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PubMed | National Research Council Italy, University of California at Davis, Genetica Medica, University of Siena and Yale University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European journal of human genetics : EJHG | Year: 2016

Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder associated with mutations in either MECP2, CDKL5 or FOXG1. The precise molecular mechanisms that lead to the pathogenesis of RTT have yet to be elucidated. We recently reported that expression of GluD1 (orphan glutamate receptor -1 subunit) is increased in iPSC-derived neurons obtained from patients with mutations in either MECP2 or CDKL5. GluD1 controls synaptic differentiation and shifts the balance between excitatory and inhibitory synapses toward the latter. Thus, an increase in GluD1 might be a critical factor in the etiology of RTT by affecting the excitatory/inhibitory balance in the developing brain. To test this hypothesis, we generated iPSC-derived neurons from FOXG1(+/-) patients. We analyzed mRNA and protein levels of GluD1 together with key markers of excitatory and inhibitory synapses in these iPSC-derived neurons and in Foxg1(+/-) mouse fetal (E11.5) and adult (P70) brains. We found strong correlation between iPSC-derived neurons and fetal mouse brains, where GluD1 and inhibitory synaptic markers (GAD67 and GABA AR-1) were increased, whereas the levels of a number of excitatory synaptic markers (VGLUT1, GluA1, GluN1 and PSD-95) were decreased. In adult mice, GluD1 was decreased along with all GABAergic and glutamatergic markers. Our findings further the understanding of the etiology of RTT by introducing a new pathological event occurring in the brain of FOXG1(+/-) patients during embryonic development and its time-dependent shift toward a general decrease in brain synapses.


PubMed | Hopital Robert Debre, Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg, Ospedale Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, University of Belgrade and 11 more.
Type: | Journal: Human mutation | Year: 2017

Germline mutations in PTPN11, the gene encoding the Src-homology 2 (SH2) domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase (SHP2), cause Noonan syndrome (NS), a relatively common, clinically variable, multisystem disorder. Here, we report on the identification of five different PTPN11 missense changes affecting residues Leu


PubMed | Science Cardiologia Pediatrica, S.O.D.C. Cardiologia Pediatrica, Genetica Medica, U.O.C. Cardiologia Pediatrica and 9 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Giornale italiano di cardiologia (2006) | Year: 2016

The success of cardiac surgery over the past 50 years has increased numbers and median age of survivors with congenital heart disease (CHD). Adults now represent two-thirds of patients with CHD; in the United States alone the number is estimated to exceed 1 million.In this population many affected women reach reproductive age and wish to have children. While in many CHD patients pregnancy can be accomplished successfully, some special situations with complex anatomy, iatrogenic or residual pathology are associated with an increased risk of severe maternal and fetal complications. Pre-conception counseling allows women to come to truly informed choices. Risk stratification tools can also help high-risk women to eventually renounce to pregnancy and to adopt safe contraception options. Once pregnant, women identified as intermediate or high-risk should receive multidisciplinary care involving a cardiologist, an obstetrician and an anesthesiologist with specific expertise in managing this peculiar medical challenge.This document is intended to provide cardiologists working in hospitals where an Obstetrics and Gynecology Department is available with a streamlined and practical tool, useful for them to select the best management strategies to deal with a woman affected by CHD who desires to plan pregnancy or is already pregnant.


PubMed | CNR Institute of Biomedical Technologies, Genetica Medica, Dipartmento di Pediatria, University of Naples Federico II and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Orphanet journal of rare diseases | Year: 2016

Integrin 3 (ITGA3) gene mutations are associated with Interstitial Lung disease, Nephrotic syndrome and Epidermolysis bullosa (ILNEB syndrome). To date only six patients are reported: all carried homozygous ITGA3 mutations and presented a dramatically severe phenotype leading to death before age 2years, from multi-organ failure due to interstitial lung disease and congenital nephrotic syndrome. The involvement of skin and cutaneous adnexa was variable with sparse hair and nail dysplasia combined or not to skin lesions ranging from skin fragility to epidermolysis bullosa-like blistering.We report on two siblings of 13 and 9years born to non-consanguineous healthy parents, who display growth delay, severe pulmonary fibrosis with fatigue, dyspnea on exertion and wheezing, atrophic skin with erythematosus lesions, rare eyelashes/eyebrows and pachyonychia. By exome sequencing, we identified two unreported ITGA3 missense mutations, c.373G>A (p.(G125R)) in exon 3 and c.821G>A (p.(R274Q)) in exon 6, affecting highly conserved residues in the integrin 3 extracellular N-terminal -propeller domain. Homology modelling of 31 heterodimer fragment, encompassing the mutation sites, showed that G125 plays a pivotal structural role in the -propeller, while R274 might prevent the interaction between integrin and urokinase complex.We report a variant of ILNEB syndrome in two siblings differing from the previously reported patients in the lack of nephrotic impairment and survival beyond childhood. Our siblings are the first reported compound heterozygous for ITGA3 mutations; this state as well as the hypomorphic nature of their p.(R274Q) mutation likely account for their survival.


PubMed | Paris-Sorbonne University, Joseph Fourier University, Center de Genetique et Center de Reference Anomalies du Developpement et Syndromes Malformatifs, University Grenoble Alpes and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics | Year: 2016

To determine whether duplication of the ARID1A gene is responsible for a new recognizable syndrome.We describe four patients with a 1p36.11 microduplication involving ARID1A as identified by array-comparative genomic hybridization . We performed comparative transcriptomic analysis of patient-derived fibroblasts using RNA sequencing and evaluated the impact of ARID1A duplication on the cell cycle using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Functional relationships between differentially expressed genes were investigated with ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA).Combining the genomic data, we defined a small (122kb), minimally critical region that overlaps the full ARID1A gene. The four patients shared a strikingly similar phenotype that included intellectual disability and microcephaly. Transcriptomic analysis revealed the deregulated expression of several genes previously linked to microcephaly and developmental disorders as well as the involvement of signaling pathways relevant to microcephaly, among which the polo-like kinase (PLK) pathway was especially notable. Cell-cycle analysis of patient-derived fibroblasts showed a significant increase in the proportion of cells in G1 phase at the expense of G2-M cells.Our study reports a new microduplication syndrome involving the ARID1A gene. This work is the first step in clarifying the pathophysiological mechanism that links changes in the gene dosage of ARID1A with intellectual disability and microcephaly.Genet Med advance online publication 01 December 2016Genetics in Medicine (2016); doi:10.1038/gim.2016.180.


PubMed | University of Padua, Genetica Medica and University of Siena
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Brain & development | Year: 2016

Neurodevelopmental disorders include a broad spectrum of conditions, which are characterized by delayed motor and/or cognitive milestones and by a variable range of intellectual disability with or without an autistic behavior. Several genetic factors have been implicated in intellectual disability onset and exome sequencing studies have recently identified new inherited or de novo mutations in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders.We report the case of two monozygotic twins who came for the first time to our attention at the age of 20months for a global neurodevelopmental delay associated with an autism spectrum disorder, hypotonia, postnatal microcephaly, stereotypic movements and circadian rhythm alterations in association with late-onset epilepsy. MECP2 sequence was normal. A CGH-array analysis revealed in both twins two maternally inherited duplications on chromosomes 8p22 and 16p13.11. The latter has been previously associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. We performed an exome sequencing analysis on one twin and her parents and identified a CHD2 mutation, previously described in association with a phenotypic spectrum overlapping our patients phenotype.This work underlines the importance to consider a CHD2 involvement in children with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder even in the absence of epilepsy at an early age. It also highlights the necessity to re-evaluate inherited copy number variants with low penetrance and/or high phenotypic variability because an underlying de novo molecular event can be the major cause of the phenotype. This is essential in order to reach a correct diagnosis and provide the couple with a proper recurrence risk.


PubMed | University of Padua, Nephrology and Pediatric Dialysis, Genetica Medica, The Second University of Naples and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: Clinical genetics | Year: 2016

Alport syndrome (ATS) is a genetically heterogeneous nephropathy with considerable phenotypic variability and different transmission patterns, including monogenic (X-linked/autosomal) and digenic inheritance. Here we present a new series of families with digenic inheritance and we discuss consequences for genetic counseling and risk assessment. Out of 5 families harboring variants in more than one COL4 gene detected by Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), minigene splicing assay allowed us to identify four as true digenic. Two families showed COL4A3/A4 mutations in cis, mimicking an autosomal dominant inheritance with a more severe phenotype and one showed COL4A3/A4 mutations in trans, mimicking an autosomal recessive inheritance with a less severe phenotype. In a fourth family a de novo mutation (COL4A5) combined with an inherited mutation (COL4A3) triggered a more severe phenotype. A fifth family, predicted digenic on the basis of silico tools, rather showed monogenic X-linked inheritance due to a hypomorphic mutation, in accordance with a milder phenotype. In conclusion, this study highlights the impact of digenic inheritance in ATS and explains the associated atypical presentations. More complex inheritance should be therefore considered when reviewing prognosis and recurrence risks. On the other side, these findings emphasize the importance to accompany NGS with splicing assays in order to avoid erroneous identification of at risk members.


Cavalli P.,Servizio di Genetica | Tonni G.,Guastalla Civil Hospital | Grosso E.,Genetica Medica | Poggiani C.,Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Birth Defects Research Part A - Clinical and Molecular Teratology | Year: 2011

Neural tube defects (NTDs), most commonly spina bifida and anencephaly, can be prevented with periconceptional intake of folic acid in about 70% of cases. Recurrence of NTDs despite supplementation of high dose of folic acid further suggests that a proportion of NTD cases might be resistant to folic acid. Moreover, heterogeneity of NTDs has been suggested in animal studies, indicating that only some sub-type of NTDs should be considered sensitive to folate intake. Inositol isomers (particularly myo- and chiro-inositol) can prevent folate-resistant NTDs in the curly-tail mutant mouse, suggesting that some cases of human NTDs might benefit from inositol supplementation. In humans, lower inositol blood concentration was found in pregnant women carrying NTD fetuses, whereas a periconceptional combination therapy with folic acid associated with inositol has been linked to normal live births, despite high NTD recurrence risk. Fifteen pregnancies from 12 Caucasian women from different parts of Italy with at least one previous NTD-affected pregnancy underwent periconceptional combined myo-inositol and folic acid supplementation. Maternal serum α-feto-protein levels were found in the normal range, and normal results on ultrasound examination were found in all the pregnancies that followed. No collateral effects or intense uterine contractions were demonstrated in this pilot study in any of the pregnancies after inositol supplementation, and seventeen babies were born without any type of NTD. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Funnell A.P.W.,University of Washington | Prontera P.,Centro Of Riferimento Regionale Genetica Medica | Ottaviani V.,Genetica Medica | Piccione M.,University of Palermo | And 11 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2015

Elevated fetal hemoglobin (HbF) ameliorates the clinical severity of hemoglobinopathies such as β-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. Currently, the only curative approach for individuals under chronic transfusion/chelation support therapy is allogeneic stem cell transplantation. However, recent analyses of heritable variations in HbF levels have provided a new therapeutic target for HbF reactivation: the transcriptional repressor BCL11A. Erythroid-specific BCL11A abrogation is now actively being sought as a therapeutic avenue, but the specific impact of such disruption in humans remains to be determined. Although single nucleotide polymorphisms in BCL11A erythroid regulatory elements have been reported, coding mutations are scarcer. It is thus of great interest that patients have recently been described with microdeletions encompassing BCL11A. These patients display neurodevelopmental abnormalities, but whether they show increased HbF has not been reported. We have examined the hematological phenotype, HbF levels, and erythroid BCL11A expression in 3 such patients. Haploinsufficiency of BCL11A induces only partial developmental g-globin silencing. Of greater interest is that a patient with a downstream deletion exhibits reduced BCL11A expression and increased HbF. Novel erythroid-specific regulatory elements in this region may be required for normal erythroid BCL11A expression, whereas loss of separate elements in the developing brain may explain the neurological phenotype. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology.

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