Unit of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics

Troina, Italy

Unit of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics

Troina, Italy
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Gandin I.,University of Trieste | Faletra F.,Institute for Maternal and Child Health | Carella M.,Medical Genetics Unit | Pecile V.,Institute for Maternal and Child Health | And 10 more authors.
Genetics in Medicine | Year: 2015

The harmful effects of inbreeding are well known by geneticists, and several studies have already reported cases of intellectual disability caused by recessive variants in consanguineous families. Nevertheless, the effects of inbreeding on the degree of intellectual disability are still poorly investigated. Here, we present a detailed analysis of the homozygosity regions in a cohort of 612 patients with intellectual disabilities of different degrees.Methods:We investigated (i) the runs of homozygosity distribution between syndromic and nonsyndromic ID (ii) the effect of runs of homozygosity on the ID degree, using the intelligence quotient score.Results:Our data revealed no significant differences in the first analysis; instead we detected significantly larger runs of homozygosity stretches in severe ID compared to nonsevere ID cases (P = 0.007), together with an increase of the percentage of genome covered by runs of homozygosity (P = 0.03).Conclusion:In accord with the recent findings regarding autism and other neurological disorders, this study reveals the important role of autosomal recessive variants in intellectual disability. The amount of homozygosity seems to modulate the degree of cognitive impairment despite the intellectual disability cause. © American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics.


PubMed | Unit of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, University of Trieste, Medical Genetics Unit, University of Turin and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics | Year: 2015

The harmful effects of inbreeding are well known by geneticists, and several studies have already reported cases of intellectual disability caused by recessive variants in consanguineous families. Nevertheless, the effects of inbreeding on the degree of intellectual disability are still poorly investigated. Here, we present a detailed analysis of the homozygosity regions in a cohort of 612 patients with intellectual disabilities of different degrees.We investigated (i) the runs of homozygosity distribution between syndromic and nonsyndromic ID (ii) the effect of runs of homozygosity on the ID degree, using the intelligence quotient score.Our data revealed no significant differences in the first analysis; instead we detected significantly larger runs of homozygosity stretches in severe ID compared to nonsevere ID cases (P = 0.007), together with an increase of the percentage of genome covered by runs of homozygosity (P = 0.03).In accord with the recent findings regarding autism and other neurological disorders, this study reveals the important role of autosomal recessive variants in intellectual disability. The amount of homozygosity seems to modulate the degree of cognitive impairment despite the intellectual disability cause.


Helsmoortel C.,University of Antwerp | Vulto-Van Silfhout A.T.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Coe B.P.,University of Washington | Coe B.P.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | And 27 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2014

Despite the high heritability of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities, a genetic diagnosis can be established in only a minority of patients. Known genetic causes include chromosomal aberrations, such as the duplication of the 15q11-13 region, and monogenic causes, as in Rett and fragile-X syndromes. The genetic heterogeneity within ASD is striking, with even the most frequent causes responsible for only 1% of cases at the most. Even with the recent developments in next-generation sequencing, for the large majority of cases no molecular diagnosis can be established. Here, we report ten patients with ASD and other shared clinical characteristics, including intellectual disability and facial dysmorphisms caused by a mutation in ADNP, a transcription factor involved in the SWI/SNF remodeling complex. We estimate this gene to be mutated in at least 0.17% of ASD cases, making it one of the most frequent ASD-associated genes known to date. © 2014 Nature America, Inc.


PubMed | Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Childrens Hospital at Westmead, Laboratory of Cytogenetics, Unit of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics and 7 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nature genetics | Year: 2014

Despite the high heritability of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and interaction and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities, a genetic diagnosis can be established in only a minority of patients. Known genetic causes include chromosomal aberrations, such as the duplication of the 15q11-13 region, and monogenic causes, as in Rett and fragile-X syndromes. The genetic heterogeneity within ASD is striking, with even the most frequent causes responsible for only 1% of cases at the most. Even with the recent developments in next-generation sequencing, for the large majority of cases no molecular diagnosis can be established. Here, we report ten patients with ASD and other shared clinical characteristics, including intellectual disability and facial dysmorphisms caused by a mutation in ADNP, a transcription factor involved in the SWI/SNF remodeling complex. We estimate this gene to be mutated in at least 0.17% of ASD cases, making it one of the most frequent ASD-associated genes known to date.


PubMed | UOC Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Unit of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics, Medical Genetics Unit, University of Turin and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Mutation research | Year: 2015

The technological improvements over the last years made considerable progresses in the knowledge of the etiology of intellectual Disability (ID). However, at present very little is known about the genetic heterogeneity underlying the non-syndromic form of ID (NS-ID). To investigate the genetic basis of NS-ID we analyzed 43 trios and 22 isolated NS-ID patients using a targeted sequencing (TS) approach. 71 NS-ID genes have been selected and sequenced in all subjects. We found putative pathogenic mutations in 7 out of 65 patients. The pathogenic role of mutations was evaluated through sequence comparison and structural analysis was performed to predict the effect of alterations in a 3D computational model through molecular dynamics simulations. Additionally, a deep patient clinical re-evaluation has been performed after the molecular results. This approach allowed us to find novel pathogenic mutations with a detection rate close to 11% in our cohort of patients. This result supports the hypothesis that many NS-ID related genes still remain to be discovered and that NS-ID is a more complex phenotype compared to syndromic form, likely caused by a complex and broad interaction between genes alterations and environment factors.


Citta S.,Unit of Psychology | Buono S.,Unit of Psychology | Greco D.,Unit of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics | Barone C.,Unit of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A | Year: 2013

The 3q29 microdeletion syndrome is a rare, recurrent genomic disorder, associated with a variable phenotype, despite the same deletion size, consisting in neurodevelopmental features, such as intellectual disability (ID), schizophrenia, autism, bipolar disorder, depression and mild facial morphological anomalies/congenital malformations. A thorough neuropsychiatric evaluation has never been reported in patients with such syndrome. We analyzed the clinical phenotype of four individuals with 3q29 microdeletion syndrome, with special emphasis on the cognitive and behavioral assessment, in order to delineate the neuropsychiatric phenotype related to this condition. We assessed these patients with standardized scales or checklists measuring the cognitive (WISC III or LIPS-R), behavioral (CBCL) and adaptive (VABS) performances. An accurate evaluation in our sample highlights different degrees of ID, variable behavioral disorders, and a preservation of communicative skills among remaining adaptive areas, as the neuropsychiatric hallmark of 3q29 microdeletion syndrome. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Grillo L.,Laboratory of Genetic Diagnosis | Reitano S.,Unit of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics | Belfiore G.,Unit of Psychology | Spalletta A.,Laboratory of Genetic Diagnosis | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Medical Genetics | Year: 2010

We report on a 7-year-old girl with severe mental retardation (MR), autism, micro-brachycephaly, generalized muscle hypotonia with distal hypotrophy of lower limbs, scoliosis and facial dysmorphisms. Array-CGH analysis identified a 1.1 Mb deletion of chromosome Xq22.1. Further analysis demonstrated that the deletion was inherited from her mother who showed mild MR, short stature, brachycephaly, epilepsy and a Borderline Personality Disorder. Microsatellite segregation analysis revealed that the rearrangement arose de novo in the mother on the paternal X chromosome. The deleted Xq22.1 region contains part of the NXF gene cluster which is involved in mRNA nuclear export and metabolism. Among them, the NXF5 gene has already been linked to mental retardation whereas NXF2 protein has been recently found to be partner of FMRP in regulating Nxf1 mRNA stability in neuronal cells. The dosage imbalance of NXF5 and NXF2 genes may explain the severe phenotype in our patient. © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Concolino D.,University of Catanzaro | Iembo M.A.,University of Catanzaro | Moricca M.T.,University of Catanzaro | Rapsomaniki M.,University of Catanzaro | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Medical Genetics | Year: 2012

We report a new case of 8q interstitial duplication in a patient with dysmorphic features, umbilical hernia, cryptorchidism, short stature, congenital heart defect and mild mental retardation (MR). Chromosome analysis with high resolution QFQ bands showed 46,XY, 8q+, which was interpreted as a partial duplication of the distal long arm of chromosome 8 (q22 → qter). This chromosomal aberration was further characterized using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses with multiple DNA probes and array-CGH (Comparative Genomic Hybridization) experiment which demonstrated a de novo direct duplication (8)(q22.2-q24.3). We have compared this case with other partially trisomic 8q patients reported in literature and highlighted the common clinical features in 8q22-8q24 duplication syndrome. © 2011.


Romano C.,Unit of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics | Schepis C.,Unit of Dermatology
The Scientific World Journal | Year: 2012

PTEN gene is considered one of the most mutated tumor suppressor genes in human cancer, and it's likely to become the first one in the near future. Since 1997, its involvement in tumor suppression has smoothly increased, up to the current importance. Germline mutations of PTEN cause the PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome (PHTS), which include the past-called Cowden, Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba, Proteus, Proteus-like, and Lhermitte-Duclos syndromes. Somatic mutations of PTEN have been observed in glioblastoma, prostate cancer, and brest cancer cell lines, quoting only the first tissues where the involvement has been proven. The negative regulation of cell interactions with the extracellular matrix could be the way PTEN phosphatase acts as a tumor suppressor. PTEN gene plays an essential role in human development. A recent model sees PTEN function as a stepwise gradation, which can be impaired not only by heterozygous mutations and homozygous losses, but also by other molecular mechanisms, such as transcriptional regression, epigenetic silencing, regulation by microRNAs, posttranslational modification, and aberrant localization. The involvement of PTEN function in melanoma and multistage skin carcinogenesis, with its implication in cancer treatment, and the role of front office in diagnosing PHTS are the main reasons why the dermatologist should know about PTEN. © 2012 Corrado Romano and Carmelo Schepis.

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