The expanding phenotype of RNU4ATAC pathogenic variants to Lowry Wood syndrome.
ABSTRACT: RNU4ATAC pathogenic variants to date have been associated with microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism, type 1 and Roifman syndrome. Both conditions are clinically distinct skeletal dysplasias with microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism, type 1 having a more severe phenotype than Roifman syndrome. Some of the overlapping features of the two conditions include developmental delay, microcephaly, and immune deficiency. The features also overlap with Lowry Wood syndrome, another rare but well-defined skeletal dysplasia for which the genetic etiology has not been identified. Characteristic features include multiple epiphyseal dysplasia and microcephaly. Here, we describe three patients with Lowry Wood syndrome with biallelic RNU4ATAC pathogenic variants. This report expands the phenotypic spectrum for biallelic RNU4ATAC disorder causing variants and is the first to establish the genetic cause for Lowry Wood syndrome.
Project description:Roifman Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder characterized by growth retardation, cognitive delay, spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia and antibody deficiency. Here we utilize whole-genome sequencing of Roifman Syndrome patients to reveal compound heterozygous rare variants that disrupt highly conserved positions of the RNU4ATAC small nuclear RNA gene, a minor spliceosome component that is essential for minor intron splicing. Targeted sequencing confirms allele segregation in six cases from four unrelated families. RNU4ATAC rare variants have been recently reported to cause microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism, type I (MOPD1), whose phenotype is distinct from Roifman Syndrome. Strikingly, all six of the Roifman Syndrome cases have one variant that overlaps MOPD1-implicated structural elements, while the other variant overlaps a highly conserved structural element not previously implicated in disease. RNA-seq analysis confirms extensive and specific defects of minor intron splicing. Available allele frequency data suggest that recessive genetic disorders caused by RNU4ATAC rare variants may be more prevalent than previously reported.
Project description:Microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type I (MOPD I) is a rare autosomal recessive developmental disorder characterized by extreme intrauterine growth retardation, severe microcephaly, central nervous system abnormalities, dysmorphic facial features, skin abnormalities, skeletal changes, limb deformations, and early death. Recently, mutations in the RNU4ATAC gene, which encodes U4atac, a small nuclear RNA that is a crucial component of the minor spliceosome, were found to cause MOPD I. MOPD I is the first disease known to be associated with a defect in small nuclear RNAs. We describe here the clinical and molecular data for 17 cases of MOPD I, including 15 previously unreported cases, all carrying biallelic mutations in the RNU4ATAC gene.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism is a syndrome characterized by the presence of intrauterine growth restriction, post-natal growth deficiency and microcephaly. Microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II is the most distinctive syndrome in this group of entities. Individuals affected by this disease present at an adult height of less than 100 cm, a post-pubertal head circumference of 40 cm or less, mild mental retardation, an outgoing personality and bone dysplasia. CASE PRESENTATION: We report the first case of a five-year-old Colombian boy of mixed race ancestry (mestizo), with clinical features of microcephaly, prominent and narrow nose, arched palate, amelogenesis imperfecta, short stature, tall and narrow pelvis, disproportionate shortening of fore-arms and legs, and mild coxa vara. Analysis of the PCNT gene by sequencing showed the presence of a nucleotide change in exon 10, c. 1468C>T, evidencing a new mutation not reported in the literature for microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism. CONCLUSION: The new mutation identified in this case could be associated with the severity of the phenotypic expression of the disease, resulting in the extreme short stature of the patient. Further studies are required to reach an explanation that can justify such findings, and it is vital to emphasize the importance of detection and follow-up by the epidemiological surveillance groups in birth defects and rare diseases.
Project description:Microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type 1 (MOPD1) is an uncommon cause of microcephaly and intrauterine growth retardation in a newborn. Early identifying features include but are not limited to sloping forehead, micrognathia, sparse hair, including of eyebrows and short limbs. Immediate radiological findings may include partial or complete agenesis of the corpus callosum, interhemispheric cyst and shallow acetabula leading to dislocation. Genetic testing displaying a mutation in RNU4ATAC gene is necessary for definitive diagnosis. Early identification is important as MOPD1 is an autosomal recessive condition and could present in subsequent pregnancies. The purpose of this case is to both identify and describe some common physical findings related to MOPD1. We present a case of MOPD1 in a girl born to non-consanguineous parents that was distinct for subglottic stenosis and laryngeal cleft.
Project description:Primary microcephaly, Seckel syndrome, and microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II (MOPD II) are disorders exhibiting marked microcephaly, with small brain sizes reflecting reduced neuron production during fetal life. Although primary microcephaly can be caused by mutations in microcephalin (MCPH1), cells from patients with Seckel syndrome and MOPD II harbor mutations in ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3 related (ATR) or pericentrin (PCNT), leading to disturbed ATR signaling. In this study, we show that a lack of MCPH1 or PCNT results in a loss of Chk1 from centrosomes with subsequently deregulated activation of centrosomal cyclin B-Cdk1.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Whole-exome sequencing (WES) over the last few years has been increasingly employed for clinical diagnosis. However, one caveat with its use is that it inevitably fails to detect disease-causative variants that occur within noncoding RNA genes. Our experience in identifying pathogenic variants in the noncoding RNU4ATAC gene, in a Chinese family where two successive foetuses had been affected by severe microcephaly, is a case in point. These foetuses exhibited remarkably similar phenotypes in terms of their microcephaly and brain abnormalities; however, the paucity of other characteristic phenotypic features had made a precise diagnosis impossible. Given that no external causative factors had been reported/identified during the pregnancies, we sought a genetic cause for the phenotype in the proband, the second affected foetus. RESULTS:A search for chromosomal abnormalities and pathogenic copy number variants proved negative. WES was also negative. These initial failures prompted us to consider the potential role of RNU4ATAC, a noncoding gene implicated in microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type-1 (MOPD1), a severe autosomal recessive disease characterised by dwarfism, severe microcephaly and neurological abnormalities. Subsequent targeted sequencing of RNU4ATAC resulted in the identification of compound heterozygous variants, one being the most frequently reported MOPD1-causative mutation (51G>A), whereas the other was a novel 29T>A variant. Four distinct lines of evidence (allele frequency in normal populations, evolutionary conservation of the affected nucleotide, occurrence within a known mutational hotspot for MOPD1-causative variants and predicted effect on RNA secondary structure) allowed us to conclude that 29T>A is a new causative variant for MOPD1. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings highlight the limitations of WES in failing to detect variants within noncoding RNA genes and provide support for a role for whole-genome sequencing as a first-tier genetic test in paediatric medicine. Additionally, the identification of a novel RNU4ATAC variant within the mutational hotspot for MOPD1-causative variants further strengthens the critical role of the 5' stem-loop structure of U4atac in health and disease. Finally, this analysis enabled us to provide prenatal diagnosis and genetic counselling for the mother's third pregnancy, the first report of its kind in the context of inherited RNU4ATAC variants.
Project description:PURPOSE OF THE REVIEW:This review will provide an overview of the microcephalic primordial dwarfism (MPD) class of disorders and provide the reader comprehensive clinical review with suggested care guidelines for patients with microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism, type II (MOPDII). RECENT FINDINGS:Over the last 15 years, significant strides have been made in the diagnosis, natural history, and management of MOPDII. MOPDII is the most common and well described form of MPD. The classic features of the MPD group are severe pre- and postnatal growth retardation, with marked microcephaly. In addition to these features, individuals with MOPDII have characteristic facies, skeletal dysplasia, abnormal dentition, and an increased risk for cerebrovascular disease and insulin resistance. Biallelic loss-of-function mutations in the pericentrin gene cause MOPDII, which is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner.
Project description:Many proteins associated with the phenotype microcephaly have been localized to the centrosome or linked to it functionally. All the seven autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH) proteins localize at the centrosome. Microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II protein PCNT and Seckel syndrome (also characterized by severe microcephaly) protein ATR are also centrosomal proteins. All of the above findings show the importance of centrosomal proteins as the key players in neurogenesis and brain development. However, the exact mechanism as to how the loss-of-function of these proteins leads to microcephaly remains to be elucidated. To gain insight into the function of the most commonly mutated MCPH gene ASPM, we used the yeast two-hybrid technique to screen a human fetal brain cDNA library with an ASPM bait. The analysis identified Angelman syndrome gene product UBE3A as an ASPM interactor. Like ASPM, UBE3A also localizes to the centrosome. The identification of UBE3A as an ASPM interactor is not surprising as more than 80% of Angelman syndrome patients have microcephaly. However, unlike in MCPH, microcephaly is postnatal in Angelman syndrome patients. Our results show that UBE3A is a cell cycle regulated protein and its level peaks in mitosis. The shRNA knockdown of UBE3A in HEK293 cells led to many mitotic abnormalities including chromosome missegregation, abnormal cytokinesis and apoptosis. Thus our study links Angelman syndrome protein UBE3A to ASPM, centrosome and mitosis for the first time. We suggest that a defective chromosome segregation mechanism is responsible for the development of microcephaly in Angelman syndrome.
Project description:Primary microcephaly is a developmental brain anomaly that results from defective proliferation of neuroprogenitors in the germinal periventricular zone. More than a dozen genes are known to be mutated in autosomal-recessive primary microcephaly in isolation or in association with a more generalized growth deficiency (microcephalic primordial dwarfism), but the genetic heterogeneity is probably more extensive. In a research protocol involving autozygome mapping and exome sequencing, we recruited a multiplex consanguineous family who is affected by severe microcephalic primordial dwarfism and tested negative on clinical exome sequencing. Two candidate autozygous intervals were identified, and the second round of exome sequencing revealed a single intronic variant therein (c.2885+8A>G [p.Ser963(?)] in RTTN exon 23). RT-PCR confirmed that this change creates a cryptic splice donor and thus causes retention of the intervening 7 bp of the intron and leads to premature truncation. On the basis of this finding, we reanalyzed the exome file of a second consanguineous family affected by a similar phenotype and identified another homozygous change in RTTN as the likely causal mutation. Combined linkage analysis of the two families confirmed that RTTN maps to the only significant linkage peak. Finally, through international collaboration, a Canadian multiplex family affected by microcephalic primordial dwarfism and biallelic mutation of RTTN was identified. Our results expand the phenotype of RTTN-related disorders, hitherto limited to polymicrogyria, to include microcephalic primordial dwarfism with a complex brain phenotype involving simplified gyration.
Project description:Co-occurrence of primordial dwarfism and microcephaly together with particular skeletal findings are seen in a wide range of Mendelian syndromes including microcephaly micromelia syndrome (MMS, OMIM 251230), microcephaly, short stature, and limb abnormalities (MISSLA, OMIM 617604), and microcephalic primordial dwarfisms (MPDs). Genes associated with these syndromes encode proteins that have crucial roles in DNA replication or in other critical steps of the cell cycle that link DNA replication to cell division. We identified four unrelated families with five affected individuals having biallelic or de novo variants in DONSON presenting with a core phenotype of severe short stature (z score?<?-3 SD), additional skeletal abnormalities, and microcephaly. Two apparently unrelated families with identical homozygous c.631C?>?T p.(Arg211Cys) variant had clinical features typical of Meier-Gorlin syndrome (MGS), while two siblings with compound heterozygous c.346delG p.(Asp116Ile*62) and c.1349A?>?G p.(Lys450Arg) variants presented with Seckel-like phenotype. We also identified a de novo c.683G?>?T p.(Trp228Leu) variant in DONSON in a patient with prominent micrognathia, short stature and hypoplastic femur and tibia, clinically diagnosed with Femoral-Facial syndrome (FFS, OMIM 134780). Biallelic variants in DONSON have been recently described in individuals with microcephalic dwarfism. These studies also demonstrated that DONSON has an essential conserved role in the cell cycle. Here we describe novel biallelic and de novo variants that are associated with MGS, Seckel-like phenotype and FFS, the last of which has not been associated with any disease gene to date.