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Scicluna B.P.,Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine | Klein Klouwenberg P.M.C.,University Utrecht | Van Vught L.A.,Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine | Wiewel M.A.,Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine | And 10 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2015

Rationale: Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) accounts for a major proportion of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions for respiratory failure and sepsis. Diagnostic uncertainty complicates case management, which may delay appropriate cause-specific treatment. Objectives: To characterize the blood genomic response in patients with suspected CAP and identify a candidate biomarker for the rapid diagnosis of CAP on ICU admission. Methods: The study comprised two cohorts of consecutively enrolled patients treated for suspected CAP on ICU admission. Patients were designated CAP (cases) and no-CAP patients (control subjects) by post hoc assessment. The first (discovery) cohort (101 CAP and 33 no-CAP patients) was enrolled between January 2011 and July 2012; the second (validation) cohort (70 CAP and 30 no-CAP patients) between July 2012 and June 2013. Blood was collected within 24 hours of ICU admission. Measurements and Main Results: Blood microarray analysis of CAP and no-CAP patients revealed shared and distinct gene expression patterns. A 78-gene signature was defined for CAP, from which a FAIM3:PLAC8 gene expression ratio was derived with area under curve of 0.845 (95% confidence interval, 0.764-0.917) and positive and negative predictive values of 83% and 81%, respectively. Robustness of the FAIM3:PLAC8 ratio was ascertained by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in the validation cohort. The FAIM3:PLAC8 ratio outperformed plasma procalcitonin and IL-8 and IL-6 in discriminating between CAP and no-CAP patients. Conclusions: CAP and no-CAP patients presented shared and distinct blood genomic responses. We propose the FAIM3:PLAC8 ratio as a candidate biomarker to assist in the rapid diagnosis of CAP on ICU admission. Copyright © 2015 by the American Thoracic Society.


PubMed | Praxis fur Humangenetik Cottbus, Childrens Hospital of The Kings Daughters, Gillette Childrens Specialty Healthcare, Cologne Center for Genomics and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: American journal of medical genetics. Part A | Year: 2016

Baraitser-Winter cerebrofrontofacial syndrome is caused by heterozygous missense mutations in one of the two ubiquitous cytoplasmic actin-encoding genes ACTB and ACTG1. Recently, we characterized the large cohort of 41 patients presenting with this condition. Our series contained 34 patients with mutations in ACTB and only nine with ACTG1 mutations. Here, we report on seven unrelated patients with six mutations in ACTG1-four novel and two previously reported. Only one of seven patients was clinically diagnosed with this disorder and underwent ACTB/ACTG1 targeted sequencing, four patients were screened as a part of the large lissencephaly cohort and two were tested with exome sequencing. Retrospectively, facial features were compatible with the diagnosis but significantly milder than previously reported in four patients, and non-specific in one. The pattern of malformations of cortical development was highly similar in four of six patients with available MRI images and encompassed frontal predominant pachygyria merging with the posterior predominant band heterotopia. Two remaining patients showed mild involvement consistent with bilaterally simplified gyration over the frontal lobes. Taken together, we expand the clinical spectrum of the ACTG1-associated Baraitser-Winter cerebrofrontofacial syndrome demonstrating the mild end of the facial and brain manifestations. 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


PubMed | Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Institute of Human Genetics and Cologne Center for Genomics
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Human molecular genetics | Year: 2016

Genetic diseases constitute the most important cause for end-stage renal disease in children and adolescents. Mutations in the ACTN4 gene, encoding the actin-binding protein -actinin-4, are a rare cause of autosomal dominant familial focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Here, we report the identification of a novel, disease-causing ACTN4 mutation (p.G195D, de novo) in a sporadic case of childhood FSGS using next generation sequencing. Proteome analysis by quantitative mass spectrometry (MS) of patient-derived urinary epithelial cells indicated that ACTN4 levels were significantly decreased when compared with healthy controls. By resolving the peptide bearing the mutated residue, we could proof that the mutant protein is less abundant when compared with the wild-type protein. Further analyses revealed that the decreased stability of p.G195D is associated with increased ubiquitylation in the vicinity of the mutation site. We next defined the ACTN4 interactome, which was predominantly composed of cytoskeletal modulators and LIM domain-containing proteins. Interestingly, this entire group of proteins, including several highly specific ACTN4 interactors, was globally decreased in the patient-derived cells. Taken together, these data suggest a mechanistic link between ACTN4 instability and proteome perturbations of the ACTN4 interactome. Our findings advance the understanding of dominant effects exerted by ACTN4 mutations in FSGS. This study illustrates the potential of genomics and complementary, high-resolution proteomics analyses to study the pathogenicity of rare gene variants.


PubMed | Medical Genetics Center, University of Washington, Gemeinschaftspraxis fur Humangenetik, University of Zürich and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of medical genetics | Year: 2016

Retinitis pigmentosa in combination with hearing loss can be a feature of different Mendelian disorders. We describe a novel syndrome caused by biallelic mutations in the exosome component 2 (EXOSC2) gene.Clinical ascertainment of three similar affected patients followed by whole exome sequencing.Three individuals from two unrelated German families presented with a novel Mendelian disorder encompassing childhood myopia, early onset retinitis pigmentosa, progressive sensorineural hearing loss, hypothyroidism, short stature, brachydactyly, recognisable facial gestalt, premature ageing and mild intellectual disability. Whole exome sequencing revealed homozygous or compound heterozygous missense variants in the EXOSC2 gene in all three patients. EXOSC2 encodes the ribosomal RNA-processing protein 4 (RRP4)-one of the core components of the RNA exosome. The RNA exosome is a multiprotein complex that plays key roles in RNA processing and degradation. Intriguingly, the EXOSC2-associated phenotype shows only minimal overlap with the previously reported diseases associated with mutations in the RNA exosome core component genes EXOSC3 and EXOSC8.We report a novel condition that is probably caused by altered RNA exosome function and expands the spectrum of clinical consequences of impaired RNA metabolism.


PubMed | National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering NIBGE, Institute of Human Genetics and, The Campbell Family Brain Research Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and 8 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Human molecular genetics | Year: 2014

Asymmetric cell division is essential for normal human brain development. Mutations in several genes encoding centrosomal proteins that participate in accurate cell division have been reported to cause autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH). By homozygosity mapping including three affected individuals from a consanguineous MCPH family from Pakistan, we delineated a critical region of 18.53 Mb on Chromosome 1p21.3-1p13.1. This region contains the gene encoding HsSAS-6, a centrosomal protein primordial for seeding the formation of new centrioles during the cell cycle. Both next-generation and Sanger sequencing revealed a homozygous c.185T>C missense mutation in the HsSAS-6 gene, resulting in a p.Ile62Thr substitution within a highly conserved region of the PISA domain of HsSAS-6. This variant is neither present in any single-nucleotide polymorphism or exome sequencing databases nor in a Pakistani control cohort. Experiments in tissue culture cells revealed that the Ile62Thr mutant of HsSAS-6 is substantially less efficient than the wild-type protein in sustaining centriole formation. Together, our findings demonstrate a dramatic impact of the mutation p.Ile62Thr on HsSAS-6 function and add this component to the list of genes mutated in primary microcephaly.


Bundschuh R.,Ohio State University | Altmuller J.,Cologne Center for Genomics | Becker C.,Cologne Center for Genomics | Nurnberg P.,Cologne Center for Genomics | And 2 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2011

RNAs transcribed from the mitochondrial genome of Physarum polycephalum are heavily edited. The most prevalent editing event is the insertion of single Cs, with Us and dinucleotides also added at specific sites. The existence of insertional editing makes gene identification difficult and localization of editing sites has relied upon characterization of individual cDNAs. We have now determined the complete mitochondrial transcriptome of Physarum using Illumina deep sequencing of purified mitochondrial RNA. We report the first instances of A and G insertions and sites of partial and extragenic editing in Physarum mitochondrial RNAs, as well as an additional 772 C, U and dinucleotide insertions. The notable lack of antisense RNAs in our non-size selected, directional library argues strongly against an RNA-guided editing mechanism. Also of interest are our findings that sites of C to U changes are unedited at a significantly higher frequency than insertional editing sites and that substitutional editing of neighboring sites appears to be coupled. Finally, in addition to the characterization of RNAs from 17 predicted genes, our data identified nine new mitochondrial genes, four of which encode proteins that do not resemble other proteins in the database. Curiously, one of the latter mRNAs contains no editing sites. © 2011 The Author(s).


Rynes J.,University of Cologne | Rynes J.,University of South Bohemia | Donohoe C.D.,University of Cologne | Frommolt P.,Cologne Center for Genomics | And 3 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2012

Integration of metabolic and immune responses during animal development ensures energy balance, permitting both growth and defense. Disturbed homeostasis causes organ failure, growth retardation, and metabolic disorders. Here, we show that the Drosophila melanogaster activating transcription factor 3 (Atf3) safeguards metabolic and immune system homeostasis. Loss of Atf3 results in chronic inflammation and starvation responses mounted primarily by the larval gut epithelium, while the fat body suffers lipid overload, causing energy imbalance and death. Hyperactive proinflammatory and stress signaling through NF-κB/Relish, Jun N-terminal kinase, and FOXO in atf3 mutants deregulates genes important for immune defense, digestion, and lipid metabolism. Reducing the dose of either FOXO or Relish normalizes both lipid metabolism and gene expression in atf3 mutants. The function of Atf3 is conserved, as human ATF3 averts some of the Drosophila mutant phenotypes, improving their survival. The single Drosophila Atf3 may incorporate the diversified roles of two related mammalian proteins. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.


Weterman M.A.J.,AMC | Sorrentino V.,AMC | Kasher P.R.,AMC | Jakobs M.E.,AMC | And 11 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2012

Despite the high number of genes identified in hereditary polyneuropathies/Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, the genetic defect in many families is still unknown. Here we report the identification of a new gene for autosomal dominant axonal neuropathy in a large three-generation family. Linkage analysis identified a 5 Mb region on 9q33-34 with a LOD score of 5.12. Sequence capture and next-generation sequencing of the region of interest identified five previously unreported non-synonymous heterozygous single nucleotide changes or indels, four of which were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Two sequence variants co-segregated with the disease, and one, a 2 bp insertion in the last exon of LRSAM1, was also absent in 676 ethnicity-matched control chromosomes. This frameshift mutation (p.Leu708Argfx28) is located in the C-terminal RING finger motif of the encoded protein. Ubiquitin ligase activity in transfected cells with constructs carrying the patient mutation was affected as measured by a higher level of abundance of TSG101, the only reported target of LRSAM1. Injections of morpholino oligonucleotides in zebrafish embryos directed against the ATG or last splice site of zebrafish Lrsam1 disturbed neurodevelopment, showing a less organized neural structure and, in addition, affected tail formation and movement. LRSAM1 is highly expressed in adult spinal cord motoneurons as well as in fetal spinal cord and muscle tissue. Recently, a homozygous mutation in LRSAM1 was proposed as a strong candidate for the disease in a family with recessive axonal polyneuropathy. Our data strongly support the hypothesis that LRSAM1 mutations can cause both dominant and recessive forms of CMT. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Vanni N.,Institute G Gaslini | Fruscione F.,Institute G Gaslini | Ferlazzo E.,University of Catanzaro | Striano P.,University of Genoa | And 11 more authors.
Annals of Neurology | Year: 2014

Objective Alterations of sphingolipid metabolism are implicated in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative disorders. Methods We identified a homozygous nonsynonymous mutation in CERS1, the gene encoding ceramide synthase 1, in 4 siblings affected by a progressive disorder with myoclonic epilepsy and dementia. CerS1, a transmembrane protein of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), catalyzes the biosynthesis of C18-ceramides. Results We demonstrated that the mutation decreases C18-ceramide levels. In addition, we showed that downregulation of CerS1 in a neuroblastoma cell line triggers ER stress response and induces proapoptotic pathways. Interpretation This study demonstrates that impairment of ceramide biosynthesis underlies neurodegeneration in humans. © 2014 American Neurological Association.


PubMed | Medical Genetics Center, German Cancer Consortium DKTK, Clinic for Dermatology Venerology and Allergology, Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS genetics | Year: 2016

The increasing application of gene panels for familial cancer susceptibility disorders will probably lead to an increased proposal of susceptibility gene candidates. Using ERCC2 DNA repair gene as an example, we show that proof of a possible role in cancer susceptibility requires a detailed dissection and characterization of the underlying mutations for genes with diverse cellular functions (in this case mainly DNA repair and basic cellular transcription). In case of ERCC2, panel sequencing of 1345 index cases from 587 German, 405 Lithuanian and 353 Czech families with breast and ovarian cancer (BC/OC) predisposition revealed 25 mutations (3 frameshift, 2 splice-affecting, 20 missense), all absent or very rare in the ExAC database. While 16 mutations were unique, 9 mutations showed up repeatedly with population-specific appearance. Ten out of eleven mutations that were tested exemplarily in cell-based functional assays exert diminished excision repair efficiency and/or decreased transcriptional activation capability. In order to provide evidence for BC/OC predisposition, we performed familial segregation analyses and screened ethnically matching controls. However, unlike the recently published RECQL example, none of our recurrent ERCC2 mutations showed convincing co-segregation with BC/OC or significant overrepresentation in the BC/OC cohort. Interestingly, we detected that some deleterious founder mutations had an unexpectedly high frequency of > 1% in the corresponding populations, suggesting that either homozygous carriers are not clinically recognized or homozygosity for these mutations is embryonically lethal. In conclusion, we provide a useful resource on the mutational landscape of ERCC2 mutations in hereditary BC/OC patients and, as our key finding, we demonstrate the complexity of correct interpretation for the discovery of bonafide breast cancer susceptibility genes.

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