Identification of Novel Microsatellite Markers Flanking the SMN1 and SMN2 Duplicated Region and Inclusion Into a Single-Tube Tridecaplex Panel for Haplotype-Based Preimplantation Genetic Testing of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
ABSTRACT: Preimplantation genetic testing for the monogenic disorder (PGT-M) spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is significantly improved by supplementation of SMN1 deletion detection with marker-based linkage analysis. To expand the availability of informative markers for PGT-M of SMA, we identified novel non-duplicated and highly polymorphic microsatellite markers closely flanking the SMN1 and SMN2 duplicated region. Six of the novel markers within 0.5 Mb of the 1.7 Mb duplicated region containing SMN1 and SMN2 (SMA6863, SMA6873, SMA6877, SMA7093, SMA7115, and SMA7120) and seven established markers (D5S1417, D5S1413, D5S1370, D5S1408, D5S610, D5S1999, and D5S637), all with predicted high heterozygosity values, were selected and optimized in a tridecaplex PCR panel, and their polymorphism indices were determined in two populations. Observed marker heterozygosities in the Chinese and Caucasian populations ranged from 0.54 to 0.86, and 98.4% of genotyped individuals (185 of 188) were heterozygous for ?2 markers on either side of SMN1. The marker panel was evaluated for disease haplotype phasing using single cells from two parent-child trios after whole-genome amplification, and applied to a clinical IVF (in vitro fertilization) PGT-M cycle in an at-risk couple, in parallel with SMN1 deletion detection. Both direct and indirect test methods determined that none of five tested embryos were at risk for SMA, with haplotype analysis further identifying one embryo as unaffected and four as carriers. Fresh transfer of the unaffected embryo did not lead to implantation, but subsequent frozen-thaw transfer of a carrier embryo produced a pregnancy, with fetal genotype confirmed by amniocentesis, and a live birth at term.
Project description:Huntington disease (HD) is a lethal neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of a CAG repeat within the huntingtin (HTT) gene. Disease prevention can be facilitated by preimplantation genetic testing for this monogenic disorder (PGT-M). We developed a strategy for HD PGT-M, involving whole genome amplification (WGA) followed by combined triplet-primed PCR (TP-PCR) for HTT CAG repeat expansion detection and multi-microsatellite marker genotyping for disease haplotype phasing. The strategy was validated and tested pre-clinically in a simulated PGT-M case before clinical application in five cycles of a PGT-M case. The assay reliably and correctly diagnosed all embryos, even where allele dropout (ADO) occurred at the HTT CAG repeat locus or at one or more linked markers. Ten of the 27 embryos analyzed were diagnosed as unaffected. Four embryo transfers were performed, two of which involved fresh cycle double embryo transfers and two were frozen-thawed single embryo transfers. Pregnancies were achieved from each of the frozen-thawed single embryo transfers and confirmed to be unaffected by amniocentesis, culminating in live births at term. This strategy enhances diagnostic confidence for PGT-M of HD and can also be employed in situations where disease haplotype phase cannot be established prior to the start of PGT-M.
Project description:Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the second most common lethal autosomal recessive disorder. It is divided into the acute Werdnig-Hoffmann disease (type I), the intermediate form (type II), the Kugelberg-Welander disease (type III), and the adult form (type IV). The gene involved in all four forms of SMA, the so-called survival motor neuron (SMN) gene, is duplicated, with a telomeric (tel SMN or SMN1) and a centromeric copy (cent SMN or SMN2). SMN1 is homozygously deleted in over 95% of SMA patients. Another candidate gene in SMA is the neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein (NAIP) gene; it shows homozygous deletions in 45-67% of type I and 20-42% of type II/type III patients. Here we studied the SMN and NAIP genes in 92 Algerian SMA patients (20 type I, 16 type II, 53 type III, and 3 type IV) from 57 unrelated families, using a semiquantitative PCR approach. Homozygous deletions of SMN1 exons 7 and/or 8 were found in 75% of the families. Deletions of exon 4 and/or 5 of the NAIP gene were found in around 25%. Conversely, the quantitative analysis of SMN2 copies showed a significant correlation between SMN2 copy number and the type of SMA.
Project description:Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder, characterized by muscle atrophy and impaired mobility. A homozygous deletion of survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1), exon 7 is the main cause of SMA in ~94% of patients worldwide, but only accounts for 51% of South African (SA) black patients. SMN1 and its highly homologous centromeric copy, survival motor neuron 2 (SMN2), are located in a complex duplicated region. Unusual copy number variations (CNVs) have been reported in black patients, suggesting the presence of complex pathogenic rearrangements. The aim of this study was to further investigate the genetic cause of SMA in the black SA population. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) testing was performed on 197 unrelated black patients referred for SMA testing (75 with a homozygous deletion of SMN1, exon 7; 50 with a homozygous deletion of SMN2, exon 7; and 72 clinically suggestive patients with no homozygous deletions). Furthermore, 122 black negative controls were tested. For comparison, 68 white individuals (30 with a homozygous deletion of SMN1, exon 7; 8 with a homozygous deletion of SMN2, exon 7 and 30 negative controls) were tested. Multiple copies (>2) of SMN1, exon 7 were observed in 50.8% (62/122) of black negative controls which could mask heterozygous SMN1 deletions and potential pathogenic CNVs. MLPA is not a reliable technique for detecting carriers in the black SA population. Large deletions extending into the rest of SMN1 and neighboring genes were more frequently observed in black patients with homozygous SMN1, exon 7 deletions when compared to white patients. Homozygous SMN2, exon 7 deletions were commonly observed in black individuals. No clear pathogenic CNVs were identified in black patients but discordant copy numbers of exons suggest complex rearrangements, which may potentially interrupt the SMN1 gene. Only 8.3% (6/72) of clinically suggestive patients had heterozygous deletions of SMN1, exon 7 (1:0) which is lower than previous SA reports of 69.5%. This study emphasizes the lack of understanding of the architecture of the SMN region as well as the cause of SMA in the black SA population. These factors need to be taken into account when counseling and performing diagnostic testing in black populations.
Project description:Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a leading genetic cause of infant death worldwide, is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by the loss of SMN1 (survival motor neuron 1), which encodes the protein SMN. The loss of SMN1 causes a deficiency in SMN protein levels leading to motor neuron cell death in the anterior horn of the spinal cord. SMN2, however, can also produce some functional SMN to partially compensate for loss of SMN1 in SMA suggesting increasing transcription of SMN2 as a potential therapy to treat patients with SMA. A cAMP response element was identified on the SMN2 promoter, implicating cAMP activation as a step in the transcription of SMN2. Therefore, we investigated the effects of modulating the cAMP signaling cascade on SMN production in vitro and in silico. SMA patient fibroblasts were treated with the cAMP signaling modulators rolipram, salbutamol, dbcAMP, epinephrine and forskolin. All of the modulators tested were able to increase gem formation, a marker for SMN protein in the nucleus, in a dose-dependent manner. We then derived two possible mathematical models simulating the regulation of SMN2 expression by cAMP signaling. Both models fit well with our experimental data. In silico treatment of SMA fibroblasts simultaneously with two different cAMP modulators resulted in an additive increase in gem formation. This study shows how a systems biology approach can be used to develop potential therapeutic targets for treating SMA.
Project description:Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common autosomal recessive disorder in humans, caused by homozygous absence of the survival motor neuron gene 1 (SMN1). SMN2, a copy gene, influences the severity of SMA and may be used in somatic gene therapy of patients with SMA in the future. We present a new, fast, and highly reliable quantitative test, based on real-time LightCycler PCR that amplifies either SMN1 or SMN2. The SMN1 copies were determined and validated in 329 carriers and controls. The specificity of the test is 100%, whereas the sensitivity is 96.2%. The quantitative analysis of SMN2 copies in 375 patients with type I, type II, or type III SMA showed a significant correlation between SMN2 copy number and type of SMA as well as duration of survival. Thus, 80% of patients with type I SMA carry one or two SMN2 copies, and 82% of patients with type II SMA carry three SMN2 copies, whereas 96% of patients with type III SMA carry three or four SMN2 copies. Among 113 patients with type I SMA, 9 with one SMN2 copy lived <11 mo, 88/94 with two SMN2 copies lived <21 mo, and 8/10 with three SMN2 copies lived 33-66 mo. On the basis of SMN2 copy number, we calculated the posterior probability that a child with homozygous absence of SMN1 will develop type I, type II, or type III SMA.
Project description:To define the relationship between the survival motor neuron 1 gene (SMN1) and SMN2, and explore the variability of these two genes within the generations, SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers were determined for 227 SMA families. The association analysis indicated that there was a negative correlation between the copy number of SMN1 and SMN2 (Spearman?=?-0.472, P?<?0.001) in 227 SMA children and 454 of their parents. The average SMN copies from father and mother in each SMA family were used to represent the copy number in the parent's generation. Subsequently, SMN transmission analysis showed that the similar distribution trend of SMN1 and SMN2 copy number was not only in the SMA children and their parents' generation but also in the non-SMA families. Moreover, when the SMN2 copy number was one in the parent's generation, 75% of their SMA children had type I and 25% of them had type II/III. However, when the SMN2 copies were three in the parent's generation, all of their SMA children were type II/III. Therefore, the diversity of SMN copies was mostly inherited and the SMN2 copy number in the parent's generation could predict the disease severity of SMA children to some extent.
Project description:Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive motor neuron loss and caused by mutations in SMN1 (Survival Motor Neuron 1). The disease severity inversely correlates with the copy number of SMN2, a duplicated gene that is nearly identical to SMN1. We have delineated a mechanism of transcriptional regulation in the SMN2 locus. A previously uncharacterized long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), SMN-antisense 1 (SMN-AS1), represses SMN2 expression by recruiting the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) to its locus. Chemically modified oligonucleotides that disrupt the interaction between SMN-AS1 and PRC2 inhibit the recruitment of PRC2 and increase SMN2 expression in primary neuronal cultures. Our approach comprises a gene-up-regulation technology that leverages interactions between lncRNA and PRC2. Our data provide proof-of-concept that this technology can be used to treat disease caused by epigenetic silencing of specific loci.
Project description:In this article, the correlation between the copy number of survival motor neuron 2 (SMN2) gene, neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein (NAIP), and the phenotype of spinal muscular atrophy patients were analyzed.Forty patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) were included in the study at the Department of Medical Genetics of the First People's Hospital and the Department of Neurology of the Second People's Hospital in Yunnan Province from January 2012 to September 2018. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assay was performed to determine the copy numbers of SMN2 and NAIP genes. Statistical analysis was performed to determine the correlation between copy numbers of the SMN2 and NAIP genes and the clinical phenotypes of SMA.Our results show that among the 40 SMA patients, there were 13 type I cases, 16 type II cases and 11 type III cases. A total of 37 patients possessed a homozygous deletion of SMN1 exons 7 and 8, while the other 3 SMA patients possessed a single copy of SMN1 exon 8. There was no correlation between SMA subtypes and the deletion types of SMN1 exon 7 and 8 (P?=?.611). The percentage of 2, 3, and 4 copies of SMN2 exon 7 was 25.0%, 62.5%, and 12.5%, respectively. The percentage of 0, 1, and 2 copies of NAIP exon 5 was 10%, 57.5%, and 32.5%, respectively. The distributions of SMN2 and NAIP copy numbers among various SMA types were significantly different (all P?<?.05). Five combined SMN1-SMN2-NAIP genotypes were detected, of which 0-3-1 genotype had the highest proportion than the others, accounting for 42.5%. The copy number of SMN2 and NAIP gene had synergistic effect on SMA phenotype. The combined SMN1-SMN2-NAIP genotypes with fewer copies were associated with earlier onset age, higher mortality, and smaller average age at death in SMA patients.Therefore, we conclude that the copy number variance of SMN2 and NAIP is correlated with the SMA phenotype. Analysis of the copy number structure of the SMN1-SMN2-NAIP gene is helpful for SMA typing, disease prognosis prediction, and genetic counseling.
Project description:Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a leading genetic cause of infant mortality. The disease originates from low levels of SMN protein due to deletion and/or mutations of SMN1 coupled with the inability of SMN2 to compensate for the loss of SMN1. While SMN1 and SMN2 are nearly identical, SMN2 predominantly generates a truncated protein (SMN?7) due to skipping of exon 7, the last coding exon. Several avenues for SMA therapy are being explored, including means to enhance SMN2 transcription, correct SMN2 exon 7 splicing, stabilize SMN/SMN?7 protein, manipulate SMN-regulated pathways and SMN1 gene delivery by viral vectors. This review focuses on the aspects of target discovery, validations and outcome measures for a promising therapy of SMA.
Project description:Proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an early-onset motor neuron disease characterized by loss of ?-motor neurons and associated muscle atrophy. SMA is caused by deletion or other disabling mutation of survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1). In the human genome, a large duplication of the SMN-containing region gives rise to a second copy of this gene (SMN2) that is distinguishable by a single nucleotide change in exon 7. Within the SMA population, there is substantial variation in SMN2 copy number; in general, those individuals with SMA who have a high SMN2 copy number have a milder disease. Because SMN2 functions as a disease modifier, its accurate copy number determination may have clinical relevance. In this study, we describe the development of an assay to assess SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers in DNA samples using an array-based digital PCR (dPCR) system. This dPCR assay can accurately and reliably measure the number of SMN1 and SMN2 copies in DNA samples. In a cohort of SMA patient-derived cell lines, the assay confirmed a strong inverse correlation between SMN2 copy number and disease severity. Array dPCR is a practical technique to determine, accurately and reliably, SMN1 and SMN2 copy numbers from SMA samples.