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Eldomery M.K.,Baylor College of Medicine | Eldomery M.K.,Indiana University | Coban-Akdemir Z.,Baylor College of Medicine | Harel T.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 54 more authors.
Genome Medicine | Year: 2017

Background: Given the rarity of most single-gene Mendelian disorders, concerted efforts of data exchange between clinical and scientific communities are critical to optimize molecular diagnosis and novel disease gene discovery. Methods: We designed and implemented protocols for the study of cases for which a plausible molecular diagnosis was not achieved in a clinical genomics diagnostic laboratory (i.e. unsolved clinical exomes). Such cases were recruited to a research laboratory for further analyses, in order to potentially: (1) accelerate novel disease gene discovery; (2) increase the molecular diagnostic yield of whole exome sequencing (WES); and (3) gain insight into the genetic mechanisms of disease. Pilot project data included 74 families, consisting mostly of parent-offspring trios. Analyses performed on a research basis employed both WES from additional family members and complementary bioinformatics approaches and protocols. Results: Analysis of all possible modes of Mendelian inheritance, focusing on both single nucleotide variants (SNV) and copy number variant (CNV) alleles, yielded a likely contributory variant in 36% (27/74) of cases. If one includes candidate genes with variants identified within a single family, a potential contributory variant was identified in a total of ~51% (38/74) of cases enrolled in this pilot study. The molecular diagnosis was achieved in 30/63 trios (47.6%). Besides this, the analysis workflow yielded evidence for pathogenic variants in disease-associated genes in 4/6 singleton cases (66.6%), 1/1 multiplex family involving three affected siblings, and 3/4 (75%) quartet families. Both the analytical pipeline and the collaborative efforts between the diagnostic and research laboratories provided insights that allowed recent disease gene discoveries (PURA, TANGO2, EMC1, GNB5, ATAD3A, and MIPEP) and increased the number of novel genes, defined in this study as genes identified in more than one family (DHX30 and EBF3). Conclusion: An efficient genomics pipeline in which clinical sequencing in a diagnostic laboratory is followed by the detailed reanalysis of unsolved cases in a research environment, supplemented with WES data from additional family members, and subject to adjuvant bioinformatics analyses including relaxed variant filtering parameters in informatics pipelines, can enhance the molecular diagnostic yield and provide mechanistic insights into Mendelian disorders. Implementing these approaches requires collaborative clinical molecular diagnostic and research efforts. © 2017 The Author(s).


Watkin L.B.,Baylor College of Medicine | Watkin L.B.,Texas Childrens Hospital Center for Human Immuno Biology | Jessen B.,University of California at San Francisco | Wiszniewski W.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 48 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2015

Unbiased genetic studies have uncovered surprising molecular mechanisms in human cellular immunity and autoimmunity. We performed whole-exome sequencing and targeted sequencing in five families with an apparent mendelian syndrome of autoimmunity characterized by high-titer autoantibodies, inflammatory arthritis and interstitial lung disease. We identified four unique deleterious variants in the COPA gene (encoding coatomer subunit α) affecting the same functional domain. Hypothesizing that mutant COPA leads to defective intracellular transport via coat protein complex I (COPI), we show that COPA variants impair binding to proteins targeted for retrograde Golgi-to-ER transport. Additionally, expression of mutant COPA results in ER stress and the upregulation of cytokines priming for a T helper type 17 (T H 17) response. Patient-derived CD4 + T cells also demonstrate significant skewing toward a T H 17 phenotype that is implicated in autoimmunity. Our findings uncover an unexpected molecular link between a vesicular transport protein and a syndrome of autoimmunity manifested by lung and joint disease. © 2015 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Vece T.J.,Baylor College of Medicine | Watkin L.B.,Baylor College of Medicine | Watkin L.B.,Texas Childrens Hospital Center For Human Immuno Biology | Nicholas S.K.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 16 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Immunology | Year: 2016

Inherently defective immunity typically results in either ineffective host defense, immune regulation, or both. As a category of primary immunodeficiency diseases, those that impair immune regulation can lead to autoimmunity and/or autoinflammation. In this review we focus on one of the most recently discovered primary immunodeficiencies that leads to immune dysregulation: “Copa syndrome”. Copa syndrome is named for the gene mutated in the disease, which encodes the alpha subunit of the coatomer complex-I that, in aggregate, is devoted to transiting molecular cargo from the Golgi complex to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Copa syndrome is autosomal dominant with variable expressivity and results from mutations affecting a narrow amino acid stretch in the COPA gene-encoding COPα protein. Patients with these mutations typically develop arthritis and interstitial lung disease with pulmonary hemorrhage representing a striking feature. Immunologically Copa syndrome is associated with autoantibody development, increased Th17 cells and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression including IL-1β and IL-6. Insights have also been gained into the underlying mechanism of Copa syndrome, which include excessive ER stress owing to the impaired return of proteins from the Golgi, and presumably resulting aberrant cellular autophagy. As such it represents a novel cellular disorder of intracellular trafficking associated with a specific clinical presentation and phenotype. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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