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Pareyson D.,Clinic of Central and Peripheral Degenerative Neuropathies Unit | Piscosquito G.,Clinic of Central and Peripheral Degenerative Neuropathies Unit | Moroni I.,Child Neurology Unit | Salsano E.,Clinic of Central and Peripheral Degenerative Neuropathies Unit | And 3 more authors.
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2013

Why is peripheral neuropathy common but mild in many mitochondrial disorders, and why is it, in some cases, the predominant or only manifestation? Although this question remains largely unanswered, recent advances in cellular and molecular biology have begun to clarify the importance of mitochondrial functioning and distribution in the peripheral nerve. Mutations in proteins involved in mitochondrial dynamics (ie, fusion and fission) frequently result in a Charcot-Marie-Tooth phenotype. Peripheral neuropathies with different phenotypic presentations occur in mitochondrial diseases associated with abnormalities in mitochondrial DNA replication and maintenance, or associated with defects in mitochondrial respiratory chain complex V. Our knowledge of mitochondrial disorders is rapidly growing as new nuclear genes are identified and new phenotypes described. Early diagnosis of mitochondrial disorders, essential to provide appropriate genetic counselling, has become crucial in a few treatable conditions. Recognising and diagnosing an underlying mitochondrial defect in patients presenting with peripheral neuropathy is therefore of paramount importance. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Cozzi A.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Santambrogio P.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Privitera D.,Vita-Salute San Raffaele University | Broccoli V.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Medicine | Year: 2013

The ubiquitously expressed iron storage protein ferritin plays a central role in maintaining cellular iron homeostasis. Cytosolic ferritins are composed of heavy (H) and light (L) subunits that co-assemble into a hollow spherical shell with an internal cavity where iron is stored. The ferroxidase activity of the ferritin H chain is critical to store iron in its Fe3+ oxidation state, while the L chain shows iron nucleation properties. We describe a unique case of a 23-yr-old female patient affected by a homozygous loss of function mutation in the L-ferritin gene, idiopathic generalized seizures, and atypical restless leg syndrome (RLS). We show that L chain ferritin is undetectable in primary fibroblasts from the patient, and thus ferritin consists only of H chains. Increased iron incorporation into the FtH homopolymer leads to reduced cellular iron availability, diminished levels of cytosolic catalase, SOD1 protein levels, enhanced ROS production and higher levels of oxidized proteins. Importantly, key phenotypic features observed in fibroblasts are also mirrored in reprogrammed neurons from the patient's fibroblasts. Our results demonstrate for the first time the pathophysiological consequences of L-ferritin deficiency in a human and help to define the concept for a new disease entity hallmarked by idiopathic generalized seizure and atypical RLS © 2013 Cozzi et al. Source

Mencacci N.E.,University College London | Rubio-Agusti I.,Hospital Universitario La Paz | Zdebik A.,University College London | Asmus F.,German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases | And 29 more authors.
American journal of human genetics | Year: 2015

Myoclonus-dystonia (M-D) is a rare movement disorder characterized by a combination of non-epileptic myoclonic jerks and dystonia. SGCE mutations represent a major cause for familial M-D being responsible for 30%-50% of cases. After excluding SGCE mutations, we identified through a combination of linkage analysis and whole-exome sequencing KCTD17 c.434 G>A p.(Arg145His) as the only segregating variant in a dominant British pedigree with seven subjects affected by M-D. A subsequent screening in a cohort of M-D cases without mutations in SGCE revealed the same KCTD17 variant in a German family. The clinical presentation of the KCTD17-mutated cases was distinct from the phenotype usually observed in M-D due to SGCE mutations. All cases initially presented with mild myoclonus affecting the upper limbs. Dystonia showed a progressive course, with increasing severity of symptoms and spreading from the cranio-cervical region to other sites. KCTD17 is abundantly expressed in all brain regions with the highest expression in the putamen. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis, based on mRNA expression profile of brain samples from neuropathologically healthy individuals, showed that KCTD17 is part of a putamen gene network, which is significantly enriched for dystonia genes. Functional annotation of the network showed an over-representation of genes involved in post-synaptic dopaminergic transmission. Functional studies in mutation bearing fibroblasts demonstrated abnormalities in endoplasmic reticulum-dependent calcium signaling. In conclusion, we demonstrate that the KCTD17 c.434 G>A p.(Arg145His) mutation causes autosomal dominant M-D. Further functional studies are warranted to further characterize the nature of KCTD17 contribution to the molecular pathogenesis of M-D. Copyright © 2015 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Chen W.W.,Harvard University | Chen W.W.,Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology | Balaj L.,Harvard University | Balaj L.,Neuro oncology Research Group | And 17 more authors.
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids | Year: 2013

Development of biofluid-based molecular diagnostic tests for cancer is an important step towards tumor characterization and real-time monitoring in a minimally invasive fashion. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released from tumor cells into body fluids and can provide a powerful platform for tumor biomarkers because they carry tumor proteins and nucleic acids. Detecting rare point mutations in the background of wild-type sequences in biofluids such as blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) remains a major challenge. Techniques such as BEAMing (beads, emulsion, amplification, magnetics) PCR and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) are substantially more sensitive than many other assays for mutant sequence detection. Here, we describe a novel approach that combines biofluid EV RNA and BEAMing RT-PCR (EV-BEAMing), as well droplet digital PCR to interrogate mutations from glioma tumors. EVs from CSF of patients with glioma were shown to contain mutant IDH1 transcripts, and we were able to reliably detect and quantify mutant and wild-type IDH1 RNA transcripts in CSF of patients with gliomas. EV-BEAMing and EV-ddPCR represent a valuable new strategy for cancer diagnostics, which can be applied to a variety of biofluids and neoplasms. © 2013 The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy. Source

Mencacci N.E.,University College London | R'bibo L.,University College London | Bandres-Ciga S.,University College London | Bandres-Ciga S.,University of Granada | And 14 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2015

Myoclonus-dystonia (M-D) is a very rare movement disorder, caused in ~30-50% of cases by mutations in SGCE. The CACNA1B variant c.4166G>A; (p. R1389H) was recently reported as the likely causative mutation in a single 3-generation Dutch pedigree with five subjects affected by a unique dominant M-D syndrome and cardiac arrhythmias. In an attempt to replicate this finding, we assessed by direct sequencing the frequency of CACNA1B c.4166G>A; (p. R1389H) in a cohort of 520 M-D cases, in which SGCE mutations had been previously excluded. A total of 146 cases (28%) had a positive family history of M-D. The frequency of the variant was also assessed in 489 neurologically healthy controls and in publicly available data sets of genetic variation (1000 Genomes, Exome Variant Server and Exome Aggregation Consortium). The variant was detected in a single sporadic case with M-D, but in none of the 146 probands with familial M-D. Overall, the variant was present at comparable frequencies in M-D cases (1 out of 520; 0.19%) and healthy controls (1 out of 489; 0.2%). A similar frequency of the variant was also reported in all publicly available databases. These results do not support a causal association between the CACNA1B c.4166G>A; (p. R1389H) variant and M-D. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. Source

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