Project description:Craniosynostosis, the premature fusion of one or more skull sutures, occurs in approximately 1 in 2500 infants, with the majority of cases non-syndromic and of unknown etiology. Two common reasons proposed for premature suture fusion are abnormal compression forces on the skull and rare genetic abnormalities. Our goal was to evaluate whether different sub-classes of disease can be identified based on total gene expression profiles. RNA-Seq data were obtained from 31 human osteoblast cultures derived from bone biopsy samples collected between 2009 and 2011, representing 23 craniosynostosis fusions and 8 normal cranial bones or long bones. No differentiation between regions of the skull was detected, but variance component analysis of gene expression patterns nevertheless supports transcriptome-based classification of craniosynostosis. Cluster analysis showed 4 distinct groups of samples; 1 predominantly normal and 3 craniosynostosis subtypes. Similar constellations of sub-types were also observed upon re-analysis of a similar dataset of 199 calvarial osteoblast cultures. Annotation of gene function of differentially expressed transcripts strongly implicates physiological differences with respect to cell cycle and cell death, stromal cell differentiation, extracellular matrix (ECM) components, and ribosomal activity. Based on these results, we propose non-syndromic craniosynostosis cases can be classified by differences in their gene expression patterns and that these may provide targets for future clinical intervention.
Project description:We report on explant osteoblast cultures from human patients, demonstrating that there are at least three sub-types of non-syndromic craniosynostosis defined by similarity of gene expression profiles. Osteoblast growth in culture, 23 craniosynostosis skull samples (7 metopic; 8 coronal; 3 lambdoid; 5 sagittal) and 8 normal (4 cranial bones and 4 long bones)
Project description:BACKGROUND: Craniosynostosis, the premature fusion of calvarial sutures, is a common craniofacial abnormality. Causative mutations in more than 10 genes have been identified, involving fibroblast growth factor, transforming growth factor beta, and Eph/ephrin signalling pathways. Mutations affect each human calvarial suture (coronal, sagittal, metopic, and lambdoid) differently, suggesting different gene expression patterns exist in each human suture. To better understand the molecular control of human suture morphogenesis we used microarray analysis to identify genes differentially expressed during suture fusion in children with craniosynostosis. Expression differences were also analysed between each unfused suture type, between sutures from syndromic and non-syndromic craniosynostosis patients, and between unfused sutures from individuals with and without craniosynostosis. RESULTS: We identified genes with increased expression in unfused sutures compared to fusing/fused sutures that may be pivotal to the maintenance of suture patency or in controlling early osteoblast differentiation (i.e. RBP4, GPC3, C1QTNF3, IL11RA, PTN, POSTN). In addition, we have identified genes with increased expression in fusing/fused suture tissue that we suggest could have a role in premature suture fusion (i.e. WIF1, ANXA3, CYFIP2). Proteins of two of these genes, glypican 3 and retinol binding protein 4, were investigated by immunohistochemistry and localised to the suture mesenchyme and osteogenic fronts of developing human calvaria, respectively, suggesting novel roles for these proteins in the maintenance of suture patency or in controlling early osteoblast differentiation. We show that there is limited difference in whole genome expression between sutures isolated from patients with syndromic and non-syndromic craniosynostosis and confirmed this by quantitative RT-PCR. Furthermore, distinct expression profiles for each unfused suture type were noted, with the metopic suture being most disparate. Finally, although calvarial bones are generally thought to grow without a cartilage precursor, we show histologically and by identification of cartilage-specific gene expression that cartilage may be involved in the morphogenesis of lambdoid and posterior sagittal sutures. CONCLUSION: This study has provided further insight into the complex signalling network which controls human calvarial suture morphogenesis and craniosynostosis. Identified genes are candidates for targeted therapeutic development and to screen for craniosynostosis-causing mutations.
Project description:Craniosynostosis is a heterogeneous condition caused by the premature fusion of cranial sutures, occurring mostly as an isolated anomaly. Pathogenesis of non-syndromic forms of craniosynostosis is largely unknown. In about 15-30% of cases craniosynostosis occurs in association with other physical anomalies and it is referred to as syndromic craniosynostosis. Syndromic forms of craniosynostosis arise from mutations in genes belonging to the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor (FGFR) family and the interconnected molecular pathways in most cases. However it can occur in association with other gene variants and with a variety of chromosome abnormalities as well, usually in association with intellectual disability (ID) and additional physical anomalies. Evaluating the molecular properties of the genes undergoing intragenic mutations or copy number variations (CNVs) along with prevalence of craniosynostosis in different conditions and animal models if available, we made an attempt to define two distinct groups of unusual syndromic craniosynostosis, which can reflect direct effects of emerging new candidate genes with roles in suture homeostasis or a non-specific phenotypic manifestation of pleiotropic genes, respectively. RASopathies and 9p23p22.3 deletions are reviewed as examples of conditions in the first group. In particular, we found that craniosynostosis is a relatively common component manifestation of cardio-facio-cutaneous (CFC) syndrome. Chromatinopathies and neurocristopathies are presented as examples of conditions in the second group. We observed that craniosynostosis is uncommon on average in these conditions. It was randomly associated with Kabuki, Koolen-de Vries/KANSL1 haploinsufficiency and Mowat-Wilson syndromes and in KAT6B-related disorders. As an exception, trigonocephaly in Bohring-Opitz syndrome reflects specific molecular properties of the chromatin modifier ASXL1 gene. Surveillance for craniosynostosis in syndromic forms of intellectual disability, as well as ascertainment of genomic CNVs by array-CGH in apparently non-syndromic craniosynostosis is recommended, to allow for improvement of both the clinical outcome of patients and the accurate individual diagnosis.
Project description:Craniosynostosis is the premature fusion of the sutures of the calvaria and is principally designated as being either syndromic (demonstrating characteristic extracranial malformations) or non-syndromic. While many forms of syndromic craniosynostosis are known to be caused by specific mutations, the genetic etiology of non-syndromic, single-suture craniosynostosis (SSC) is poorly understood. Based on the low recurrence rate (4-7%) and the fact that recurrent mutations have not been identified for most cases of SSC, we propose that some cases of isolated, single suture craniosynostosis may be polygenic. Previous work in our lab identified a disproportionately high number of rare and novel gain-of-function IGF1R variants in patients with SSC as compared to controls. Building upon this result, we used expression array data from calvarial osteoblasts isolated from infants with and without SSC to ascertain correlations between high IGF1 expression and expression of other osteogenic genes of interest. We identified a positive correlation between increased expression of IGF1 and RUNX2, a gene known to cause SSC with increased gene dosage. Subsequent phosphorylation assays revealed that osteoblast cell lines from cases with high IGF1 expression demonstrated inhibition of GSK3?, a serine/threonine kinase known to inhibit RUNX2, thus activating osteogenesis through the IRS1-mediated Akt pathway. With these findings, we have utilized established mouse strains to examine a novel model of polygenic inheritance (a phenotype influenced by more than one gene) of SSC. Compound heterozygous mice with selective disinhibition of RUNX2 and either overexpression of IGF1 or loss of function of GSK3? demonstrated an increase in the frequency and severity of synostosis as compared to mice with the RUNX2 disinhibition alone. These polygenic mouse models reinforce, in-vivo, that the combination of activation of the IGF1 pathway and disinhibition of the RUNX2 pathway leads to an increased risk of developing craniosynostosis and serves as a model of human SSC.
Project description:Premature fusion of the cranial sutures (craniosynostosis), affecting 1 in 2000 newborns, is treated surgically in infancy to prevent adverse neurologic outcomes. To identify mutations contributing to common non-syndromic midline (sagittal and metopic) craniosynostosis, we performed exome sequencing of 132 parent-offspring trios and 59 additional probands. Thirteen probands (7%) had damaging de novo or rare transmitted mutations in SMAD6, an inhibitor of BMP - induced osteoblast differentiation (p<10-20). SMAD6 mutations nonetheless showed striking incomplete penetrance (<60%). Genotypes of a common variant near BMP2 that is strongly associated with midline craniosynostosis explained nearly all the phenotypic variation in these kindreds, with highly significant evidence of genetic interaction between these loci via both association and analysis of linkage. This epistatic interaction of rare and common variants defines the most frequent cause of midline craniosynostosis and has implications for the genetic basis of other diseases.
Project description:Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSLC) often develop skeletal complications and fractures. To understand mechanisms of bone loss, we developed a murine model of non-metastatic NSLC. Decreased bone mineral density, trabecular thickness and mineralization, without an increase in bone resorption, were observed in vivo in mice injected with Lewis lung adenocarcinoma (LLC1) cells in the absence of tumor cell metastases. A decrease in trabecular bone mineral density was observed in mice injected with cell-free LLC1 CM. Plasma osteoblast biomarkers and PTH-related peptide (PTHrP) were reduced, and parathyroid hormone (PTH), 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, calcium and phosphate concentrations were normal in tumor-bearing mice. LLC1 cell conditioned medium (CM) inhibited alkaline phosphatase activity, osteoblast mineralization, and expression of Alpl and Ocn/Bglap mRNA in MC3T3 osteoblast cultures, whereas non-CM or CM from NIH/3T3 fibroblasts did not induce similar changes. LLC1 CM reduced Wnt3a-stimulated Tcf/Lef reporter plasmid activity and Wnt5A, Tcf1 and Lef1 mRNA expression in MC3T3 cells. Although concentrations of the Wnt inhibitor, DKK2, were increased in LLC1 CM compared to non-CM, depletion of DKK2 from LLC1 CM did not completely restore Wnt3a activity in MC3T3 cultures, and recombinant DKK2 failed to inhibit osteoblast mineralization. The data indicate that in a model of lung adenocarcinoma without bone metastases, tumor cells elaborate a secreted factor(s) that reduces bone mass, bone formation and osteoblast Wnt signaling without increases in bone resorption or calcium-regulating hormone concentrations. The factor(s) mediating this inhibition of osteoblast mineralization require further characterization.
Project description:Non-syndromic craniosynostosis (CS) affects 1 in 2350 live births. Recent studies have shown that a significant fraction of cases are caused by de novo or rare transmitted mutations that promote premature osteoblast differentiation in cranial sutures. Rare heterozygous loss-of-function (LOF) mutations in SMAD6 and TCF12 are highly enriched in patients with non-syndromic sagittal and coronal CS, respectively. Interestingly, both mutations show striking incomplete penetrance, suggesting a role for modifying alleles; in the case of SMAD6, a common variant near BMP2 drastically increases penetrance of sagittal CS. Here, we report a proband presenting with both sagittal and coronal craniosynostosis with the highly unusual recurrence of CS within two months of initial surgery, requiring a second operation to re-establish suture patency at six months of age. Exome sequencing revealed a rare transmitted frameshift mutation in SMAD6 (p. 152?fs*27) inherited from an unaffected parent, absence of the common BMP2 risk variant, and a de novo frameshift mutation in TCF12 (p.E548fs*14). SMAD6 and TCF12 independently inhibit transcriptional targets of BMP signaling. The findings are consistent with epistasis of these mutations, increasing penetrance and severity of CS in this proband. They also add to the list of composite phenotypes resulting from two Mendelian mutations, and support the utility of exome sequencing in atypical CS cases.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Craniosynostosis is a congenital defect that causes one or more sutures on an infant's skull to close earlier than normal. Though both genetic and environmental factors play a role in its pathogenesis, there is no published Indian data to verify this. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this case-control study, we investigated the association of craniosynostosis with parental age in 50 children with craniosynostosis attending the surgical outpatient department of a tertiary care institution in North India. RESULTS: There was a significant association of craniosynostosis with advanced parental [OR 2.17 (95% CI 1.08 to 4.36)] but not maternal age. Education status of parents also revealed that those having a higher education had an increased risk of having a child with craniosynostosis [maternal education, OR 2.32 (95% CI 1.2 to 4.76); paternal education, OR 2.51 (95% CI 1.21 to 5.0)]. Molecular analysis by sequencing confirmed following amino-acid substitution in different Exons of the FGFR2 gene. Besides these, we found other novel identical mutations in FGFR2 gene in both syndromic and non-syndromic craniosynostoses. CONCLUSION: This is the first epidemiological study in India that provides evidence that, advanced paternal age and higher parental education level might be associated with an increased risk of craniosynostosis. New mutations were identified in cases of both syndromic and non-syndromic craniosynostosis.