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Dagan E.,Haifa University | Birenbaum-Carmeli D.,Haifa University | Friedman E.,The Susanne Levy Gertner Oncogenetics Unit | Friedman E.,Tel Aviv University | Feldman B.,The Danek Gertner Institute of Human Genetics
Journal of Genetic Counseling | Year: 2017

To describe factors associated with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) decisions among Jewish Israeli BRCA1/2 carriers or spouses of a male carrier, we contacted all women who initiated PGD consultation for embryonic BRCA1/2 mutation detection at Sheba Medical Center, prior to March 2014. Applying a qualitative approach, we asked women to elaborate on the factors they considered in either opting for PGD or discontinuing the screening procedure. Participants were 18 Jewish Israeli women; 14 were carriers of one of the Ashkenazi founder mutations in BRCA1/2, and four were spouses of male mutation carriers, who underwent at least one cycle of PGD. Prior to seeking PGD, ten of the women had no children. At the time of the interview, all but three had at least one child. Three factors emerged as key motivators for PGD: having witnessed the disease in a close relative (n = 12); prior IVF treatment for infertility (n = 12); and having pre-existing frozen embryos (n = 6). Ten women withdrew from the PGD process due to clinical, logistical, and financial reasons. In conclusion, most women decided to withdraw from PGD instead of continuing until a successful conception was achieved. Those who opted for PGD attributed their discontinuation of further screening to the emotional burden that is greatly intensified by practical difficulties. © 2017 National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc.


PubMed | The Danek Gertner Institute of Human Genetics, Bar - Ilan University and Fluidigm
Type: Journal Article | Journal: BMC medical genomics | Year: 2016

Genetic screening to identify carriers of autosomal recessive diseases has become an integral part of routine prenatal care. In spite of the rapid growth of known mutations, most current screening programs include only a small subset of these mutations, and are performed using diverse molecular techniques, which are generally labor-intensive and time consuming. We examine the implementation of the combined high-throughput technologies of specific target amplification and next generation sequencing (NGS), for expanding the carrier screening program in the Israeli Jewish population as a test case.We compiled a panel of 370 germline mutations, causing 120 disorders, previously identified in affected Jewish individuals from different ethnicities. This mutation panel was simultaneously captured in 48 samples using a multiplex PCR-based microfluidics approach followed by NGS, thereby performing 17,760 individual assays in a single experiment.The sensitivity (measured with depth of at least 50) and specificity of the target capture was 98 and 95% respectively, leaving minimal rate of inconclusive tests per sample tested. 97% of the targeted mutations present in the samples were correctly identified and validated.Our methodology was shown to successfully combine multiplexing of target specific primers, samples indexing and NGS technology for population genetic screens. Moreover, its relatively ease of use and flexibility of updating the targets screened, makes it highly suitable for clinical implementation. This protocol was demonstrated in pre-conceptional screening for pan-Jewish individuals, but can be applied to any other population or different sets of mutations.


PubMed | Institute of Oncology, University of Cologne, St George's, University of London, University Of Clermont Ferrand and 116 more.
Type: | Journal: Breast cancer research : BCR | Year: 2015

Individuals carrying pathogenic mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a high lifetime risk of breast cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are involved in DNA double-strand break repair, DNA alterations that can be caused by exposure to reactive oxygen species, a main source of which are mitochondria. Mitochondrial genome variations affect electron transport chain efficiency and reactive oxygen species production. Individuals with different mitochondrial haplogroups differ in their metabolism and sensitivity to oxidative stress. Variability in mitochondrial genetic background can alter reactive oxygen species production, leading to cancer risk. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that mitochondrial haplogroups modify breast cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.We genotyped 22,214 (11,421 affected, 10,793 unaffected) mutation carriers belonging to the Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA1/2 for 129 mitochondrial polymorphisms using the iCOGS array. Haplogroup inference and association detection were performed using a phylogenetic approach. ALTree was applied to explore the reference mitochondrial evolutionary tree and detect subclades enriched in affected or unaffected individuals.We discovered that subclade T1a1 was depleted in affected BRCA2 mutation carriers compared with the rest of clade T (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.55; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.34 to 0.88; P = 0.01). Compared with the most frequent haplogroup in the general population (that is, H and T clades), the T1a1 haplogroup has a HR of 0.62 (95% CI, 0.40 to 0.95; P = 0.03). We also identified three potential susceptibility loci, including G13708A/rs28359178, which has demonstrated an inverse association with familial breast cancer risk.This study illustrates how original approaches such as the phylogeny-based method we used can empower classical molecular epidemiological studies aimed at identifying association or risk modification effects.


PubMed | Emek Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, The Simon Winter Institute for Human Genetics, The Danek Gertner Institute of Human Genetics and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of genetic counseling | Year: 2016

Many factors predict the intention to disclose genetic information to relatives. The article examines the impact of patients socio-demographic factors on their intention to disclose genetic testing results to their relatives. Data were collected in eight genetic clinics in Israel. Patients were requested to fill in a questionnaire after counseling. A convenience sample of 564 participants who visited these clinics was collected for a response rate of 85 %. Of them, 282 participants came for susceptibility testing for hereditary cancers (cancer group), and 282 for genetic screening tests (prenatal group). In the cancer group, being secular and having more years of education correlated positively with the intention to disclose test results to relatives. In the prenatal group, being married and female correlated positively with the intention to disclose. In the cancer group, being religious and with less years of education correlated positively with the view that the clinician should deliver the results to the family. In the prenatal group, being male and unmarried correlated positively with this belief. In both groups, being of young age correlated with the perception that genetic information is private. Varied sociodemographic factors affect the intention to inform family members. Thus, knowing the social background of patients will shed light on peoples attitudes to genetic information and will help clinicians provide effective counseling in discussions with patients about the implications of test results for relatives.


PubMed | Medical Genetics Institute, The Danek Gertner Institute of Human Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science and Meir Medical Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Clinical genetics | Year: 2016

Congenital general anosmia (CGA) is a neurological disorder entailing a complete innate inability to sense odors. While the mechanisms underlying vertebrate olfaction have been studied in detail, there are still gaps in our understanding of the molecular genetic basis of innate olfactory disorders. Applying whole-exome sequencing to a family multiply affected with CGA, we identified three members with a rare X-linked missense mutation in the TENM1 (teneurin 1) gene (ENST00000422452:c.C4829T). In Drosophila melanogaster, TENM1 functions in synaptic-partner-matching between axons of olfactory sensory neurons and target projection neurons and is involved in synapse organization in the olfactory system. We used CRISPR-Cas9 system to generate a Tenm1 disrupted mouse model. Tenm1(-/-) and point-mutated Tenm1(A) (/A) adult mice were shown to have an altered ability to locate a buried food pellet. Tenm1(A) (/A) mice also displayed an altered ability to sense aversive odors. Results of our study, that describes a new Tenm1 mouse, agree with the hypothesis that TENM1 has a role in olfaction. However, additional studies should be done in larger CGA cohorts, to provide statistical evidence that loss-of-function mutations in TENM1 can solely cause the disease in our and other CGA cases.


PubMed | The Danek Gertner Institute of Human Genetics, Tel Aviv University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Type: | Journal: Nature communications | Year: 2016

Metastasis is the primary cause for mortality in breast cancer. MicroRNAs, gene expression master regulators, constitute an attractive candidate to control metastasis. Here we show that breast cancer metastasis can be prevented by miR-96 or miR-182 treatment, and decipher the mechanism of action. We found that miR-96/miR-182 downregulate Palladin protein levels, thereby reducing breast cancer cell migration and invasion. A common SNP, rs1071738, at the miR-96/miR-182-binding site within the Palladin 3-UTR abolishes miRNA:mRNA binding, thus diminishing Palladin regulation by these miRNAs. Regulation is successfully restored by applying complimentary miRNAs. A hydrogel-embedded, gold-nanoparticle-based delivery vehicle provides efficient local, selective, and sustained release of miR-96/miR-182, markedly suppressing metastasis in a breast cancer mouse model. Combined delivery of the miRNAs with a chemotherapy drug, cisplatin, enables significant primary tumour shrinkage and metastasis prevention. Our data corroborate the role of miRNAs in metastasis, and suggest miR-96/miR-182 delivery as a potential anti-metastatic drug.

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