ABSTRACT: Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is one of the commonest inherited neuromuscular diseases with a population prevalence of 1 in 2500. This review will cover recent advances in the genetics and pathomechanisms of CMT and how these are leading to the development of rational therapies.Pathomechanistic and therapeutic target advances in CMT include the identification of the ErbB receptor signalling pathway as a therapeutic target in CMT1A and pharmacological modification of the unfolded protein response in CMT1B. In CMT2D, due to mutations in glycyl-tRNA synthetase, vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated stimulation of the Nrp1 receptor has been identified as a therapeutic target. Preclinical advances have been accompanied by the publication of large natural history cohorts and the identification of a sensitive biomarker of disease (muscle MRI) that is able to detect disease progression in CMT1A over 1 year.Advances in next-generation sequencing technology, cell biology and animal models of CMT are paving the way for rational treatments. The combination of robust natural history data and the identification of sensitive biomarkers mean that we are now entering an exciting therapeutic era in the field of the genetic neuropathies.
Project description:Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1 (CMT1) or hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy type I (HMSNI) is an autosomal dominant peripheral neuropathy. In most families the disease segregates with a 1.5 Mb duplication on chromosome 17p11.2 (CMT1A). A few patients have been found with point mutations in the PMP-22 gene. In some families linkage has been found with markers located on chromosome 1q21-q25 (CMT1B) and more recently mutations have been identified in the P0 gene. We analysed an extended CMT1 pedigree (CMT-B) without the CMT1A duplication. Significant positive linkage with chromosome 1 indicated that this family is of the CMT1B subtype. Sequencing of the candidate gene P0 located in chromosome band 1q21-q23 showed a C to A point mutation at position 446 in exon 3 resulting in an Asp134Glu substitution. Since the P0 mutation cosegregated with CMT1 disease we suggest that this mutation is the primary genetic cause of CMT1B in family CMT-B.
Project description:The international Inherited Neuropathy Consortium (INC) was created with the goal of obtaining much needed natural history data for patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease. We analysed clinical and genetic data from patients in the INC to determine the distribution of CMT subtypes and the clinical impairment associated with them.We analysed data from 1652 patients evaluated at 13 INC centres. The distribution of CMT subtypes and pathogenic genetic mutations were determined. The disease burden of all the mutations was assessed by the CMT Neuropathy Score (CMTNS) and CMT Examination Score (CMTES).997 of the 1652 patients (60.4%) received a genetic diagnosis. The most common CMT subtypes were CMT1A/PMP22 duplication, CMT1X/GJB1 mutation, CMT2A/MFN2 mutation, CMT1B/MPZ mutation, and hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsy/PMP22 deletion. These five subtypes of CMT accounted for 89.2% of all genetically confirmed mutations. Mean CMTNS for some but not all subtypes were similar to those previously reported.Our findings confirm that large numbers of patients with a representative variety of CMT subtypes have been enrolled and that the frequency of achieving a molecular diagnosis and distribution of the CMT subtypes reflects those previously reported. Measures of severity are similar, though not identical, to results from smaller series. This study confirms that it is possible to assess patients in a uniform way between international centres, which is critical for the planned natural history study and future clinical trials. These data will provide a representative baseline for longitudinal studies of CMT.ID number NCT01193075.
Project description:To evaluate, by skin biopsy, dermal nerve fibers in 31 patients with 3 common Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) genotypes (CMT1A, late-onset CMT1B, and CMTX1), and rarer forms of CMT caused by mutations in RAB7 (CMT2B), TRPV4 (CMT2C), and GDAP1 (AR-CMT2K) genes.We investigated axonal loss by quantifying Meissner corpuscles and intrapapillary myelinated endings and evaluated morphometric changes in myelinated dermal nerve fibers by measuring fiber caliber, internodal, and nodal gap length.The density of both Meissner corpuscles and intrapapillary myelinated endings was reduced in skin samples from patients with CMT1A and all the other CMT genotypes. Nodal gaps were larger in all the CMT genotypes though widening was greater in CMT1A. Perhaps an altered communication between axons and glia may be a common feature for multiple forms of CMT. Internodal lengths were shorter in all the CMT genotypes, and patients with CMT1A had the shortest internodes of all our patients. The uniformly shortened internodes in all the CMT genotypes suggest that mutations in both myelin and axon genes may developmentally impede internode formation. The extent of internodal shortening and nodal gap widening are likely both important in determining nerve conduction velocities in CMT.This study extends the information gained from skin biopsies on morphologic abnormalities in various forms of CMT and provides insights into potential pathomechanisms of axonal and demyelinating CMT.
Project description:Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is the most common inherited motor and sensory neuropathy. The axonal form of the disease is designated as "CMT type 2" (CMT2). Although four loci known to be implicated in autosomal dominant CMT2 have been mapped thus far (on 1p35-p36, 3q13. 1, 3q13-q22, and 7p14), no one causative gene is yet known. A large Russian family with CMT2 was found in the Mordovian Republic (Russia). Affected members had the typical CMT2 phenotype. Additionally, several patients suffered from hyperkeratosis, although the association, if any, between the two disorders is not clear. Linkage with the CMT loci already known (CMT1A, CMT1B, CMT2A, CMT2B, CMT2D, and a number of other CMT-related loci) was excluded. Genomewide screening pinpointed the disease locus in this family to chromosome 8p21, within a 16-cM interval between markers D8S136 and D8S1769. A maximum two-point LOD score of 5.93 was yielded by a microsatellite from the 5' region of the neurofilament-light gene (NF-L). Neurofilament proteins play an important role in axonal structure and are implicated in several neuronal disorders. Screening of affected family members for mutations in the NF-L gene and in the tightly linked neurofilament-medium gene (NF-M) revealed the only DNA alteration linked with the disease: a A998C transversion in the first exon of NF-L, which converts a conserved Gln333 amino acid to proline. This alteration was not found in 180 normal chromosomes. Twenty unrelated CMT2 patients, as well as 26 others with an undetermined form of CMT, also were screened for mutations in NF-L, but no additional mutations were found. It is suggested that Gln333Pro represents a rare disease-causing mutation, which results in the CMT2 phenotype.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Development of biomarkers for Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is critical for implementing effective clinical trials. The most common form of CMT, type 1A, is caused by a genomic duplication surrounding the PMP22 gene. A recent report (Neurology 2018;90:e518-3524) showed elevation of neurofilament light (NfL) in plasma of CMT1A disease patients, which correlated with disease severity. However, no plasma/serum biomarker has been identified that is specific to Schwann cells, the most directly affected cells in CMT1A. METHODS:We used the Olink immuno PCR platform to profile CMT1A patient (n = 47, 2 cohorts) and normal control plasma (n = 41, two cohorts) on five different Olink panels to screen 398 unique proteins. RESULTS:The TMPRSS5 protein (Transmembrane protease serine 5) was elevated 2.07-fold (P = <0.0001) in two independent cohorts of CMT1A samples relative to controls. TMPRSS5 is most highly expressed in Schwann cells of peripheral nerve. Consistent with early myelination deficits in CMT1A, TMPRSS5 was not significantly correlated with disease score (CMTES-R, CMTNS-R), nerve conduction velocities (Ulnar CMAP, Ulnar MNCV), or with age. TMPRSS5 was not significantly elevated in smaller sample sets from patients with CMT2A, CMT2E, CMT1B, or CMT1X. The Olink immuno PCR assays confirmed elevated levels of NfL (average 1.58-fold, P < 0.0001), which correlated with CMT1A patient disease score. INTERPRETATION:These data identify the first Schwann cell-specific protein that is elevated in plasma of CMT1A patients, and may provide a disease marker and a potentially treatment-responsive biomarker with good disease specificity for clinical trials.
Project description:Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is the most common inherited motor and sensory neuropathy. Previous studies have found that, according to CMT patients, neuropathic pain is an occasional symptom of CMT. However, neuropathic pain is not considered to be a significant symptom associated with CMT and, as a result, no studies have investigated the pathophysiology underlying neuropathic pain in this disorder. Thus, the first animal model of neuropathic pain was developed by our laboratory using an adenovirus vector system to study neuropathic pain in CMT. To this end, glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GARS) fusion proteins with a FLAG-tag (wild type [WT], L129P and G240R mutants) were expressed in spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons using adenovirus vectors. It is known that GARS mutants induce GARS axonopathies, including CMT type 2D (CMT2D) and distal spinal muscular atrophy type V (dSMA-V). Additionally, the morphological phenotypes of neuropathic pain in this animal model of GARS-induced pain were assessed using several possible markers of pain (Iba1, pERK1/2) or a marker of injured neurons (ATF3). These results suggest that this animal model of CMT using an adenovirus may provide information regarding CMT as well as a useful strategy for the treatment of neuropathic pain.
Project description:The rapid development in the last 10-15 years of microarray technologies, such as oligonucleotide array Comparative Genomic Hybridization (CGH) and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) genotyping array, has improved the identification of fine chromosomal structural variants, ranging in length from kilobases (kb) to megabases (Mb), as an important cause of genetic differences among healthy individuals and also as disease-susceptibility and/or disease-causing factors. Structural genomic variations due to unbalanced chromosomal rearrangements are known as Copy-Number Variants (CNVs) and these include variably sized deletions, duplications, triplications and translocations. CNVs can significantly contribute to human diseases and rearrangements in several dosage-sensitive genes have been identified as an important causative mechanism in the molecular aetiology of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease and of several CMT-related disorders, a group of inherited neuropathies with a broad range of clinical phenotypes, inheritance patterns and causative genes. Duplications or deletions of the dosage-sensitive gene PMP22 mapped to chromosome 17p12 represent the most frequent causes of CMT type 1A and Hereditary Neuropathy with liability to Pressure Palsies (HNPP), respectively. Additionally, CNVs have been identified in patients with other CMT types (e.g., CMT1X, CMT1B, CMT4D) and different hereditary poly- (e.g., giant axonal neuropathy) and focal- (e.g., hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy) neuropathies, supporting the notion of hereditary peripheral nerve diseases as possible genomic disorders and making crucial the identification of fine chromosomal rearrangements in the molecular assessment of such patients. Notably, the application of advanced computational tools in the analysis of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) data has emerged in recent years as a powerful technique for identifying a genome-wide scale complex structural variants (e.g., as the ones resulted from balanced rearrangements) and also smaller pathogenic (intragenic) CNVs that often remain beyond the detection limit of most conventional genomic microarray analyses; in the context of inherited neuropathies where more than 70 disease-causing genes have been identified to date, NGS and particularly Whole-Genome Sequencing (WGS) hold the potential to reduce the number of genomic assays required per patient to reach a diagnosis, analyzing with a single test all the Single Nucleotide Variants (SNVs) and CNVs in the genes possibly implicated in this heterogeneous group of disorders.
Project description:Selective neuronal loss is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, which, counterintuitively, are often caused by mutations in widely expressed genes. Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) diseases are the most common hereditary peripheral neuropathies, for which there are no effective therapies. A subtype of these diseases--CMT type 2D (CMT2D)--is caused by dominant mutations in GARS, encoding the ubiquitously expressed enzyme glycyl-transfer RNA (tRNA) synthetase (GlyRS). Despite the broad requirement of GlyRS for protein biosynthesis in all cells, mutations in this gene cause a selective degeneration of peripheral axons, leading to deficits in distal motor function. How mutations in GlyRS (GlyRS(CMT2D)) are linked to motor neuron vulnerability has remained elusive. Here we report that GlyRS(CMT2D) acquires a neomorphic binding activity that directly antagonizes an essential signalling pathway for motor neuron survival. We find that CMT2D mutations alter the conformation of GlyRS, enabling GlyRS(CMT2D) to bind the neuropilin 1 (Nrp1) receptor. This aberrant interaction competitively interferes with the binding of the cognate ligand vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to Nrp1. Genetic reduction of Nrp1 in mice worsens CMT2D symptoms, whereas enhanced expression of VEGF improves motor function. These findings link the selective pathology of CMT2D to the neomorphic binding activity of GlyRS(CMT2D) that antagonizes the VEGF-Nrp1 interaction, and indicate that the VEGF-Nrp1 signalling axis is an actionable target for treating CMT2D.
Project description:Inherited peripheral neuropathies (IPN), which are a group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous peripheral nerve disorders including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), exhibit progressive degeneration of muscles in the extremities and loss of sensory function. Over 70 genes have been reported as genetic causatives and the number is still growing. We prepared a targeted gene panel for IPN diagnosis based on next generation sequencing (NGS). The gene panel was designed to detect mutations in 73 genes reported to be genetic causes of IPN or related peripheral neuropathies, and to detect duplication of the chromosome 17p12 region, the major genetic cause of CMT1A. We applied the gene panel to 115 samples from 63 non-CMT1A families, and isolated 15 pathogenic or likely-pathogenic mutations in eight genes from 25 patients (17 families). Of them, eight mutations were unreported variants. Of particular interest, this study revealed several very rare mutations in the SPTLC2, DCTN1, and MARS genes. In addition, the effectiveness of the detection of CMT1A was confirmed by comparing five 17p12-nonduplicated controls and 15 CMT1A cases. In conclusion, we developed a gene panel for one step genetic diagnosis of IPN. It seems that its time- and cost-effectiveness are superior to previous tiered-genetic diagnosis algorithms, and it could be applied as a genetic diagnostic system for inherited peripheral neuropathies.
Project description:Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is the most common inherited peripheral neuropathy. One form of CMT, CMT type 1A, is characterized by uniformly decreased nerve conduction velocities, usually shows autosomal dominant inheritance, and is associated with a large submicroscopic duplication of the p11.2-p12 region of chromosome 17. A cohort of 75 unrelated patients diagnosed clinically with CMT and evaluated by electrophysiological methods were analyzed molecularly for the presence of the CMT1A DNA duplication. Three methodologies were used to assess the duplication: measurement of dosage differences between RFLP alleles, analysis of polymorphic (GT)n repeats, and detection of a junction fragment by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The CMT1A duplication was found in 68% of the 63 unrelated CMT patients with electrophysiological studies consistent with CMT type 1 (CMT1). The CMT1A duplication was detected as a de novo event in two CMT1 families. Twelve CMT patients who did not have decreased nerve conduction velocities consistent with a diagnosis of CMT type 2 (CMT2) were found not to have the CMT1A duplication. The most informative molecular method was the detection of the CMT1A duplication-specific junction fragment. Given the high frequency of the CMT1A duplication in CMT patients and the high frequency of new mutations, we conclude that a molecular test for the CMT1A DNA duplication is very useful in the differential diagnosis of patients with peripheral neuropathies.