Expanding the phenotype of ASXL3-related syndrome: A comprehensive description of 45 unpublished individuals with inherited and de novo pathogenic variants in ASXL3
The study aimed at widening the clinical and genetic spectrum of ASXL3-related syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder, caused by truncating variants in the ASXL3 gene. In this international collaborative study, we have undertaken a detailed clinical and molecular analysis of 45 previously unpublished individuals with ASXL3-related syndrome, as well as a review of all previously published individuals. We have reviewed the rather limited functional characterization of pathogenic variants in ASXL3 and discuss current understanding of the consequences of the different ASXL3 variants. In this comprehensive analysis of ASXL3-related syndrome, we define its natural history and clinical evolution occurring with age. We report familial ASXL3 pathogenic variants, characterize the phenotype in mildly affected individuals and discuss nonpenetrance. We also discuss the role of missense variants in ASXL3. We delineate a variable but consistent phenotype. The most characteristic features are neurodevelopmental delay with consistently limited speech, significant neuro-behavioral issues, hypotonia, and feeding difficulties. Distinctive features include downslanting palpebral fissures, hypertelorism, tubular nose with a prominent nasal bridge, and low-hanging columella. The presented data will inform clinical management of individuals with ASXL3-related syndrome and improve interpretation of new ASXL3 sequence variants.
PPP3CA truncating variants clustered in the regulatory domain cause early-onset refractory epilepsy
PPP3CA encodes the catalytic subunit of calcineurin, a calcium-calmodulin-regulated serine-threonine phosphatase. Loss-of-function (LoF) variants in the catalytic domain have been associated with epilepsy, while gain-of-function (GoF) variants in the auto-inhibitory domain cause multiple congenital abnormalities. We herein report five new patients with de novo PPP3CA variants. Interestingly, the two frameshift variants in this study and the six truncating variants reported previously are all located within a 26-amino acid region in the regulatory domain (RD). Patients with a truncating variant had more severe earlier onset seizures compared to patients with a LoF missense variant, while autism spectrum disorder was a more frequent feature in the latter. Expression studies of a truncating variant showed apparent RNA expression from the mutant allele, but no detectable mutant protein. Our data suggest that PPP3CA truncating variants clustered in the RD, causing more severe early-onset refractory epilepsy and representing a type of variants distinct from LoF or GoF missense variants.
A synonymous variant in MYO15A enriched in the Ashkenazi Jewish population causes autosomal recessive hearing loss due to abnormal splicing
Nonsyndromic hearing loss is genetically heterogeneous. Despite comprehensive genetic testing, many cases remain unsolved because the clinical significance of identified variants is uncertain or because biallelic pathogenic variants are not identified for presumed autosomal recessive cases. Common synonymous variants are often disregarded. Determining the pathogenicity of synonymous variants may improve genetic diagnosis. We report a synonymous variant c.9861â€‰Câ€‰>â€‰T/p.(Gly3287=) in MYO15A in homozygosity or compound heterozygosity with another pathogenic or likely pathogenic MYO15A variant in 10 unrelated families with nonsyndromic sensorineural hearing loss. Biallelic variants in MYO15A were identified in 21 affected and were absent in 22 unaffected siblings. A mini-gene assay confirms that the synonymous variant leads to abnormal splicing. The variant is enriched in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. Individuals carrying biallelic variants involving c.9861â€‰Câ€‰>â€‰T often exhibit progressive post-lingual hearing loss distinct from the congenital profound deafness typically associated with biallelic loss-of-function MYO15A variants. This study establishes the pathogenicity of the c.9861â€‰Câ€‰>â€‰T variant in MYO15A and expands the phenotypic spectrum of MYO15A-related hearing loss. Our work also highlights the importance of multicenter collaboration and data sharing to establish the pathogenicity of a relatively common synonymous variant for improved diagnosis and management of hearing loss.
CDK19-related disorder results from both loss-of-function and gain-of-function de novo missense variants
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:To expand the recent description of a new neurodevelopmental syndrome related to alterations in CDK19. METHODS:. RESULTS:We describe 11 unrelated individuals (age range: 9 months to 14 years) with de novo missense variants mapped to the kinase domain of CDK19, including two recurrent changes at residues Tyr32 and Gly28. In vitro autophosphorylation and substrate phosphorylation assays revealed that kinase activity of protein was lower for p.Gly28Arg and higher for p.Tyr32His substitutions compared with that of the wild-type protein. Injection of CDK19 messenger RNA (mRNA) with either the Tyr32His or the Gly28Arg variants using in vivo zebrafish model significantly increased fraction of embryos with morphological abnormalities. Overall, the phenotype of the now 14 individuals with CDK19-related disorder includes universal developmental delay and facial dysmorphism, hypotonia (79%), seizures (64%), ophthalmologic anomalies (64%), and autism/autistic traits (56%). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:CDK19 de novo missense variants are responsible for a novel neurodevelopmental disorder. Both kinase assay and zebrafish experiments showed that the pathogenetic mechanism may be more diverse than previously thought.
Severe epileptic encephalopathy associated with compound heterozygosity of THG1L variants in the Ashkenazi Jewish population [Case Report]
THG1L-associated autosomal recessive ataxia belongs to a group of disorders that occur due to abnormal mitochondrial tRNA modification. The product of THG1L is the tRNA-histidine guanylyltransferase 1-like enzyme that catalyzes the 3'-5"addition of guanine to the 5"-end of tRNA-histidine in the mitochondrion. To date, five individuals with homozygosity for p.(Val55Ala) in THG1L have been reported and presented with mild delays or normal development and cerebellar dysfunction. We present seven individuals with biallelic variants in THG1L. Three individuals were compound heterozygous for the p.(Cys51Trp) and p.(Val55Ala) variants and presented with profound developmental delays, microcephaly, intractable epilepsy, and cerebellar hypoplasia. Four siblings were homozygous for the p.(Val55Ala) variant and presented with cerebellar ataxia with cerebellar vermis hypoplasia, dysarthria, mild developmental delays, and normal/near-normal cognition. All seven patients were of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Carrier rates for the two variants were calculated in a cohort of 26,731 Ashkenazi Jewish individuals tested by the Dor Yeshorim screening program. The p.(Cys51Trp) variant is novel and was found in 40 of the Ashkenazi Jewish individuals tested, with a carrier rate of 1 in 668 (0.15%). The p.(Val55Ala) variant was found in 229 of the Ashkenazi Jewish individuals tested, with a carrier rate of 1 in 117 (0.85%). The individuals with compound heterozygosity of the p.(Val55Ala) and p.(Cys51Trp) variants expand the phenotypic spectrum of THG1L-related disorders to include severe epileptic encephalopathy. The individuals with homozygosity of the p.(V55A) variant further establish the associated mild and slowly progressive or nonprogressive neurodevelopmental phenotype.
Rare deleterious mutations of HNRNP genes result in shared neurodevelopmental disorders
BACKGROUND:With the increasing number of genomic sequencing studies, hundreds of genes have been implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). The rate of gene discovery far outpaces our understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations, with clinical characterization remaining a bottleneck for understanding NDDs. Most disease-associated Mendelian genes are members of gene families, and we hypothesize that those with related molecular function share clinical presentations. METHODS:We tested our hypothesis by considering gene families that have multiple members with an enrichment of de novo variants among NDDs, as determined by previous meta-analyses. One of these gene families is the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs), which has 33 members, five of which have been recently identified as NDD genes (HNRNPK, HNRNPU, HNRNPH1, HNRNPH2, and HNRNPR) and two of which have significant enrichment in our previous meta-analysis of probands with NDDs (HNRNPU and SYNCRIP). Utilizing protein homology, mutation analyses, gene expression analyses, and phenotypic characterization, we provide evidence for variation in 12 HNRNP genes as candidates for NDDs. Seven are potentially novel while the remaining genes in the family likely do not significantly contribute to NDD risk. RESULTS:We report 119 new NDD cases (64 de novo variants) through sequencing and international collaborations and combined with published clinical case reports. We consider 235 cases with gene-disruptive single-nucleotide variants or indels and 15 cases with small copy number variants. Three hnRNP-encoding genes reach nominal or exome-wide significance for de novo variant enrichment, while nine are candidates for pathogenic mutations. Comparison of HNRNP gene expression shows a pattern consistent with a role in cerebral cortical development with enriched expression among radial glial progenitors. Clinical assessment of probands (nâ€‰=â€‰188-221) expands the phenotypes associated with HNRNP rare variants, and phenotypes associated with variation in the HNRNP genes distinguishes them as a subgroup of NDDs. CONCLUSIONS:Overall, our novel approach of exploiting gene families in NDDs identifies new HNRNP-related disorders, expands the phenotypes of known HNRNP-related disorders, strongly implicates disruption of the hnRNPs as a whole in NDDs, and supports that NDD subtypes likely have shared molecular pathogenesis. To date, this is the first study to identify novel genetic disorders based on the presence of disorders in related genes. We also perform the first phenotypic analyses focusing on related genes. Finally, we show that radial glial expression of these genes is likely critical during neurodevelopment. This is important for diagnostics, as well as developing strategies to best study these genes for the development of therapeutics.
EIF3F-related neurodevelopmental disorder: refining the phenotypic and expanding the molecular spectrum
BACKGROUND:An identical homozygous missense variant in EIF3F, identified through a large-scale genome-wide sequencing approach, was reported as causative in nine individuals with a neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by variable intellectual disability, epilepsy, behavioral problems and sensorineural hearing-loss. To refine the phenotypic and molecular spectrum of EIF3F-related neurodevelopmental disorder, we examined independent patients. RESULTS:21 patients were homozygous and one compound heterozygous for c.694T>G/p.(Phe232Val) in EIF3F. Haplotype analyses in 15 families suggested that c.694T>G/p.(Phe232Val) was a founder variant. All affected individuals had developmental delays including delayed speech development. About half of the affected individuals had behavioral problems, altered muscular tone, hearing loss, and short stature. Moreover, this study suggests that microcephaly, reduced sensitivity to pain, cleft lip/palate, gastrointestinal symptoms and ophthalmological symptoms are part of the phenotypic spectrum. Minor dysmorphic features were observed, although neither the individuals' facial nor general appearance were obviously distinctive. Symptoms in the compound heterozygous individual with an additional truncating variant were at the severe end of the spectrum in regard to motor milestones, speech delay, organic problems and pre- and postnatal growth of body and head, suggesting some genotype-phenotype correlation. CONCLUSIONS:Our study refines the phenotypic and expands the molecular spectrum of EIF3F-related syndromic neurodevelopmental disorder.
Germline AGO2 mutations impair RNA interference and human neurological development
ARGONAUTE-2 and associated miRNAs form the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), which targets mRNAs for translational silencing and degradation as part of the RNA interference pathway. Despite the essential nature of this process for cellular function, there is little information on the role of RISC components in human development and organ function. We identify 13 heterozygous mutations in AGO2 in 21 patients affected by disturbances in neurological development. Each of the identified single amino acid mutations result in impaired shRNA-mediated silencing. We observe either impaired RISC formation or increased binding of AGO2 to mRNA targets as mutation specific functional consequences. The latter is supported by decreased phosphorylation of a C-terminal serine cluster involved in mRNA target release, increased formation of dendritic P-bodies in neurons and global transcriptome alterations in patient-derived primary fibroblasts. Our data emphasize the importance of gene expression regulation through the dynamic AGO2-RNA association for human neuronal development.
Genotype-phenotype correlation at codon 1740 of SETD2
The SET domain containing 2, histone lysine methyltransferase encoded by SETD2 is a dual-function methyltransferase for histones and microtubules and plays an important role for transcriptional regulation, genomic stability, and cytoskeletal functions. Specifically, SETD2 is associated with trimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 36 (H3K36me3) and methylation of Î±-tubulin at lysine 40. Heterozygous loss of function and missense variants have previously been described with Luscan-Lumish syndrome (LLS), which is characterized by overgrowth, neurodevelopmental features, and absence of overt congenital anomalies. We have identified 15 individuals with de novo variants in codon 1740 of SETD2 whose features differ from those with LLS. Group 1 consists of 12 individuals with heterozygous variant c.5218C>T p.(Arg1740Trp) and Group 2 consists of 3 individuals with heterozygous variant c.5219G>A p.(Arg1740Gln). The phenotype of Group 1 includes microcephaly, profound intellectual disability, congenital anomalies affecting several organ systems, and similar facial features. Individuals in Group 2 had moderate to severe intellectual disability, low normal head circumference, and absence of additional major congenital anomalies. While LLS is likely due to loss of function of SETD2, the clinical features seen in individuals with variants affecting codon 1740 are more severe suggesting an alternative mechanism, such as gain of function, effects on epigenetic regulation, or posttranslational modification of the cytoskeleton. Our report is a prime example of different mutations in the same gene causing diverging phenotypes and the features observed in Group 1 suggest a new clinically recognizable syndrome uniquely associated with the heterozygous variant c.5218C>T p.(Arg1740Trp) in SETD2.
De Novo Variants in the ATPase Module of MORC2 Cause a Neurodevelopmental Disorder with Growth Retardation and Variable Craniofacial Dysmorphism
MORC2 encodes an ATPase that plays a role in chromatin remodeling, DNA repair, and transcriptional regulation. Heterozygous variants in MORC2 have been reported in individuals with autosomal-dominant Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2Z and spinal muscular atrophy, and the onset of symptoms ranges from infancy to the second decade of life. Here, we present a cohort of 20 individuals referred for exome sequencing who harbor pathogenic variants in the ATPase module of MORC2. Individuals presented with a similar phenotype consisting of developmental delay, intellectual disability, growth retardation, microcephaly, and variable craniofacial dysmorphism. Weakness, hyporeflexia, and electrophysiologic abnormalities suggestive of neuropathy were frequently observed but were not the predominant feature. Five of 18 individuals for whom brain imaging was available had lesions reminiscent of those observed in Leigh syndrome, and five of six individuals who had dilated eye exams had retinal pigmentary abnormalities. Functional assays revealed that these MORC2 variants result in hyperactivation of epigenetic silencing by the HUSH complex, supporting their pathogenicity. The described set of morphological, growth, developmental, and neurological findings and medical concerns expands the spectrum of genetic disorders resulting from pathogenic variants in MORC2.