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Wiszniewski W.,Baylor College of Medicine | Hunter J.V.,Texas Childrens Hospital | Hanchard N.A.,Baylor College of Medicine | Hanchard N.A.,Texas Childrens Hospital | And 64 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2013

White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) of the brain are important markers of aging and small-vessel disease. WMHs are rare in healthy children and, when observed, often occur with comorbid neuroinflammatory or vasculitic processes. Here, we describe a complex 4 kb deletion in 2q36.3 that segregates with early childhood communication disorders and WMH in 15 unrelated families predominantly from Southeast Asia. The premature brain aging phenotype with punctate and multifocal WMHs was observed in ∼70% of young carrier parents who underwent brain MRI. The complex deletion removes the penultimate exon 3 of TM4SF20, a gene encoding a transmembrane protein of unknown function. Minigene analysis showed that the resultant net loss of an exon introduces a premature stop codon, which, in turn, leads to the generation of a stable protein that fails to target to the plasma membrane and accumulates in the cytoplasm. Finally, we report this deletion to be enriched in individuals of Vietnamese Kinh descent, with an allele frequency of about 1%, embedded in an ancestral haplotype. Our data point to a constellation of early language delay and WMH phenotypes, driven by a likely toxic mechanism of TM4SF20 truncation, and highlight the importance of understanding and managing population-specific low-frequency pathogenic alleles. © 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics.


Peddibhotla S.,Baylor College of Medicine | Nagamani S.C.S.,Baylor College of Medicine | Erez A.,Baylor College of Medicine | Erez A.,Weizmann Institute of Science | And 18 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2015

Patients with terminal deletions of chromosome 6q present with structural brain abnormalities including agenesis of corpus callosum, hydrocephalus, periventricular nodular heterotopia, and cerebellar malformations. The 6q27 region harbors genes that are important for the normal development of brain and delineation of a critical deletion region for structural brain abnormalities may lead to a better genotype-phenotype correlation. We conducted a detailed clinical and molecular characterization of seven unrelated patients with deletions involving chromosome 6q27. All patients had structural brain abnormalities. Using array comparative genomic hybridization, we mapped the size, extent, and genomic content of these deletions. The smallest region of overlap spans 1.7 Mb and contains DLL1, THBS2, PHF10, and C6orf70 (ERMARD) that are plausible candidates for the causation of structural brain abnormalities. Our study reiterates the importance of 6q27 region in normal development of brain and helps identify putative genes in causation of structural brain anomalies. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Beunders G.,VU University Amsterdam | Voorhoeve E.,VU University Amsterdam | Golzio C.,Duke University | Pardo L.M.,VU University Amsterdam | And 78 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2013

Genomic rearrangements involving AUTS2 (7q11.22) are associated with autism and intellectual disability (ID), although evidence for causality is limited. By combining the results of diagnostic testing of 49,684 individuals, we identified 24 microdeletions that affect at least one exon of AUTS2, as well as one translocation and one inversion each with a breakpoint within the AUTS2 locus. Comparison of 17 well-characterized individuals enabled identification of a variable syndromic phenotype including ID, autism, short stature, microcephaly, cerebral palsy, and facial dysmorphisms. The dysmorphic features were more pronounced in persons with 3′ AUTS2 deletions. This part of the gene is shown to encode a C-terminal isoform (with an alternative transcription start site) expressed in the human brain. Consistent with our genetic data, suppression of auts2 in zebrafish embryos caused microcephaly that could be rescued by either the full-length or the C-terminal isoform of AUTS2. Our observations demonstrate a causal role of AUTS2 in neurocognitive disorders, establish a hitherto unappreciated syndromic phenotype at this locus, and show how transcriptional complexity can underpin human pathology. The zebrafish model provides a valuable tool for investigating the etiology of AUTS2 syndrome and facilitating gene-function analysis in the future. © 2013 The American Society of Human Genetics.


Dabell M.P.,Perkin Elmer Corporation | Rosenfeld J.A.,Perkin Elmer Corporation | Bader P.,Northeast Indiana Genetic Counseling Center | Escobar L.F.,Peyton Manning Childrens Hospital At St Vincent | And 29 more authors.
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A | Year: 2013

Deletions at 2p16.3 involving exons of NRXN1 are associated with susceptibility for autism and schizophrenia, and similar deletions have been identified in individuals with developmental delay and dysmorphic features. We have identified 34 probands with exonic NRXN1 deletions following referral for clinical microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization. To more firmly establish the full phenotypic spectrum associated with exonic NRXN1 deletions, we report the clinical features of 27 individuals with NRXN1 deletions, who represent 23 of these 34 families. The frequency of exonic NRXN1 deletions among our postnatally diagnosed patients (0.11%) is significantly higher than the frequency among reported controls (0.02%; P=6.08×10-7), supporting a role for these deletions in the development of abnormal phenotypes. Generally, most individuals with NRXN1 exonic deletions have developmental delay (particularly speech), abnormal behaviors, and mild dysmorphic features. In our cohort, autism spectrum disorders were diagnosed in 43% (10/23), and 16% (4/25) had epilepsy. The presence of NRXN1 deletions in normal parents and siblings suggests reduced penetrance and/or variable expressivity, which may be influenced by genetic, environmental, and/or stochastic factors. The pathogenicity of these deletions may also be affected by the location of the deletion within the gene. Counseling should appropriately represent this spectrum of possibilities when discussing recurrence risks or expectations for a child found to have a deletion in NRXN1. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Ramocki M.B.,Baylor College of Medicine | Ramocki M.B.,Texas Childrens Hospital | Bartnik M.,Institute of Mother and Child | Szafranski P.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 30 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2010

We report 26 individuals from ten unrelated families who exhibit variable expression and/or incomplete penetrance of epilepsy, learning difficulties, intellectual disabilities, and/or neurobehavioral abnormalities as a result of a heterozygous microdeletion distally adjacent to the Williams-Beuren syndrome region on chromosome 7q11.23. In six families with a common recurrent ∼1.2 Mb deletion that includes the Huntingtin-interacting protein 1 (HIP1) and tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein gamma (YWHAG) genes and that is flanked by large complex low-copy repeats, we identified sites for nonallelic homologous recombination in two patients. There were no cases of this ∼1.2 Mb distal 7q11.23 deletion copy number variant identified in over 20,000 control samples surveyed. Three individuals with smaller, nonrecurrent deletions (∼180-500 kb) that include HIP1 but not YWHAG suggest that deletion of HIP1 is sufficient to cause neurological disease. Mice with targeted mutation in the Hip1 gene (Hip1-/-) develop a neurological phenotype characterized by failure to thrive, tremor, and gait ataxia. Overall, our data characterize a neurodevelopmental and epilepsy syndrome that is likely caused by recurrent and nonrecurrent deletions, including HIP1. These data do not exclude the possibility that YWHAG loss of function is also sufficient to cause neurological phenotypes. Based on the current knowledge of Hip1 protein function and its proposed role in AMPA and NMDA ionotropic glutamate receptor trafficking, we believe that HIP1 haploinsufficiency in humans will be amenable to rational drug design for improved seizure control and cognitive and behavioral function. © 2010 by The American Society of Human Genetics. All rights reserved.


Cooper G.M.,University of Washington | Cooper G.M.,HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology | Coe B.P.,University of Washington | Girirajan S.,University of Washington | And 24 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2011

To understand the genetic heterogeneity underlying developmental delay, we compared copy number variants (CNVs) in 15,767 children with intellectual disability and various congenital defects (cases) to CNVs in 8,329 unaffected adult controls. We estimate that 1/414.2% of disease in these children is caused by CNVs >400 kb. We observed a greater enrichment of CNVs in individuals with craniofacial anomalies and cardiovascular defects compared to those with epilepsy or autism. We identified 59 pathogenic CNVs, including 14 new or previously weakly supported candidates, refined the critical interval for several genomic disorders, such as the 17q21.31 microdeletion syndrome, and identified 940 candidate dosage-sensitive genes. We also developed methods to opportunistically discover small, disruptive CNVs within the large and growing diagnostic array datasets. This evolving CNV morbidity map, combined with exome and genome sequencing, will be critical for deciphering the genetic basis of developmental delay, intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Breman A.M.,Baylor College of Medicine | Ramocki M.B.,Baylor College of Medicine | Kang S.-H.L.,Baylor College of Medicine | Williams M.,Vanderbilt University | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2011

Duplications of the Xq28 chromosome region resulting in functional disomy are associated with a distinct clinical phenotype characterized by infantile hypotonia, severe developmental delay, progressive neurological impairment, absent speech, and proneness to infections. Increased expression of the dosage-sensitive MECP2 gene is considered responsible for the severe neurological impairments observed in affected individuals. Although cytogenetically visible duplications of Xq28 are well documented in the published literature, recent advances using array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) led to the detection of an increasing number of microduplications spanning MECP2. In rare cases, duplication results from intrachromosomal rearrangement between the X and Y chromosomes. We report six cases with sex chromosome rearrangements involving duplication of MECP2. Cases 1-4 are unbalanced rearrangements between X and Y, resulting in MECP2 duplication. The additional Xq material was translocated to Yp in three cases (cases 1-3), and to the heterochromatic region of Yq12 in one case (case 4). Cases 5 and 6 were identified by array CGH to have a loss in copy number at Xp and a gain in copy number at Xq28 involving the MECP2 gene. In both cases, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis revealed a recombinant X chromosome containing the duplicated material from Xq28 on Xp, resulting from a maternal pericentric inversion. These cases add to a growing number of MECP2 duplications that have been detected by array CGH, while demonstrating the value of confirmatory chromosome and FISH studies for the localization of the duplicated material and the identification of complex rearrangements. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Dharmadhikari A.V.,Baylor College of Medicine | Kang S.-H.L.,Baylor College of Medicine | Szafranski P.,Baylor College of Medicine | Person R.E.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 17 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2012

We have identified a rare small (~450 kb unique sequence) recurrent deletion in a previously linked attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) locus at 2q21.1 in five unrelated families with developmental delay (DD)/intellectual disability (ID), ADHD, epilepsy and other neurobehavioral abnormalities from 17 035 samples referred for clinical chromosomal microarray analysis. Additionally, a DECIPHER (http://decipher.sanger.ac.uk) patient 2311 was found to have the same deletion and presented with aggressive behavior. The deletion was not found in either six control groups consisting of 13 999 healthy individuals or in the DGV database. We have also identified reciprocal duplications in five unrelated families with autism, developmental delay (DD), seizures and ADHD. This genomic region is flanked by large, complex low-copy repeats (LCRs) with directly oriented subunits of ~109 kb in size that have 97.7% DNA sequence identity. We sequenced the deletion breakpoints within the directly oriented paralogous subunits of the flanking LCR clusters, demonstrating non-allelic homologous recombination as a mechanism of formation. The rearranged segment harbors five genes: GPR148, FAM123C, ARHGEF4, FAM168B and PLEKHB2. Expression of ARHGEF4 (Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 4) is restricted to the brain and may regulate the actin cytoskeletal network, cell morphology and migration, and neuronal function. GPR148 encodes a G-protein-coupled receptor protein expressed in the brain and testes. We suggest that small rare recurrent deletion of 2q21.1 is pathogenic for DD/ID, ADHD, epilepsy and other neurobehavioral abnormalities and, because of its small size, low frequency and more severe phenotype might have been missed in other previous genome-wide screening studies using single-nucleotide polymorphism analyses. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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