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Scholl U.I.,Yale University | Scholl U.I.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Goh G.,Yale University | Goh G.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | And 36 more authors.
Nature Genetics

Adrenal aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) constitutively produce the salt-retaining hormone aldosterone and are a common cause of severe hypertension. Recurrent mutations in the potassium channel gene KCNJ5 that result in cell depolarization and Ca 2+ influx cause ∼40% of these tumors. We identified 5 somatic mutations (4 altering Gly403 and 1 altering Ile770) in CACNA1D, encoding a voltage-gated calcium channel, among 43 APAs without mutated KCNJ5. The altered residues lie in the S6 segments that line the channel pore. Both alterations result in channel activation at less depolarized potentials; Gly403 alterations also impair channel inactivation. These effects are inferred to cause increased Ca 2+ influx, which is a sufficient stimulus for aldosterone production and cell proliferation in adrenal glomerulosa. We also identified de novo germline mutations at identical positions in two children with a previously undescribed syndrome featuring primary aldosteronism and neuromuscular abnormalities. These findings implicate gain-of-function Ca 2+ channel mutations in APAs and primary aldosteronism. © 2013 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Juhlin C.C.,Yale University | Juhlin C.C.,Karolinska University Hospital | Stenman A.,Karolinska University Hospital | Haglund F.,Karolinska University Hospital | And 21 more authors.
Genes Chromosomes and Cancer

As subsets of pheochromocytomas (PCCs) lack a defined molecular etiology, we sought to characterize the mutational landscape of PCCs to identify novel gene candidates involved in disease development. A discovery cohort of 15 PCCs wild type for mutations in PCC susceptibility genes underwent whole-exome sequencing, and an additional 83 PCCs served as a verification cohort for targeted sequencing of candidate mutations. A low rate of nonsilent single nucleotide variants (SNVs) was detected (6.1/sample). Somatic HRAS and EPAS1 mutations were observed in one case each, whereas the remaining 13 cases did not exhibit variants in established PCC genes. SNVs aggregated in apoptosis-related pathways, and mutations in COSMIC genes not previously reported in PCCs included ZAN, MITF, WDTC1, and CAMTA1. Two somatic mutations and one constitutional variant in the well-established cancer gene lysine (K)-specific methyltransferase 2D (KMT2D, MLL2) were discovered in one sample each, prompting KMT2D screening using focused exome-sequencing in the verification cohort. An additional 11 PCCs displayed KMT2D variants, of which two were recurrent. In total, missense KMT2D variants were found in 14 (11 somatic, two constitutional, one undetermined) of 99 PCCs (14%). Five cases displayed somatic mutations in the functional FYR/SET domains of KMT2D, constituting 36% of all KMT2D-mutated PCCs. KMT2D expression was upregulated in PCCs compared to normal adrenals, and KMT2D overexpression positively affected cell migration in a PCC cell line. We conclude that KMT2D represents a recurrently mutated gene with potential implication for PCC development. © 2015 The Authors. Source

Ercan-Sencicek A.G.,Yale University | Jambi S.,Al Hada Armed Hospitals | Franjic D.,Yale University | Nishimura S.,Yale University | And 19 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics

The combination of family-based linkage analysis with high-throughput sequencing is a powerful approach to identifying rare genetic variants that contribute to genetically heterogeneous syndromes. Using parametric multipoint linkage analysis and whole exome sequencing, we have identified a gene responsible for microcephaly (MCP), severe visual impairment, intellectual disability, and short stature through the mapping of a homozygous nonsense alteration in a multiply-affected consanguineous family. This gene, DIAPH1, encodes the mammalian Diaphanous-related formin (mDia1), a member of the diaphanous-related formin family of Rho effector proteins. Upon the activation of GTP-bound Rho, mDia1 generates linear actin filaments in the maintenance of polarity during adhesion, migration, and division in immune cells and neuroepithelial cells, and in driving tangential migration of cortical interneurons in the rodent. Here, we show that patients with a homozygous nonsense DIAPH1 alteration (p.Gln778∗) have MCP as well as reduced height and weight. diap1 (mDia1 knockout (KO))-deficient mice have grossly normal body and brain size. However, our histological analysis of diap1 KO mouse coronal brain sections at early and postnatal stages shows unilateral ventricular enlargement, indicating that this mutant mouse shows both important similarities as well as differences with human pathology. We also found that mDia1 protein is expressed in human neuronal precursor cells during mitotic cell division and has a major impact in the regulation of spindle formation and cell division. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

Scholl U.I.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Scholl U.I.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | Stolting G.,Julich Research Center | Nelson-Williams C.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | And 21 more authors.

Many Mendelian traits are likely unrecognized owing to absence of traditional segregation patterns in families due to causation by de novo mutations, incomplete penetrance, and/or variable expressivity. Genome-level sequencing can overcome these complications. Extreme childhood phenotypes are promising candidates for new Mendelian traits. One example is early onset hypertension, a rare form of a global cause of morbidity and mortality. We performed exome sequencing of 40 unrelated subjects with hypertension due to primary aldosteronism by age 10. Five subjects (12.5%) shared the identical, previously unidentified, heterozygous CACNA1HM1549V mutation. Two mutations were demonstrated to be de novo events, and all mutations occurred independently. CACNA1H encodes a voltage-gated calcium channel (CaV3.2) expressed in adrenal glomerulosa. CACNA1HM1549V showed drastically impaired channel inactivation and activation at more hyperpolarized potentials, producing increased intracellular Ca2+, the signal for aldosterone production. This mutation explains disease pathogenesis and provides new insight into mechanisms mediating aldosterone production and hypertension. © Scholl et al. Source

Goh G.,Yale University | Goh G.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Scholl U.I.,Yale University | Scholl U.I.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | And 22 more authors.
Nature Genetics

Adrenal tumors autonomously producing cortisol cause Cushing's syndrome. We performed exome sequencing of 25 tumor-normal pairs and identified 2 subgroups. Eight tumors (including three carcinomas) had many somatic copy number variants (CNVs) with frequent deletion of CDC42 and CDKN2A, amplification of 5q31.2 and protein-altering mutations in TP53 and RB1. Seventeen tumors (all adenomas) had no somatic CNVs or TP53 or RB1 mutations. Six of these had known gain-of-function mutations in CTNNB1 (Î 2-catenin) or GNAS (Gα s). Six others had somatic mutations in PRKACA (protein kinase A (PKA) catalytic subunit) resulting in a p.Leu206Arg substitution. Further sequencing identified this mutation in 13 of 63 tumors (35% of adenomas with overt Cushing's syndrome). PRKACA, GNAS and CTNNB1 mutations were mutually exclusive. Leu206 directly interacts with the regulatory subunit of PKA, PRKAR1A. Leu206Arg PRKACA loses PRKAR1A binding, increasing the phosphorylation of downstream targets. PKA activity induces cortisol production and cell proliferation, providing a mechanism for tumor development. These findings define distinct mechanisms underlying adrenal cortisol-producing tumors. © 2014 Nature America, Inc. Source

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