The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics

Helsinki, Finland

The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics

Helsinki, Finland
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Holopainen S.,University of Helsinki | Holopainen S.,The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics | Hytonen M.K.,University of Helsinki | Hytonen M.K.,The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics | And 7 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2017

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the leading cause of death in critical care medicine. The syndrome is typified by an exaggerated inflammatory response within the lungs. ARDS has been reported in many species, including dogs. We have previously reported a fatal familial juvenile respiratory disease accompanied by occasional unilateral renal aplasia and hydrocephalus, in Dalmatian dogs. The condition with a suggested recessive mode of inheritance resembles acute exacerbation of usual interstitial pneumonia in man. We combined SNP-based homozygosity mapping of two ARDS-affected Dalmatian dogs and whole genome sequencing of one affected dog to identify a case-specific homozygous nonsense variant, c.31C>T; p.R11* in the ANLN gene. Subsequent analysis of the variant in a total cohort of 188 Dalmatians, including seven cases, indicated complete segregation of the variant with the disease and confirmed an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. Low carrier frequency of 1.7% was observed in a population cohort. The early nonsense variant results in a nearly complete truncation of the ANLN protein and immunohistochemical analysis of the affected lung tissue demonstrated the lack of the membranous and cytoplasmic staining of ANLN protein in the metaplastic bronchial epithelium. The ANLN gene encodes an anillin actin binding protein with a suggested regulatory role in the integrity of intercellular junctions. Our study suggests that defective ANLN results in abnormal cellular organization of the bronchiolar epithelium, which in turn predisposes to acute respiratory distress. ANLN has been previously linked to a dominant focal segmental glomerulosclerosis in human without pulmonary defects. However, the lack of similar renal manifestations in the affected Dalmatians suggest a novel ANLN-related pulmonary function and disease association. © 2017 Holopainen et al.

Bohm J.,University of Strasbourg | Biancalana V.,University of Strasbourg | Biancalana V.,University of Monastir | DeChene E.T.,Harvard University | And 70 more authors.
Human Mutation | Year: 2012

Centronuclear myopathy (CNM) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder associated with general skeletal muscle weakness, type I fiber predominance and atrophy, and abnormally centralized nuclei. Autosomal dominant CNM is due to mutations in the large GTPase dynamin 2 (DNM2), a mechanochemical enzyme regulating cytoskeleton and membrane trafficking in cells. To date, 40 families with CNM-related DNM2 mutations have been described, and here we report 60 additional families encompassing a broad genotypic and phenotypic spectrum. In total, 18 different mutations are reported in 100 families and our cohort harbors nine known and four new mutations, including the first splice-site mutation. Genotype-phenotype correlation hypotheses are drawn from the published and new data, and allow an efficient screening strategy for molecular diagnosis. In addition to CNM, dissimilar DNM2 mutations are associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) peripheral neuropathy (CMTD1B and CMT2M), suggesting a tissue-specific impact of the mutations. In this study, we discuss the possible clinical overlap of CNM and CMT, and the biological significance of the respective mutations based on the known functions of dynamin 2 and its protein structure. Defects in membrane trafficking due to DNM2 mutations potentially represent a common pathological mechanism in CNM and CMT. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Shirokova V.,University of Helsinki | Jussila M.,University of Helsinki | Hytonen M.K.,University of Helsinki | Hytonen M.K.,The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics | And 8 more authors.
Developmental Dynamics | Year: 2013

Background: Foxi3 is a member of the large forkhead box family of transcriptional regulators, which have a wide range of biological activities including manifold developmental processes. Heterozygous mutation in Foxi3 was identified in several hairless dog breeds characterized by sparse fur coat and missing teeth. A related phenotype called hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia (HED) is caused by mutations in the ectodysplasin (Eda) pathway genes. Results: Expression of Foxi3 was strictly confined to the epithelium in developing ectodermal appendages in mouse embryos, but no expression was detected in the epidermis. Foxi3 was expressed in teeth and hair follicles throughout embryogenesis, but in mammary glands only during the earliest stages of development. Foxi3 expression was decreased and increased in Eda loss- and gain-of-function embryos, respectively, and was highly induced by Eda protein in embryonic skin explants. Also activin A treatment up-regulated Foxi3 mRNA levels in vitro. Conclusions: Eda and activin A were identified as upstream regulators of Foxi3. Foxi3 is a likely transcriptional target of Eda in ectodermal appendage placodes suggesting that HED phenotype may in part be produced by compromised Foxi3 activity. In addition to hair and teeth, Foxi3 may have a role in nail, eye, and mammary, sweat, and salivary gland development. Developmental Dynamics 242:593-603, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Hytonen M.K.,University of Helsinki | Hytonen M.K.,The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics | Arumilli M.,University of Helsinki | Arumilli M.,The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics | And 18 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2016

One to two percent of all children are born with a developmental disorder requiring pediatric hospital admissions. For many such syndromes, the molecular pathogenesis remains poorly characterized. Parallel developmental disorders in other species could provide complementary models for human rare diseases by uncovering new candidate genes, improving the understanding of the molecular mechanisms and opening possibilities for therapeutic trials. We performed various experiments, e.g. combined genome-wide association and next generation sequencing, to investigate the clinico-pathological features and genetic causes of three developmental syndromes in dogs, including craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO), a previously undescribed skeletal syndrome, and dental hypomineralization, for which we identified pathogenic variants in the canine SLC37A2 (truncating splicing enhancer variant), SCARF2 (truncating 2-bp deletion) and FAM20C (missense variant) genes, respectively. CMO is a clinical equivalent to an infantile cortical hyperostosis (Caffey disease), for which SLC37A2 is a new candidate gene. SLC37A2 is a poorly characterized member of a glucose-phosphate transporter family without previous disease associations. It is expressed in many tissues, including cells of the macrophage lineage, e.g. osteoclasts, and suggests a disease mechanism, in which an impaired glucose homeostasis in osteoclasts compromises their function in the developing bone, leading to hyperostosis. Mutations in SCARF2 and FAM20C have been associated with the human van den Ende-Gupta and Raine syndromes that include numerous features similar to the affected dogs. Given the growing interest in the molecular characterization and treatment of human rare diseases, our study presents three novel physiologically relevant models for further research and therapy approaches, while providing the molecular identity for the canine conditions. © 2016 Hytönen et al.

Ahonen S.J.,University of Helsinki | Ahonen S.J.,The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics | Pietila E.,University of Helsinki | Mellersh C.S.,Canine Genetics Animal Health Trust | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy and one of the leading causes of blindness. Its hereditary forms are classified into primary closed-angle (PCAG), primary open-angle (POAG) and primary congenital glaucoma (PCG). Although many loci have been mapped in human, only a few genes have been identified that are associated with the development of glaucoma and the genetic basis of the disease remains poorly understood. Glaucoma has also been described in many dog breeds, including Dandie Dinmont Terriers (DDT) in which it is a late-onset (>7 years) disease. We designed clinical and genetic studies to better define the clinical features of glaucoma in the DDT and to identify the genetic cause. Clinical diagnosis was based on ophthalmic examinations of the affected dogs and 18 additionally investigated unaffected DDTs. We collected DNA from over 400 DTTs and a genome wide association study was performed in a cohort of 23 affected and 23 controls, followed by a fine mapping, a replication study and candidate gene sequencing. The clinical study suggested that ocular abnormalities including abnormal iridocorneal angles and pectinate ligament dysplasia are common (50% and 72%, respectively) in the breed and the disease resembles human PCAG. The genetic study identified a novel 9.5 Mb locus on canine chromosome 8 including the 1.6 Mb best associated region (p = 1.63×10-10, OR = 32 for homozygosity). Mutation screening in five candidate genes did not reveal any causative variants. This study indicates that although ocular abnormalities are common in DDTs, the genetic risk for glaucoma is conferred by a novel locus on CFA8. The canine locus shares synteny to a region in human chromosome 14q, which harbors several loci associated with POAG and PCG. Our study reveals a new locus for canine glaucoma and ongoing molecular studies will likely help to understand the genetic etiology of the disease. © 2013 Ahonen et al.

Ahonen S.J.,University of Helsinki | Ahonen S.J.,The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics | Arumilli M.,University of Helsinki | Arumilli M.,The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Progressive retinal degenerations are the most common causes of complete blindness both in human and in dogs. Canine progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) or degeneration resembles human retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and is characterized by a progressive loss of rod photoreceptor cells followed by a loss of cone function. The primary clinical signs are detected as vision impairment in a dim light. Although several genes have been associated with PRAs, there are still PRAs of unknown genetic cause in many breeds, including Papillons and Phalènes. We have performed a genome wide association and linkage studies in cohort of 6 affected Papillons and Phalènes and 14 healthy control dogs to map a novel PRA locus on canine chromosome 2, with a 1.9 Mb shared homozygous region in the affected dogs. Parallel exome sequencing of a trio identified an indel mutation, including a 1-bp deletion, followed by a 6-bp insertion in the CNGB1 gene. This mutation causes a frameshift and premature stop codon leading to probable nonsense mediated decay (NMD) of the CNGB1 mRNA. The mutation segregated with the disease and was confirmed in a larger cohort of 145 Papillons and Phalènes (PFisher = 1.4×10-8) with a carrier frequency of 17.2 %. This breed specific mutation was not present in 334 healthy dogs from 10 other breeds or 121 PRA affected dogs from 44 other breeds. CNGB1 is important for the photoreceptor cell function its defects have been previously associated with retinal degeneration in both human and mouse. Our study indicates that a frameshift mutation in CNGB1 is a cause of PRA in Papillons and Phalènes and establishes the breed as a large functional animal model for further characterization of retinal CNGB1 biology and possible retinal gene therapy trials. This study enables also the development of a genetic test for breeding purposes. © 2013 Ahonen et al.

Hytonen M.K.,University of Helsinki | Hytonen M.K.,The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics | Arumilli M.,University of Helsinki | Arumilli M.,The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Hundreds of different human skeletal disorders have been characterized at molecular level and a growing number of resembling dysplasias with orthologous genetic defects are being reported in dogs. This study describes a novel genetic defect in the Brazilian Terrier breed causing a congenital skeletal dysplasia. Affected puppies presented severe skeletal deformities observable within the first month of life. Clinical characterization using radiographic and histological methods identified delayed ossification and spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia. Pedigree analysis suggested an autosomal recessive disorder, and we performed a genome-wide association study to map the disease locus using Illumina's 22K SNP chip arrays in seven cases and eleven controls. A single association was observed near the centromeric end of chromosome 6 with a genome-wide significance after permutation (pgenome = 0.033). The affected dogs shared a 13-Mb homozygous region including over 200 genes. A targeted next-generation sequencing of the entire locus revealed a fully segregating missense mutation (c.866C>T) causing a pathogenic p.P289L change in a conserved functional domain of β-glucuronidase (GUSB). The mutation was confirmed in a population of 202 Brazilian terriers (p = 7,71×10-29). GUSB defects cause mucopolysaccharidosis VII (MPS VII) in several species and define the skeletal syndrome in Brazilian Terriers. Our results provide new information about the correlation of the GUSB genotype to phenotype and establish a novel canine model for MPS VII. Currently, MPS VII lacks an efficient treatment and this model could be utilized for the development and validation of therapeutic methods for better treatment of MPS VII patients. Finally, since almost one third of the Brazilian terrier population carries the mutation, breeders will benefit from a genetic test to eradicate the detrimental disease from the breed. © 2012 Hytönen et al.

PubMed | The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Biochemical journal | Year: 2012

NM (nemaline myopathy) is a rare genetic muscle disorder defined on the basis of muscle weakness and the presence of structural abnormalities in the muscle fibres, i.e. nemaline bodies. The related disorder cap myopathy is defined by cap-like structures located peripherally in the muscle fibres. Both disorders may be caused by mutations in the TPM2 gene encoding -Tm (tropomyosin). Tm controls muscle contraction by inhibiting actin-myosin interaction in a calcium-sensitive manner. In the present study, we have investigated the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying five disease-causing mutations in Tm. We show that four of the mutations cause changes in affinity for actin, which may cause muscle weakness in these patients, whereas two show defective Ca2+ activation of contractility. We have also mapped the amino acids altered by the mutation to regions important for actin binding and note that two of the mutations cause altered protein conformation, which could account for impaired actin affinity.

PubMed | The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European journal of human genetics : EJHG | Year: 2010

Clarin 1 (CLRN1) is a four-transmembrane protein expressed in cochlear hair cells and neural retina, and when mutated it causes Usher syndrome type 3 (USH3). The main human splice variant of CLRN1 is composed of three exons that code for a 232-aa protein. In this study, we aimed to refine the structure of CLRN1 by an examination of transcript splice variants and promoter regions. Analysis of human retinal cDNA revealed 11 CLRN1 splice variants, of which 5 have not been previously reported. We studied the regulation of gene expression by several promoter domains using a luciferase assay, and identified 1000nt upstream of the translation start site of the primary CLRN1 splice variant as the principal promoter region. Our results suggest that the CLRN1 gene is significantly more complex than previously described. The complexity of the CLRN1 gene and the identification of multiple splice variants may partially explain why mutations in CLRN1 result in substantial variation in clinical phenotype.

PubMed | The Folkhalsan Institute of Genetics
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Acta ophthalmologica | Year: 2013

The Finnish distribution of clinical Usher syndrome (USH) types is 40% USH3, 34% USH1 and 12% USH2. All patients with USH3 carry the founder mutation in clarin 1 (CLRN1), whereas we recently reported three novel myosin VIIA (MYO7A) mutations in two unrelated patients with USH1. This study was carried out to further investigate the USH mutation spectrum in Finnish patients.We analysed samples from nine unrelated USH patients/families without known mutations and two USH3 families with atypically severe phenotype. The Asper Ophthalmics USH mutation chip was used to screen for known mutations and to evaluate the chip in molecular diagnostics of Finnish patients.The chip revealed a heterozygous usherin (USH2A) mutation, p.N346H, in one patient. Sequencing of MYO7A and/or USH2A in three index patients revealed two novel heterozygous mutations, p.R873W in MYO7A and c.14343+2T>C in USH2A. We did not identify definite pathogenic second mutations in the patients, but identified several probably nonpathogenic variations that may modify the disease phenotype. Possible digenism could not be excluded in two families segregating genomic variations in both MYO7A and USH2A, and two families with CLRN1 and USH2A.We conclude that there is considerable genetic heterogeneity of USH1 and USH2 in Finland, making molecular diagnostics and genetic counselling of patients and families challenging.

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