Harvey Institute for Human Genetics

Baltimore, MD, United States

Harvey Institute for Human Genetics

Baltimore, MD, United States

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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.


Theda C.,Royal Womens Hospital | Theda C.,Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | Theda C.,Frederick Memorial Hospital | Theda C.,University of Minnesota | And 12 more authors.
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism | Year: 2014

X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is characterized by adrenal insufficiency and neurologic involvement with onset at variable ages. Plasma very long chain fatty acids are elevated in ALD; even in asymptomatic patients. We demonstrated previously that liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry measuring C26:0 lysophosphatidylcholine reliably identifies affected males. We prospectively applied this method to 4689 newborn blood spot samples; no false positives were observed. We show that high throughput neonatal screening for ALD is methodologically feasible. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Core Informatics and Harvey Institute for Human Genetics
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular genetics and metabolism | Year: 2014

X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is characterized by adrenal insufficiency and neurologic involvement with onset at variable ages. Plasma very long chain fatty acids are elevated in ALD; even in asymptomatic patients. We demonstrated previously that liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry measuring C26:0 lysophosphatidylcholine reliably identifies affected males. We prospectively applied this method to 4689 newborn blood spot samples; no false positives were observed. We show that high throughput neonatal screening for ALD is methodologically feasible.


PubMed | University of Amsterdam, University of California at Irvine, University of Washington, Montpellier University and 13 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: 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).


PubMed | University of Minnesota, University of California at Irvine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, San Gerardo Hospital and 15 more.
Type: Congresses | Journal: American journal of medical genetics. Part A | Year: 2015

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) is the most common example of disorders of the cohesin complex, or cohesinopathies. There are a myriad of clinical issues facing individuals with CdLS, particularly in the neurodevelopmental system, which also have implications for the parents and caretakers, involved professionals, therapists, and schools. Basic research in developmental and cell biology on cohesin is showing significant progress, with improved understanding of the mechanisms and the possibility of potential therapeutics. The following abstracts are presentations from the 6th Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Scientific and Educational Symposium, which took place on June 25-26, 2014, in conjunction with the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation National Meeting in Costa Mesa, CA. The Research Committee of the CdLS Foundation organizes the meeting, reviews and accepts abstracts, and subsequently disseminates the information to the families through members of the Clinical Advisory Board. In addition to the scientific and clinical discussions, there were educationally focused talks related to practical aspects of behavior and development. AMA CME credits were provided by Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Baltimore, MD.


PubMed | Sacramento Medical Center, University of West of Scotland, Hunter Genetics, University of Ottawa and 25 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Human mutation | Year: 2016

Mandibulofacial dysostosis with microcephaly (MFDM) is a multiple malformation syndrome comprising microcephaly, craniofacial anomalies, hearing loss, dysmorphic features, and, in some cases, esophageal atresia. Haploinsufficiency of a spliceosomal GTPase, U5-116kDa/EFTUD2, is responsible. Here, we review the molecular basis of MFDM in the 69 individuals described to date, and report mutations in 38 new individuals, bringing the total number of reported individuals to 107 individuals from 94 kindreds. Pathogenic EFTUD2 variants comprise 76 distinct mutations and seven microdeletions. Among point mutations, missense substitutions are infrequent (14 out of 76; 18%) relative to stop-gain (29 out of 76; 38%), and splicing (33 out of 76; 43%) mutations. Where known, mutation origin was de novo in 48 out of 64 individuals (75%), dominantly inherited in 12 out of 64 (19%), and due to proven germline mosaicism in four out of 64 (6%). Highly penetrant clinical features include, microcephaly, first and second arch craniofacial malformations, and hearing loss; esophageal atresia is present in an estimated 27%. Microcephaly is virtually universal in childhood, with some adults exhibiting late catch-up growth and normocephaly at maturity. Occasionally reported anomalies, include vestibular and ossicular malformations, reduced mouth opening, atrophy of cerebral white matter, structural brain malformations, and epibulbar dermoid. All reported EFTUD2 mutations can be found in the EFTUD2 mutation database (http://databases.lovd.nl/shared/genes/EFTUD2).


Srivastava S.,Kennedy Krieger Institute | Landy-Schmitt C.,Perkin Elmer Corporation | Clark B.,Johns Hopkins University | Kline A.D.,Harvey Institute for Human Genetics | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A | Year: 2014

Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) is a cohesinopathy causing delayed growth and limb deficits. Individuals with CdLS have mild to profound intellectual disability and autistic features. This study characterizes the behavioral phenotype of children with CdLS, focusing on autistic features, maladaptive behaviors, and impact of age. Children with CdLS (5-18 years) were administered normed instruments to characterize autism features (Childhood Autism Rating Scale, CARS), maladaptive behaviors (Aberrant Behavior Checklist), and adaptive skills (Vineland Adaptive Behaviors Scales). CdLS features and severity were rated with Diagnostic Criteria for CdLS. Forty-one children with CdLS (23 females, 18 males) were classified as having "no autism" (n=7; 17.1%), "mild autism" (n=17; 41.4%), and "severe autism" (n=17; 41.4%), using CARS scores. Characteristic items were abnormal emotional response, stereotypies, odd object use, rigidity, lack of verbal communication, and low intellectual functioning. Verbal communication deficits and repetitive behaviors were higher compared to sensory, social cognition, and behavior abnormalities (P≤0.0001). Maladaptive behaviors associated with autism traits were stereotypies (P=0.003), hyperactivity (P=0.01), and lethargy (P=0.03). Activities of daily living were significantly affected; socialization adaptive skills were a relative strength. However, with advancing age, both socialization (P<0.0001) and communication (P=0.001) domains declined significantly. CdLS is characterized by autistic features, notably excessive repetitive behaviors and expressive language deficits. While other adaptive skills are impacted, socialization adaptive skills are less affected. Advancing age can worsen communication and socialization deficits relative to neurotypical peers. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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.

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