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A Randomized, Controlled Trial of the Analytic and Diagnostic Performance of Singleton and Trio, Rapid Genome and Exome Sequencing in Ill Infants

Kingsmore SF, Cakici JA, Clark MM, Gaughran M, Feddock M, Batalov S, Bainbridge MN, Carroll J, Caylor SA, Clarke C, Ding Y, Ellsworth K, Farnaes L, Hildreth A, Hobbs C, James K, Kint CI, Lenberg J, Nahas S, Prince L, Reyes I, Salz L, Sanford E, Schols P, Sweeney N, Tokita M, Veeraraghavan N, Watkins K, Wigby K, Wong T, Chowdhury S, Wright MS, Dimmock D; RCIGM Investigators. 

Am J Hum Genet. 2019 Oct 3;105(4):719-733. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.08.009. Epub 2019 Sep 26. ABSTRACT The second Newborn Sequencing in Genomic Medicine and Public Health study was a randomized, controlled trial of the effectiveness of rapid whole-genome or -exome sequencing (rWGS or rWES, respectively) in seriously ill infants with diseases of unknown etiology. Here we report comparisons of analytic and diagnostic performance. Of 1,248 ill inpatient infants, 578 (46%) had diseases of unknown etiology. 213 infants (37% of those eligible) were enrolled within 96 h of admission. 24 infants (11%) were very ill and received ultra-rapid whole-genome sequencing (urWGS). The remaining infants were randomized, 95 to rWES and 94 to rWGS. The analytic performance of rWGS was superior to rWES, including variants likely to affect protein function, and ClinVar pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants (p < 0.0001). The diagnostic performance of rWGS and rWES were similar (18 diagnoses in 94 infants [19%] versus 19 diagnoses in 95 infants [20%], respectively), as was time to result (median 11.0 versus 11.2 days, respectively). However, the proportion diagnosed by urWGS (11 of 24 [46%]) was higher than rWES/rWGS (p = 0.004) and time to result was less (median 4.6 days, p < 0.0001). The incremental diagnostic yield of reflexing to trio after negative proband analysis was 0.7% (1 of 147). In conclusion, rapid genomic sequencing can be performed as a first-tier diagnostic test in inpatient infants. urWGS had the shortest time to result, which was important in unstable infants, and those in whom a genetic diagnosis was likely to impact immediate management. Further comparison of urWGS and rWES is warranted because genomic technologies and knowledge of variant pathogenicity are evolving rapidly. PMID:31564432 | PMC:PMC6817534 | DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.08.009

October 1, 2019

The mitochondrial carrier Citrin plays a role in regulating cellular energy during carcinogenesis

Rabinovich S, Silberman A, Adler L, Agron S, Levin-Zaidman S, Bahat A, Porat Z, Ben-Zeev E, Geva I, Itkin M, Malitsky S, Buchaklian A, Helbling D, Dimmock D, Erez A.

Oncogene. 2020 Jan;39(1):164-175. doi: 10.1038/s41388-019-0976-2. Epub 2019 Aug 28. ABSTRACT Citrin, encoded by SLC25A13 gene, is an inner mitochondrial transporter that is part of the malate-aspartate shuttle, which regulates the NAD+/NADH ratio between the cytosol and mitochondria. Citrullinemia type II (CTLN-II) is an inherited disorder caused by germline mutations in SLC25A13, manifesting clinically in growth failure that can be alleviated by dietary restriction of carbohydrates. The association of citrin with glycolysis and NAD+/NADH ratio led us to hypothesize that it may play a role in carcinogenesis. Indeed, we find that citrin is upregulated in multiple cancer types and is essential for supplementing NAD+ for glycolysis and NADH for oxidative phosphorylation. Consequently, citrin deficiency associates with autophagy, whereas its overexpression in cancer cells increases energy production and cancer invasion. Furthermore, based on the human deleterious mutations in citrin, we found a potential inhibitor of citrin that restricts cancerous phenotypes in cells. Collectively, our findings suggest that targeting citrin may be of benefit for cancer therapy. PMID:31462712 | DOI:10.1038/s41388-019-0976-2

August 30, 2019

Bi-allelic GOT2 Mutations Cause a Treatable Malate-Aspartate Shuttle-Related Encephalopathy

van Karnebeek CDM, Ramos RJ, Wen XY, Tarailo-Graovac M, Gleeson JG, Skrypnyk C, Brand-Arzamendi K, Karbassi F, Issa MY, van der Lee R, Drögemöller BI, Koster J, Rousseau J, Campeau PM, Wang Y, Cao F, Li M, Ruiter J, Ciapaite J, Kluijtmans LAJ, Willemsen MAAP, Jans JJ, Ross CJ, Wintjes LT, Rodenburg RJ, Huigen MCDG, Jia Z, Waterham HR, Wasserman WW, Wanders RJA, Verhoeven-Duif NM, Zaki MS, Wevers RA.

Am J Hum Genet. 2019 Sep 5;105(3):534-548. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.07.015. Epub 2019 Aug 15. ABSTRACT Early-infantile encephalopathies with epilepsy are devastating conditions mandating an accurate diagnosis to guide proper management. Whole-exome sequencing was used to investigate the disease etiology in four children from independent families with intellectual disability and epilepsy, revealing bi-allelic GOT2 mutations. In-depth metabolic studies in individual 1 showed low plasma serine, hypercitrullinemia, hyperlactatemia, and hyperammonemia. The epilepsy was serine and pyridoxine responsive. Functional consequences of observed mutations were tested by measuring enzyme activity and by cell and animal models. Zebrafish and mouse models were used to validate brain developmental and functional defects and to test therapeutic strategies. GOT2 encodes the mitochondrial glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase. GOT2 enzyme activity was deficient in fibroblasts with bi-allelic mutations. GOT2, a member of the malate-aspartate shuttle, plays an essential role in the intracellular NAD(H) redox balance. De novo serine biosynthesis was impaired in fibroblasts with GOT2 mutations and GOT2-knockout HEK293 cells. Correcting the highly oxidized cytosolic NAD-redox state by pyruvate supplementation restored serine biosynthesis in GOT2-deficient cells. Knockdown of got2a in zebrafish resulted in a brain developmental defect associated with seizure-like electroencephalography spikes, which could be rescued by supplying pyridoxine in embryo water. Both pyridoxine and serine synergistically rescued embryonic developmental defects in zebrafish got2a morphants. The two treated individuals reacted favorably to their treatment. Our data provide a mechanistic basis for the biochemical abnormalities in GOT2 deficiency that may also hold for other MAS defects. PMID:31422819 | PMC:PMC6732527 | DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.07.015

August 20, 2019

Agenesis of the putamen and globus pallidus caused by recessive mutations in the homeobox gene GSX2

De Mori R, Severino M, Mancardi MM, Anello D, Tardivo S, Biagini T, Capra V, Casella A, Cereda C, Copeland BR, Gagliardi S, Gamucci A, Ginevrino M, Illi B, Lorefice E, Musaev D, Stanley V, Micalizzi A, Gleeson JG, Mazza T, Rossi A, Valente EM.

Brain. 2019 Oct 1;142(10):2965-2978. doi: 10.1093/brain/awz247. ABSTRACT Basal ganglia are subcortical grey nuclei that play essential roles in controlling voluntary movements, cognition and emotion. While basal ganglia dysfunction is observed in many neurodegenerative or metabolic disorders, congenital malformations are rare. In particular, dysplastic basal ganglia are part of the malformative spectrum of tubulinopathies and X-linked lissencephaly with abnormal genitalia, but neurodevelopmental syndromes characterized by basal ganglia agenesis are not known to date. We ascertained two unrelated children (both female) presenting with spastic tetraparesis, severe generalized dystonia and intellectual impairment, sharing a unique brain malformation characterized by agenesis of putamina and globi pallidi, dysgenesis of the caudate nuclei, olfactory bulbs hypoplasia, and anomaly of the diencephalic-mesencephalic junction with abnormal corticospinal tract course. Whole-exome sequencing identified two novel homozygous variants, c.26C>A; p.(S9*) and c.752A>G; p.(Q251R) in the GSX2 gene, a member of the family of homeobox transcription factors, which are key regulators of embryonic development. GSX2 is highly expressed in neural progenitors of the lateral and median ganglionic eminences, two protrusions of the ventral telencephalon from which the basal ganglia and olfactory tubercles originate, where it promotes neurogenesis while negatively regulating oligodendrogenesis. The truncating variant resulted in complete loss of protein expression, while the missense variant affected a highly conserved residue of the homeobox domain, was consistently predicted as pathogenic by bioinformatic tools, resulted in reduced protein expression and caused impaired structural stability of the homeobox domain and weaker interaction with DNA according to molecular dynamic simulations. Moreover, the nuclear localization of the mutant protein in transfected cells was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type protein. Expression studies on both patients’ fibroblasts demonstrated reduced expression of GSX2 itself, likely due to altered transcriptional self-regulation, as well as significant expression changes of related genes such as ASCL1 and PAX6. Whole transcriptome analysis revealed a global deregulation in genes implicated in apoptosis and immunity, two broad pathways known to be involved in brain development. This is the first report of the clinical phenotype and molecular basis associated to basal ganglia agenesis in humans. PMID:31412107 | PMC:PMC6776115 | DOI:10.1093/brain/awz247

August 15, 2019

Hypospadias Prevalence and Trends in International Birth Defect Surveillance Systems, 1980-2010

Yu X, Nassar N, Mastroiacovo P, Canfield M, Groisman B, Bermejo-Sánchez E, Ritvanen A, Kiuru-Kuhlefelt S, Benavides A, Sipek A, Pierini A, Bianchi F, Källén K, Gatt M, Morgan M, Tucker D, Canessa MA, Gajardo R, Mutchinick OM, Szabova E, Csáky-Szunyogh M, Tagliabue G, Cragan JD, Nembhard WN, Rissmann A, Goetz D, Bower C, Baynam G, Lowry RB, Leon JA, Luo W, Rouleau J, Zarante I, Fernandez N, Amar E, Dastgiri S, Contiero P, Martínez-de-Villarreal LE, Borman B, Bergman JEH, de Walle HEK, Hobbs CA, Nance AE, Agopian AJ. H

Eur Urol. 2019 Oct;76(4):482-490. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2019.06.027. Epub 2019 Jul 9. ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Hypospadias is a common male birth defect that has shown widespread variation in reported prevalence estimates. Many countries have reported increasing trends over recent decades. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the prevalence and trends of hypospadias for 27 international programs over a 31-yr period. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The study population included live births, stillbirths, and elective terminations of pregnancy diagnosed with hypospadias during 1980-2010 from 27 surveillance programs around the world. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: We used joinpoint regression to analyze changes over time in international total prevalence of hypospadias across programs, prevalence for each specific program, and prevalence across different degrees of severity of hypospadias. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: The international total prevalence of hypospadias for all years was 20.9 (95% confidence interval: 19.2-22.6) per 10000 births. The prevalence for each program ranged from 2.1 to 39.1 per 10000 births. The international total prevalence increased 1.6 times during the study period, by 0.25 cases per 10000 births per year (p<0.05). When analyzed separately, there were increasing trends for first-, second-, and third-degree hypospadias during the early 1990s to mid-2000s. The majority of programs (61.9%) had a significantly increasing trend during many of the years evaluated. Limitations include known differences in data collection methods across programs. CONCLUSIONS: Although there have been changes in clinical practice and registry ascertainment over time in some countries, the consistency in the observed increasing trends across many programs and by degrees of severity suggests that the total prevalence of hypospadias may be increasing in many countries. This observation is contrary to some previous reports that suggested that the total prevalence of hypospadias was no longer increasing in recent decades. PATIENT SUMMARY: We report on the prevalence and trends of hypospadias among 27 birth defect surveillance systems, which indicate that the prevalence of hypospadias continues to increase internationally. PMID:31300237 | PMC:PMC7265200 | DOI:10.1016/j.eururo.2019.06.027

July 14, 2019

NSUN2 introduces 5-methylcytosines in mammalian mitochondrial tRNAs

Van Haute L, Lee SY, McCann BJ, Powell CA, Bansal D, Vasiliauskaitė L, Garone C, Shin S, Kim JS, Frye M, Gleeson JG, Miska EA, Rhee HW, Minczuk M.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2019 Sep 19;47(16):8720-8733. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz559. ABSTRACT Expression of human mitochondrial DNA is indispensable for proper function of the oxidative phosphorylation machinery. The mitochondrial genome encodes 22 tRNAs, 2 rRNAs and 11 mRNAs and their post-transcriptional modification constitutes one of the key regulatory steps during mitochondrial gene expression. Cytosine-5 methylation (m5C) has been detected in mitochondrial transcriptome, however its biogenesis has not been investigated in details. Mammalian NOP2/Sun RNA Methyltransferase Family Member 2 (NSUN2) has been characterized as an RNA methyltransferase introducing m5C in nuclear-encoded tRNAs, mRNAs and microRNAs and associated with cell proliferation and differentiation, with pathogenic variants in NSUN2 being linked to neurodevelopmental disorders. Here we employ spatially restricted proximity labelling and immunodetection to demonstrate that NSUN2 is imported into the matrix of mammalian mitochondria. Using three genetic models for NSUN2 inactivation-knockout mice, patient-derived fibroblasts and CRISPR/Cas9 knockout in human cells-we show that NSUN2 is necessary for the generation of m5C at positions 48, 49 and 50 of several mammalian mitochondrial tRNAs. Finally, we show that inactivation of NSUN2 does not have a profound effect on mitochondrial tRNA stability and oxidative phosphorylation in differentiated cells. We discuss the importance of the newly discovered function of NSUN2 in the context of human disease. PMID:31276587 | PMC:PMC6822013 | DOI:10.1093/nar/gkz559

July 6, 2019

DYRK1A-related intellectual disability: a syndrome associated with congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract

Blackburn ATM, Bekheirnia N, Uma VC, Corkins ME, Xu Y, Rosenfeld JA, Bainbridge MN, Yang Y, Liu P, Madan-Khetarpal S, Delgado MR, Hudgins L, Krantz I, Rodriguez-Buritica D, Wheeler PG, Al-Gazali L, Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al Shamsi A, Gomez-Ospina N, Chao HT, Mirzaa GM, Scheuerle AE, Kukolich MK, Scaglia F, Eng C, Willsey HR, Braun MC, Lamb DJ, Miller RK, Bekheirnia MR.

Genet Med. 2019 Dec;21(12):2755-2764. doi: 10.1038/s41436-019-0576-0. Epub 2019 Jul 2. ABSTRACT PURPOSE: Haploinsufficiency of DYRK1A causes a recognizable clinical syndrome. The goal of this paper is to investigate congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) and genital defects (GD) in patients with DYRK1A variants. METHODS: A large database of clinical exome sequencing (ES) was queried for de novo DYRK1A variants and CAKUT/GD phenotypes were characterized. Xenopus laevis (frog) was chosen as a model organism to assess Dyrk1a’s role in renal development. RESULTS: Phenotypic details and variants of 19 patients were compiled after an initial observation that one patient with a de novo pathogenic variant in DYRK1A had GD. CAKUT/GD data were available from 15 patients, 11 of whom presented with CAKUT/GD. Studies in Xenopus embryos demonstrated that knockdown of Dyrk1a, which is expressed in forming nephrons, disrupts the development of segments of embryonic nephrons, which ultimately give rise to the entire genitourinary (GU) tract. These defects could be rescued by coinjecting wild-type human DYRK1A RNA, but not with DYRK1AR205* or DYRK1AL245R RNA. CONCLUSION: Evidence supports routine GU screening of all individuals with de novo DYRK1A pathogenic variants to ensure optimized clinical management. Collectively, the reported clinical data and loss-of-function studies in Xenopus substantiate a novel role for DYRK1A in GU development. PMID:31263215 | PMC:PMC6895419 | DOI:10.1038/s41436-019-0576-0

July 3, 2019

Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing Has Clinical Utility in Children in the PICU

Sanford EF, Clark MM, Farnaes L, Williams MR, Perry JC, Ingulli EG, Sweeney NM, Doshi A, Gold JJ, Briggs B, Bainbridge MN, Feddock M, Watkins K, Chowdhury S, Nahas SA, Dimmock DP, Kingsmore SF, Coufal NG; RCIGM Investigators.

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2019 Nov;20(11):1007-1020. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000002056. ABSTRACT OBJECTIVES: Genetic disorders are a leading contributor to mortality in the neonatal ICU and PICU in the United States. Although individually rare, there are over 6,200 single-gene diseases, which may preclude a genetic diagnosis prior to ICU admission. Rapid whole genome sequencing is an emerging method of diagnosing genetic conditions in time to affect ICU management of neonates; however, its clinical utility has yet to be adequately demonstrated in critically ill children. This study evaluates next-generation sequencing in pediatric critical care. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Single-center PICU in a tertiary children’s hospital. PATIENTS: Children 4 months to 18 years admitted to the PICU who were nominated between July 2016 and May 2018. INTERVENTIONS: Rapid whole genome sequencing with targeted phenotype-driven analysis was performed on patients and their parents, when parental samples were available. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A molecular diagnosis was made by rapid whole genome sequencing in 17 of 38 children (45%). In four of the 17 patients (24%), the genetic diagnoses led to a change in management while in the PICU, including genome-informed changes in pharmacotherapy and transition to palliative care. Nine of the 17 diagnosed children (53%) had no dysmorphic features or developmental delay. Eighty-two percent of diagnoses affected the clinical management of the patient and/or family after PICU discharge, including avoidance of biopsy, administration of factor replacement, and surveillance for disorder-related sequelae. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates a retrospective evaluation for undiagnosed genetic disease in the PICU and clinical utility of rapid whole genome sequencing in a portion of critically ill children. Further studies are needed to identify PICU patients who will benefit from rapid whole genome sequencing early in PICU admission when the underlying etiology is unclear. PMID:31246743 | PMC:PMC6832787 | DOI:10.1097/PCC.0000000000002056

June 28, 2019
Infant MortalityrWGS

Neonatal diabetes mellitus due to a novel variant in the INS gene

Laurenzano SE, McFall C, Nguyen L, Savla D, Coufal NG, Wright MS, Tokita M, Dimmock D, Kingsmore SF, Newfield RS.

Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. 2019 Aug 1;5(4):a004085. doi: 10.1101/mcs.a004085. Print 2019 Aug. ABSTRACT Neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM) is a rare condition that presents with diabetes in the first few months of life. The treatment of NDM may differ depending on the genetic etiology, with numerous studies showing the benefit of sulfonylurea therapy in cases caused by mutations in KCNJ11 or ABCC8 Mutations in the insulin gene (INS) have also been identified as causes of NDM; these cases are generally best treated with insulin alone. We report a case of a female infant born small for gestational age (SGA) at late preterm diagnosed with NDM at 7 wk of life who was found by rapid whole-genome sequencing to harbor a novel de novo c.26C>G (p.Pro9Arg) variant in the INS gene. She presented with diabetic ketoacidosis, which responded to insulin therapy. She did not respond to empiric trial of sulfonylurea therapy early in her hospital course, and it was discontinued once a genetic diagnosis was made. Early genetic evaluation in patients presenting with NDM is essential to optimize therapeutic decision-making. PMID:31196892 | PMC:PMC6672029 | DOI:10.1101/mcs.a004085

June 15, 2019

Further phenotypic characterization of Kaufman oculocerebrofacial syndrome: report of five new cases and literature review

Galarreta CI, Wigby KM, Jones MC.

Clin Dysmorphol. 2019 Oct;28(4):175-183. doi: 10.1097/MCD.0000000000000282. ABSTRACT Kaufman oculocerebrofacial syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive disorder caused by biallelic variants in UBE3B. Kaufman oculocerebrofacial syndrome is characterized by a recognizable pattern of malformations including moderate to severe intellectual disability, growth deficiency, microcephaly and a distinctive facial gestalt. Common craniofacial features include short upslanting palpebral fissures, blepharophimosis or ptosis, ear anomalies, hearing loss, palate anomalies and stridor/laryngomalacia. The aim of this study was to describe the phenotypic features and the genotype of five new individuals from three unrelated families, and to review systematically the published information of 26 cases. The main features are summarized contributing to further characterize the natural history of the disease. Novel phenotypic features and two novel pathogenic variants in UBE3B are reported: A splice site variant (c.2569-1G > C) and a nonsense variant (c.518C > A, p.Ser173Ter). Kaufman oculocerebrofacial syndrome is likely an underdiagnosed disorder which can be clinically recognized based on its distinctive facial gestalt and relatively homogenous natural history. PMID:31162149 | DOI:10.1097/MCD.0000000000000282

June 5, 2019

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