9,430 research outputs found

    A pathogenic variant in the FLCN gene presenting with pure dementia: is autophagy at the intersection between neurodegeneration and cancer?

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    IntroductionFolliculin, encoded by FLCN gene, plays a role in the mTORC1 autophagy cascade and its alterations are responsible for the Birt–Hogg–Dubé (BHD) syndrome, characterized by follicle hamartomas, kidney tumors and pneumothorax.Patient and resultsWe report a 74-years-old woman diagnosed with dementia and carrying a FLCN alteration in absence of any sign of BHD. She also carried an alteration of MAT1A gene, which is also implicated in the regulation of mTORC1.DiscussionThe MAT1A variant could have prevented the development of a FLCN-related oncological phenotype. Conversely, our patient presented with dementia that, to date, has yet to be documented in BHD. Folliculin belongs to the DENN family proteins, which includes C9orf72 whose alteration has been associated to neurodegeneration. The folliculin perturbation could affect the C9orf72 activity and our patient could represent the first human model of a relationship between FLCN and C9orf72 across the path of autophagy

    Hypertension with hidden causes:the cognitive and behavioral profile of an adult female with chronic stress and 16p11.2 microdeletion

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    This case report aims to alert physicians to neuropsychological features and chromosomal variants that may underly resistant hypertension. We present a 35-year-old female patient with hypertensive crisis (BP 260/160 mmHg), initially treated with a combination of calcium antagonists, beta blockers, diuretics and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitors, though with little improvement. Cushing's syndrome, Conn's syndrome, and glucocorticoid receptor deficiency were ruled out. Multidisciplinary examination of medical history and (hetero)anamneses including psychosocial factors revealed mild dysmorphic body features, developmental delay, early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, a history of being bullied at school, little peer contact, learning disabilities, and special education. Neuropsychological assessment demonstrated below average to low average intelligence quotient, cognitive impairments, and psychopathology. Parallel genetic analyses revealed a rare 16p11.2 microdeletion syndrome. These concurrent examinations explained the patient's life-long high stress levels. After psychological treatment, with additional support at home, her blood pressure lowered to normal levels and antihypertensive drugs were no longer needed.</p

    Novel intragenic deletion within the FXN gene in a patient with typical phenotype of Friedreich ataxia: may be more prevalent than we think?

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    Background Friedreich ataxia is the most common inherited ataxia in Europe and is mainly caused by biallelic pathogenic expansions of the GAA trinucleotide repeat in intron 1 of the FXN gene that lead to a decrease in frataxin protein levels. Rarely, affected individuals carry either a large intragenic deletion or whole-gene deletion of FXN on one allele and a full-penetrance expanded GAA repeat on the other allele.Case presentation We report here a patient that presented the typical clinical features of FRDA and genetic analysis of FXN intron 1 led to the assumption that the patient carried the common biallelic expansion. Subsequently, parental sample testing led to the identification of a novel intragenic deletion involving the 5'UTR upstream region and exons 1 and 2 of the FXN gene by MLPA.Conclusions With this case, we want to raise awareness about the potentially higher prevalence of intragenic deletions and underline the essential role of parental sample testing in providing accurate genetic counselling

    Exploring missing heritability in neurodevelopmental disorders:Learning from regulatory elements

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    In this thesis, I aimed to solve part of the missing heritability in neurodevelopmental disorders, using computational approaches. Next to the investigations of a novel epilepsy syndrome and investigations aiming to elucidate the regulation of the gene involved, I investigated and prioritized genomic sequences that have implications in gene regulation during the developmental stages of human brain, with the goal to create an atlas of high confidence non-coding regulatory elements that future studies can assess for genetic variants in genetically unexplained individuals suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders that are of suspected genetic origin

    Towards personalized medicine for metastatic urothelial cancer

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    Rapid diversification of grey mangroves (Avicennia marina) driven by geographic isolation and extreme environmental conditions in the Arabian Peninsula

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    Biological systems occurring in ecologically heterogeneous and spatially discontinuous habitats provide an ideal opportunity to investigate the relative roles of neutral and selective factors in driving lineage diversification. The grey mangroves (Avicennia marina) of Arabia occur at the northern edge of the species' range and are subject to variable, often extreme, environmental conditions, as well as historic large fluctuations in habitat availability and connectivity resulting from Quaternary glacial cycles. Here, we analyse fully sequenced genomes sampled from 19 locations across the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Persian/Arabian Gulf (PAG) to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the species in the region and to identify adaptive mechanisms of lineage diversification. Population structure and phylogenetic analyses revealed marked genetic structure correlating with geographic distance and highly supported clades among and within the seas surrounding the Arabian Peninsula. Demographic modelling showed times of divergence consistent with recent periods of geographic isolation and low marine connectivity during glaciations, suggesting the presence of (cryptic) glacial refugia in the Red Sea and the PAG. Significant migration was detected within the Red Sea and the PAG, and across the Strait of Hormuz to the Arabian Sea, suggesting gene flow upon secondary contact among populations. Genetic-environment association analyses revealed high levels of adaptive divergence and detected signs of multi-loci local adaptation driven by temperature extremes and hypersalinity. These results support a process of rapid diversification resulting from the combined effects of historical factors and ecological selection and reveal mangrove peripheral environments as relevant drivers of lineage diversity

    Functional analysis of germline <em>VANGL2</em> variants using rescue assays of <em>vangl2</em> knockout zebrafish

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    \ua9 The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press. Developmental studies have shown that the evolutionarily conserved Wnt Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway is essential for the development of a diverse range of tissues and organs including the brain, spinal cord, heart and sensory organs, as well as establishment of the left-right body axis. Germline mutations in the highly conserved PCP gene VANGL2 in humans have only been associated with central nervous system malformations, and functional testing to understand variant impact has not been performed. Here we report three new families with missense variants in VANGL2 associated with heterotaxy and congenital heart disease p.(Arg169His), non-syndromic hearing loss p.(Glu465Ala) and congenital heart disease with brain defects p.(Arg135Trp). To test the in vivo impact of these and previously described variants, we have established clinically-relevant assays using mRNA rescue of the vangl2 mutant zebrafish. We show that all variants disrupt Vangl2 function, although to different extents and depending on the developmental process. We also begin to identify that different VANGL2 missense variants may be haploinsufficient and discuss evidence in support of pathogenicity. Together, this study demonstrates that zebrafish present a suitable pipeline to investigate variants of unknown significance and suggests new avenues for investigation of the different developmental contexts of VANGL2 function that are clinically meaningful

    Genomic investigation of antimicrobial resistant enterococci

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    Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis are important causes of healthcare-associated infections in immunocompromised patients. Enterococci thrive in modern healthcare settings, being able to resist killing by a range of antimicrobial agents, persist in the environment, and adapt to changing circumstances. In Scotland, rates of vancomycin resistant E. faecium (VREfm) have risen almost 150% in recent years leaving few treatment options and challenging healthcare delivery. Resistance to the last line agent linezolid has also been detected in E. faecalis. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) allows investigation of the population structure and transmission of microorganisms, and identification of antimicrobial resistance mechanisms. The aim of this thesis was to use WGS to understand the molecular epidemiology of antimicrobial resistant enterococci from human healthcare settings in Scotland. Analysis of some of the earliest identified Scottish linezolid-resistant E. faecalis showed the resistance mechanism, optrA, was present in unrelated lineages and in different genetic elements, suggesting multiple introductions from a larger reservoir. To inform transmission investigations, within-patient diversity of VREfm was explored showing ~30% of patients carried multiple lineages and identifying a within-patient diversity threshold for transmission studies. WGS was then applied to a large nosocomial outbreak of VREfm, highlighting a complex network of related variants across multiple wards. Having examined within-hospital transmission, the role of regional relationships was investigated which showed that VREfm in Scotland is driven by multiple clones transmitted within individual Health Boards with occasional spread between regions. The most common lineage in the national collection (ST203) was estimated to have been present in Scotland since around 2005, highlighting its persistence in the face of increasing infection prevention and control measures. This thesis provides a starting point for genomic surveillance of enterococci in Scotland, and a basis for interventional studies aiming to reduce the burden of enterococcal infections."This work was supported by the Chief Scientist Office (Scotland) [grant number SIRN/10]; the Wellcome Trust [grant numbers 105621/Z/14/Z, 206194]; and the BBSRC [grant number BB/S019669/1]."—Fundin

    Penetrance and expressivity of mitochondrial variants in a large clinically unselected population

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    This is the final version. Available on open access from Oxford University Press via the DOI in this recordData availability: The data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article and its Supplementary Data files. Additional information for reproducing the results described in the article is available upon reasonable request and subject to a data use agreement. The UK Biobank dataset is available from https://biobank.ctsu.ox.ac.ukBACKGROUND: Whole genome sequencing (WGS) from large clinically unselected cohorts provides a unique opportunity to assess the penetrance and expressivity of rare and/or known pathogenic mitochondrial variants in population. METHOD: Using WGS from 179 862 clinically unselected individuals from the UK Biobank, we performed extensive single and rare variant aggregation association analyses of 15 881 mtDNA variants and 73 known pathogenic variants with 15 mitochondrial disease-relevant phenotypes. RESULTS: We identified 12 homoplasmic and one heteroplasmic variant (m.3243A>G) with genome-wide significant associations in our clinically unselected cohort. Heteroplasmic m.3243A>G (MAF = 0.0002, a known pathogenic variant) was associated with diabetes, deafness and heart failure and 12 homoplasmic variants increased aspartate aminotransferase levels including three low-frequency variants (MAF ~0.002 and beta~0.3 SD). Most pathogenic mitochondrial disease variants (n = 66/74) were rare in the population (G. Multi-system disease risk and penetrance of diabetes, deafness and heart failure greatly increased with m.3243A>G level ≥ 10%. The odds ratio of these traits increased from 5.61, 12.3 and 10.1 to 25.1, 55.0 and 39.5 respectively. Diabetes risk with m.3243A>G was further influenced by type 2 diabetes genetic risk. CONCLUSION: Our study of mitochondrial variation in a large-unselected population identified novel associations and demonstrated that pathogenic mitochondrial variants have lower penetrance in clinically unselected settings. m.3243A>G was an exception at higher heteroplasmy showing a significant impact on health making it a good candidate for incidental reporting.Diabetes UKMedical Research Council (MRC)Wellcome TrustNational Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR
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