnostic test for DC.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is characterized by multiple features including mucocutaneous abnormalities, bone marrow failure and an increased predisposition to cancer. It exhibits marked clinical and genetic heterogeneity. DKC1 encoding dyskerin, a component of H/ACA small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein (snoRNP) particles is mutated in X-linked recessive DC. Telomerase RNA component (TERC), the RNA component and TERT the enzymatic component of telomerase, are mutated in autosomal dominant DC, suggesting that DC is primarily a disease of defective telomere maintenance. The gene(s) involved in autosomal recessive DC remains elusive. This paper describes studies aimed at defining the genetic basis of AR-DC. Homozygosity mapping in 16 consanguineous families with 25 affected individuals demonstrates that there is no single genetic locus for AR-DC. However, we show that NOP10, a component of H/ACA snoRNP complexes including telomerase is mutated in a large consanguineous family with classical DC. Affected homozygous individuals have significant telomere shortening and reduced TERC levels. While a reduction of TERC levels is not a universal feature of DC, it can be brought about through a reduction of NOP10 transcripts, as demonstrated by siRNA interference studies. A similar reduction in TERC levels is also seen when the mutant NOP10 is expressed in HeLa cells. These findings identify the genetic basis of one subtype of AR-DC being due to the first documented mutations in NOP10. This further strengthens the model that defective telomere maintenance is the primary pathology in DC and substantiates the evidence in humans for the involvement of NOP10 in the telomerase complex and telomere maintenance.
Project description:Since 1998, there have been great advances in our understanding of the pathogenesis of dyskeratosis congenita (DC), a rare inherited bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition syndrome with prominent mucocutaneous abnormalities and features of premature aging. DC is now characterized molecularly by the presence of short age-adjusted telomeres. Mutations in seven genes have been unequivocally associated with DC, each with a role in telomere length maintenance. These observations, combined with knowledge that progressive telomere shortening can impose a proliferative barrier on dividing cells and contribute to chromosome instability, have led to the understanding that extreme telomere shortening drives the clinical features of DC. However, some of the genes implicated in DC encode proteins that are also components of H/ACA-ribonucleoprotein enzymes, which are responsible for the post-translational modification of ribosomal and spliceosomal RNAs, raising the question whether alterations in these activities play a role in the pathogenesis of DC. In addition, recent reports suggest that some cases of DC may not be characterized by short age-adjusted telomeres. This review will highlight our current knowledge of the telomere length defects in DC and the factors involved in its development.