Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics

Glostrup, Denmark

Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics

Glostrup, Denmark

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Lichota J.,University of Aalborg | Skjorringe T.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Thomsen L.B.,University of Aalborg | Moos T.,University of Aalborg
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2010

The brain forms a vascular barrier system comprised of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the blood-CSF barriers. Together they prevent the passage of a number of drugs from the bloodstream into the brain parenchyma, because their molecules are either hydrophilic, too large or both. In many disorders affecting the CNS, these barriers are physically intact, which limits the entry of large molecules with potentially important therapeutic implications. The BBB is the most relevant barrier against drug delivery to the brain as the area of the BBB is about 1000 times larger than that of the blood-CSF barrier. Moreover, the transport through the choroid plexus is directed to the ventricular system, only allowing the transported molecules to access cells near the ventricular and subarachnoid surfaces. This review outlines possible routes for targeted entry of macromolecules like polypeptides, siRNA and cDNA. In the vascular compartment, targeting molecules should interact specifically with proteins expressed exclusively by these barrier cells, and therefore prevent uptake elsewhere in the body. Preferably, the targeting molecule should be conjugated to a drug carrier that allows uptake of a defined cargo. However, evidence for transport of such targetable drug-carrier complexes through the barriers, in particular the BBB, is contentious, and is discussed with emphasis on the different attempts that have evinced transport through the BBB not only from blood-to-endothelium, but also from endothelium-to-brain. © 2010 International Society for Neurochemistry.


Ravn K.,Center for Rett Syndrome | Ravn K.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Roende G.,Center for Rett Syndrome | Duno M.,Copenhagen University | And 5 more authors.
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases | Year: 2011

Background: Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked dominant neurodevelopmental disorder, which is usually caused by de novo mutations in the MECP2 gene. More than 70% of the disease causing MECP2 mutations are eight recurrent C to T transitions, which almost exclusively arise on the paternally derived X chromosome. About 10% of the RTT cases have a C-terminal frameshift deletion in MECP2. Only few RTT families with a segregating MECP2 mutation, which affects female carriers with a phenotype of mental retardation or RTT, have been reported in the literature. In this study we describe two new RTT families with three and four individuals, respectively, and review the literature comparing the type of mutations and phenotypes observed in RTT families with those observed in sporadic cases. Based on these observations we also investigated origin of mutation segregation to further improve genetic counselling. Methods. MECP2 mutations were identified by direct sequencing. XCI studies were performed using the X-linked androgen receptor (AR) locus. The parental origin of de novo MECP2 frameshift mutations was investigated using intronic SNPs. Results: In both families a C-terminal frameshift mutation segregates. Clinical features of the mutation carriers vary from classical RTT to mild mental retardation. XCI profiles of the female carriers correlate to their respective geno-/phenotypes. The majority of the de novo frameshift mutations occur on the paternally derived X chromosome (7/9 cases), without a paternal age effect. Conclusions: The present study suggests a correlation between the intrafamilial phenotypic differences observed in RTT families and their respective XCI pattern in blood, in contrast to sporadic RTT cases where a similar correlation has not been demonstrated. Furthermore, we found de novo MECP2 frameshift mutations frequently to be of paternal origin, although not with the same high paternal occurrence as in sporadic cases with C to T transitions. This suggests further investigations of more families. This study emphasizes the need for thorough genetic counselling of families with a newly diagnosed RTT patient. © 2011 Ravn et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Tumer Z.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Tumer Z.,Copenhagen University | Bertelsen B.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Gredal O.,The Rehabilitation Center for Neuromuscular Diseases | And 6 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2012

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. About 10% of ALS cases are familial (FALS) and the genetic defect is known only in approximately 20%-30% of these cases. The most common genetic cause of ALS is SOD1 (superoxide dismutase 1) mutation. Very recently, mutations of the optineurin gene (OPTN), which is involved in open-angle glaucoma, were identified in 3 Japanese patients/families with ALS, and subsequently in a few FALS patients of European descent. We found a heterozygous nonsense mutation (c.493C>T, p.Gln165X, exon 6) in the OPTN gene in a Danish patient with ALS, and the mutation segregated from his affected father. The p.Gln165X mutation could not be detected in 1070 healthy Danish controls, in 1000 Danish individuals with metabolic phenotypes or in 64 sporadic ALS (SALS) cases. The p.Gln165X mutation described in this study is the first mutation reported in a Danish family and is likely involved in disease pathogenesis. Until now, only few OPTN mutations have been associated with ALS. As the underlying genetic defect is known only in approximately 20%-30% of FALS families, further screening of these cases is necessary for establishing the contribution of OPTN mutations in disease pathogenesis. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | University of Southampton, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen University and Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics
Type: | Journal: BMC medical genetics | Year: 2016

Transient neonatal diabetes mellitus 1 (TNDM1) is a rare imprinting disorder characterized by intrautering growth retardation and diabetes mellitus usually presenting within the first six weeks of life and resolves by the age of 18 months. However, patients have an increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus type 2 later in life. Transient neonatal diabetes mellitus 1 is caused by overexpression of the maternally imprinted genes PLAGL1 and HYMAI on chromosome 6q24. One of the mechanisms leading to overexpression of the locus is hypomethylation of the maternal allele of PLAGL1 and HYMAI. A subset of patients with maternal hypomethylation at PLAGL1 have hypomethylation at additional imprinted loci throughout the genome, including GRB10, ZIM2 (PEG3), MEST (PEG1), KCNQ1OT1 and NESPAS (GNAS-AS1). About half of the TNDM1 patients carry mutations in ZFP57, a transcription factor involved in establishment and maintenance of methylation of imprinted loci. Our objective was to investigate whether additional regions are aberrantly methylated in ZFP57 mutation carriers.Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis was performed on four individuals with homozygous or compound heterozygous ZFP57 mutations, three relatives with heterozygous ZFP57 mutations and five controls. Methylation status of selected regions showing aberrant methylation in the patients was verified using bisulfite-sequencing.We found large variability among the patients concerning the number and identity of the differentially methylated regions, but more than 60 regions were aberrantly methylated in two or more patients and a novel region within PPP1R13L was found to be hypomethylated in all the patients. The hypomethylated regions in common between the patients are enriched for the ZFP57 DNA binding motif.We have expanded the epimutational spectrum of TNDM1 associated with ZFP57 mutations and found one novel region within PPP1R13L which is hypomethylated in all TNDM1 patients included in this study. Functional studies of the locus might provide further insight into the etiology of the disease.


Gourdon P.,Center for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease | Sitsel O.,Center for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease | Karlsen J.L.,Center for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease | Moller L.B.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Nissen P.,Center for Membrane Pumps in Cells and Disease
Biological Chemistry | Year: 2012

The human copper exporters ATP7A and ATP7B contain domains common to all P-type ATPases as well as classspecific features such as six sequential heavy-metal binding domains (HMBD1 - HMBD6) and a type-specific constellation of transmembrane helices. Despite the medical signifi- cance of ATP7A and ATP7B related to Menkes and Wilson diseases, respectively, structural information has only been available for isolated, soluble domains. Here we present homology models based on the existing structures of soluble domains and the recently determined structure of the homologous LpCopA from the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. The models and sequence analyses show that the domains and residues involved in the catalytic phosphorylation events and copper transfer are highly conserved. In addition, there are only minor differences in the core structures of the two human proteins and the bacterial template, allowing proteinspecific properties to be addressed. Furthermore, the mapping of known disease-causing missense mutations indicates that among the heavy-metal binding domains, HMBD5 and HMBD6 are the most crucial for function, thus mimicking the single or dual HMBDs found in most copper-specific P-type ATPases. We propose a structural arrangement of the HMBDs and how they may interact with the core of the proteins to achieve autoinhibition. © 2012 by Walter de Gruyter · Berlin · Boston.


Gronskov K.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Brondum-Nielsen K.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Brondum-Nielsen K.,Kennedy Center | Dedic A.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | And 2 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2011

Fragile X syndrome is a common cause of inherited intellectual disability. It is caused by lack of the FMR1 gene product FMRP. The most frequent cause is the expansion of a CGG repeat located in the 5′UTR of FMR1. Alleles with 200 or more repeats become hypermethylated and transcriptionally silent. Only few patients with intragenic point mutations in FMR1 have been reported and, currently, routine analysis of patients referred for fragile X syndrome includes solely analysis for repeat expansion and methylation status. We identified a substitution in exon 2 of FMR1, c.80>CA, causing a nonsense mutation p.Ser27X, in a patient with classical clinical symptoms of fragile X syndrome. The mother who carried the mutation in heterozygous form presented with mild intellectual impairment. We conclude that further studies including western blot and DNA sequence analysis of the FMR1 gene should be performed in patients with typical symptoms of fragile X syndrome in whom no CGG repeat expansion is detected. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Boonen S.E.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Boonen S.E.,Copenhagen University | Hahnemann J.M.D.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | MacKay D.,University of Southampton | And 8 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2012

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is an overgrowth syndrome, which, in 50-60% of sporadic cases, is caused by hypomethylation of KCNQ1OT1 differentially methylated region (DMR) at chromosome 11p15.5. The underlying defect of this hypomethylation is largely unknown. Recently, recessive mutations of the ZFP57 gene were reported in patients with transient neonatal diabetes mellitus type 1, showing hypomethylation at multiple imprinted loci, including KCNQ1OT1 DMR in some. The aim of our study was to determine whether ZFP57 alterations were a genetic cause of the hypomethylation at KCNQ1OT1 DMR in patients with BWS. We sequenced ZFP57 in 27 BWS probands and in 23 available mothers to test for a maternal effect. We identified three novel, presumably benign sequence variants in ZFP57; thus, we found no evidence for ZFP57 alterations as a major cause in sporadic BWS cases. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Melchior L.,Copenhagen University | Melchior L.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Lynnerup N.,Copenhagen University | Siegismund H.R.,Copenhagen University | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Using established criteria for work with fossil DNA we have analysed mitochondrial DNA from 92 individuals from 18 locations in Denmark ranging in time from the Mesolithic to the Medieval Age. Unequivocal assignment of mtDNA haplotypes was possible for 56 of the ancient individuals;however, the success rate varied substantially between sites;the highest rates were obtained with untouched, freshly excavated material, whereas heavy handling, archeological preservation and storage for many years influenced the ability to obtain authentic endogenic DNA. While the nucleotide diversity at two locations was similar to that among extant Danes, the diversity at four sites was considerably higher. This supports previous observations for ancient Britons. The overall occurrence of haplogroups did not deviate from extant Scandinavians, however, haplogroup I was significantly more frequent among the ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians (~2.5%) as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type diluted by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture) that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300-3,500 YBP) was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least for Southern Scandinavia, our findings do not support a possible replacement of a haplogroup U dominated hunter-gatherer population by a more haplogroup diverse Neolithic Culture. © 2010 Melchior et al.


Mogensen M.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Skjorringe T.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Kodama H.,Teikyo University | Silver K.,University of Chicago | And 2 more authors.
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases | Year: 2011

Background: Menkes disease (MD) is an X-linked, fatal neurodegenerative disorder of copper metabolism, caused by mutations in the ATP7A gene. Thirty-three Menkes patients in whom no mutation had been detected with standard diagnostic tools were screened for exon duplications in the ATP7A gene. Methods. The ATP7A gene was screened for exon duplications using multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). The expression level of ATP7A was investigated by real-time PCR and detailed analysis of the ATP7A mRNA was performed by RT-PCR followed by sequencing. In order to investigate whether the identified duplicated fragments originated from a single or from two different X-chromosomes, polymorphic markers located in the duplicated fragments were analyzed. Results: Partial ATP7A gene duplication was identified in 20 unrelated patients including one patient with Occipital Horn Syndrome (OHS). Duplications in the ATP7A gene are estimated from our material to be the disease causing mutation in 4% of the Menkes disease patients. The duplicated regions consist of between 2 and 15 exons. In at least one of the cases, the duplication was due to an intra-chromosomal event. Characterization of the ATP7A mRNA transcripts in 11 patients revealed that the duplications were organized in tandem, in a head to tail direction. The reading frame was disrupted in all 11 cases. Small amounts of wild-type transcript were found in all patients as a result of exon-skipping events occurring in the duplicated regions. In the OHS patient with a duplication of exon 3 and 4, the duplicated out-of-frame transcript coexists with an almost equally represented wild-type transcript, presumably leading to the milder phenotype. Conclusions: In general, patients with duplication of only 2 exons exhibit a milder phenotype as compared to patients with duplication of more than 2 exons. This study provides insight into exon duplications in the ATP7A gene. © 2011 Mogensen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Bertelsen B.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Tumer Z.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics | Ravn K.,Center for Applied Human Molecular Genetics
Journal of Molecular Diagnostics | Year: 2011

The analysis of X chromosome inactivation (XCI) patterns is a widely used diagnostic tool in clinical practice when investigating X-linked diseases. The most commonly used assay to determine XCI patterns takes advantage of a locus within the androgen receptor (AR) gene. This PCR-based assay relies on two differentially methylated restriction enzyme sites (HpaII) and a polymorphic repeat located within this locus. Although highly informative, this locus is not always sufficient to evaluate the X-inactivation status in X-linked disorders. We have identified three new loci that can be used to determine XCI patterns in a methylation- sensitive PCR-based assay. All three loci contain polymorphic repeats and a methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme (HpaII) site, methylation of which was shown to correlate with XCI. DNA from 60 females was used to estimate the heterozygosity of these new loci. The reliability of the loci was validated by showing a high correlation between the results obtained by employing the new loci and the AR locus using DNA from 15 females who were informative for all four loci. Altogether, we show that these loci can be applied easily in molecular diagnostic laboratories, either as a supplement or as an alternative to the existing AR assay. Copyright © 2011 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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