Identification and functional characterization of novel GDAP1 variants in Chinese patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:To identify and characterize the pathogenicity of novel variants in Chinese patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. METHODS:Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and whole-exome sequencing (WES) were performed in 30 unrelated CMT patients. Minigene assay was used to verify the effect of a novel splicing variant (c.694+1G>A) on pre-mRNA. Primary fibroblast cell lines were established from skin biopsies to characterize the biological effects of the novel variants p.L26R and p.S169fs. The mitochondrial structure was observed by an electron microscope. The expression level of protein was analyzed by Western Blotting. Mitochondrial dynamics and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP, ??m) were analyzed via immunofluorescence study. Mitochondrial ATP levels were analyzed via bioluminescence assay. The rate of oxygen consumption was measured with a Seahorse Bioscience XF-96 extracellular flux analyzer. RESULTS:We identified 10 pathogenic variants in three known CMT related genes, including three novel variants (p.L26R, p.S169fs, c.694+1G>A) and one known pathogenic variant (p.R120W) in GDAP1. Further, we described the clinical features of patients carrying pathogenic variants in GDAP1 and found that almost all Chinese CMT patients with GDAP1 variants present axonal type. The effect of c.694+1G>A on pre-mRNA was verified via minigene splice assay. Cellular biological effects showed ultrastructure damage of mitochondrial, reduced protein levels, different patterns of mitochondrial dynamics, decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (??m), ATP content, and defects in respiratory capacity in the patient carrying p.L26R and p.S169fs in GDAP1. INTERPRETATION:Our results broaden the genetic spectrum of GDAP1 and provided functional evidence for mitochondrial pathways in the pathogenesis of GDAP1 variants.
Project description:The question of whether a newly identified sequence variant is truly a causative mutation is a central problem of modern clinical genetics. In the current era of massive sequencing, there is an urgent need to develop new tools for assessing the pathogenic effect of new sequence variants. In Charcot-Marie-Tooth disorders (CMT) with their extreme genetic heterogeneity and relatively homogenous clinical presentation, addressing the pathogenic effect of rare sequence variants within 80 CMT genes is extremely challenging. The presence of multiple rare sequence variants within a single CMT-affected patient makes selection for the strongest one, the truly causative mutation, a challenging issue. In the present study we propose a new yeast-based model to evaluate the pathogenic effect of rare sequence variants found within the one of the CMT-associated genes, GDAP1. In our approach, the wild-type and pathogenic variants of human GDAP1 gene were expressed in yeast. Then, a growth rate and mitochondrial morphology and function of GDAP1-expressing strains were studied. Also, the mutant GDAP1 proteins localization and functionality were assessed in yeast. We have shown, that GDAP1 was not only stably expressed but also functional in yeast cell, as it influenced morphology and function of mitochondria and altered the growth of a mutant yeast strain. What is more, the various GDAP1 pathogenic sequence variants caused the specific for them effect in the tests we performed. Thus, the proposed model is suitable for validating the pathogenic effect of known GDAP1 mutations and may be used for testing of unknown sequence variants found in CMT patients.
Project description:Ganglioside-induced differentiation associated-protein 1 (GDAP1) mutations are commonly associated with autosomal recessive Charcot-Marie-Tooth (ARCMT) neuropathy; however, in rare instances, they also lead to autosomal dominant Charcot-Marie-Tooth (ADCMT). We aimed to investigate the frequency of disease-causing heterozygous GDAP1 mutations in ADCMT and their associated phenotype.We performed mutation analysis in a large cohort of ADCMT patients by means of bidirectional sequencing of coding regions and exon-intron boundaries of GDAP1. Intragenic GDAP1 deletions were excluded using an allele quantification assay. We confirmed the pathogenic character of one sequence variant by in vitro experiments assaying mitochondrial morphology and function.In 8 Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) families we identified 4 pathogenic heterozygous GDAP1 mutations, 3 of which are novel. Three of the mutations displayed reduced disease penetrance. Disease onset in the affected individuals was variable, ranging from early childhood to adulthood. Disease progression was slow in most patients and overall severity milder than typically seen in autosomal recessive GDAP1 mutations. Electrophysiologic changes are heterogeneous but compatible with axonal neuropathy in the majority of patients.With this study, we broaden the phenotypic and genetic spectrum of autosomal dominant GDAP1-associated neuropathies. We show that patients with dominant GDAP1 mutations may display clear axonal CMT, but may also have only minimal clinical and electrophysiologic abnormalities. We demonstrate that cell-based functional assays can be reliably used to test the pathogenicity of unknown variants. We discuss the implications of phenotypic variability and the reduced penetrance of autosomal dominant GDAP1 mutations for CMT diagnostic testing and counseling.
Project description:Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is a common inherited peripheral neuropathy affecting up to 1 in 1214 of the general population with more than 60 nuclear genes implicated in its pathogenesis. Traditional molecular diagnostic pathways based on relative prevalence and clinical phenotyping are limited by long turnaround time, population-specific prevalence of causative variants and inability to assess multiple co-existing variants. In this study, a CMT gene panel comprising 27 genes was used to uncover the pathogenic mutations in two index patients. The first patient is a 15-year-old boy, born of consanguineous parents, who has had frequent trips and falls since infancy, and was later found to have inverted champagne bottle appearance of bilateral legs and foot drop. His elder sister is similarly affected. The second patient is a 37-year-old woman referred for pre-pregnancy genetic diagnosis. During early adulthood, she developed progressive lower limb weakness, difficulties in tip-toe walking and thinning of calf muscles. Both patients are clinically compatible with CMT, have undergone multiple genetic testings and have not previously received a definitive genetic diagnosis. Patients 1 and 2 were found to have pathogenic homozygous <i>HSPB1</i>:NM_001540:c.250G>A (p.G84R) variant and heterozygous <i>GDAP1</i>:NM_018972:c.358C>T (p.R120W) variant, respectively. Advantages and limitations of the current approach are discussed.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>Mutations in the ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated protein 1 gene (<i>GDAP1</i>) are known to cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). These mutations are very rare in most countries, but not in certain Mediterranean countries. The purpose of this study was to identify the clinical and neuroimaging characteristics of Korean CMT patients with <i>GDAP1</i> mutations.<h4>Methods</h4>Gene sequencing was applied to 1,143 families in whom CMT had been diagnosed from 2005 to 2020. <i>PMP22</i> duplication was found in 344 families, and whole-exome sequencing was performed in 699 patients. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were obtained using either a 1.5-T or 3.0-T MRI system.<h4>Results</h4>We found ten patients from eight families with <i>GDAP1</i> mutations: five with autosomal dominant (AD) CMT type 2K (three families with p.R120W and two families with p.Q218E) and three with autosomal recessive (AR) intermediate CMT type A (two families with homozygous p.H256R and one family with p.P111H and p.V219G mutations). The frequency was about 1.0% exclusive of the <i>PMP22</i> duplication, which is similar to that in other Asian countries. There were clinical differences among AD <i>GDAP1</i> patients according to mutation sites. Surprisingly, fat infiltrations evident in lower-limb MRI differed between AD and AR patients. The posterior-compartment muscles in the calf were affected early and predominantly in AD patients, whereas AR patients showed fat infiltration predominantly in the anterolateral-compartment muscles.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This is the first cohort report on Korean patients with <i>GDAP1</i> mutations. The patients with AD and AR inheritance routes exhibited different clinical and neuroimaging features in the lower extremities. We believe that these results will help to expand the knowledge of the clinical, genetic, and neuroimaging features of CMT.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated protein 1 gene (GDAP1), which is involved in the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy, encodes a protein anchored to the mitochondrial outer membrane. The phenotypic presentations of patients carrying GDAP1 mutations are heterogeneous, making it difficult to determine genotype-phenotype correlations, since the majority of the mutations have been found in only a few unrelated patients. Locus-specific databases (LSDB) established in the framework of the Human Variome Project provide powerful tools for the investigation of such rare diseases. METHODS AND RESULTS: We report the development of a publicly accessible LSDB for the GDAP1 gene. The GDAP1 LSDB has adopted the Leiden Open-source Variation Database (LOVD) software platform. This database, which now contains 57 unique variants reported in 179 cases of CMT, offers a detailed description of the molecular, clinical and electrophysiological data of the patients. The usefulness of the GDAP1 database is illustrated by the finding that GDAP1 mutations lead to primary axonal damage in CMT, with secondary demyelination in the more severe cases of the disease. CONCLUSION: Findings of this nature should lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of CMT. Finally, the GDAP1 LSDB, which is part of the mitodyn.org portal of databases of genes incriminated in disorders involving mitochondrial dynamics and bioenergetics, should yield new insights into mitochondrial diseases.
Project description:Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is one of the most common inherited neurological disorders. Despite the common involvement of ganglioside-induced differentiation-associated protein 1 (GDAP1) in CMT, the protein structure and function, as well as the pathogenic mechanisms, remain unclear. We determined the crystal structure of the complete human GDAP1 core domain, which shows a novel mode of dimerization within the glutathione S-transferase (GST) family. The long GDAP1-specific insertion forms an extended helix and a flexible loop. GDAP1 is catalytically inactive toward classical GST substrates. Through metabolite screening, we identified a ligand for GDAP1, the fatty acid hexadecanedioic acid, which is relevant for mitochondrial membrane permeability and Ca<sup>2+</sup> homeostasis. The fatty acid binds to a pocket next to a CMT-linked residue cluster, increases protein stability, and induces changes in protein conformation and oligomerization. The closest homologue of GDAP1, GDAP1L1, is monomeric in its full-length form. Our results highlight the uniqueness of GDAP1 within the GST family and point toward allosteric mechanisms in regulating GDAP1 oligomeric state and function.
Project description:Mitochondria and peroxisomes can be fragmented by the process of fission. The fission machineries of both organelles share a set of proteins. GDAP1 is a tail-anchored protein of mitochondria and induces mitochondrial fragmentation. Mutations in GDAP1 lead to Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), an inherited peripheral neuropathy, and affect mitochondrial dynamics. Here, we show that GDAP1 is also targeted to peroxisomes mediated by the import receptor Pex19. Knockdown of GDAP1 leads to peroxisomal elongation that can be rescued by re-expressing GDAP1 and by missense mutated forms found in CMT patients. GDAP1-induced peroxisomal fission is dependent on the integrity of its hydrophobic domain 1, and on Drp1 and Mff, as is mitochondrial fission. Thus, GDAP1 regulates mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission by a similar mechanism. However, our results reveal also a more critical role of the amino-terminal GDAP1 domains, carrying most CMT-causing mutations, in the regulation of mitochondrial compared to peroxisomal fission.
Project description:Elongation factor Tu guanosine-5'-triphosphate (GTP) binding domain containing 2 (EFTUD2) encodes a major component of the spliceosomal GTPase and, if mutated, causes mandibulofacial dysostosis with microcephaly (MFDM; MIM#610536). Despite the increasing number of potentially pathogenic variants reported in the literature, most previous studies have relied solely on in silico prediction of the pathogenic potential of EFTUD2 variants, which may result in misclassification of the variant's pathogenicity. Given the importance of the functional verification of EFTUD2 variants, we identified a novel splice donor site variant, c.271+1G>A of EFTUD2, whose pathogenicity was clearly verified at the RNA level using a minigene assay. A child with MFDM, mixed hearing loss, microcephaly, and a congenital cardiac defect was identified with this variant, which arose in a de novo fashion. The minigene assay showed erroneous integration of the 118 bp IVS3 of EFTUD2 exclusively among the c.271+1G>A variant clone. We first applied the minigene assay to identify the splice function of a splice site variant of EFTUD2, thereby allowing for in vitro functional verification of splice site variants in EFTUD2.
Project description:Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a neuropathy that lacks effective therapy. CMT patients show degeneration of peripheral nerves, leading to muscle weakness and loss of proprioception. Loss of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation proteins and enzymes of the antioxidant response accompany degeneration of nerves in skin biopsies of CMT patients. Herein, we followed a drug-repurposing approach to find drugs in a Food and Drug Administration-approved library that could prevent development of CMT disease in the Gdap1-null mouse model. We found that the antibiotic florfenicol is a mitochondrial uncoupler that prevents the production of reactive oxygen species and activates respiration in human GDAP1-knockdown neuroblastoma cells and in dorsal root ganglion neurons of Gdap1-null mice. Treatment of CMT-affected Gdap1-null mice with florfenicol has no beneficial effect in the course of the disease. However, administration of florfenicol, or the antioxidant MitoQ, to pre-symptomatic GDAP1-null mice prevented weight gain and ameliorated the motor coordination deficiencies that developed in the Gdap1-null mice. Interestingly, both florfenicol and MitoQ halted the decay in mitochondrial and redox proteins in sciatic nerves of Gdap1-null mice, supporting that oxidative damage is implicated in the etiology of the neuropathy. These findings support the development of clinical trials for translation of these drugs for treatment of CMT patients.
Project description:GDAP1 is an outer mitochondrial membrane protein involved in Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease. Lack of GDAP1 gives rise to altered mitochondrial networks and endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-mitochondrial interactions resulting in a decreased ER-Ca<sup>2+</sup> levels along with a defect on store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) related to a misallocation of mitochondria to subplasmalemmal sites. The defect on SOCE is mimicked by MCU silencing or mitochondrial depolarization, which prevent mitochondrial calcium uptake. Ca<sup>2+</sup> release from de ER and Ca<sup>2+</sup> inflow through SOCE in neuroblastoma cells result in a Ca<sup>2+</sup>-dependent upregulation of respiration which is blunted in GDAP1 silenced cells. Reduced SOCE in cells with CMT recessive missense mutations in the α-loop of GDAP1, but not dominant mutations, was associated with smaller SOCE-stimulated respiration. These cases of GDAP1 deficiency also resulted in a decreased ER-Ca<sup>2+</sup> levels which may have pathological implications. The results suggest that CMT neurons may be under energetic constraints upon stimulation by Ca<sup>2+</sup> mobilization agonists and point to a potential role of perturbed mitochondria-ER interaction related to energy metabolism in forms of CMT caused by some of the recessive or null mutations of GDAP1.