A heterozygous microdeletion of 20q13.13 encompassing ADNP gene in a child with Helsmoortel-van der Aa syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Helsmoortel-van der Aa (SWI/SNF autism-related or ADNP syndrome) is an autosomal dominant monogenic syndrome caused by de novo variants in the last exon of ADNP gene and no deletions have been documented to date. We report the first case of a 3 years and 10 months old boy exhibiting typical features of ADNP syndrome, including intellectual disability, autistic traits, facial dysmorphism, hyperlaxity, mood disorder, behavioral problems, and severe chronic constipation. 60K Agilent array-comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) identified a heterozygous interstitial microdeletion at 20q13.13 chromosome region, encompassing ADNP and DPM1. Taking into account the clinical phenotype of previously reported cases with ADNP single-point variants, genotype-phenotype correlation in the proband was established and the diagnosis of Helsmoortel-van der Aa syndrome was made. Our report thus confirms that ADNP haploinsufficiency is associated with Helsmoortel-van der Aa syndrome as well as highlights the utility of whole-genome array-CGH for detection of unbalanced submicroscopic chromosomal rearrangements in routine clinical setting in patients with unexplained intellectual disability and/or syndromic autism.
Project description:ADNP (Activity Dependent Neuroprotective Protein) is a neuroprotective protein whose aberrant expression has been frequently linked to neural developmental disorders, including the Helsmoortel-Van der Aa syndrome (also called the ADNP syndrome). However, its role in neural development and pathology remains unclear. Here, we show that ADNP is required for neural induction and differentiation by enhancing Wnt signaling. Mechanistically, ADNP functions to stabilize ?-Catenin through binding to its armadillo domain which prevents its association with key components of the degradation complex: Axin and APC. Loss of ADNP promotes the formation of the degradation complex and ?-Catenin degradation via ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, resulting in down-regulation of key neuroectoderm developmental genes. In addition, adnp gene disruption in zebrafish leads to defective neurogenesis and reduced Wnt signaling. Our work provides important insights into the role of ADNP in neural development and the pathology of the Helsmoortel-Van der Aa syndrome caused by ADNP gene mutation.
Project description:ADNP (Activity Dependent Neuroprotective Protein) is proposed as a neuroprotective protein whose aberrant expression has been frequently linked to rare neural developmental disorders and cancers, including the recently described neurodevelopmental Helsmoortel-Van der Aa syndrome. Recent studies have suggested that ADNP functions as an important chromatin regulator. However, how ADNP-regulated chromatin mechanisms control gene expression and stem cell fate commitment remains unclear. Here we show that ADNP interacts with two chromatin remodelers, BRG1 and CHD4. ADNP is required for proper establishment of chromatin accessibility, nucleosome configuration, and bivalent histone modifications of developmental genes. Loss of ADNP leads to enhancer over-activation and increased ratio of H3K4me3/H3K27me3 at key primitive endoderm (PrE) gene promoters, resulting in prominent up-regulation of these genes and priming ES cell differentiation toward endodermal cell types. Thus, our work revealed a key role of ADNP in the establishment of local chromatin landscape and structure of developmental genes by association with BRG1 and CHD4. These findings provide further insights into the role of ADNP in the pathology of the Helsmoortel-Van der Aa syndrome.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In genome-wide screening studies for de novo mutations underlying autism and intellectual disability, mutations in the ADNP gene are consistently reported among the most frequent. ADNP mutations have been identified in children with autism spectrum disorder comorbid with intellectual disability, distinctive facial features, and deficits in multiple organ systems. However, a comprehensive clinical description of the Helsmoortel-Van der Aa syndrome is lacking. METHODS:We identified a worldwide cohort of 78 individuals with likely disruptive mutations in ADNP from January 2014 to October 2016 through systematic literature search, by contacting collaborators, and through direct interaction with parents. Clinicians filled in a structured questionnaire on genetic and clinical findings to enable correlations between genotype and phenotype. Clinical photographs and specialist reports were gathered. Parents were interviewed to complement the written questionnaires. RESULTS:We report on the detailed clinical characterization of a large cohort of individuals with an ADNP mutation and demonstrate a distinctive combination of clinical features, including mild to severe intellectual disability, autism, severe speech and motor delay, and common facial characteristics. Brain abnormalities, behavioral problems, sleep disturbance, epilepsy, hypotonia, visual problems, congenital heart defects, gastrointestinal problems, short stature, and hormonal deficiencies are common comorbidities. Strikingly, individuals with the recurrent p.Tyr719* mutation were more severely affected. CONCLUSIONS:This overview defines the full clinical spectrum of individuals with ADNP mutations, a specific autism subtype. We show that individuals with mutations in ADNP have many overlapping clinical features that are distinctive from those of other autism and/or intellectual disability syndromes. In addition, our data show preliminary evidence of a correlation between genotype and phenotype.
Project description:Truncating de novo mutations in ADNP have been identified in patients with the Helsmoortel-Van der Aa syndrome. However correlations between the distinct mutations and their impact on the protein have not been studied before. Here we report the effect of mutations in ADNP by examining the expression and subcellular localization of GFP-tagged mutant transcripts in transfected HEK293T cells. ADNP encloses a bipartite nuclear localization signal and we found mutations therein to stall the mutant protein within the cytoplasm. Using immunocytochemistry, we could demonstrate colocalization of wild-type ADNP with heterochromatin. We found mutations presenting a pattern based on the genetic position. For certain mutant proteins enrichment at pericentromeric heterochromatin seems partially lost. Finally, N-terminal truncated ADNP mutants are routed towards cytosolic proteasomal degradation and rescued with the proteasome inhibitor MG132. Our results suggest a correlation between the position of the mutations across the protein, its stability and subcellular localization.
Project description:Purpose:We present the first detailed ophthalmic description of a child with Helsmoortel-Van der Aa Syndrome (HVDAS), including longitudinal follow-up and analysis. Observations:After extensive workup, a young child with poor visual behavior, hypotonic cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, and global developmental delay was found to have a heterozygous de novo mutation in the ADNP gene and diagnosed with HVDAS. Ophthalmic findings were remarkable for progressive nystagmus, macular pigment mottling, mild foveal hypoplasia with abnormal macular laminations, persistent rod dysfunction with electronegative waveform, and progressive cone degeneration. Conclusions and importance:Patients with HVDAS are known to have abnormal visual behavior due to refractive or cortical impairment. However, we present the first description, to our knowledge, of an association with retinal mal-development and degeneration. Thus, patients with HVDAS should be referred for ophthalmic genetics evaluation, and HVDAS should be on the differential diagnosis for young children with global developmental delay who present with nystagmus, rod and cone dysfunction with electronegative waveform, and relative lack of severe structural degeneration on optical coherence tomography.
Project description:Mutations in ADNP have been recently associated with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder. However, the clinical features of patients with this syndrome are not fully identified, and no treatment currently exists for these patients. Here, we extended the ADNP syndrome phenotype describing skin abnormalities in both a patient with ADNP syndrome and an Adnp haploinsufficient mice. The patient displayed thin dermis, hyperkeratotic lesions in periarticular areas and delayed wound healing. Patient-derived skin keratinocytes showed reduced proliferation and increased differentiation. Additionally, detection of cell cycle markers indicated that mutant cells exhibited impaired cell cycle progression. Treatment of ADNP-deficient keratinocytes with the ADNP-derived NAP peptide significantly reduced the expression of differentiation markers. Sonography and immunofluorescence staining of epidermal layers revealed that the dermis was thinner in the patient than in a healthy control. Adnp haploinsufficient mice (Adnp+/-) mimicked the human condition showing reduced dermal thickness. Intranasal administration of NAP significantly increased dermal thickness and normalized the levels of cell cycle and differentiation markers. Our observations provide a novel activity of the autism-linked ADNP in the skin that may serve to define the clinical phenotype of patients with ADNP syndrome and provide an attractive therapeutic option for skin alterations in these patients.
Project description:Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), essential for brain formation, was discovered as a leading de novo mutated gene causing the autism-like ADNP syndrome. This syndrome is phenotypically characterized by global developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, speech impediments, and motor dysfunctions. The Adnp haploinsufficient mouse mimics the human ADNP syndrome in terms of synapse density and gene expression patterns, as well as in developmental, motor, and cognitive abilities. Peripheral ADNP was also discovered as a biomarker for Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, with nasal administration of the ADNP snippet peptide NAP (enhancing endogenous ADNP activity) leading to partial cognitive and functional protection at the cellular, animal and clinical settings. Here, a novel formulation for effective delivery of NAP is provided with superior brain penetration capabilities. Also provided are methods for treating pertinent clinical implications such as autism, cognitive impairments, olfactory deficits, and muscle strength using the formulation in the Adnp haploinsufficient mouse. Results showed a dramatically specific increase in brain/body bioavailability with the new formulation, without breaching the blood brain barrier. Additional findings included improvements using daily intranasal treatments with NAP, at the behavioral and brain structural levels, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), translatable to clinical practice. Significant effects on hippocampal and cerebral cortical expression of the presynaptic Slc17a7 gene encoding vesicular excitatory glutamate transporter 1 (VGLUT1) were observed at the RNA and immunohistochemical levels, explaining the DTI results. These findings tie for the first time a reduction in presynaptic glutamatergic synapses with the autism/Alzheimer's/schizophrenia-linked ADNP deficiency coupled with amelioration by NAP (CP201).
Project description:Given our recent discovery of somatic mutations in autism spectrum disorder (ASD)/intellectual disability (ID) genes in postmortem aged Alzheimer's disease brains correlating with increasing tauopathy, it is important to decipher if tauopathy is underlying brain imaging results of atrophy in ASD/ID children. We concentrated on activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP), a prevalent autism gene. The unique availability of multiple postmortem brain sections of a 7-year-old male, heterozygous for ADNP de novo mutation c.2244Adup/p.His559Glnfs*3 allowed exploration of tauopathy, reflecting on a general unexplored mechanism. The tested subject exhibited autism, fine motor delays, severe intellectual disability and seizures. The patient died after multiple organ failure following liver transplantation. To compare to other ADNP syndrome mutations, immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines from three different patients (including ADNP p.Arg216*, p.Lys408Valfs*31, and p.Tyr719* heterozygous dominant mutations) and a control were subjected to RNA-seq. Immunohistochemistry, high-throughput gene expression profiles in numerous postmortem tissues followed. Comparisons to a control brain and to extensive datasets were used. Live cell imaging investigated Tau-microtubule interaction, protecting against tauopathy. Extensive child brain tauopathy paralleled by multiple gene expression changes was discovered. Tauopathy was explained by direct mutation effects on Tau-microtubule interaction and correction by the ADNP active snippet NAP. Significant pathway changes (empirical P value?<?0.05) included over 100 genes encompassing neuroactive ligand-receptor and cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, MAPK and calcium signaling, axon guidance and Wnt signaling pathways. Changes were also seen in steroid biosynthesis genes, suggesting sex differences. Selecting the most affected genes by the ADNP mutations for gene expression analysis, in multiple postmortem tissues, identified Tau (MAPT)-gene-related expression changes compared with extensive normal gene expression (RNA-seq) databases. ADNP showed relatively reduced expression in the ADNP syndrome cerebellum, which was also observed for 25 additional genes (representing >50% of the tested genes), including NLGN1, NLGN2, PAX6, SMARCA4, and SNAP25, converging on nervous system development and tauopathy. NAP provided protection against mutated ADNP disrupted Tau-microtubule association. In conclusion, tauopathy may explain brain-imaging findings in ADNP syndrome children and may provide a new direction for the development of tauopathy protecting drug candidates like NAP in ASD/ID.
Project description:BACKGROUND:ADNP syndrome is a rare Mendelian disorder characterized by global developmental delay, intellectual disability, and autism. It is caused by truncating mutations in ADNP, which is involved in chromatin regulation. We hypothesized that the disruption of chromatin regulation might result in specific DNA methylation patterns that could be used in the molecular diagnosis of ADNP syndrome. RESULTS:We identified two distinct and partially opposing genomic DNA methylation episignatures in the peripheral blood samples from 22 patients with ADNP syndrome. The "epi-ADNP-1" episignature included ~?6000 mostly hypomethylated CpGs, and the "epi-ADNP-2" episignature included ~?1000 predominantly hypermethylated CpGs. The two signatures correlated with the locations of the ADNP mutations. Epi-ADNP-1 mutations occupy the N- and C-terminus, and epi-ADNP-2 mutations are centered on the nuclear localization signal. The episignatures were enriched for genes involved in neuronal system development and function. A classifier trained on these profiles yielded full sensitivity and specificity in detecting patients with either of the two episignatures. Applying this model to seven patients with uncertain clinical diagnosis enabled reclassification of genetic variants of uncertain significance and assigned new diagnosis when the primary clinical suspicion was not correct. When applied to a large cohort of unresolved patients with developmental delay (N?=?1150), the model predicted three additional previously undiagnosed patients to have ADNP syndrome. DNA sequencing of these subjects, wherever available, identified pathogenic mutations within the gene domains predicted by the model. CONCLUSIONS:We describe the first Mendelian condition with two distinct episignatures caused by mutations in a single gene. These highly sensitive and specific DNA methylation episignatures enable diagnosis, screening, and genetic variant classifications in ADNP syndrome.