82 research outputs found

    Functional consequences of C-terminal mutations in RUNX2

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    Abstract Cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD) is a genetic disorder caused by mutations in the RUNX2 gene, affecting bone and teeth development. Previous studies focused on mutations in the RUNX2 RHD domain, with limited investigation of mutations in the C-terminal domain. This study aimed to investigate the functional consequences of C-terminal mutations in RUNX2. Eight mutations were analyzed, and their effects on transactivation activity, protein expression, subcellular localization, and osteogenic potential were studied. Truncating mutations in the PST region and a missense mutation in the NMTS region resulted in increased transactivation activity, while missense mutations in the PST showed activity comparable to the control. Truncating mutations produced truncated proteins, while missense mutations produced normal-sized proteins. Mutant proteins were mislocalized, with six mutant proteins detected in both the nucleus and cytoplasm. CCD patient bone cells exhibited mislocalization of RUNX2, similar to the generated mutant. Mislocalization of RUNX2 and reduced expression of downstream genes were observed in MSCs from a CCD patient with the p.Ser247Valfs*3 mutation, leading to compromised osteogenic potential. This study provides insight into the functional consequences of C-terminal mutations in RUNX2, including reduced expression, mislocalization, and aberrant transactivation of downstream genes, contributing to the compromised osteogenic potential observed in CCD

    Bi-allelic ACBD6 variants lead to a neurodevelopmental syndrome with progressive and complex movement disorders

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    The acyl-CoA-binding domain-containing protein 6 (ACBD6) is ubiquitously expressed, plays a role in the acylation of lipids and proteins, and regulates the N-myristoylation of proteins via N-myristoyltransferase enzymes (NMTs). However, its precise function in cells is still unclear, as is the consequence of ACBD6 defects on human pathophysiology. Utilizing exome sequencing and extensive international data sharing efforts, we identified 45 affected individuals from 28 unrelated families (consanguinity 93%) with bi-allelic pathogenic, predominantly loss-of-function (18/20) variants in ACBD6. We generated zebrafish and Xenopus tropicalis acbd6 knockouts by CRISPR/Cas9 and characterized the role of ACBD6 on protein N-myristoylation with YnMyr chemical proteomics in the model organisms and human cells, with the latter also being subjected further to ACBD6 peroxisomal localization studies. The affected individuals (23 males and 22 females), with ages ranging from 1 to 50 years old, typically present with a complex and progressive disease involving moderate-to-severe global developmental delay/intellectual disability (100%) with significant expressive language impairment (98%), movement disorders (97%), facial dysmorphism (95%), and mild cerebellar ataxia (85%) associated with gait impairment (94%), limb spasticity/hypertonia (76%), oculomotor (71%) and behavioural abnormalities (65%), overweight (59%), microcephaly (39%) and epilepsy (33%). The most conspicuous and common movement disorder was dystonia (94%), frequently leading to early-onset progressive postural deformities (97%), limb dystonia (55%), and cervical dystonia (31%). A jerky tremor in the upper limbs (63%), a mild head tremor (59%), parkinsonism/hypokinesia developing with advancing age (32%), and simple motor and vocal tics were among other frequent movement disorders. Midline brain malformations including corpus callosum abnormalities (70%), hypoplasia/agenesis of the anterior commissure (66%), short midbrain and small inferior cerebellar vermis (38% each), as well as hypertrophy of the clava (24%) were common neuroimaging findings. acbd6-deficient zebrafish and Xenopus models effectively recapitulated many clinical phenotypes reported in patients including movement disorders, progressive neuromotor impairment, seizures, microcephaly, craniofacial dysmorphism, and midbrain defects accompanied by developmental delay with increased mortality over time. Unlike ACBD5, ACBD6 did not show a peroxisomal localisation and ACBD6-deficiency was not associated with altered peroxisomal parameters in patient fibroblasts. Significant differences in YnMyr-labelling were observed for 68 co- and 18 post-translationally N-myristoylated proteins in patient-derived fibroblasts. N-Myristoylation was similarly affected in acbd6-deficient zebrafish and Xenopus tropicalis models, including Fus, Marcks, and Chchd-related proteins implicated in neurological diseases. The present study provides evidence that bi-allelic pathogenic variants in ACBD6 lead to a distinct neurodevelopmental syndrome accompanied by complex and progressive cognitive and movement disorders

    Pathogenic variant detection rate by whole exome sequencing in Thai patients with biopsy-proven focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

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    Abstract The spectra of underlying genetic variants for various clinical entities including focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) vary among different populations. Here we described the clinical and genetic characteristics of biopsy-proven FSGS patients in Thailand. Patients with FSGS pathology, without secondary causes, were included in our study. Clinical laboratory and pathological data were collected. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) was subsequently performed. 53 unrelated FSGS patients were recruited. 35 patients were adults (66.0%), and 51 patients were sporadic cases (96.2%). Clinical diagnosis before kidney biopsy was steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) in 58.5%, and proteinuric chronic kidney disease in 32.1%. Using WES, disease-associated pathogenic/likely pathogenic (P/LP) variants could be identified in six patients including the two familial cases, making the P/LP detection rate of 11.3% (6/53). Of these six patients, two patients harbored novel variants with one in the COL4A4 gene and one in the MAFB gene. Four other patients carried previously reported variants in the CLCN5, LMX1B, and COL4A4 genes. Four of these patients (4/6) received immunosuppressive medications as a treatment for primary FSGS before genetic diagnosis. All four did not respond to the medications, emphasizing the importance of genetic testing to avoid unnecessary treatment. Notably, the mutation detection rates in adult and pediatric patients were almost identical, at 11.4% and 11.1%, respectively. In conclusion, the overall P/LP variant detection rate by WES in biopsy-proven FSGS patients was 11.3%. The most identified variants were in COL4A4. In addition, three novel variants associated with FSGS were detected

    HLA-B*46:01:01:01 and HLA-DRB1*09:01:02:01 are associated with anti-rHuEPO-induced pure red cell aplasia

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    Abstract Treatment of anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) with recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) can be disrupted by a severe complication, anti-rHuEPO-induced pure red cell aplasia (PRCA). Specific HLA genotypes may have played a role in the high incidence of PRCA in Thai patients (1.7/1,000 patient years vs. 0.03/10,000 patient years in Caucasians). We conducted a case–control study in 157 CKD patients with anti-rHuEPO-induced PRCA and 56 controls. The HLA typing was determined by sequencing using a highly accurate multiplex single-molecule, real-time, long-read sequencing platform. Four analytical models were deployed: Model 1 (additive: accounts for the number of alleles), Model 2 (dominant: accounts for only the presence or absence of alleles), Model 3 (adjusted additive with rHuEPO types) and Model 4 (adjusted dominant with rHuEPO types). HLA-B*46:01:01:01 and DRB1*09:01:02:01 were found to be independent risk markers for anti-rHuEPO-induced PRCA in all models [OR (95%CI), p-values for B*46:01:01:01: 4.58 (1.55–13.51), 0.006; 4.63 (1.56–13.75), 0.006; 5.72 (1.67–19.67), 0.006; and 5.81 (1.68–20.09), 0.005; for DRB1*09:01:02:01: 3.99 (1.28–12.49), 0.017, 4.50 (1.32–15.40), 0.016, 3.42 (1.09–10.74), 0.035, and 3.75 (1.08–13.07), 0.038, in Models 1–4, respectively. HLA-B*46:01:01:01 and DRB1*09:01:02:01 are susceptible alleles for anti-rHuEPO-induced PRCA. These findings support the role of HLA genotyping in helping to monitor patients receiving rHuEPO treatment

    Undiagnosed diseases: Needs and opportunities in 20 countries participating in the Undiagnosed Diseases Network International

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    Introduction: Rare diseases (RD) are a health priority worldwide, overall affecting hundreds of millions of people globally. Early and accurate diagnosis is essential to support clinical care but remains challenging in many countries, especially the low- and medium-income ones. Hence, undiagnosed RD (URD) account for a significant portion of the overall RD burden. Methods: In October 2020, the Developing Nations Working Group of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network International (DNWG-UDNI) launched a survey among its members, belonging to 20 countries across all continents, to map unmet needs and opportunities for patients with URD. The survey was based on questions with open answers and included eight different domains. Conflicting interpretations were resolved in contact with the partners involved. Results: All members responded to the survey. The results indicated that the scientific and medical centers make substantial efforts to respond to the unmet needs of patients. In most countries, there is a high awareness of RD issues. Scarcity of resources was highlighted as a major problem, leading to reduced availability of diagnostic expertise and research. Serious equity in accessibility to services were highlighted both within and between participating countries. Regulatory problems, including securing informed consent, difficulties in sending DNA to foreign laboratories, protection of intellectual property, and conflicts of interest on the part of service providers, remain issues of concern. Finally, most respondents stressed the need to strengthen international cooperation in terms of data sharing, clinical research, and diagnostic expertise for URD patients in low and medium income countries. Discussion: The survey highlighted that many countries experienced a discrepancy between the growing expertise and scientific value, the level of awareness and commitment on the part of relevant parties, and funding bodies. Country-tailored public health actions, including general syllabus of medical schools and of the education of other health professionals, are needed to reduce such gaps.VSh is supported by Health Systems Research Institute of Thailand (65-040). SJ is supported by National Medical Research Council, Singapore (Grants ID CSAINV21jun-0003 and CIRG22jul-0003).S

    Can knowledgeable experts assess costs and outcomes as if they were ignorant? : An experiment within precision medicine evaluation

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    Objectives The purpose of this study is to evaluate the validity of the standard approach in expert judgment for evaluating precision medicines, in which experts are required to estimate outcomes as if they did not have access to diagnostic information, whereas in fact, they do. Methods Fourteen clinicians participated in an expert judgment task to estimate the cost and medical outcomes of the use of exome sequencing in pediatric patients with intractable epilepsy in Thailand. Experts were randomly assigned to either an “unblind” or “blind” group; the former was provided with the exome sequencing results for each patient case prior to the judgment task, whereas the latter was not provided with the exome sequencing results. Both groups were asked to estimate the outcomes for the counterfactual scenario, in which patients had not been tested by exome sequencing. Results Our study did not show significant results, possibly due to the small sample size of both participants and case studies. Conclusions A comparison of the unblind and blind approach did not show conclusive evidence that there is a difference in outcomes. However, until further evidence suggests otherwise, we recommend the blind approach as preferable when using expert judgment to evaluate precision medicines because this approach is more representative of the counterfactual scenario than the unblind approach

    A germline STAT6 gain-of-function variant is associated with early-onset allergies

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    Background: The signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) signaling pathway plays a central role in allergic inflammation. To date, however, there have been no descriptions of STAT6 gain-of-function variants leading to allergies in humans. Objective: We report a STAT6 gain-of-function variant associated with early-onset multiorgan allergies in a family with 3 affected members. Methods: Exome sequencing and immunophenotyping of T-helper cell subsets were conducted. The function of the STAT6 protein was analyzed by Western blot, immunofluorescence, electrophoretic mobility shift assays, and luciferase assays. Gastric organoids obtained from the index patient were used to study downstream effector cytokines. Results: We identified a heterozygous missense variant (c.1129G>A;p.Glu377Lys) in the DNA binding domain of STAT6 that was de novo in the index patient's father and was inherited by 2 of his 3 children. Severe atopic dermatitis and food allergy were key presentations. Clinical heterogeneity was observed among the affected individuals. Higher levels of peripheral blood TH2 lymphocytes were detected. The mutant STAT6 displayed a strong preference for nuclear localization, increased DNA binding affinity, and spontaneous transcriptional activity. Moreover, gastric organoids showed constitutive activation of STAT6 downstream signaling molecules. Conclusions: A germline STAT6 gain-of-function variant results in spontaneous activation of the STAT6 signaling pathway and is associated with an early-onset and severe allergic phenotype in humans. These observations enhance our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying allergic diseases and will potentially contribute to novel therapeutic interventions

    Unmet needs in countries participating in the undiagnosed diseases network international: an international survey considering national health care and economic indicators

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    BackgroundPatients, families, the healthcare system, and society as a whole are all significantly impacted by rare diseases (RDs). According to various classifications, there are currently up to 9,000 different rare diseases that have been recognized, and new diseases are discovered every month. Although very few people are affected by each uncommon disease individually, millions of people are thought to be impacted globally when all these conditions are considered. Therefore, RDs represent an important public health concern. Although crucial for clinical care, early and correct diagnosis is still difficult to achieve in many nations, especially those with low and middle incomes. Consequently, a sizeable amount of the overall burden of RD is attributable to undiagnosed RD (URD). Existing barriers and policy aspects impacting the care of patients with RD and URD remain to be investigated.MethodsTo identify unmet needs and opportunities for patients with URD, the Developing Nations Working Group of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network International (DNWG-UDNI) conducted a survey among its members, who were from 20 different nations. The survey used a mix of multiple choice and dedicated open questions covering a variety of topics. To explore reported needs and analyze them in relation to national healthcare economical aspects, publicly available data on (a) World Bank ranking; (b) Current health expenditure per capita; (c) GDP per capita; (d) Domestic general government health expenditure (% of GDP); and (e) Life expectancy at birth, total (years) were incorporated in our study.ResultsThis study provides an in-depth evaluation of the unmet needs for 20 countries: low-income (3), middle-income (10), and high-income (7). When analyzing reported unmet needs, almost all countries (N = 19) indicated that major barriers still exist when attempting to improve the care of patients with UR and/or URD; most countries report unmet needs related to the availability of specialized care and dedicated facilities. However, while the countries ranked as low income by the World Bank showed the highest prevalence of referred unmet needs across the different domains, no specific trend appeared when comparing the high, upper, and low-middle income nations. No overt trend was observed when separating countries by current health expenditure per capita, GDP per capita, domestic general government health expenditure (% of GDP) and life expectancy at birth, total (years). Conversely, both the GDP and domestic general government health expenditure for each country impacted the presence of ongoing research.ConclusionWe found that policy characteristics varied greatly with the type of health system and country. No overall pattern in terms of referral for unmet needs when separating countries by main economic or health indicators were observed. Our findings highlight the importance of identifying actionable points (e.g., implemented orphan drug acts or registries where not available) in order to improve the care and diagnosis of RDs and URDs on a global scale

    Exome-wide association study to identify rare variants influencing COVID-19 outcomes: Results from the Host Genetics Initiative

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    Exome-wide association study to identify rare variants influencing COVID-19 outcomes : Results from the Host Genetics Initiative

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    Publisher Copyright: Copyright: © 2022 Butler-Laporte et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Host genetics is a key determinant of COVID-19 outcomes. Previously, the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative genome-wide association study used common variants to identify multiple loci associated with COVID-19 outcomes. However, variants with the largest impact on COVID-19 outcomes are expected to be rare in the population. Hence, studying rare variants may provide additional insights into disease susceptibility and pathogenesis, thereby informing therapeutics development. Here, we combined whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing from 21 cohorts across 12 countries and performed rare variant exome-wide burden analyses for COVID-19 outcomes. In an analysis of 5,085 severe disease cases and 571,737 controls, we observed that carrying a rare deleterious variant in the SARS-CoV-2 sensor toll-like receptor TLR7 (on chromosome X) was associated with a 5.3-fold increase in severe disease (95% CI: 2.75–10.05, p = 5.41x10-7). This association was consistent across sexes. These results further support TLR7 as a genetic determinant of severe disease and suggest that larger studies on rare variants influencing COVID-19 outcomes could provide additional insights.Peer reviewe
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