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Baltimore Highlands, MD, United States

Chong J.X.,University of Washington | McMillin M.J.,University of Washington | Shively K.M.,University of Washington | Beck A.E.,University of Washington | And 34 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2015

Freeman-Sheldon syndrome, or distal arthrogryposis type 2A (DA2A), is an autosomal-dominant condition caused by mutations in MYH3 and characterized by multiple congenital contractures of the face and limbs and normal cognitive development. We identified a subset of five individuals who had been putatively diagnosed with "DA2A with severe neurological abnormalities" and for whom congenital contractures of the limbs and face, hypotonia, and global developmental delay had resulted in early death in three cases; this is a unique condition that we now refer to as CLIFAHDD syndrome. Exome sequencing identified missense mutations in the sodium leak channel, non-selective (NALCN) in four families affected by CLIFAHDD syndrome. We used molecular-inversion probes to screen for NALCN in a cohort of 202 distal arthrogryposis (DA)-affected individuals as well as concurrent exome sequencing of six other DA-affected individuals, thus revealing NALCN mutations in ten additional families with "atypical" forms of DA. All 14 mutations were missense variants predicted to alter amino acid residues in or near the S5 and S6 pore-forming segments of NALCN, highlighting the functional importance of these segments. In vitro functional studies demonstrated that NALCN alterations nearly abolished the expression of wild-type NALCN, suggesting that alterations that cause CLIFAHDD syndrome have a dominant-negative effect. In contrast, homozygosity for mutations in other regions of NALCN has been reported in three families affected by an autosomal-recessive condition characterized mainly by hypotonia and severe intellectual disability. Accordingly, mutations in NALCN can cause either a recessive or dominant condition characterized by varied though overlapping phenotypic features, perhaps based on the type of mutation and affected protein domain(s). © 2015 The American Society of Human Genetics. Source

Braunholz D.,University of Lubeck | Hullings M.,Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia | Gil-Rodriguez M.C.,University of Lubeck | Gil-Rodriguez M.C.,University of Zaragoza | And 18 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2012

Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS; or Brachmann-de Lange syndrome) is a dominantly inherited congenital malformation disorder with features that include characteristic facies, cognitive delays, growth retardation and limb anomalies. Mutations in nearly 60% of CdLS patients have been identified in NIPBL, which encodes a regulator of the sister chromatid cohesion complex. NIPBL, also known as delangin, is a homolog of yeast and amphibian Scc2 and C. elegans PQN-85. Although the exact mechanism of NIPBL function in sister chromatid cohesion is unclear, in vivo yeast and C. elegans experiments and in vitro vertebrate cell experiments have demonstrated that NIPBL/Scc2 functionally interacts with the MAU2/Scc4 protein to initiate loading of cohesin onto chromatin. To test the significance of this model in the clinical setting of CdLS, we fine-mapped the NIBPL-MAU2 interaction domain and tested the functional significance of missense mutations and variants in NIPBL and MAU2 identified in these minimal domains in a cohort of patients with CdLS. We demonstrate that specific novel mutations at the N-terminus of the MAU2-interacting domain of NIBPL result in markedly reduced MAU2 binding, although we appreciate no consistent clinical difference in the small group of patients with these mutations. These data suggest that factors in addition to MAU2 are essential in determining the clinical features and severity of CdLS. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

Liu J.,Abramson Research Institute | Zhang Z.,Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia | Bando M.,Tokyo Institute of Technology | Itoh T.,Tokyo Institute of Technology | And 15 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2010

The cohesin complex has recently been shown to be a key regulator of eukaryotic gene expression, although the mechanisms by which it exerts its effects are poorly understood. We have undertaken a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation in cohesin-deficient cell lines from probands with Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS). Heterozygous mutations in NIPBL, SMC1A and SMC3 genes account for ~65% of individuals with CdLS. SMC1A and SMC3 are subunits of the cohesin complex that controls sister chromatid cohesion, whereas NIPBL facilitates cohesin loading and unloading. We have examined the methylation status of 27 578 CpG dinucleotides in 72 CdLS and control samples. We have documented the DNA methylation pattern in human lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) as well as identified specific differential DNA methylation in CdLS. Subgroups of CdLS probands and controls can be classified using selected CpG loci. The X chromosome was also found to have a unique DNA methylation pattern in CdLS. Cohesin preferentially binds to hypo-methylated DNA in control LCLs, whereas the differential DNA methylation alters cohesin binding in CdLS. Our results suggest that in addition to DNA methylation multiple mechanisms may be involved in transcriptional regulation in human cells and in the resultant gene misexpression in CdLS. © The Author(s) 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. Source

Morgan T.,ICF International | Schmidt J.,Childrens National Medical Center | Haakonsen C.,Harvey Institute for Human Genetics | Lewis J.,ICF International | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Medical Internet Research | Year: 2014

Background: The Genetic and Rare Disease Information Center (GARD) is a major provider of Web-based information on genetic and rare diseases. Little is known about the type of Web-based information individuals seek about genetic and rare diseases or their reasons for seeking. Objective: The objective of this paper is to describe the types of Web-based information sought about genetic and rare diseases and the reasons for seeking it from GARD by examining inquiries from 2006 and 2011. Methods: There were 278 English-language email and Web-based inquiries posed to GARD by lay individuals (ie, patients, parents, and relatives), which were randomly selected from inquiries in 2006 (n=68) and 2011 (n=210) and examined using content analysis. Results: Most often in both years, individuals sought basic disease information (51/68, 75.0% and 132/210, 62.8%; P=.067) and information about treatment (17/51, 33.3% and 62/132, 47.0%; P=.095). Specifically, inquirers requested information about their disease prognosis (6/51, 11.8% and 23/132, 17.4%; P=.347) and made requests for specialists (8/68, 11.8% and 31/210, 14.8%; P=.536). In both 2006 and 2011, a substantial subset of inquirers requested information related to undiagnosed symptoms, representing 16.2% (11/68) and 11.9% (25/210; P=.362) of inquiries, respectively. Inquirers were significantly more likely to have seen a health care provider before contacting GARD (99/210, 47.1% vs 20/68, 29.4%; P=.010) and to ask about clinical research studies in 2011 than in 2006 (24/210, 11.4% vs 2/68, 2.9%; P=.037). In the 2011 data set, the majority of the inquirers were women (201/210, 95.7%). In our 2006 sample, men were the majority source of inquiries (54/68, 79.4%). Conclusions: Findings from this study indicate that lay people contacting a genetic and rare disease information center most often seek information about disease prognosis, finding a specialist, and obtaining a diagnosis for symptoms. Unique characteristics of individuals searching the Internet for genetic and rare diseases information, includes a growing interest in participating in clinical research studies and a desire to supplement or better understand information discussed during a visit with a health care provider. These efforts represent advancements in patient self-advocacy. Source

Bachmann-Gagescu R.,University of Washington | Ishak G.E.,University of Washington | Dempsey J.C.,University of Washington | Adkins J.,University of Washington | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Medical Genetics | Year: 2012

Background: Joubert syndrome (JS) is a ciliopathy characterised by a distinctive brain malformation (the 'molar tooth sign'), developmental delay, abnormal eye movements and abnormal breathing pattern. Retinal dystrophy, cystic kidney disease, liver fibrosis and polydactyly are variably present, resulting in significant phenotypic heterogeneity and overlap with other ciliopathies. JS is also genetically heterogeneous, resulting from mutations in 13 genes. These factors render clinical/molecular diagnosis and management challenging. CC2D2A mutations are a relatively common cause of JS and also cause Meckel syndrome. The clinical consequences of CC2D2A mutations in patients with JS have been incompletely reported. Methods: Subjects with JS from 209 families were evaluated to identify mutations in CC2D2A. Clinical and imaging features in subjects with CC2D2A mutations were compared with those in subjects without CC2D2A mutations and reports in the literature. Results: 10 novel CC2D2A mutations in 20 subjects were identified; a summary is provided of all published CC2D2A mutations. Subjects with CC2D2A-related JS were more likely to have ventriculomegaly (p<0.0001) and seizures (p=0.024) than subjects without CC2D2A mutations. No mutation-specific genotypeephenotype correlations could be identified, but the findings confirm the observation that mutations that cause CC2D2Arelated JS are predicted to be less deleterious than mutations that cause CC2D2A-related Meckel syndrome. Missense variants in the coiled-coil and C2 domains, as well as the C-terminal region, identify these regions as important for the biological mechanisms underlying JS. Conclusions: CC2D2A testing should be prioritised in patients with JS and ventriculomegaly and/or seizures. Patients with CC2D2A-related JS should be monitored for hydrocephalus and seizures. Source

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