A novel dyskerin (DKC1) mutation is associated with familial interstitial pneumonia.
ABSTRACT: Short telomeres are frequently identified in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and its inherited form, familial interstitial pneumonia (FIP). We identified a kindred with FIP with short telomeres who did not carry a mutation in known FIP genes TERT or hTR . We performed targeted sequencing of other telomere-related genes to identify the genetic basis of FIP in this kindred. The proband was a 69 year-old man with dyspnea, restrictive pulmonary function test results, and reticular changes on high-resolution CT scan. An older male sibling had died from IPF. The proband had markedly shortened telomeres in peripheral blood and undetectably short telomeres in alveolar epithelial cells. Polymerase chain reaction-based sequencing of NOP10 , TINF2 , NHP2 , and DKC1 revealed that both affected siblings shared a novel A to G 1213 transition in DKC1 near the hTR binding domain that is predicted to encode a Thr405Ala amino acid substitution. hTR levels were decreased out of proportion to DKC1 expression in the T405A DKC1 proband, suggesting this mutation destabilizes hTR and impairs telomerase function. This DKC1 variant represents the third telomere-related gene identified as a genetic cause of FIP. Further investigation into the mechanism by which dyskerin contributes to the development of lung fibrosis is warranted.
Project description:Idiopathic interstitial pneumonias (IIPs) have a progressive and often fatal course, and their enigmatic etiology has complicated approaches to effective therapies. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most common of IIPs and shares with IIPs an increased incidence with age and unexplained scarring in the lung. Short telomeres limit tissue renewal capacity in the lung and germ-line mutations in telomerase components, hTERT and hTR, underlie inheritance in a subset of families with IPF. To examine the hypothesis that short telomeres contribute to disease risk in sporadic IIPs, we recruited patients who have no family history and examined telomere length in leukocytes and in alveolar cells. To screen for mutations, we sequenced hTERT and hTR. We also reviewed the cases for features of a telomere syndrome. IIP patients had shorter leukocyte telomeres than age-matched controls (P < 0.0001). In a subset (10%), IIP patients had telomere lengths below the first percentile for their age. Similar to familial cases with mutations, IPF patients had short telomeres in alveolar epithelial cells (P < 0.0001). Although telomerase mutations were rare, detected in 1 of 100 patients, we identified a cluster of individuals (3%) with IPF and cryptogenic liver cirrhosis, another feature of a telomere syndrome. Short telomeres are thus a signature in IIPs and likely play a role in their age-related onset. The clustering of cryptogenic liver cirrhosis with IPF suggests that the telomere shortening we identify has consequences and can contribute to what appears clinically as idiopathic progressive organ failure in the lung and the liver.
Project description:Telomeres are protective repeats of TTAGGG sequences located at the end of human chromosomes. They are essential to maintain chromosomal integrity and genome stability. Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein complex containing an internal RNA template (hTR) and a catalytic subunit (hTERT). The human hTR gene consists of three major domains; among them the H/ACA domain is essential for telomere biogenesis. H/ACA ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex is composed of four evolutionary conserved proteins, including dyskerin (encoded by DKC1 gene), NOP10, NHP2 and GAR1. In this study, we have evaluated the expression profile of the H/ACA RNP complex genes: DKC1, NOP10, NHP2 and GAR1, as well as hTERT and hTR mRNA levels, in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Results were correlated with the number and type of genetic alteration detected by conventional cytogenetics and FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization), IGHV (immunoglobulin heavy chain variable region) mutational status, telomere length (TL) and clinico-pathological characteristics of patients. Our results showed significant decreased expression of GAR1, NOP10, DKC1 and hTR, as well as increased mRNA levels of hTERT in patients compared to controls (p?0.04). A positive correlation between the expression of GAR1-NHP2, GAR1-NOP10, and NOP10-NHP2 (p<0.0001), were observed. The analysis taking into account prognostic factors showed a significant increased expression of hTERT gene in unmutated-IGHV cases compared to mutated-CLL patients (p = 0.0185). The comparisons among FISH groups exhibited increased expression of DKC1 in cases with two or more alterations with respect to no abnormalities, trisomy 12 and del13q14, and of NHP2 and NOP10 compared to those with del13q14 (p = 0.03). The analysis according to TL showed a significant increased expression of hTERT (p = 0.0074) and DKC1 (p = 0.0036) in patients with short telomeres compared to those with long TL. No association between gene expression and clinical parameters was found. Our results suggest a role for these telomere associated genes in genomic instability and telomere dysfunction in CLL.
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:RATIONALE:A subset of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) contains short leukocyte telomeres or telomere related mutations. We previously showed that alveolar type 2 cells have short telomeres in fibrotic lesions. Our objectives were to better understand how telomere shortening associates with fibrosis in IPF lung and identify a subset of patients with telomere-related disease. METHODS:Average telomere length was determined in multiple organs, basal and apical lung, and diagnostic and end-stage fibrotic lung biopsies. Alveolar type 2 cells telomere length was determined in different areas of IPF lungs. RESULTS:In IPF but not in controls, telomere length in lung was shorter than in other organs, providing rationale to focus on telomere length in lung. Telomere length did not correlate with age and no difference in telomere length was found between diagnostic and explant lung or between basal and apical lung, irrespective of the presence of a radiological apicobasal gradient or fibrosis. Fifteen out of 28 IPF patients had average lung telomere length in the range of patients with a telomerase (TERT) mutation, and formed the IPFshort group. Only in this IPFshort and TERT group telomeres of alveolar type 2 cells were extremely short in fibrotic areas. Additionally, whole exome sequencing of IPF patients revealed two genetic variations in RTEL1 and one in PARN in the IPFshort group. CONCLUSIONS:Average lung tissue telomere shortening does not associated with fibrotic patterns in IPF, however, approximately half of IPF patients show excessive lung telomere shortening that is associated with pulmonary fibrosis driven by telomere attrition.
Project description:Telomeres are nucleoprotein structures that cap the ends of chromosomes, protecting them from exonucleases and distinguishing them from double-stranded breaks. Their integrity is maintained by telomerase, an enzyme consisting of a reverse transcriptase, TERT and an RNA template, TERC, and other components, including the pseudouridine synthase, dyskerin, the product of the DKC1 gene. When telomeres become critically short, a p53-dependent pathway causing cell cycle arrest is induced that can lead to senescence, apoptosis, or, rarely to genomic instability and transformation. The same pathway is induced in response to DNA damage. DKC1 mutations in the disease dyskeratosis congenita are thought to act via this mechanism, causing growth defects in proliferative tissues through telomere shortening. Here, we show that pathogenic mutations in mouse Dkc1 cause a growth disadvantage and an enhanced DNA damage response in the context of telomeres of normal length. We show by genetic experiments that the growth disadvantage, detected by disparities in X-inactivation patterns in female heterozygotes, depends on telomerase. Hemizygous male mutant cells showed a strikingly enhanced DNA damage response via the ATM/p53 pathway after treatment with etoposide with a significant number of DNA damage foci colocalizing with telomeres in cytological preparations. We conclude that dyskerin mutations cause slow growth independently of telomere shortening and that this slow growth is the result of the induction of DNA damage. Thus, dyskerin interacts with telomerase and affects telomere maintenance independently of telomere length.
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:Telomere lengths are tightly regulated within a narrow range in normal human cells. Previous studies have extensively focused on how short telomeres are extended and have demonstrated that telomerase plays a central role in elongating short telomeres. However, much about the molecular mechanisms of regulating excessively long telomeres is unknown. In this report, we demonstrated that the telomerase enzymatic component, hTERT, plays a dual role in the regulation of telomere length. It shortens excessively long telomeres and elongates short telomeres simultaneously in one cell, maintaining the optimal telomere length at each chromosomal end for efficient protection. This novel hTERT-mediated telomere-shortening mechanism not only exists in cancer cells, but also in primary human cells. The hTERT-mediated telomere shortening requires hTERT's enzymatic activity, but the telomerase RNA component, hTR, is not involved in that process. We found that expression of hTERT increases telomeric circular DNA formation, suggesting that telomere homologous recombination is involved in the telomere-shortening process. We further demonstrated that shelterin protein TPP1 interacts with hTERT and recruits hTERT onto the telomeres, suggesting that TPP1 might be involved in regulation of telomere shortening. This study reveals a novel function of hTERT in telomere length regulation and adds a new element to the current molecular model of telomere length maintenance.
Project description:Telomere biology disorders are a complex set of illnesses defined by the presence of very short telomeres. Individuals with classic dyskeratosis congenita have the most severe phenotype, characterized by the triad of nail dystrophy, abnormal skin pigmentation, and oral leukoplakia. More significantly, these individuals are at very high risk of bone marrow failure, cancer, and pulmonary fibrosis. A mutation in one of six different telomere biology genes can be identified in 50–60% of these individuals. DKC1, TERC, TERT, NOP10, and NHP2 encode components of telomerase or a telomerase-associated factor and TINF2, a telomeric protein. Progressively shorter telomeres are inherited from generation to generation in autosomal dominant dyskeratosis congenita, resulting in disease anticipation. Up to 10% of individuals with apparently acquired aplastic anemia or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis also have short telomeres and mutations in TERC or TERT. Similar findings have been seen in individuals with liver fibrosis or acute myelogenous leukemia. This report reviews basic aspects of telomere biology and telomere length measurement, and the clinical and genetic features of those disorders that constitute our current understanding of the spectrum of illness caused by defects in telomere biology. We also suggest a grouping schema for the telomere disorders.
Project description:Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome in which the known susceptibility genes (DKC1, TERC, and TERT) belong to the telomere maintenance pathway; patients with DC have very short telomeres. We used multicolor flow fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of median telomere length in total blood leukocytes, granulocytes, lymphocytes, and several lymphocyte subsets to confirm the diagnosis of DC, distinguish patients with DC from unaffected family members, identify clinically silent DC carriers, and discriminate between patients with DC and those with other bone marrow failure disorders. We defined "very short" telomeres as below the first percentile measured among 400 healthy control subjects over the entire age range. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of very short telomeres for DC were more than 90% for total lymphocytes, CD45RA+/CD20- naive T cells, and CD20+ B cells. Granulocyte and total leukocyte assays were not specific; CD45RA- memory T cells and CD57+ NK/NKT were not sensitive. We observed very short telomeres in a clinically normal family member who subsequently developed DC. We propose adding leukocyte subset flow fluorescence in situ hybridization telomere length measurement to the evaluation of patients and families suspected to have DC, because the correct diagnosis will substantially affect patient management.
Project description:Mutations in the human telomerase RNA component (hTR), the telomerase ribonucleoprotein component dyskerin (DKC1) and the poly(A) RNase (PARN) can lead to reduced levels of hTR and to dyskeratosis congenita (DC). However, the enzymes and mechanisms responsible for hTR degradation are unknown. We demonstrate that defects in dyskerin binding lead to hTR degradation by PAPD5-mediated oligoadenylation, which promotes 3'-to-5' degradation by EXOSC10, as well as decapping and 5'-to-3' decay by the cytoplasmic DCP2 and XRN1 enzymes. PARN increased hTR levels by deadenylating hTR, thereby limiting its degradation by EXOSC10. Telomerase activity and proper hTR localization in dyskerin- or PARN-deficient cells were rescued by knockdown of DCP2 and/or EXOSC10. Prevention of hTR RNA decay also led to a rescue of localization of DC-associated hTR mutants. These results suggest that inhibition of RNA decay pathways might be a useful therapy for some telomere pathologies.