Project description:The essential micronutrient selenium is found in proteins as selenocysteine (Sec), the only genetically encoded amino acid whose biosynthesis occurs on its cognate tRNA in humans. In the final step of selenocysteine formation, the essential enzyme SepSecS catalyzes the conversion of Sep-tRNA to Sec-tRNA. We demonstrate that SepSecS mutations cause autosomal-recessive progressive cerebellocerebral atrophy (PCCA) in Jews of Iraqi and Moroccan ancestry. Both founder mutations, common in these two populations, disrupt the sole route to the biosynthesis of the 21st amino acid, Sec, and thus to the generation of selenoproteins in humans.
Project description:Variant late-infantile Batten disease is a neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis caused by mutations in CLN6. It is a recessive genetic lysosomal storage disease characterised by progressive neurodegeneration. It starts insidiously and leads to blindness, epilepsy and dementia in affected children. Sheep that are homozygous for a natural mutation in CLN6 have an ovine form of Batten disease Here, we used in vivo magnetic resonance imaging to track brain changes in 4 unaffected carriers and 6 affected Batten disease sheep. We scanned each sheep 4 times, between 17 and 22 months of age. Cortical atrophy in all sheep was pronounced at the baseline scan in all affected Batten disease sheep. Significant atrophy was also present in other brain regions (caudate, putamen and amygdala). Atrophy continued measurably in all of these regions during the study. Longitudinal MRI in sheep was sensitive enough to measure significant volume changes over the relatively short study period, even in the cortex, where nearly 40% of volume was already lost at the start of the study. Thus longitudinal MRI could be used to study the dynamics of progression of neurodegenerative changes in sheep models of Batten disease, as well as to assess therapeutic efficacy.
Project description:At least 15% of the disease-causing mutations affect mRNA splicing. Many splicing mutations are missed in a clinical setting due to limitations of in silico prediction algorithms or their location in noncoding regions. Whole-transcriptome sequencing is a promising new tool to identify these mutations; however, it will be a challenge to obtain disease-relevant tissue for RNA. Here, we describe an individual with a sporadic atypical spinal muscular atrophy, in whom clinical DNA sequencing reported one pathogenic ASAH1 mutation (c.458A>G;p.Tyr153Cys). Transcriptome sequencing on patient leukocytes identified a highly significant and atypical ASAH1 isoform not explained by c.458A>G(p<10-16 ). Subsequent Sanger-sequencing identified the splice mutation responsible for the isoform (c.504A>C;p.Lys168Asn) and provided a molecular diagnosis of autosomal-recessive spinal muscular atrophy with progressive myoclonic epilepsy. Our findings demonstrate the utility of RNA sequencing from blood to identify splice-impacting disease mutations for nonhematological conditions, providing a diagnosis for these otherwise unsolved patients.
Project description:Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a disorder characterized by decreased motor function due to the muscle atrophy in the background of degenerated anterior horn cells and motor cells of lower cranial nerves nuclei. The most frequent form is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait resulting from mutations in the survival motor neuron gene (SMN-1). On the other hand, a rare variant of this condition, named progressive myoclonic epilepsy subtype (SMA-PME) occurs in the result of a mutation in N-acylsphingosine amidohydrolase-1 gene (ASAH-1). The latter gene is responsible for lysosomal acid-ceramidase production. SMA-PME has been characterized by a progressive muscle weakness from ages 3-7 years, accompanied by epilepsy, an intractable seizure, and sometimes sensorineural hearing loss. In this report, we have presented a 15-year old female patient with SMA-PME that was attended to neurology clinic for a new onset tremor, seizure and proximal weakness in all limbs. We identified a homozygous mutation in exon II on her ASAH-1 gene [c.173C>T (p. Thr58Met)]. Also, a modest reduction was found in ceramidase-activity. As was expected patient`s seizures did not respond to conventional therapies.
Project description:Mutations in the optic atrophy 1 gene (OPA1) are associated with autosomal dominant optic atrophy and 20% of patients demonstrate extra-ocular manifestations. In addition to these autosomal dominant cases, only a few syndromic cases have been reported thus far with compound heterozygous OPA1 mutations, suggestive of either recessive or semi?dominant patterns of inheritance. The majority of these patients were diagnosed with Behr syndrome, characterized by optic atrophy, ataxia and peripheral neuropathy. The present study describes a 10-year-old boy with Behr syndrome presenting with early?onset severe optic atrophy, sensorimotor neuropathy, ataxia and congenital cataracts. He had optic atrophy and was declared legally blind at six years old. Electrophysiological, radiological, and histopathological findings were compatible with axonal sensorimotor polyneuropathy. At birth, he presented with a congenital cataract, which has not been previously described in patients with OPA1 mutations. Whole exome sequencing indicated a pair of novel compound heterozygous mutations: p.L620fs*13 (c.1857?1858delinsT) and p.R905Q (c.G2714A). Neither mutation was observed in controls (n=300), and thus, they were predicted to be pathogenic by multiple in silico analyses. The mutation sites were highly conserved throughout different vertebrate species. The patients parents did not have any ophthalmic or neurologic symptoms and the results of electrophysiological studies were normal, suggestive of an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance. The present study identified novel compound heterozygous OPA1 mutations in a patient with recessive optic atrophy, sensorimotor neuropathy and congenital cataracts, indicating an expansion of the clinical spectrum of pathologies associated with OPA1 mutations. Thus, OPA1 gene screening is advisable in the workup of patients with recessive optic atrophy, particularly with Behr syndrome and cataracts.
Project description:Hereditary eye diseases of animals serve as excellent models of human ocular disorders and assist in the development of gene and drug therapies for inherited forms of blindness. Several primary hereditary eye conditions affecting various ocular tissues and having different rates of progression have been documented in domestic cats. Gene therapy for canine retinopathies has been successful, thus the cat could be a gene therapy candidate for other forms of retinal degenerations. The current study investigates a hereditary, autosomal recessive, retinal degeneration specific to Persian cats. A multi-generational pedigree segregating for this progressive retinal atrophy was genotyped using a 63 K SNP array and analyzed via genome-wide linkage and association methods. A multi-point parametric linkage analysis localized the blindness phenotype to a ~1.75 Mb region with significant LOD scores (Z ? 14, ? = 0.00) on cat chromosome E1. Genome-wide TDT, sib-TDT, and case-control analyses also consistently supported significant association within the same region on chromosome E1, which is homologous to human chromosome 17. Using haplotype analysis, a ~1.3 Mb region was identified as highly associated for progressive retinal atrophy in Persian cats. Several candidate genes within the region are reasonable candidates as a potential causative gene and should be considered for molecular analyses.
Project description:Autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) is genetically heterogeneous, with OPA1 on 3q28 being the most prevalently mutated gene. Additional loci are OPA3, OPA4, and OPA5, located at 19q13.2, 18q12.2, and 22q12.1-q13.1, respectively. Mutations in the WFS1 gene, at 4p16.3, are associated with either optic atrophy (OA) as part of the autosomal recessive Wolfram syndrome or with autosomal dominant progressive low frequency sensorineural hearing loss (LFSNHL) without any ophthalmological abnormalities. Linkage and sequence mutation analyses of the ADOA candidate genes OPA1, OPA3, OPA4, and OPA5, including the genes WFS1, GJB2, and GJB6 associated with recessive inherited OA or dominant LFSNHL, were performed. We identified one novel WFS1 missense mutation E864K, c.2590G-->A in exon 8 that co-segregates with ADOA combined with hearing impairment and impaired glucose regulation. This is the first example of autosomal dominant optic atrophy and hearing loss associated with a WFS1 mutation, supporting the notion that mutations in WFS1 as well as in OPA1 may lead to ADOA combined with impaired hearing.
Project description:Aberrant photoreceptor function or morphogenesis leads to blinding retinal degenerative diseases, the majority of which have a genetic aetiology. A variant in PRCD previously identified in Portuguese Water Dogs (PWDs) underlies prcd (progressive rod-cone degeneration), an autosomal recessive progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) with a late onset at 3-6 years of age or older. Herein, we have identified a new form of early-onset PRA (EOPRA) in the same breed. Pedigree analysis suggested an autosomal recessive inheritance. Four PWD full-siblings affected with EOPRA diagnosed at 2-3 years of age were genotyped (173,661 SNPs) along with 2 unaffected siblings, 2 unaffected parents, and 15 unrelated control PWDs. GWAS, linkage analysis and homozygosity mapping defined a 26-Mb candidate region in canine chromosome 20. Whole-genome sequencing in one affected dog and its obligatory carrier parents identified a 1 bp insertion (CFA20:g.33,717,704_33,717,705insT (CanFam3.1); c.2262_c.2263insA) in CCDC66 predicted to cause a frameshift and truncation (p.Val747SerfsTer8). Screening of an extended PWD population confirmed perfect co-segregation of this genetic variant with the disease. Western blot analysis of COS-1 cells transfected with recombinant mutant CCDC66 expression constructs showed the mutant transcript translated into a truncated protein. Furthermore, in vitro studies suggest that the mutant CCDC66 is mislocalized to the nucleus relative to wild type CCDC66. CCDC66 variants have been associated with inherited retinal degenerations (RDs) including canine and murine ciliopathies. As genetic variants affecting the primary cilium can cause ciliopathies in which RD may be either the sole clinical manifestation or part of a syndrome, our findings further support a role for CCDC66 in retinal function and viability, potentially through its ciliary function.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine the cause and course of a novel syndrome with progressive encephalopathy and brain atrophy in children. METHODS:Clinical whole-exome sequencing was performed for global developmental delay and intellectual disability; some patients also had spastic paraparesis and evidence of clinical regression. Six patients were identified with de novo missense mutations in the kinesin gene KIF1A. The predicted functional disruption of these mutations was assessed in silico to compare the calculated conformational flexibility and estimated efficiency of ATP binding to kinesin motor domains of wild-type (WT) versus mutant alleles. Additionally, an in vitro microtubule gliding assay was performed to assess the effects of de novo dominant, inherited recessive, and polymorphic variants on KIF1A motor function. RESULTS:All six subjects had severe developmental delay, hypotonia, and varying degrees of hyperreflexia and spastic paraparesis. Microcephaly, cortical visual impairment, optic neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, epilepsy, and movement disorders were also observed. All six patients had a degenerative neurologic course with progressive cerebral and cerebellar atrophy seen on sequential magnetic resonance imaging scans. Computational modeling of mutant protein structures when compared to WT kinesin showed substantial differences in conformational flexibility and ATP-binding efficiency. The de novo KIF1A mutants were nonmotile in the microtubule gliding assay. INTERPRETATION:De novo mutations in KIF1A cause a degenerative neurologic syndrome with brain atrophy. Computational and in vitro assays differentiate the severity of dominant de novo heterozygous versus inherited recessive KIF1A mutations. The profound effect de novo mutations have on axonal transport is likely related to the cause of progressive neurologic impairment in these patients.
Project description:Generalized progressive retinal atrophy (gPRA) is a hereditary ocular disorder with progressive photoreceptor degeneration in dogs. Four retina-specific genes, ATP binding cassette transporter retina (ABCA4), connexin 36 (CX36), c-mer tyrosin kinase receptor (MERTK) and photoreceptor cell retinol dehydrogenase (RDH12) were investigated in order to identify mutations leading to autosomal recessive (ar) gPRA in 29 breeds of dogs.Mutation screening was performed initially by PCR and single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis, representing a simple method with comparatively high reliability for identification of sequence variations in many samples. Conspicuous banding patterns were analyzed via sequence analyses in order to detect the underlying nucleotide variations. No pathogenetically relevant mutations were detected in the genes ABCA4, CX36, MERTK and RDH12 in 71 affected dogs of 29 breeds. Yet 30 new sequence variations were identified, both, in the coding regions and intronic sequences. Many of the sequence variations were in heterozygous state in affected dogs.Based on the ar transmittance of gPRA in the breeds investigated, informative sequence variations provide evidence allowing indirect exclusion of pathogenetic mutations in the genes ABCA4 (for 9 breeds), CX36 (for 12 breeds), MERTK (for all 29 breeds) and RDH12 (for 9 breeds).