Genetics of Learning Disability Service

Waratah, Australia

Genetics of Learning Disability Service

Waratah, Australia
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Huang L.,Genetics and Molecular Pathology | Huang L.,Central South University | Jolly L.A.,Genetics and Molecular Pathology | Willis-Owen S.,Genetics and Molecular Pathology | And 20 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2012

The discovery of mutations causing human disease has so far been biased toward protein-coding regions. Having excluded all annotated coding regions, we performed targeted massively parallel resequencing of the nonrepetitive genomic linkage interval at Xq28 of family MRX3. We identified in the binding site of transcription factor YY1 a regulatory mutation that leads to overexpression of the chromatin-associated transcriptional regulator HCFC1. When tested on embryonic murine neural stem cells and embryonic hippocampal neurons, HCFC1 overexpression led to a significant increase of the production of astrocytes and a considerable reduction in neurite growth. Two other nonsynonymous, potentially deleterious changes have been identified by X-exome sequencing in individuals with intellectual disability, implicating HCFC1 in normal brain function. © 2012 The American Society of Human Genetics.


PubMed | Genetics of Learning Disability Service, University of Pennsylvania, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, King Faisal Specialist Hospital And Research Center and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Human molecular genetics | Year: 2016

We report an individual who presented with severe neurodevelopmental delay and an intractable infantile-onset seizure disorder. Exome sequencing identified a homozygous single nucleotide change that abolishes a splice donor site in the ARV1 gene (c.294 + 1G > A homozygous). This variant completely prevented splicing in minigene assays, and resulted in exon skipping and an in-frame deletion of 40 amino acids in primary human fibroblasts (NP_073623.1: p.(Lys59_Asn98del). The p.(Lys59_Asn98del) and previously reported p.(Gly189Arg) ARV1 variants were evaluated for protein expression and function. The p.(Gly189Arg) variant partially rescued the temperature-dependent growth defect in arv1 yeast, while p.(Lys59-Asn98del) completely failed to rescue at restrictive temperature. In contrast to wild type human ARV1, neither variant expressed detectable levels of protein in mammalian cells. Mice with a neuronal deletion of Arv1 recapitulated the human phenotype, exhibiting seizures and a severe survival defect in adulthood. Our data support ARV1 deficiency as a cause of autosomal recessive epileptic encephalopathy.


PubMed | University Hospitals Leuven, Raphael Recanati Genetic Institute and Felsenstein Medical Research Center, Saint Louis University, University of Federal Defense Munich and 11 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Human molecular genetics | Year: 2015

Next generation genomic technologies have made a significant contribution to the understanding of the genetic architecture of human neurodevelopmental disorders. Copy number variants (CNVs) play an important role in the genetics of intellectual disability (ID). For many CNVs, and copy number gains in particular, the responsible dosage-sensitive gene(s) have been hard to identify. We have collected 18 different interstitial microduplications and 1 microtriplication of Xq25. There were 15 affected individuals from 6 different families and 13 singleton cases, 28 affected males in total. The critical overlapping region involved the STAG2 gene, which codes for a subunit of the cohesin complex that regulates cohesion of sister chromatids and gene transcription. We demonstrate that STAG2 is the dosage-sensitive gene within these CNVs, as gains of STAG2 mRNA and protein dysregulate disease-relevant neuronal gene networks in cells derived from affected individuals. We also show that STAG2 gains result in increased expression of OPHN1, a known X-chromosome ID gene. Overall, we define a novel cohesinopathy due to copy number gain of Xq25 and STAG2 in particular.


PubMed | Genetics of Learning Disability Service, Cruces University Hospital, Greenwood Genetic Center, University of Manchester and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Human mutation | Year: 2015

To identify genetic causes of intellectual disability (ID), we screened a cohort of 986 individuals with moderate to severe ID for variants in 565 known or candidate ID-associated genes using targeted next-generation sequencing. Likely pathogenic rare variants were found in 11% of the cases (113 variants in 107/986 individuals: 8% of the individuals had a likely pathogenic loss-of-function [LoF] variant, whereas 3% had a known pathogenic missense variant). Variants in SETD5, ATRX, CUL4B, MECP2, and ARID1B were the most common causes of ID. This study assessed the value of sequencing a cohort of probands to provide a molecular diagnosis of ID, without the availability of DNA from both parents for de novo sequence analysis. This modeling is clinically relevant as 28% of all UK families with dependent children are single parent households. In conclusion, to diagnose patients with ID in the absence of parental DNA, we recommend investigation of all LoF variants in known genes that cause ID and assessment of a limited list of proven pathogenic missense variants in these genes. This will provide 11% additional diagnostic yield beyond the 10%-15% yield from array CGH alone.


PubMed | Genetics of Learning Disability Service, CNR Institute of Neuroscience, Laboratoire Of Biochimie Et Genetique Moleculaire, University of Antwerp and 5 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Human molecular genetics | Year: 2015

Mutations in interleukin-1 receptor accessory protein like 1 (IL1RAPL1) gene have been associated with non-syndromic intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder. This protein interacts with synaptic partners like PSD-95 and PTP, regulating the formation and function of excitatory synapses. The aim of this work was to characterize the synaptic consequences of three IL1RAPL1 mutations, two novel causing the deletion of exon 6 (ex6) and one point mutation (C31R), identified in patients with ID. Using immunofluorescence and electrophysiological recordings, we examined the effects of IL1RAPL1 mutant over-expression on synapse formation and function in cultured rodent hippocampal neurons. ex6 but not C31R mutation leads to IL1RAPL1 protein instability and mislocalization within dendrites. Analysis of different markers of excitatory synapses and sEPSC recording revealed that both mutants fail to induce pre- and post-synaptic differentiation, contrary to WT IL1RAPL1 protein. Cell aggregation and immunoprecipitation assays in HEK293 cells showed a reduction of the interaction between IL1RAPL1 mutants and PTP that could explain the observed synaptogenic defect in neurons. However, these mutants do not affect all cellular signaling because their over-expression still activates JNK pathway. We conclude that both mutations described in this study lead to a partial loss of function of the IL1RAPL1 protein through different mechanisms. Our work highlights the important function of the trans-synaptic PTP/IL1RAPL1 interaction in synaptogenesis and as such in ID in the patients.


Grozeva D.,University of Cambridge | Carss K.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Spasic-Boskovic O.,University of Cambridge | Parker M.J.,Sheffield Childrens Hospital | And 12 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2014

To identify further Mendelian causes of intellectual disability (ID), we screened a cohort of 996 individuals with ID for variants in 565 known or candidate genes by using a targeted next-generation sequencing approach. Seven loss-of-function (LoF) mutations - four nonsense (c.1195A>T [p.Lys399&z.ast;], c.1333C>T [p.Arg445&z.ast;], c.1866C>G [p.Tyr622&z.ast;], and c.3001C>T [p.Arg1001&z.ast;]) and three frameshift (c.2177-2178del [p.Thr726Asnfs&z.ast;39], c.3771dup [p.Ser1258Glufs&z.ast;65], and c.3856del [p.Ser1286Leufs&z.ast;84]) - were identified in SETD5, a gene predicted to encode a methyltransferase. All mutations were compatible with de novo dominant inheritance. The affected individuals had moderate to severe ID with additional variable features of brachycephaly; a prominent high forehead with synophrys or striking full and broad eyebrows; a long, thin, and tubular nose; long, narrow upslanting palpebral fissures; and large, fleshy low-set ears. Skeletal anomalies, including significant leg-length discrepancy, were a frequent finding in two individuals. Congenital heart defects, inguinal hernia, or hypospadias were also reported. Behavioral problems, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, hand flapping with ritualized behavior, and autism, were prominent features. SETD5 lies within the critical interval for 3p25 microdeletion syndrome. The individuals with SETD5 mutations showed phenotypic similarity to those previously reported with a deletion in 3p25, and thus loss of SETD5 might be sufficient to account for many of the clinical features observed in this condition. Our findings add to the growing evidence that mutations in genes encoding methyltransferases regulating histone modification are important causes of ID. This analysis provides sufficient evidence that rare de novo LoF mutations in SETD5 are a relatively frequent (0.7%) cause of ID. © 2014 The American Society of Human Genetics.


PubMed | Genetics of Learning Disability Service, University of Newcastle, University of New South Wales, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: Neurobiology of aging | Year: 2016

Recent evidence indicates that adults with a premutation (PM: 55-199 CGG repeats) expansion in the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene show postural control deficits that may reflect disruption to cerebellar motor regions. Less is known about the influence of reduced cerebellar volume and structural changes, and increase in CGG repeat and FMR1 mRNA levels on the attentional demands of step initiation in PM males. We investigated the effects of a concurrent cognitive task on choice stepping reaction time (CSRT) and explored the associations between CSRT performance, cerebellar volume, CGG size, and FMR1 mRNA levels in blood in PM males. We examined 19 PM males (ages 28-75) and 23 matched controls (CGG <44; ages 26-77), who performed a verbal fluency task during CSRT performance and single-task stepping without a secondary cognitive task. Our results provide preliminary evidence that smaller cerebellar volume (=-2.73, p= 0.002) and increasing CGG repeat length (= 1.69, p= 0.003) were associated with greater dual-task step initiation times in PM males, but not in controls. There was evidence of a mediating effect of cerebellar volume on the relationship between FMR1 mRNA levels and single-task CSRT performance in PM males (estimate coefficient= 8.69, standard error= 4.42, p= 0.049). These findings suggest increasing CGG repeat and FMR1 mRNA levels have neurotoxic effects on cerebellar regions underlying anticipatory postural responses during stepping. Cerebellar postural changes may be predictive of the increased risk of falls in older PM males.


PubMed | Genetics of Learning Disability Service, University of Newcastle, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, University of Chile and 2 more.
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Genes | Year: 2016

Mosaicism for FMR1 premutation (PM: 55-199 CGG)/full mutation (FM: >200 CGG) alleles or the presence of unmethylated FM (UFM) have been associated with a less severe fragile X syndrome (FXS) phenotype and fragile X associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS)-a late onset neurodegenerative disorder. We describe a 38 year old male carrying a 100% methylated FM detected with Southern blot (SB), which is consistent with complete silencing of FMR1 and a diagnosis of fragile X syndrome. However, his formal cognitive scores were not at the most severe end of the FXS phenotype and he displayed tremor and ataxic gait. With the association of UFM with FXTAS, we speculated that his ataxia might be related to an undetected proportion of UFM alleles. Such UFM alleles were confirmed by more sensitive PCR based methylation testing showing FM methylation between 60% and 70% in blood, buccal, and saliva samples and real-time PCR analysis showing incomplete silencing of FMR1. While he did not meet diagnostic criteria for FXTAS based on MRI findings, the underlying cause of his ataxia may be related to UFM alleles not detected by SB, and follow-up clinical and molecular assessment are justified if his symptoms worsen.


PubMed | Genetics of Learning Disability Service, John Hunter Hospital, University of Tartu and University of Melbourne
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European journal of medical genetics | Year: 2016

Terminal duplications of 15q26.3 are associated with an overgrowth phenotype, distinct facial features and intellectual disability, with the smallest reported microduplication to date being 3.16 Mb in size. We report two familial 15q26.3 microduplication cases that are less than half this size, re-defining the minimal critical region for this duplication syndrome. In both families the duplication (albeit a complex copy number gain in one family) is associated with tall stature, early speech delay and variable cognitive problems. Neither familial copy number gains encompass the gene encoding for the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R), the most-cited candidate for the overgrowth phenotype. In one family, whole genome sequence data and break point mapping excludes disruption of known IGF1R regulatory elements due to potential insertion within these elements. These cases highlight the possibility that the distal region of 15q contains another gene regulating human growth, with LRRK1 being a potential candidate.

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