Investigation of Rare Single-Nucleotide PCDH15 Variants in Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
ABSTRACT: Both schizophrenia (SCZ) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are neuropsychiatric disorders with overlapping genetic etiology. Protocadherin 15 (PCDH15), which encodes a member of the cadherin super family that contributes to neural development and function, has been cited as a risk gene for neuropsychiatric disorders. Recently, rare variants of large effect have been paid attention to understand the etiopathology of these complex disorders. Thus, we evaluated the impacts of rare, single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) in PCDH15 on SCZ or ASD. First, we conducted coding exon-targeted resequencing of PCDH15 with next-generation sequencing technology in 562 Japanese patients (370 SCZ and 192 ASD) and detected 16 heterozygous SNVs. We then performed association analyses on 2,096 cases (1,714 SCZ and 382 ASD) and 1,917 controls with six novel variants of these 16 SNVs. Of these six variants, four (p.R219K, p.T281A, p.D642N, c.3010-1G>C) were ultra-rare variants (minor allele frequency < 0.0005) that may increase disease susceptibility. Finally, no statistically significant association between any of these rare, heterozygous PCDH15 point variants and SCZ or ASD was found. Our results suggest that a larger sample size of resequencing subjects is necessary to detect associations between rare PCDH15 variants and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Project description:MBD5 (Methyl-CpG-binding domain 5) is a critical gene for normal development. While deletion or duplication of MBD5 may contribute to a genetic predisposition to autism spectrum disorders (ASD), intellectual disability, or epilepsy, the impact of rare MBD5 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) on neurodevelopmental features, particularly features with late onset, has not been fully explored. In this study, we conducted exon-targeted resequencing of MBD5 with next-generation sequencing technology in 562 Japanese patients (192 with idiopathic ASD and 370 with schizophrenia (SCZ)) and detected 16 MBD5 SNVs with allele frequencies of ?1%. We then performed phenotype analyses with 12 novel variants of these 16 SNVs. SCZ patients with these variants exhibited mainly within normal development ranges until the first psychosis and ASD patients with SNVs did not precisely overlap with the core characteristics described in previous literature as being associated with MBD5 SNVs. Our results suggested that MBD5 variants might contribute to a broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental pathophysiology. Further research and assessment of clinical diagnostic screening are necessary for understanding the burden of rare MBD5 SNVs for these neurodevelopmental disorders.
Project description:Disabled 1 (DAB1) is an intracellular adaptor protein in the Reelin signaling pathway and plays an essential role in correct neuronal migration and layer formation in the developing brain. DAB1 has been repeatedly reported to be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia (SCZ) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in genetic, animal, and postmortem studies. Recently, increasing attention has been given to rare single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) found by deep sequencing of candidate genes. In this study, we performed exon-targeted resequencing of DAB1 in 370 SCZ and 192 ASD patients using next-generation sequencing technology to identify rare SNVs with a minor allele frequency <1%. We detected two rare missense mutations (G382C, V129I) and then performed a genetic association study in a sample comprising 1763 SCZ, 380 ASD, and 2190 healthy control subjects. Although no statistically significant association with the detected mutations was observed for either SCZ or ASD, G382C was found only in the case group, and in silico analyses and in vitro functional assays suggested that G382C alters the function of the DAB1 protein. The rare variants of DAB1 found in the present study should be studied further to elucidate their potential functional relevance to the pathophysiology of SCZ and ASD.
Project description:Copy-number variants of the CYFIP1 gene in humans have been linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia (SCZ), two neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by defects in brain connectivity. Here, we show that CYFIP1 plays an important role in brain functional connectivity and callosal functions. We find that Cyfip1-heterozygous mice have reduced functional connectivity and defects in white matter architecture, similar to phenotypes found in patients with ASD, SCZ and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Cyfip1-deficient mice also present decreased myelination in the callosal axons, altered presynaptic function, and impaired bilateral connectivity. Finally, Cyfip1 deficiency leads to abnormalities in motor coordination, sensorimotor gating and sensory perception, which are also known neuropsychiatric disorder-related symptoms. These results show that Cyfip1 haploinsufficiency compromises brain connectivity and function, which might explain its genetic association to neuropsychiatric disorders.
Project description:Bipolar disorder (BP) and schizophrenia (SCZ) are major psychiatric disorders, but the molecular mechanisms underlying the complicated pathologies of these disorders remain unclear. It is difficult to establish adequate in vitro models for pathological analysis because of the heterogeneity of these disorders. In the present study, to recapitulate the pathologies of these disorders in vitro, we established in vitro models by differentiating mature neurons from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived from BP and SCZ patient with contributive copy number variations, as follows: two BP patients with PCDH15 deletion and one SCZ patient with RELN deletion. Glutamatergic neurons and GABAergic neurons were induced from hiPSCs under optimized conditions. Both types of induced neurons from both hiPSCs exhibited similar phenotypes of MAP2 (microtubule-associated protein 2)-positive dendrite shortening and decreasing synapse numbers. Additionally, we analyzed isogenic PCDH15- or RELN-deleted cells. The dendrite and synapse phenotypes of isogenic neurons were partially similar to those of patient-derived neurons. These results suggest that the observed phenotypes are general phenotypes of psychiatric disorders, and our in vitro models using hiPSC-based technology may be suitable for analysis of the pathologies of psychiatric disorders.
Project description:We analyze de novo synonymous mutations identified in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and schizophrenia (SCZ) with potential impact on regulatory elements using data from whole-exome sequencing (WESs) studies. Focusing on five types of genetic regulatory functions, we found that de novo near-splice site synonymous mutations changing exonic splicing regulators and those within frontal cortex-derived DNase I hypersensitivity sites are significantly enriched in ASD and SCZ, respectively. These results remained significant, albeit less so, after incorporating two additional ASD datasets. Among the genes identified, several are hit by multiple functional de novo mutations, with RAB2A and SETD1A showing the highest statistical significance in ASD and SCZ, respectively. The estimated contribution of these synonymous mutations to disease liability is comparable to de novo protein-truncating mutations. These findings expand the repertoire of functional de novo mutations to include "functional" synonymous ones and strengthen the role of rare variants in neuropsychiatric disease risk.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>22q11.2 copy number variants are among the most highly penetrant genetic risk variants for developmental neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia (SCZ) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the specific mechanisms through which they confer risk remain unclear.<h4>Methods</h4>Using a functional genomics approach, we integrated transcriptomic data from the developing human brain, genome-wide association findings for SCZ and ASD, protein interaction data, and gene expression signatures from SCZ and ASD postmortem cortex to 1) organize genes into the developmental cellular and molecular systems within which they operate, 2) identify neurodevelopmental processes associated with polygenic risk for SCZ and ASD across the allelic frequency spectrum, and 3) elucidate pathways and individual genes through which 22q11.2 copy number variants may confer risk for each disorder.<h4>Results</h4>Polygenic risk for SCZ and ASD converged on partially overlapping neurodevelopmental modules involved in synaptic function and transcriptional regulation, with ASD risk variants additionally enriched for modules involved in neuronal differentiation during fetal development. The 22q11.2 locus formed a large protein network during development that disproportionately affected SCZ-associated and ASD-associated neurodevelopmental modules, including loading highly onto synaptic and gene regulatory pathways. SEPT5, PI4KA, and SNAP29 genes are candidate drivers of 22q11.2 synaptic pathology relevant to SCZ and ASD, and DGCR8 and HIRA are candidate drivers of disease-relevant alterations in gene regulation.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This approach offers a powerful framework to identify neurodevelopmental processes affected by diverse risk variants for SCZ and ASD and elucidate mechanisms through which highly penetrant, multigene copy number variants contribute to disease risk.
Project description:Dysregulation of epigenetic processes involving histone methylation induces neurodevelopmental impairments and has been implicated in schizophrenia (SCZ) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Variants in the gene encoding lysine demethylase 4C (KDM4C) have been suggested to confer a risk for such disorders. However, rare genetic variants in KDM4C have not been fully evaluated, and the functional impact of the variants has not been studied using patient-derived cells. In this study, we conducted copy number variant (CNV) analysis in a Japanese sample set (2605 SCZ and 1141 ASD cases, and 2310 controls). We found evidence for significant associations between CNVs in KDM4C and SCZ (p?=?0.003) and ASD (p?=?0.04). We also observed a significant association between deletions in KDM4C and SCZ (corrected p?=?0.04). Next, to explore the contribution of single nucleotide variants in KDM4C, we sequenced the coding exons in a second sample set (370 SCZ and 192 ASD cases) and detected 18 rare missense variants, including p.D160N within the JmjC domain of KDM4C. We, then, performed association analysis for p.D160N in a third sample set (1751 SCZ and 377 ASD cases, and 2276 controls), but did not find a statistical association with these disorders. Immunoblotting analysis using lymphoblastoid cell lines from a case with KDM4C deletion revealed reduced KDM4C protein expression and altered histone methylation patterns. In conclusion, this study strengthens the evidence for associations between KDM4C CNVs and these two disorders and for their potential functional effect on histone methylation patterns.
Project description:The role of de novo mutations (DNMs) in common diseases remains largely unknown. Nonetheless, the rate of de novo deleterious mutations and the strength of selection against de novo mutations are critical to understanding the genetic architecture of a disease. Discovery of high-impact DNMs requires substantial high-resolution interrogation of partial or complete genomes of families via resequencing. We hypothesized that deleterious DNMs may play a role in cases of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia (SCZ), two etiologically heterogeneous disorders with significantly reduced reproductive fitness. We present a direct measure of the de novo mutation rate (?) and selective constraints from DNMs estimated from a deep resequencing data set generated from a large cohort of ASD and SCZ cases (n = 285) and population control individuals (n = 285) with available parental DNA. A survey of ?430 Mb of DNA from 401 synapse-expressed genes across all cases and 25 Mb of DNA in controls found 28 candidate DNMs, 13 of which were cell line artifacts. Our calculated direct neutral mutation rate (1.36 × 10(-8)) is similar to previous indirect estimates, but we observed a significant excess of potentially deleterious DNMs in ASD and SCZ individuals. Our results emphasize the importance of DNMs as genetic mechanisms in ASD and SCZ and the limitations of using DNA from archived cell lines to identify functional variants.
Project description:Nuclear distribution E homolog 1 (NDE1), located within chromosome 16p13.11, plays an essential role in microtubule organization, mitosis, and neuronal migration and has been suggested by several studies of rare copy number variants to be a promising schizophrenia (SCZ) candidate gene. Recently, increasing attention has been paid to rare single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) discovered by deep sequencing of candidate genes, because such SNVs may have large effect sizes and their functional analysis may clarify etiopathology.We conducted mutation screening of NDE1 coding exons using 433 SCZ and 145 pervasive developmental disorders samples in order to identify rare single nucleotide variants with a minor allele frequency ?5%. We then performed genetic association analysis using a large number of unrelated individuals (3554 SCZ, 1041 bipolar disorder [BD], and 4746 controls). Among the discovered novel rare variants, we detected significant associations between SCZ and S214F (P = .039), and between BD and R234C (P = .032). Furthermore, functional assays showed that S214F affected axonal outgrowth and the interaction between NDE1 and YWHAE (14-3-3 epsilon; a neurodevelopmental regulator).This study strengthens the evidence for association between rare variants within NDE1 and SCZ, and may shed light into the molecular mechanisms underlying this severe psychiatric disorder.
Project description:Usher type 1 syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive disorder involving congenital severe-to-profound hearing loss, development of vision impairment in the first decade, and severe balance difficulties. The PCDH15 gene, one of the five genes implicated in this disease, is involved in 8-20% of cases. In this study, we aimed to identify and characterize the two causal variants in a French patient with typical Usher syndrome clinical features. Massively parallel sequencing-based gene panel and screening for large rearrangements were used, which detected a single multi-exon deletion in the PCDH15 gene. As the second pathogenic event was likely localized in the unscreened regions of the gene, PCDH15 transcripts from cultured nasal cells were analyzed and revealed a loss of junction between exon 13 and exon 14. This aberration could be explained by the identification of two fusion transcripts, PCDH15-LINC00844 and BICC1-PCDH15, originating from a 4.6 Mb inversion. This complex chromosomal rearrangement could not be detected by our diagnostic approach but was instead characterized by long-read sequencing, which offers the possibility of detecting balanced structural variants (SVs). This finding extends our knowledge of the mutational spectrum of the PCDH15 gene with the first ever identification of a large causal paracentric inversion of chromosome 10 and illustrates the utility of screening balanced SVs in an exhaustive molecular diagnostic approach.