103 research outputs found

    How exome sequencing is shedding light on the complexity of Mendelian disorders: some examples from Sardinia

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    The total number of Mendelian disorders is estimated to be around 7,000 and while each is individually rare, together, these genetic conditions contribute significantly to morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. In the last decade there has been a paradigm shift in their investigation due to the development of powerful new DNA sequencing technologies, such as whole exome sequencing. Although our knowledge of the diversity of Mendelian phenotypes is progressively increasing, substantial gaps remain. Up to 50% of patients affected by a rare genetic disorder never receive a diagnosis. We focused our attention on such Mendelian disorders and in a collaborative effort we studied by WES a cohort of heterogeneous samples affected by Crisponi/Cold-induced sweating syndrome-like, syndromic Intellectual Disabilities and Epileptic Encephalopathies. The results of our work along with others reported in the literature, are contributing to reveal the extensive clinical variability and genetic complexity underlying Mendelian phenotypes and inheritance, to provide insight into study design and approach and analytical strategies and to identify novel mechanisms. Our increasing knowledge on the genetic basis of rare disorders is shedding light on the “complex” nature of the “simple” Mendelian disorders and that “true monogenic” disorders are very rare, underscoring the current challenges of clinical diagnostics and discovery

    A Novel null homozygous mutation confirms <i>CACNA2D2</i> as a gene mutated in epileptic encephalopathy

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    Contribution to epileptic encephalopathy (EE) of mutations in CACNA2D2, encoding α2δ-2 subunit of Voltage Dependent Calcium Channels, is unclear. To date only one CACNA2D2 mutation altering channel functionality has been identified in a single family. In the same family, a rare CELSR3 polymorphism also segregated with disease. Involvement of CACNA2D2 in EE is therefore not confirmed, while that of CELSR3 is questionable. In a patient with epilepsy, dyskinesia, cerebellar atrophy, psychomotor delay and dysmorphic features, offspring to consanguineous parents, we performed whole exome sequencing (WES) for homozygosity mapping and mutation detection. WES identified extended autozygosity on chromosome 3, containing two novel homozygous candidate mutations: c.1295delA (p.Asn432fs) in CACNA2D2 and c.G6407A (p.Gly2136Asp) in CELSR3. Gene prioritization pointed to CACNA2D2 as the most prominent candidate gene. The WES finding in CACNA2D2 resulted to be statistically significant (p = 0.032), unlike that in CELSR3. CACNA2D2 homozygous c.1295delA essentially abolished α2δ-2 expression. In summary, we identified a novel null CACNA2D2 mutation associated to a clinical phenotype strikingly similar to the Cacna2d2 null mouse model. Molecular and statistical analyses together argued in favor of a causal contribution of CACNA2D2 mutations to EE, while suggested that finding in CELSR3, although potentially damaging, is likely incidental

    The Forkhead Transcription Factor Foxl2 Is Sumoylated in Both Human and Mouse: Sumoylation Affects Its Stability, Localization, and Activity

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    The FOXL2 forkhead transcription factor is expressed in ovarian granulosa cells, and mutated FOXL2 causes the blepharophimosis, ptosis and epicanthus inversus syndrome (BPES) and predisposes to premature ovarian failure. Inactivation of Foxl2 in mice demonstrated its indispensability for female gonadal sex determination and ovary development and revealed its antagonism of Sox9, the effector of male testis development. To help to define the regulatory activities of FOXL2, we looked for interacting proteins. Based on yeast two-hybrid screening, we found that FOXL2 interacts with PIAS1 and UBC9, both parts of the sumoylation machinery. We showed that human FOXL2 is sumoylated in transfected cell lines, and that endogenous mouse Foxl2 is comparably sumoylated. This modification changes its cellular localization, stability and transcriptional activity. It is intriguing that similar sumoylation and regulatory consequences have also been reported for SOX9, the male counterpart of FOXL2 in somatic gonadal tissues

    Crisponi syndrome/cold-induced sweating syndrome type 2: Reprogramming of CS/CISS2 individual derived fibroblasts into three clones of one iPSC line

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    Crisponi syndrome/cold-induced sweating syndrome type 2 (CS/CISS2) is a rare disease with severe dysfunctions of thermoregulatory processes. CS/CISS2 individuals suffer from recurrent episodes of hyperthermia in the neonatal period and paradoxical sweating at cold ambient temperatures in adolescence. Variants in CLCF1 (cardiotrophin-like-cytokine 1) cause CS/CISS2. Here, we summarize the generation of three clones of one stem cell line (iPSC) of a CS/CISS2 individual carrying the CLCF1 variant c.321C>G on both alleles. These patient derived iPSC clones show a normal karyotype, several pluripotency markers, and the ability to differentiate into the three germ layers

    Exome sequencing in Crisponi/CISS-like individuals reveals unpredicted alternative diagnoses

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    Crisponi/cold‐induced sweating syndrome (CS/CISS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by a complex phenotype (hyperthermia and feeding difficulties in the neonatal period, followed by scoliosis and paradoxical sweating induced by cold since early childhood) and a high neonatal lethality. CS/CISS is a genetically heterogeneous disorder caused by mutations in CRLF1 (CS/CISS1), CLCF1 (CS/CISS2) and KLHL7 (CS/CISS‐like). Here, a whole exome sequencing approach in individuals with CS/CISS‐like phenotype with unknown molecular defect revealed unpredicted alternative diagnoses. This approach identified putative pathogenic variations in NALCN, MAGEL2 and SCN2A. They were already found implicated in the pathogenesis of other syndromes, respectively the congenital contractures of the limbs and face, hypotonia, and developmental delay syndrome, the Schaaf‐Yang syndrome, and the early infantile epileptic encephalopathy‐11 syndrome. These results suggest a high neonatal phenotypic overlap among these disorders and will be very helpful for clinicians. Genetic analysis of these genes should be considered for those cases with a suspected CS/CISS during neonatal period who were tested as mutation negative in the known CS/CISS genes, because an expedited and corrected diagnosis can improve patient management and can provide a specific clinical follow‐up

    The GLUT9 Gene Is Associated with Serum Uric Acid Levels in Sardinia and Chianti Cohorts

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    High serum uric acid levels elevate pro-inflammatory–state gout crystal arthropathy and place individuals at high risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Genome-wide scans in the genetically isolated Sardinian population identified variants associated with serum uric acid levels as a quantitative trait. They mapped within GLUT9, a Chromosome 4 glucose transporter gene predominantly expressed in liver and kidney. SNP rs6855911 showed the strongest association (p = 1.84 × 10−16), along with eight others (p = 7.75 × 10−16 to 6.05 × 10−11). Individuals homozygous for the rare allele of rs6855911 (minor allele frequency = 0.26) had 0.6 mg/dl less uric acid than those homozygous for the common allele; the results were replicated in an unrelated cohort from Tuscany. Our results suggest that polymorphisms in GLUT9 could affect glucose metabolism and uric acid synthesis and/or renal reabsorption, influencing serum uric acid levels over a wide range of values

    Genome-wide association study of susceptibility loci for breast cancer in Sardinian population

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    Abstract Background Despite progress in identifying genes associated with breast cancer, many more risk loci exist. Genome-wide association analyses in genetically-homogeneous populations, such as that of Sardinia (Italy), could represent an additional approach to detect low penetrance alleles. Methods We performed a genome-wide association study comparing 1431 Sardinian patients with non-familial, BRCA1/2-mutation-negative breast cancer to 2171 healthy Sardinian blood donors. DNA was genotyped using GeneChip Human Mapping 500 K Arrays or Genome-Wide Human SNP Arrays 6.0. To increase genomic coverage, genotypes of additional SNPs were imputed using data from HapMap Phase II. After quality control filtering of genotype data, 1367 cases (9 men) and 1658 controls (1156 men) were analyzed on a total of 2,067,645 SNPs. Results Overall, 33 genomic regions (67 candidate SNPs) were associated with breast cancer risk at the p < 10−6 level. Twenty of these regions contained defined genes, including one already associated with breast cancer risk: TOX3. With a lower threshold for preliminary significance to p < 10−5, we identified 11 additional SNPs in FGFR2, a well-established breast cancer-associated gene. Ten candidate SNPs were selected, excluding those already associated with breast cancer, for technical validation as well as replication in 1668 samples from the same population. Only SNP rs345299, located in intron 1 of VAV3, remained suggestively associated (p-value, 1.16x10−5), but it did not associate with breast cancer risk in pooled data from two large, mixed-population cohorts. Conclusions This study indicated the role of TOX3 and FGFR2 as breast cancer susceptibility genes in BRCA1/2-wild-type breast cancer patients from Sardinian population

    Genome-wide association study of susceptibility loci for breast cancer in Sardinian population.

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    BACKGROUND: Despite progress in identifying genes associated with breast cancer, many more risk loci exist. Genome-wide association analyses in genetically-homogeneous populations, such as that of Sardinia (Italy), could represent an additional approach to detect low penetrance alleles. METHODS: We performed a genome-wide association study comparing 1431 Sardinian patients with non-familial, BRCA1/2-mutation-negative breast cancer to 2171 healthy Sardinian blood donors. DNA was genotyped using GeneChip Human Mapping 500 K Arrays or Genome-Wide Human SNP Arrays 6.0. To increase genomic coverage, genotypes of additional SNPs were imputed using data from HapMap Phase II. After quality control filtering of genotype data, 1367 cases (9 men) and 1658 controls (1156 men) were analyzed on a total of 2,067,645 SNPs. RESULTS: Overall, 33 genomic regions (67 candidate SNPs) were associated with breast cancer risk at the p <  0(-6) level. Twenty of these regions contained defined genes, including one already associated with breast cancer risk: TOX3. With a lower threshold for preliminary significance to p < 10(-5), we identified 11 additional SNPs in FGFR2, a well-established breast cancer-associated gene. Ten candidate SNPs were selected, excluding those already associated with breast cancer, for technical validation as well as replication in 1668 samples from the same population. Only SNP rs345299, located in intron 1 of VAV3, remained suggestively associated (p-value, 1.16 x 10(-5)), but it did not associate with breast cancer risk in pooled data from two large, mixed-population cohorts. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicated the role of TOX3 and FGFR2 as breast cancer susceptibility genes in BRCA1/2-wild-type breast cancer patients from Sardinian population

    Parent-of-origin-specific allelic associations among 106 genomic loci for age at menarche.

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    Age at menarche is a marker of timing of puberty in females. It varies widely between individuals, is a heritable trait and is associated with risks for obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and all-cause mortality. Studies of rare human disorders of puberty and animal models point to a complex hypothalamic-pituitary-hormonal regulation, but the mechanisms that determine pubertal timing and underlie its links to disease risk remain unclear. Here, using genome-wide and custom-genotyping arrays in up to 182,416 women of European descent from 57 studies, we found robust evidence (P < 5 × 10(-8)) for 123 signals at 106 genomic loci associated with age at menarche. Many loci were associated with other pubertal traits in both sexes, and there was substantial overlap with genes implicated in body mass index and various diseases, including rare disorders of puberty. Menarche signals were enriched in imprinted regions, with three loci (DLK1-WDR25, MKRN3-MAGEL2 and KCNK9) demonstrating parent-of-origin-specific associations concordant with known parental expression patterns. Pathway analyses implicated nuclear hormone receptors, particularly retinoic acid and γ-aminobutyric acid-B2 receptor signalling, among novel mechanisms that regulate pubertal timing in humans. Our findings suggest a genetic architecture involving at least hundreds of common variants in the coordinated timing of the pubertal transition

    New genetic loci implicated in fasting glucose homeostasis and their impact on type 2 diabetes risk.

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    Levels of circulating glucose are tightly regulated. To identify new loci influencing glycemic traits, we performed meta-analyses of 21 genome-wide association studies informative for fasting glucose, fasting insulin and indices of beta-cell function (HOMA-B) and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in up to 46,186 nondiabetic participants. Follow-up of 25 loci in up to 76,558 additional subjects identified 16 loci associated with fasting glucose and HOMA-B and two loci associated with fasting insulin and HOMA-IR. These include nine loci newly associated with fasting glucose (in or near ADCY5, MADD, ADRA2A, CRY2, FADS1, GLIS3, SLC2A2, PROX1 and C2CD4B) and one influencing fasting insulin and HOMA-IR (near IGF1). We also demonstrated association of ADCY5, PROX1, GCK, GCKR and DGKB-TMEM195 with type 2 diabetes. Within these loci, likely biological candidate genes influence signal transduction, cell proliferation, development, glucose-sensing and circadian regulation. Our results demonstrate that genetic studies of glycemic traits can identify type 2 diabetes risk loci, as well as loci containing gene variants that are associated with a modest elevation in glucose levels but are not associated with overt diabetes
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