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Juan-Mateu J.,Servei de Genetica | Juan-Mateu J.,University of Barcelona | Rodriguez M.J.,Servei de Genetica | Nascimento A.,Unitat de Patologia Neuromuscular | And 21 more authors.
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases | Year: 2012

Background: Between 8% and 22% of female carriers of DMD mutations exhibit clinical symptoms of variable severity. Development of symptoms in DMD mutation carriers without chromosomal rearrangements has been attributed to skewed X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) favouring predominant expression of the DMD mutant allele. However the prognostic use of XCI analysis is controversial. We aimed to evaluate the correlation between X-chromosome inactivation and development of clinical symptoms in a series of symptomatic female carriers of dystrophinopathy. Methods. We reviewed the clinical, pathological and genetic features of twenty-four symptomatic carriers covering a wide spectrum of clinical phenotypes. DMD gene analysis was performed using MLPA and whole gene sequencing in blood DNA and muscle cDNA. Blood and muscle DNA was used for X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) analysis thought the AR methylation assay in symptomatic carriers and their female relatives, asymptomatic carriers as well as non-carrier females. Results: Symptomatic carriers exhibited 49.2% more skewed XCI profiles than asymptomatic carriers. The extent of XCI skewing in blood tended to increase in line with the severity of muscle symptoms. Skewed XCI patterns were found in at least one first-degree female relative in 78.6% of symptomatic carrier families. No mutations altering XCI in the XIST gene promoter were found. Conclusions: Skewed XCI is in many cases familial inherited. The extent of XCI skewing is related to phenotype severity. However, the assessment of XCI by means of the AR methylation assay has a poor prognostic value, probably because the methylation status of the AR gene in muscle may not reflect in all cases the methylation status of the DMD gene. © 2012 Juan-Mateu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Juan-Mateu J.,Servei de Genetica | Juan-Mateu J.,University of Barcelona | Gonzalez-Quereda L.,Servei de Genetica | Rodriguez M.J.,Servei de Genetica | And 13 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

DMD nonsense and frameshift mutations lead to severe Duchenne muscular dystrophy while in-frame mutations lead to milder Becker muscular dystrophy. Exceptions are found in 10% of cases and the production of alternatively spliced transcripts is considered a key modifier of disease severity. Several exonic mutations have been shown to induce exon-skipping, while splice site mutations result in exon-skipping or activation of cryptic splice sites. However, factors determining the splicing pathway are still unclear. Point mutations provide valuable information regarding the regulation of pre-mRNA splicing and elements defining exon identity in the DMD gene. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of 98 point mutations related to clinical phenotype and their effect on muscle mRNA and dystrophin expression. Aberrant splicing was found in 27 mutations due to alteration of splice sites or splicing regulatory elements. Bioinformatics analysis was performed to test the ability of the available algorithms to predict consequences on mRNA and to investigate the major factors that determine the splicing pathway in mutations affecting splicing signals. Our findings suggest that the splicing pathway is highly dependent on the interplay between splice site strength and density of regulatory elements. © 2013 Juan-Mateu et al. Source

Senderek J.,ETH Zurich | Senderek J.,RWTH Aachen | Muller J.S.,Northumbria University | Dusl M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 35 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2011

Neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) are synapses that transmit impulses from motor neurons to skeletal muscle fibers leading to muscle contraction. Study of hereditary disorders of neuromuscular transmission, termed congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS), has helped elucidate fundamental processes influencing development and function of the nerve-muscle synapse. Using genetic linkage, we find 18 different biallelic mutations in the gene encoding glutamine-fructose-6- phosphate transaminase 1 (GFPT1) in 13 unrelated families with an autosomal recessive CMS. Consistent with these data, downregulation of the GFPT1 ortholog gfpt1 in zebrafish embryos altered muscle fiber morphology and impaired neuromuscular junction development. GFPT1 is the key enzyme of the hexosamine pathway yielding the amino sugar UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, an essential substrate for protein glycosylation. Our findings provide further impetus to study the glycobiology of NMJ and synapses in general. © 2011 The American Society of Human Genetics. All rights reserved. Source

Guergueltcheva V.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Guergueltcheva V.,Sofia University | Muller J.S.,Northumbria University | Senderek J.,RWTH Aachen | And 17 more authors.
Journal of Neurology | Year: 2012

Congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of inherited disorders of the neuromuscular junction. A difficult to diagnose subgroup of CMS is characterised by proximal muscle weakness and fatigue while ocular and facial involvement is only minimal. DOK7 mutations have been identified as causing the disorder in about half of the cases. More recently, using classical positional cloning, we have identified mutations in a previously unrecognised CMS gene, GFPT1, in a series of DOK7-negative cases. However, detailed description of clinical features of GFPT1 patients has not been reported yet. Here we describe the clinical picture of 24 limb-girdle CMS (LG-CMS) patients and pathological findings of 18 of them, all carrying GFPT1 mutations. Additional patients with CMS, but without tubular aggregates, and patients with non-fatigable weakness with tubular aggregates were also screened. In most patients with GFPT1 mutations, onset of the disease occurs in the first decade of life with characteristic limb-girdle weakness and fatigue. A common feature was beneficial and sustained response to acetylcholinesterase inhibitor treatment. Most of the patients who had a muscle biopsy showed tubular aggregates in myofibers. Analysis of endplate morphology in one of the patients revealed unspecific abnormalities. Our study delineates the phenotype of CMS associated with GFPT1 mutations and expands the understanding of neuromuscular junction disorders. As tubular aggregates in context of a neuromuscular transmission defect appear to be highly indicative, we suggest calling this condition congenital myasthenic syndrome with tubular aggregates (CMS-TA). © Springer-Verlag 2011. Source

Chaouch A.,Northumbria University | Muller J.S.,Northumbria University | Guergueltcheva V.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Guergueltcheva V.,Sofia University | And 13 more authors.
Journal of Neurology | Year: 2012

Slow-channel congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) is a rare subtype of CMS caused by dominant ''gain of function'' mutations in the acetylcholine receptor. Clinically, the cervical and forearm extensor muscles seem to be preferentially weaker; and conventional treatment with anticholinesterases fails to improve symptoms. In contrast, open channel blockers such as fluoxetine and quinidine have been shown to be of benefit. The objectives of our study were to provide further insight into the clinical features of slow-channel CMS and evaluate response to recommended therapy. We carried out a retrospective clinical follow up study of 15 slow-channel CMS patients referred to the Munich CMS Centre. Detailed clinical data were collected by clinicians involved in the care of each patient, with a particular focus on response and tolerability to recommended therapy. Patients varied widely as regard onset of symptoms, severity of disease and mutations involved. Patients received up to four different medications and some had none. Our results strengthen previous reported findings in terms of clinical phenotype variability and the poor response to pyridostigmine. Although treatment with fluoxetine was beneficial in most patients, a number of our patients suffered significant adverse effects that hindered optimum dose titration or led to treatment cessation. Slow-channel CMS is rare and exhibits distinct clinical and genetic characteristics. Our study suggests that fluoxetine, despite being effective in most patients, can be associated with significant side effects, thus reducing treatment effectiveness in clinical practice. © Springer-Verlag 2011. Source

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