Mutations in PNKP cause recessive ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 4.
ABSTRACT: Hereditary autosomal-recessive cerebellar ataxias are a genetically and clinically heterogeneous group of disorders. We used homozygosity mapping and exome sequencing to study a cohort of nine Portuguese families who were identified during a nationwide, population-based, systematic survey as displaying a consistent phenotype of recessive ataxia with oculomotor apraxia (AOA). The integration of data from these analyses led to the identification of the same homozygous PNKP (polynucleotide kinase 3'-phosphatase) mutation, c.1123G>T (p.Gly375Trp), in three of the studied families. When analyzing this particular gene in the exome sequencing data from the remaining cohort, we identified homozygous or compound-heterozygous mutations in five other families. PNKP is a dual-function enzyme with a key role in different pathways of DNA-damage repair. Mutations in this gene have previously been associated with an autosomal-recessive syndrome characterized by microcephaly; early-onset, intractable seizures; and developmental delay (MCSZ). The finding of PNKP mutations associated with recessive AOA extends the phenotype associated with this gene and identifies a fourth locus that causes AOA. These data confirm that MCSZ and some forms of ataxia share etiological features, most likely reflecting the role of PNKP in DNA-repair mechanisms.
Project description:PNKP (polynucleotide kinase 3'-phosphatase, OMIM #605610) product is involved in the repair of strand breaks and base damage in the DNA molecule mainly caused by radical oxygen species. Deleterious variants affecting this gene have been previously associated with microcephaly, epilepsy, and developmental delay.(1) According to a previous report, homozygous loss-of-function substitution in PNKP was associated with cerebellar atrophy, neuropathy, microcephaly, epilepsy, and intellectual disability.(2) Recently, whole-exome sequencing (WES) performed in a cohort of Portuguese families with ataxia with oculomotor apraxia (AOA) disclosed pathogenic variants in PNKP in 11 individuals. Other clinical features in that study included neuropathy, dystonia, cognitive impairment, decreased vibration sense, pyramidal signs, mild elevation in ?-fetoprotein, and low levels of albumin. This condition was named AOA type 4 (OMIM #616267), as the phenotype of AOA has been previously associated with 3 other genes: APTX, SETX, and PIK3R5.(3) Altogether, these reports demonstrate the great phenotypic diversity associated with PNKP mutations. In this article, we further enlarge this variability by demonstrating that early-onset axonal sensory-motor neuropathy (or axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease) followed years later by ataxia without oculomotor apraxia can be caused by deleterious variants in PNKP. Full consent was obtained from the patient and his parents for this publication. This study was approved by institutional ethics committees.
Project description:Ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 4 (AOA4) is a rare autosomal recessive, PNKP -related disorder delineated in 2015 in Portugal. We diagnosed AOA4 by next generation sequencing (NGS) followed by Sanger's sequencing in three boys from two unrelated Belarusian families. In both families, one of the heterozygous PNKP mutations was c.1123G>T, common in Portuguese patients; biallelic mutations, c.1270_1283dup14 and c.1029+2T>C, respectively, were novel. These are the first reported AOA4 Slavic cases and the first with a "Portuguese" PNKP mutation outside Portugal. Distinction in two brothers was microcephaly but their disease was not severe in contrast to PNKP -related "microcephaly, seizures, and developmental delay" and reported cases with features of both phenotypes.
Project description:Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) represents a heterogeneous group of hereditary peripheral neuropathies. We previously reported a CMT locus on chromosome 19q13.3 segregating with the disease in a large Costa Rican family with axonal neuropathy and autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance (CMT2B2). We proposed a homozygous missense variant in the Mediator complex 25 (MED25) gene as causative of the disease. Nevertheless, the fact that no other CMT individuals with MED25 variants were reported to date led us to reevaluate the original family. Using exome sequencing, we now identified a homozygous nonsense variant (p.Gln517ter) in the last exon of an adjacent gene, the polynucleotide kinase 3'-phosphatase (PNKP) gene. It encodes a DNA repair protein recently associated with recessive ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 4 (AOA4) and microcephaly, seizures, and developmental delay (MCSZ). Subsequently, five unrelated Costa Rican CMT2 subjects initially identified as being heterozygous for the same MED25 variant were found to be also compound heterozygote for PNKP. All were heterozygous for the same variant found homozygous in the large family and a second one previously associated with ataxia (p.Thr408del). Detailed clinical reassessment of the initial family and the new individuals revealed in all an adult-onset slowly progressive CMT2 associated with signs of cerebellar dysfunction such as slurred speech and oculomotor involvement, but neither microcephaly, seizures, nor developmental delay. We propose that PKNP variants are the major causative variant for the CMT2 phenotype in these individuals and that the milder clinical manifestation is due to an allelic effect.
Project description:We identified PNKP mutations in a Norwegian woman with AOA. This patient had the typical findings with cognitive dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy, cerebellar dysarthria, horizontal nystagmus, oculomotor apraxia, and severe truncal and appendicular ataxia. In addition, she had hypoalbuminemia and massive lower limb edema which showed some improvement with treatment. Exome sequencing identified two heterozygous mutations, one in exon 14 (c.1196T>C, p.Leu399Pro) and one in exon 16 (c.1393_1396del, p.Glu465*). This is the first non-Portuguese patient with AOA due to PNKP mutations and provides independent verification that PNKP mutations cause AOA.
Project description:A variety of human neurologic diseases are caused by inherited defects in DNA repair. In many cases, these syndromes almost exclusively impact the nervous system, underscoring the critical requirement for genome stability in this tissue. A striking example of this is defective enzymatic activity of polynucleotide kinase-phosphatase (PNKP), leading to microcephaly or neurodegeneration. Notably, the broad neural impact of mutations in PNKP can result in markedly different disease entities, even when the inherited mutation is the same. For example microcephaly with seizures (MCSZ) results from various hypomorphic PNKP mutations, as does ataxia with oculomotor apraxia 4 (AOA4). Thus, other contributing factors influence the neural phenotype when PNKP is disabled. Here we consider the role for PNKP in maintaining brain function and how perturbation in its activity can account for the varied pathology of neurodegeneration or microcephaly present in MCSZ and AOA4 respectively.
Project description:Maintenance of DNA integrity is crucial for all cell types, but neurons are particularly sensitive to mutations in DNA repair genes, which lead to both abnormal development and neurodegeneration. We describe a previously unknown autosomal recessive disease characterized by microcephaly, early-onset, intractable seizures and developmental delay (denoted MCSZ). Using genome-wide linkage analysis in consanguineous families, we mapped the disease locus to chromosome 19q13.33 and identified multiple mutations in PNKP (polynucleotide kinase 3'-phosphatase) that result in severe neurological disease; in contrast, a splicing mutation is associated with more moderate symptoms. Unexpectedly, although the cells of individuals carrying this mutation are sensitive to radiation and other DNA-damaging agents, no such individual has yet developed cancer or immunodeficiency. Unlike other DNA repair defects that affect humans, PNKP mutations universally cause severe seizures. The neurological abnormalities in individuals with MCSZ may reflect a role for PNKP in several DNA repair pathways.
Project description:Objective:To address the relationship between novel mutations in polynucleotide 5'-kinase 3'-phosphatase (PNKP), DNA strand break repair, and neurologic disease. Methods:We have employed whole-exome sequencing, Sanger sequencing, and molecular/cellular biology. Results:We describe here a patient with microcephaly with early onset seizures (MCSZ) from the Indian sub-continent harboring 2 novel mutations in PNKP, including a pathogenic mutation in the fork-head associated domain. In addition, we confirm that MCSZ is associated with hyperactivation of the single-strand break sensor protein protein poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) following the induction of abortive topoisomerase I activity, a source of DNA strand breakage associated previously with neurologic disease. Conclusions:These data expand the spectrum of PNKP mutations associated with MCSZ and show that PARP1 hyperactivation at unrepaired topoisomerase-induced DNA breaks is a molecular feature of this disease.
Project description:Microcephaly with early-onset, intractable seizures and developmental delay (MCSZ) is a hereditary disease caused by mutations in polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase (PNKP), a DNA strand break repair protein with DNA 5'-kinase and DNA 3'-phosphatase activity. To investigate the molecular basis of this disease, we examined the impact of MCSZ mutations on PNKP activity in vitro and in cells. Three of the four mutations currently associated with MCSZ greatly reduce or ablate DNA kinase activity of recombinant PNKP at 30°C (L176F, T424Gfs48X and exon15?fs4X), but only one of these mutations reduces DNA phosphatase activity under the same conditions (L176F). The fourth mutation (E326K) has little impact on either DNA kinase or DNA phosphatase activity at 30°C, but is less stable than the wild-type enzyme at physiological temperature. Critically, all of the MCSZ mutations identified to date result in ? 10-fold reduced cellular levels of PNKP protein, and reduced rates of chromosomal DNA strand break repair. Together, these data suggest that all four known MCSZ mutations reduce the cellular stability and level of PNKP protein, with three mutations likely ablating cellular DNA 5'-kinase activity and all of the mutations greatly reducing cellular DNA 3'-phosphatase activity.
Project description:Ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 4 (AOA4) is an autosomal recessive (AR) disorder recently delineated in a Portuguese cohort and caused by mutations in the PNKP (polynucleotide kinase 3'-phosphatase) gene.(1) AOA4 is a progressive, complex movement disorder that includes hyperkinetic features, eye movement abnormalities, polyneuropathy, varying degrees of cognitive impairment, and obesity. PNKP mutations were initially discovered to be the cause of the severe nonprogressive syndrome microcephaly, early-onset intractable seizures, and developmental delay (MCSZ).(2) Here we describe a patient with compound heterozygous PNKP mutations presenting with an AOA4 phenotype. New features that we report include both mutations, presence of chorea, absence of oculomotor apraxia (OMA), and slow disease progression.
Project description:Polynucleotide kinase-phosphatase (PNKP) is a DNA repair factor possessing both 5'-kinase and 3'-phosphatase activities to modify ends of a DNA break prior to ligation. Recently, decreased PNKP levels were identified as the cause of severe neuropathology present in the human microcephaly with seizures (MCSZ) syndrome. Utilizing novel murine Pnkp alleles that attenuate expression and a T424GfsX48 frame-shift allele identified in MCSZ individuals, we determined how PNKP inactivation impacts neurogenesis. Mice with PNKP inactivation in neural progenitors manifest neurodevelopmental abnormalities and postnatal death. This severe phenotype involved defective base excision repair and non-homologous end-joining, pathways required for repair of both DNA single- and double-strand breaks. Although mice homozygous for the T424GfsX48 allele were lethal embryonically, attenuated PNKP levels (akin to MCSZ) showed general neurodevelopmental defects, including microcephaly, indicating a critical developmental PNKP threshold. Directed postnatal neural inactivation of PNKP affected specific subpopulations including oligodendrocytes, indicating a broad requirement for genome maintenance, both during and after neurogenesis. These data illuminate the basis for selective neural vulnerability in DNA repair deficiency disease.