Peninsula Clinical Genetics Service

Exeter, United Kingdom

Peninsula Clinical Genetics Service

Exeter, United Kingdom
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Bernier R.,University of Washington | Golzio C.,Duke University | Xiong B.,University of Washington | Stessman H.A.,University of Washington | And 36 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2014

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous disease in which efforts to define subtypes behaviorally have met with limited success. Hypothesizing that genetically based subtype identification may prove more productive, we resequenced the ASD-associated gene CHD8 in 3,730 children with developmental delay or ASD. We identified a total of 15 independent mutations; no truncating events were identified in 8,792 controls, including 2,289 unaffected siblings. In addition to a high likelihood of an ASD diagnosis among patients bearing CHD8 mutations, characteristics enriched in this group included macrocephaly, distinct faces, and gastrointestinal complaints. chd8 disruption in zebrafish recapitulates features of the human phenotype, including increased head size as a result of expansion of the forebrain/midbrain and impairment of gastrointestinal motility due to a reduction in postmitotic enteric neurons. Our findings indicate that CHD8 disruptions define a distinct ASD subtype and reveal unexpected comorbidities between brain development and enteric innervation. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University Hospitals Leuven, University of Washington, Oregon Health And Science University and 9 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cell | Year: 2014

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a heterogeneous disease in which efforts to define subtypes behaviorally have met with limited success. Hypothesizing that genetically based subtype identification may prove more productive, we resequenced the ASD-associated gene CHD8 in 3,730 children with developmental delay or ASD. We identified a total of 15 independent mutations; no truncating events were identified in 8,792 controls, including 2,289 unaffected siblings. In addition to a high likelihood of an ASD diagnosis among patients bearing CHD8 mutations, characteristics enriched in this group included macrocephaly, distinct faces, and gastrointestinal complaints. chd8 disruption in zebrafish recapitulates features of the human phenotype, including increased head size as a result of expansion of the forebrain/midbrain and impairment of gastrointestinal motility due to a reduction in postmitotic enteric neurons. Our findings indicate that CHD8 disruptions define a distinct ASD subtype and reveal unexpected comorbidities between brain development and enteric innervation.


PubMed | Oxford Genetics, Belfast City Hospital, Birmingham Womens Hospital, University College Dublin and 10 more.
Type: | Journal: American journal of human genetics | Year: 2016

Early B cell factor 3 (EBF3) is an atypical transcription factor that is thought to influence the laminar formation of the cerebral cortex. Here, we report that de novo mutations in EBF3 cause a complex neurodevelopmental syndrome. The mutations were identified in two large-scale sequencing projects: the UK Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) study and the Canadian Clinical Assessment of the Utility of Sequencing and Evaluation as a Service (CAUSES) study. The core phenotype includes moderate to severe intellectual disability, and many individuals exhibit cerebellar ataxia, subtle facial dysmorphism, strabismus, and vesicoureteric reflux, suggesting that EBF3 has a widespread developmental role. Pathogenic de novo variants identified in EBF3 include multiple loss-of-function and missense mutations. Structural modeling suggested that the missense mutations affect DNA binding. Functional analysis of mutant proteins with missense substitutions revealed reduced transcriptional activities and abilities to form heterodimers with wild-type EBF3. We conclude that EBF3, a transcription factor previously unknown to be associated with human disease, is important for brain and other organ development and warrants further investigation.


Rankin J.,Peninsula Clinical Genetics Service | Brown R.,University of Oxford | Dobyns W.B.,University of Chicago | Harington J.,Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A | Year: 2010

Six subtypes of autosomal recessive pontocerebellar hypoplasia (PCH) have been identified and the genetic basis of four of these (PCH1, PCH2, PCH4, and PCH6) is known. PCH6 is associated with cerebral atrophy and multiple but variable respiratory chain defects in muscle and has been reported in one consanguineous Sephardic Jewish family. It is caused by mutations in the RARS2 gene which encodes mitochondrial arginine-transfer RNA synthetase. Here we describe a female patient born to nonconsanguineous British parents. She presented in the neonatal period with increased respiratory rate, poor feeding and transiently elevated blood and CSFlactate levels. She went on to manifest profound developmental delay and severe microcephaly. Edema of the hands, feet, and face were suggestive of a PEHO-like condition (progressive encephalopathy, edema, hypsarrhythmia and optic atrophy), although optic atrophy and hypsarrhythmia were absent. Cranial MRI at age 14 months showed generalized cerebral atrophy, thinning of the pons and gross atrophy and flattening of the cerebellar hemispheres. Muscle biopsies on two occasions were normal with normal respiratory chain studies. Despite the absence of respiratory chain defects, the phenotype was felt to be consistent with PCH6 and indeed two novel pathogenic RARS2 mutations were identified. Ours is the second report of PCH6 due to RARS2 mutations and demonstrates that respiratory chain abnormalities are not obligatory, whereas some features of PEHO might be present. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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