GATA6 mutations in hiPSCs inform mechanisms for maldevelopment of the heart, pancreas, and diaphragm.
ABSTRACT: Damaging GATA6 variants cause cardiac outflow tract defects, sometimes with pancreatic and diaphragmic malformations. To define molecular mechanisms for these diverse developmental defects, we studied transcriptional and epigenetic responses to GATA6 loss of function (LoF) and missense variants during cardiomyocyte differentiation of isogenic human induced pluripotent stem cells. We show that GATA6 is a pioneer factor in cardiac development, regulating SMYD1 that activates HAND2, and KDR that with HAND2 orchestrates outflow tract formation. LoF variants perturbed cardiac genes and also endoderm lineage genes that direct PDX1 expression and pancreatic development. Remarkably, an exon 4 GATA6 missense variant, highly associated with extra-cardiac malformations, caused ectopic pioneer activities, profoundly diminishing GATA4, FOXA1/2, and PDX1 expression and increasing normal retinoic acid signaling that promotes diaphragm development. These aberrant epigenetic and transcriptional signatures illuminate the molecular mechanisms for cardiovascular malformations, pancreas and diaphragm dysgenesis that arise in patients with distinct GATA6 variants.
Project description:Organogenesis involves integration of diverse cell types; dysregulation of cell-type-specific gene networks results in birth defects, which affect 5% of live births. Congenital heart defects are the most common malformations, and result from disruption of discrete subsets of cardiac progenitor cells1, but the transcriptional changes in individual progenitors that lead to organ-level defects remain unknown. Here we used single-cell RNA sequencing to interrogate early cardiac progenitor cells as they become specified during normal and abnormal cardiogenesis, revealing how dysregulation of specific cellular subpopulations has catastrophic consequences. A network-based computational method for single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis that predicts lineage-specifying transcription factors2,3 identified Hand2 as a specifier of outflow tract cells but not right ventricular cells, despite the failure of right ventricular formation in Hand2-null mice4. Temporal single-cell-transcriptome analysis of Hand2-null embryos revealed failure of outflow tract myocardium specification, whereas right ventricular myocardium was specified but failed to properly differentiate and migrate. Loss of Hand2 also led to dysregulation of retinoic acid signalling and disruption of anterior-posterior patterning of cardiac progenitors. This work reveals transcriptional determinants that specify fate and differentiation in individual cardiac progenitor cells, and exposes mechanisms of disrupted cardiac development at single-cell resolution, providing a framework for investigating congenital heart defects.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Rare variants in certain transcription factors involved in cardiac development cause Mendelian forms of congenital heart disease. The purpose of this study was to systematically assess the frequency of rare transcription factor variants in sporadic patients with the cardiac outflow tract malformation tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). METHODS AND RESULTS:We sequenced the coding, 5'UTR, and 3'UTR regions of twelve transcription factor genes implicated in cardiac outflow tract development (NKX2.5, GATA4, ISL1, TBX20, MEF2C, BOP/SMYD1, HAND2, FOXC1, FOXC2, FOXH, FOXA2 and TBX1) in 93 non-syndromic, non-Mendelian TOF cases. We also analysed Illumina Human 660W-Quad SNP Array data for copy number variants in these genes; none were detected. Four of the rare variants detected have previously been shown to affect transactivation in in vitro reporter assays: FOXC1 p.P297S, FOXC2 p.Q444R, FOXH1 p.S113T and TBX1 p.P43_G61del PPPPRYDPCAAAAPGAPGP. Two further rare variants, HAND2 p.A25_A26insAA and FOXC1 p.G378_G380delGGG, A488_491delAAAA, affected transactivation in in vitro reporter assays. Each of these six functionally significant variants was present in a single patient in the heterozygous state; each of the four for which parental samples were available were maternally inherited. Thus in the 93 TOF cases we identified six functionally significant mutations in the secondary heart field transcriptional network. SIGNIFICANCE:This study indicates that rare genetic variants in the secondary heart field transcriptional network with functional effects on protein function occur in 3-13% of patients with TOF. This is the first report of a functionally significant HAND2 mutation in a patient with congenital heart disease.
Project description:The basic helix-loop-helix DNA binding protein Hand2 has critical functions in cardiac development both in neural crest-derived and mesoderm-derived structures. Targeted deletion of Hand2 in the neural crest has allowed us to genetically dissect Hand2-dependent defects specifically in outflow tract and cardiac cushion independent of Hand2 functions in mesoderm-derived structures. Targeted deletion of Hand2 in the neural crest results in misalignment of the aortic arch arteries and outflow tract, contributing to development of double outlet right ventricle (DORV) and ventricular septal defects (VSD). These neural crest-derived developmental anomalies are associated with altered expression of Hand2-target genes we have identified by gene profiling. A number of Hand2 direct target genes have been identified using ChIP and ChIP-on-chip analyses. We have identified and validated a number of genes related to cell migration, proliferation/cell cycle and intracellular signaling whose expression is affected by Hand2 deletion in the neural crest and which are associated with development of VSD and DORV. Our data suggest that Hand2 is a multifunctional DNA binding protein affecting expression of target genes associated with a number of functional interactions in neural crest-derived cells required for proper patterning of the outflow tract, generation of the appropriate number of neural crest-derived cells for elongation of the conotruncus and cardiac cushion organization. Our genetic model has made it possible to investigate the molecular genetics of neural crest contributions to outflow tract morphogenesis and cell differentiation.
Project description:Heterozygous mutations in GATA6 have been linked to pancreatic agenesis and cardiac malformations. The aim of this study was to describe a new mutation in GATA6 in an infant with pancreatic agenesis, associated with truncus arteriosus and absent gallbladder. Clinical data were obtained from chart review. Gene sequencing was performed on genomic DNA. The patient was a female infant diagnosed shortly after birth with a severe cardiac malformation, absent gallbladder, anomalous hepatic blood flow, unilateral hydronephrosis and hydroureter, neonatal diabetes, and pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. Despite prolonged intensive management care, she died at 3 months of age because of cardiac complications. Analysis of her genomic DNA revealed a novel missense mutation of GATA6. The novel mutation described in this case extends the list of GATA6 mutations causing pancreatic agenesis and cardiac malformations.
Project description:Cardiogenesis involves the contributions of multiple progenitor pools, including mesoderm-derived cardiac progenitors known as the first and second heart fields. Disruption of genetic pathways regulating individual subsets of cardiac progenitors likely underlies many forms of human cardiac malformations. Hand2 is a member of the basic helix loop helix (bHLH) family of transcription factors and is expressed in numerous cell lineages that contribute to the developing heart. However, the early embryonic lethality of Hand2-null mice has precluded lineage-specific study of its function in myocardial progenitors. Here, we generated and used a floxed allele of Hand2 to ablate its expression in specific cardiac cell populations at defined developmental points. We found that Hand2 expression within the mesoderm-derived second heart field progenitors was required for their survival and deletion in this domain recapitulated the complete Hand2-null phenotype. Loss of Hand2 at later stages of development and in restricted domains of the second heart field revealed a spectrum of cardiac anomalies resembling forms of human congenital heart disease. Molecular analyses of Hand2 mutant cells revealed several genes by which Hand2 may influence expansion of the cardiac progenitors. These findings demonstrate that Hand2 is essential for survival of second heart field progenitors and that the graded loss of Hand2 function in this cardiac progenitor pool can cause a spectrum of congenital heart malformation.
Project description:KCNMA1 encodes the large-conductance Ca2+- and voltage-activated K+ (BK) potassium channel ?-subunit, and pathogenic gain-of-function variants in this gene have been associated with a dominant form of generalized epilepsy and paroxysmal dyskinesia. Here, we genetically and functionally characterize eight novel loss-of-function (LoF) variants of KCNMA1. Genome or exome sequencing and the participation in the international Matchmaker Exchange effort allowed for the identification of novel KCNMA1 variants. Patch clamping was used to assess functionality of mutant BK channels. The KCNMA1 variants p.(Ser351Tyr), p.(Gly356Arg), p.(Gly375Arg), p.(Asn449fs) and p.(Ile663Val) abolished the BK current, whereas p.(Cys413Tyr) and p.(Pro805Leu) reduced the BK current amplitude and shifted the activation curves toward positive potentials. The p.(Asp984Asn) variant reduced the current amplitude without affecting kinetics. A phenotypic analysis of the patients carrying the recurrent p.(Gly375Arg) de novo missense LoF variant revealed a novel syndromic neurodevelopmental disorder associated with severe developmental delay, visceral and cardiac malformations, connective tissue presentations with arterial involvement, bone dysplasia and characteristic dysmorphic features. Patients with other LoF variants presented with neurological and developmental symptoms including developmental delay, intellectual disability, ataxia, axial hypotonia, cerebral atrophy and speech delay/apraxia/dysarthria. Therefore, LoF KCNMA1 variants are associated with a new syndrome characterized by a broad spectrum of neurological phenotypes and developmental disorders. LoF variants of KCNMA1 cause a new syndrome distinctly different from gain-of-function variants in the same gene.
Project description:Embryonic heart formation requires the production of an appropriate number of cardiomyocytes; likewise, cardiac regeneration following injury relies upon the recovery of lost cardiomyocytes. The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor Hand2 has been implicated in promoting cardiomyocyte formation. It is unclear, however, whether Hand2 plays an instructive or permissive role during this process. Here, we find that overexpression of hand2 in the early zebrafish embryo is able to enhance cardiomyocyte production, resulting in an enlarged heart with a striking increase in the size of the outflow tract. Our evidence indicates that these increases are dependent on the interactions of Hand2 in multimeric complexes and are independent of direct DNA binding by Hand2. Proliferation assays reveal that hand2 can impact cardiomyocyte production by promoting division of late-differentiating cardiac progenitors within the second heart field. Additionally, our data suggest that hand2 can influence cardiomyocyte production by altering the patterning of the anterior lateral plate mesoderm, potentially favoring formation of the first heart field at the expense of hematopoietic and vascular lineages. The potency of hand2 during embryonic cardiogenesis suggested that hand2 could also impact cardiac regeneration in adult zebrafish; indeed, we find that overexpression of hand2 can augment the regenerative proliferation of cardiomyocytes in response to injury. Together, our studies demonstrate that hand2 can drive cardiomyocyte production in multiple contexts and through multiple mechanisms. These results contribute to our understanding of the potential origins of congenital heart disease and inform future strategies in regenerative medicine.
Project description:Congenital cardiac malformations are one of the most common birth defects and most are believed to be multigenic/multifactorial in nature. Recently mice lacking Pre-B cell leukemia transcription homeobox (PBX) genes were created and found to have a range of ventricular outflow tract (OFT) malformations. Therefore, we screened 95 patients with congenital heart defects, including OFT malformations, for variants in genes encoding PBX proteins, as well as interacting proteins. The coding exons of PBX1-4, PKNOX1, PKNOX2, MEIS1-3, and PBXIP1 were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and the products analyzed on a lightscanner. Samples with abnormal melting profiles were analyzed by DNA sequencing. Seven non-synonymous variants (6 novel and 1 SNP) were identified in 5 proteins (Pbx3, Pbx4, Meis1, Meis3 and Pknox1). One Pbx3 variant, p.A136V, is located in a highly conserved polyalanine tract and predicted to be deleterious. This variant was present in 5.2% of heart defect patients compared with 1.3% of 380 race- and ethnicity-matched controls (P<0.05). None of the other variants were predicted to be damaging. In conclusion, our results support the Pbx3 Ala136Val variant as a modifier or risk allele for congenital heart defects and implicate PBX-related genes as candidates for CHD, especially those affecting the cardiac outflow tract.
Project description:Left-sided lesions (LSLs) account for an important fraction of severe congenital cardiovascular malformations (CVMs). The genetic contributions to LSLs are complex, and the mutations that cause these malformations span several diverse biological signaling pathways: TGFB, NOTCH, SHH, and more. Here, we use whole exome sequence data generated in 342 LSL cases to identify likely damaging variants in putative candidate CVM genes.Using a series of bioinformatics filters, we focused on genes harboring population-rare, putative loss-of-function (LOF), and predicted damaging variants in 1760 CVM candidate genes constructed a priori from the literature and model organism databases. Gene variants that were not observed in a comparably sequenced control dataset of 5492 samples without severe CVM were then subjected to targeted validation in cases and parents. Whole exome sequencing data from 4593 individuals referred for clinical sequencing were used to bolster evidence for the role of candidate genes in CVMs and LSLs.Our analyses revealed 28 candidate variants in 27 genes, including 17 genes not previously associated with a human CVM disorder, and revealed diverse patterns of inheritance among LOF carriers, including 9 confirmed de novo variants in both novel and newly described human CVM candidate genes (ACVR1, JARID2, NR2F2, PLRG1, SMURF1) as well as established syndromic CVM genes (KMT2D, NF1, TBX20, ZEB2). We also identified two genes (DNAH5, OFD1) with evidence of recessive and hemizygous inheritance patterns, respectively. Within our clinical cohort, we also observed heterozygous LOF variants in JARID2 and SMAD1 in individuals with cardiac phenotypes, and collectively, carriers of LOF variants in our candidate genes had a four times higher odds of having CVM (odds ratio?=?4.0, 95% confidence interval 2.5-6.5).Our analytical strategy highlights the utility of bioinformatic resources, including human disease records and model organism phenotyping, in novel gene discovery for rare human disease. The results underscore the extensive genetic heterogeneity underlying non-syndromic LSLs, and posit potential novel candidate genes and complex modes of inheritance in this important group of birth defects.
Project description:The first human mutations in GATA6 were described in a cohort of patients with persistent truncus arteriosus, and the phenotypic spectrum has expanded since then. This study underscores the broad phenotypic spectrum by presenting two patients with de novo GATA6 mutations, both exhibiting complex cardiac defects, pancreatic, and other abnormalities. Furthermore, we provided a detailed overview of all published human genetic variation in/near GATA6 published to date and the associated phenotypes (n = 78). We conclude that the most common phenotypes associated with a mutation in GATA6 were structural cardiac and pancreatic abnormalities, with a penetrance of 87 and 60%, respectively. Other common malformations were gallbladder agenesis, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and neurocognitive abnormalities, mostly developmental delay. Fifty-eight percent of the mutations were de novo, and these patients more often had an anomaly of intracardiac connections, an anomaly of the great arteries, and hypothyroidism, compared with those with inherited mutations. Functional studies mostly support loss-of-function as the pathophysiological mechanism. In conclusion, GATA6 mutations give a wide range of phenotypic defects, most frequently malformations of the heart and pancreas. This highlights the importance of detailed clinical evaluation of identified carriers to evaluate their full phenotypic spectrum.