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Tassano E.,Instituto Giannina Gaslini | Jagannathan V.,University of Bern | Drogemuller C.,University of Bern | Leoni M.,Instituto Giannina Gaslini | And 10 more authors.
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A | Year: 2015

We report on the molecular characterization of a microdeletion of approximately 2.5Mb at 2p11.2 in a female baby with left congenital aural atresia, microtia, and ipsilateral internal carotid artery agenesis. The deletion was characterized by fluorescence in situ hybridization, array comparative genomic hybridization, and whole genome re-sequencing. Among the genes present in the deleted region, we focused our attention on the FOXI3 gene. Foxi3 is a member of the Foxi class of Forkhead transcription factors. In mouse, chicken and zebrafish Foxi3 homologues are expressed in the ectoderm and endoderm giving rise to elements of the jaw as well as external, middle and inner ear. Homozygous Foxi3-/- mice have recently been generated and show a complete absence of the inner, middle, and external ears as well as severe defects in the jaw and palate. Recently, a 7-bp duplication within exon 1 of FOXI3 that produces a frameshift and a premature stop codon was found in hairless dogs. Mild malformations of the outer auditory canal (closed ear canal) and ear lobe have also been noted in a fraction of FOXI3 heterozygote Peruvian hairless dogs. Based on the phenotypes of Foxi3 mutant animals, we propose that FOXI3 may be responsible for the phenotypic features of our patient. Further characterization of the genomic region and the analysis of similar patients may help to demonstrate this point. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Marttila M.,The Folkha lsan Institute of Genetics | Marttila M.,University of Helsinki | Hanif M.,The Folkha lsan Institute of Genetics | Hanif M.,University of Helsinki | And 9 more authors.
Skeletal Muscle | Year: 2014

Background: Nemaline myopathy (NM) is a rare genetic muscle disorder, but one of the most common among the congenital myopathies. NM is caused by mutations in at least nine genes: Nebulin (NEB), α-actin (ACTA1), α-tropomyosin (TPM3), β-tropomyosin (TPM2), troponin T (TNNT1), cofilin-2 (CFL2), Kelch repeat and BTB (POZ) domain-containing 13 (KBTBD13), and Kelch-like family members 40 and 41 (KLHL40 and KLHL41). Nebulin is a giant (600 to 900 kDa) filamentous protein constituting part of the skeletal muscle thin filament. Around 90% of the primary structure of nebulin is composed of approximately 35-residue α-helical domains, which form super repeats that bind actin with high affinity. Each super repeat has been proposed to harbor one tropomyosin-binding site.Methods: We produced four wild-type (WT) nebulin super repeats (S9, S14, S18, and S22), 283 to 347 amino acids long, and five corresponding repeats with a patient mutation included: three missense mutations (p.Glu2431Lys, p.Ser6366Ile, and p.Thr7382Pro) and two in-frame deletions (p.Arg2478_Asp2512del and p.Val3924_Asn3929del). We performed F-actin and tropomyosin-binding experiments for the nebulin super repeats, using co-sedimentation and GST (glutathione-S-transferase) pull-down assays. We also used the GST pull-down assay to test the affinity of WT nebulin super repeats for WT α- and β-tropomyosin, and for β-tropomyosin with six patient mutations: p.Lys7del, p.Glu41Lys, p.Lys49del, p.Glu117Lys, p.Glu139del and p.Gln147Pro.Results: WT nebulin was shown to interact with actin and tropomyosin. Both the nebulin super repeats containing the p.Glu2431Lys mutation and nebulin super repeats lacking exon 55 (p.Arg2478_Asp2512del) showed weak affinity for F-actin compared with WT fragments. Super repeats containing the p.Ser6366Ile mutation showed strong affinity for actin. When tested for tropomyosin affinity, super repeats containing the p.Glu2431Lys mutation showed stronger binding than WT proteins to tropomyosin, and the super repeat containing the p.Thr7382Pro mutation showed weaker binding than WT proteins to tropomyosin. Super repeats containing the deletion p.Val3924_Asn3929del showed similar affinity for actin and tropomyosin as that seen with WT super repeats. Of the tropomyosin mutations, only p.Glu41Lys showed weaker affinity for nebulin (super repeat 18).Conclusions: We demonstrate for the first time the existence of direct tropomyosin-nebulin interactions in vitro, and show that nebulin interactions with actin and tropomyosin are altered by disease-causing mutations in nebulin and tropomyosin. © 2014 Marttila et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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