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Crosby A.H.,St Georges, University of London | Patel H.,St Georges, University of London | Chioza B.A.,St Georges, University of London | Proukakis C.,St Georges, University of London | And 12 more authors.
American Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2010

In human mitochondria, polyadenylation of mRNA, undertaken by the nuclear-encoded mitochondrial poly(A) RNA polymerase, is essential for maintaining mitochondrial gene expression. Our molecular investigation of an autosomal-recessive spastic ataxia with optic atrophy, present among the Old Order Amish, identified a mutation of MTPAP associated with the disease phenotype. When subjected to poly(A) tail-length assays, mitochondrial mRNAs from affected individuals were shown to have severely truncated poly(A) tails. Although defective mitochondrial DNA maintenance underlies a well-described group of clinical disorders, our findings reveal a defect of mitochondrial mRNA maturation associated with human disease and imply that this disease mechanism should be considered in other complex neurodegenerative disorders. © 2010 The American Society of Human Genetics. All rights reserved. Source

Baple E.L.,University of Exeter | Chambers H.,University of Cambridge | Cross H.E.,University of Arizona | Fawcett H.,University of Sussex | And 20 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2014

Numerous human disorders, including Cockayne syndrome, UV-sensitive syndrome, xeroderma pigmentosum, and trichothiodystrophy, result from the mutation of genes encoding molecules important for nucleotide excision repair. Here, we describe a syndrome in which the cardinal clinical features include short stature, hearing loss, premature aging, telangiectasia, neurodegeneration, and photosensitivity, resulting from a homozygous missense (p.Ser228Ile) sequence alteration of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). PCNA is a highly conserved sliding clamp protein essential for DNA replication and repair. Due to this fundamental role, mutations in PCNA that profoundly impair protein function would be incompatible with life. Interestingly, while the p.Ser228Ile alteration appeared to have no effect on protein levels or DNA replication, patient cells exhibited marked abnormalities in response to UV irradiation, displaying substantial reductions in both UV survival and RNA synthesis recovery. The p.Ser228Ile change also profoundly altered PCNA's interaction with Flap endonuclease 1 and DNA Ligase 1, DNA metabolism enzymes. Together, our findings detail a mutation of PCNA in humans associated with a neurodegenerative phenotype, displaying clinical and molecular features common to other DNA repair disorders, which we showed to be attributable to a hypomorphic amino acid alteration. Source

Harlalka G.V.,St Georges, University of London | Baple E.L.,St Georges, University of London | Cross H.,University of Arizona | Kuhnle S.,University of Konstanz | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Medical Genetics | Year: 2013

Background: Deregulation of the activity of the ubiquitin ligase E6AP (UBE3A) is well recognised to contribute to the development of Angelman syndrome (AS). The ubiquitin ligase HERC2, encoded by the HERC2 gene is thought to be a key regulator of E6AP. Methods and results: Using a combination of autozygosity mapping and linkage analysis, we studied an autosomal-recessive neurodevelopmental disorder with some phenotypic similarities to AS, found among the Old Order Amish. Our molecular investigation identified a mutation in HERC2 associated with the disease phenotype. We establish that the encoded mutant HERC2 protein has a reduced half-life compared with its wild-type counterpart, which is associated with a significant reduction in HERC2 levels in affected individuals. Conclusions: Our data implicate a model in which disruption of HERC2 function relates to a reduction in E6AP activity resulting in neurodevelopmental delay, suggesting a previously unrecognised role of HERC2 in the pathogenesis of AS. Source

Tekin M.,University of Miami | Tekin M.,Ankara University | Chioza B.A.,St Georges, University of London | Matsumoto Y.,RIKEN | And 22 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2013

Myopia is by far the most common human eye disorder that is known to have a clear, albeit poorly defined, heritable component. In this study, we describe an autosomal-recessive syndrome characterized by high myopia and sensorineural deafness. Our molecular investigation in 3 families led to the identification of 3 homozygous nonsense mutations (p.R181X, p.S297X, and p.Q414X) in SLIT and NTRK-like family, member 6 (SLITRK6), a leucine-rich repeat domain transmembrane protein. All 3 mutant SLITRK6 proteins displayed defective cell surface localization. High-resolution MRI of WT and Slitrk6-deficient mouse eyes revealed axial length increase in the mutant (the endophenotype of myopia). Additionally, mutant mice exhibited auditory function deficits that mirrored the human phenotype. Histological investigation of WT and Slitrk6-deficient mouse retinas in postnatal development indicated a delay in synaptogenesis in Slitrk6-deficient animals. Taken together, our results showed that SLITRK6 plays a crucial role in the development of normal hearing as well as vision in humans and in mice and that its disruption leads to a syndrome characterized by severe myopia and deafness. Source

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