Browsing by Subject "MUTATION"

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  • Chew, Tracy; Haase, Bianca; Bathgate, Roslyn; Willet, Cali E.; Kaukonen, Maria K.; Mascord, Lisa J.; Lohi, Hannes T.; Wade, Claire M. (2017)
    Progressive retinal atrophy is a common cause of blindness in the dog and affects >100 breeds. It is characterized by gradual vision loss that occurs due to the degeneration of photoreceptor cells in the retina. Similar to the human counterpart retinitis pigmentosa, the canine disorder is clinically and genetically heterogeneous and the underlying cause remains unknown for many cases. We use a positional candidate gene approach to identify putative variants in the Hungarian Puli breed using genotyping data of 14 family-based samples (CanineHD BeadChip array, Illumina) and whole-genome sequencing data of two proband and two parental samples (Illumina HiSeq 2000). A single nonsense SNP in exon 2 of BBS4 (c.58A > T, p.Lys20*) was identified following filtering of high quality variants. This allele is highly associated (P-CHISQ = 3.425e(-14), n = 103) and segregates perfectly with progressive retinal atrophy in the Hungarian Puli. In humans, BBS4 is known to cause Bardet-Biedl syndrome which includes a retinitis pigmentosa phenotype. From the observed coding change we expect that no functional BBS4 can be produced in the affected dogs. We identified canine phenotypes comparable with Bbs4-null mice including obesity and spermatozoa flagella defects. Knockout mice fail to form spermatozoa flagella. In the affected Hungarian Puli spermatozoa flagella are present, however a large proportion of sperm are morphologically abnormal and
  • Sagath, Lydia; Lehtokari, Vilma-Lotta; Wallgren-Pettersson, Carina; Pelin, Katarina; Kiiski, Kirsi (2022)
    The human genome contains repetitive regions, such as segmental duplications, known to be prone to copy number variation. Segmental duplications are highly identical and homologous sequences, posing a specific challenge for most mutation detection methods. The giant nebulin gene is expressed in skeletal muscle. It harbors a large segmental duplication region composed of eight exons repeated three times, the so-called triplicate region. Mutations in nebulin are known to cause nemaline myopathy and other congenital myopathies. Using our custom targeted Comparative Genomic Hybridization arrays, we have previously shown that copy number variations in the nebulin triplicate region are pathogenic when the copy number of the segmental duplication block deviates two or more copies from the normal number, which is three per allele. To complement our Comparative Genomic Hybridization arrays, we have established a custom Droplet Digital PCR method for the detection of copy number variations within the nebulin triplicate region. The custom Droplet Digital PCR assays allow sensitive, rapid, high-throughput, and cost-effective detection of copy number variations within this region and is ready for implementation a screening method for disease-causing copy number variations of the nebulin triplicate region. We suggest that Droplet Digital PCR may also be used in the study and diagnostics of other segmental duplication regions of the genome.
  • Hytönen, Marjo K.; Lohi, Hannes (2019)
    Hairlessness is a breed-specific feature selected for in some dog breeds but a rare abnormality in some others such as Scottish Deerhounds (SD). In SDs, the affected puppies are born with sparse hair but lose it within the first 2months leaving the dogs completely hairless. The previous studies have implicated variants in FOXI3 and SGK3 in hairlessness; however, the known variants do not explain hairlessness in all breeds such as SDs. We investigated the genetic cause in 66 SDs, including a litter with two hairless dogs. We utilized a combined approach of genome-wide homozygosity mapping and whole-genome sequencing of a hairless SD followed by recessive filtering according to a recessive model against 340 control genomes. Only two homozygous-coding variants were discovered in the homozygosity regions, including a 1-bp insertion in exon 2 of SGK3. This results in a predicted frameshift and very early truncation (49/490 amino acids) of the SGK3 protein. Additional screening of the recessive variant demonstrated a full segregation with the hairlessness and a 12% carrier frequency in the SD breed. The variant was not found in the related Irish Wolfhound breed. This study identifies the second hairless variant in the SGK3 gene in dogs and further highlights its role as a candidate gene for androgen-independent hair loss or alopecia in human.
  • Kyöstilä, Kaisa; Syrjä, Pernilla; Lappalainen, Anu K.; Arumilli, Meharji; Hundi, Sruthi; Karkamo, Veera; Viitmaa, Ranno; Hytönen, Marjo K.; Lohi, Hannes (2019)
    Inherited skeletal disorders affect both humans and animals. In the current study, we have performed series of clinical, pathological and genetic examinations to characterize a previously unreported skeletal disease in the Karelian Bear Dog (KBD) breed. The disease was recognized in seven KBD puppies with a variable presentation of skeletal hypomineralization, growth retardation, seizures and movement difficulties. Exome sequencing of one affected dog revealed a homozygous missense variant (c. 1301T > G; p. V434G) in the tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase gene, ALPL. The identified recessive variant showed full segregation with the disease in a cohort of 509 KBDs with a carrier frequency of 0.17 and was absent from 303 dogs from control breeds. In humans, recessive and dominant ALPL mutations cause hypophosphatasia (HPP), a metabolic bone disease with highly heterogeneous clinical manifestations, ranging from lethal perinatal hypomineralization to a relatively mild dental disease. Our study reports the first naturally occurring HPP in animals, resembling the human infantile form. The canine HPP model may serve as a preclinical model while a genetic test will assist in breeding programs.
  • Leeb, Tosso; Leuthard, Fabienne; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Kiener, Sarah; Letko, Anna; Roosje, Petra; Welle, Monika M.; Gailbreath, Katherine L.; Cannon, Andrea; Linek, Monika; Banovic, Frane; Olivry, Thierry; White, Stephen D.; Batcher, Kevin; Bannasch, Danika; Minor, Katie M.; Mickelson, James R.; Hytönen, Marjo K.; Lohi, Hannes; Mauldin, Elizabeth A.; Casal, Margret L. (2020)
    Cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) in humans encompasses multiple subtypes that exhibit a wide array of skin lesions and, in some cases, are associated with the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We investigated dogs with exfoliative cutaneous lupus erythematosus (ECLE), a dog-specific form of chronic CLE that is inherited as a monogenic autosomal recessive trait. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) with 14 cases and 29 controls confirmed a previously published result that the causative variant maps to chromosome 18. Autozygosity mapping refined the ECLE locus to a 493 kb critical interval. Filtering of whole genome sequence data from two cases against 654 controls revealed a single private protein-changing variant in this critical interval, UNC93B1:c.1438C>A or p.Pro480Thr. The homozygous mutant genotype was exclusively observed in 23 ECLE affected German Shorthaired Pointers and an ECLE affected Vizsla, but absent from 845 controls. UNC93B1 is a transmembrane protein located in the endoplasmic reticulum and endolysosomes, which is required for correct trafficking of several Toll-like receptors (TLRs). The p.Pro480Thr variant is predicted to affect the C-terminal tail of the UNC93B1 that has recently been shown to restrict TLR7 mediated autoimmunity via an interaction with syndecan binding protein (SDCBP). The functional knowledge on UNC93B1 strongly suggests that p.Pro480Thr is causing ECLE in dogs. These dogs therefore represent an interesting spontaneous model for human lupus erythematosus. Our results warrant further investigations of whether genetic variants affecting the C-terminus of UNC93B1 might be involved in specific subsets of CLE or SLE cases in humans and other species.
  • Bhutta, Mahmood F.; Lambie, Jane; Hobson, Lindsey; Goel, Anuj; Hafren, Lena; Einarsdottir, Elisabet; Mattila, Petri S.; Farrall, Martin; Brown, Steve; Burton, Martin J. (2017)
    Chronic otitis media with effusion (COME) is the most common cause of hearing loss in children, and known to have high heritability. Mutant mouse models have identified Fbxo11, Evi1, Tgif1, and Nisch as potential risk loci. We recruited children aged 10 and under undergoing surgical treatment for COME from 35 hospitals in the UK, and their nuclear family. We performed association testing with the loci FBXO11, EVI1, TGIF1 and NISCH and sought to replicate significant results in a case-control cohort from Finland. We tested 1296 families (3828 individuals), and found strength of association with the T allele at rs881835 (p = 0.006, OR 1.39) and the G allele at rs1962914 (p = 0.007, OR 1.58) at TGIF1, and the A allele at rs10490302 (p = 0.016, OR 1.17) and the G allele at rs2537742 (p = 0.038, OR 1.16) at FBXO11. Results were not replicated. This study supports smaller studies that have also suggested association of otitis media with polymorphism at FBX011, but this is the first study to report association with the locus TGIF1. Both FBX011 and TGIF1 are involved in TGF-beta signalling, suggesting this pathway may be important in the transition from acute to chronic middle ear inflammation, and a potential molecular target.
  • Kettunen, Jarno L. T.; Rantala, Elina; Dwivedi, Om P.; Isomaa, Bo; Sarelin, Leena; Kokko, Paula; Hakaste, Liisa; Miettinen, Päivi J.; Groop, Leif C.; Tuomi, Tiinamaija (2022)
    Aims/hypothesis Systematic studies on the phenotypic consequences of variants causal of HNF1A-MODY are rare. Our aim was to assess the phenotype of carriers of a single HNF1A variant and genetic and clinical factors affecting the clinical spectrum. Methods We conducted a family-based multigenerational study by comparing heterozygous carriers of the HNF1A p.(Gly292fs) variant with the non-carrier relatives irrespective of diabetes status. During more than two decades, 145 carriers and 131 non-carriers from 12 families participated in the study, and 208 underwent an OGTT at least once. We assessed the polygenic risk score for type 2 diabetes, age at onset of diabetes and measures of body composition, as well as plasma glucose, serum insulin, proinsulin, C-peptide, glucagon and NEFA response during the OGTT. Results Half of the carriers remained free of diabetes at 23 years, one-third at 33 years and 13% even at 50 years. The median age at diagnosis was 21 years (IQR 17-35). We could not identify clinical factors affecting the age at conversion; sex, BMI, insulin sensitivity or parental carrier status had no significant effect. However, for 1 SD unit increase of a polygenic risk score for type 2 diabetes, the predicted age at diagnosis decreased by 3.2 years. During the OGTT, the carriers had higher levels of plasma glucose and lower levels of serum insulin and C-peptide than the non-carriers. The carriers were also leaner than the non-carriers (by 5.0 kg, p=0.012, and by 2.1 kg/m(2) units of BMI, p=2.2 x 10(-4), using the first adult measurements) and, possibly as a result of insulin deficiency, demonstrated higher lipolytic activity (with medians of NEFA at fasting 621 vs 441 mu mol/l, p=0.0039; at 120 min during an OGTT 117 vs 64 mu mol/l, p=3.1 x 10(-5)). Conclusions/interpretation The most common causal variant of HNF1A-MODY, p.(Gly292fs), presents not only with hyperglycaemia and insulin deficiency, but also with increased lipolysis and markedly lower adult BMI. Serum insulin was more discriminative than C-peptide between carriers and non-carriers. A considerable proportion of carriers develop diabetes after young adulthood. Even among individuals with a monogenic form of diabetes, polygenic risk of diabetes modifies the age at onset of diabetes.
  • Mäkitie, R.E.; Pekkinen, M.; Morisada, N.; Kobayashi, D.; Yonezawa, Y.; Nishimura, G.; Ikegawa, S.; Mäkitie, O. (2021)
    Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) and other decreased bone density disorders comprise a heterogeneous group of heritable diseases with skeletal fragility. Recently, it was discovered that mutations in SGMS2, encoding sphingomyelin synthetase 2, result in aberrant sphingomyelin metabolism and lead to a novel form of OI termed osteoporosis with calvarial doughnut lesions (OP-CDL) with moderate to severe skeletal fragility and variable cranial hyperostotic lesions. This study describes a Japanese family with the skeletal phenotype of OP-CDL. The affected individuals have moderately severe, childhood-onset skeletal fragility with multiple long-bone fractures, scoliosis and bone deformities. In addition, they exhibit multiple CDLs or calvarial bumps with central radiolucency and peripheral radiopacity. However, SGMS2 sequencing was normal. Instead, whole-exome sequencing identified a novel IFITM5 missense mutation c.143A>G (p.N48S) (classified as a VUS by ACMG). IFITM5 encodes an osteoblast-restricted protein BRIL and a recurrent c.-14C>T mutation in its 5' UTR region results in OI type V, a distinctive subtype of OI associated with hyperplastic callus formation and ossification of the interosseous membranes. The patients described here have a phenotype clearly different from OI type V and with hyperostotic cranial lesions, feature previously unreported in association with IFITM5. Our findings expand the genetic spectrum of OP-CDL, indicate diverse phenotypic consequences of pathogenic IFITM5 variants, and imply an important role for BRIL in cranial skeletogenesis.
  • Kaukonen, Maria; Quintero, Ileana B.; Mukarram, Abdul Kadir; Hytönen, Marjo K.; Holopainen, Saila; Wickström, Kaisa; Kyöstilä, Kaisa; Arumilli, Meharji; Jalomäki, Sari; Daub, Carsten O.; Kere, Juha; Lohi, Hannes; Consortium, the DoGA (2020)
    Author summary Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a blinding eye disease that affects nearly two million people worldwide. Several genes and variants have been associated with the disease, but still 30-80% of the patients lack genetic diagnosis. There is currently no standard treatment for RP, and much is expected from gene therapy. A similar disease, called progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), affects many dog breeds. We performed clinical, genetic and functional analyses to find the genetic cause for PRA in Miniature Schnauzers. We discovered two forms of PRA in the breed, named type 1 and 2, and show that they are genetically distinct as they map to different chromosomes, 15 and X, respectively. Further genetic, bioinformatic and functional analyses discovered a fully penetrant recessive variant in a putative silencer region for type 1 PRA. Silencer regions are important for gene regulation and we found that two of its predicted target genes, EDN2 and COL9A2, were overexpressed in the retina of the affected dog. Defects in both EDN2 and COL9A2 have been associated with retinal degeneration. This study provides new insights to retinal biology while the genetic test guides better breeding choices. Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the leading cause of blindness with nearly two million people affected worldwide. Many genes have been implicated in RP, yet in 30-80% of the RP patients the genetic cause remains unknown. A similar phenotype, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), affects many dog breeds including the Miniature Schnauzer. We performed clinical, genetic and functional experiments to identify the genetic cause of PRA in the breed. The age of onset and pattern of disease progression suggested that at least two forms of PRA, types 1 and 2 respectively, affect the breed, which was confirmed by genome-wide association study that implicated two distinct genomic loci in chromosomes 15 and X, respectively. Whole-genome sequencing revealed a fully segregating recessive regulatory variant in type 1 PRA. The associated variant has a very recent origin based on haplotype analysis and lies within a regulatory site with the predicted binding site of HAND1::TCF3 transcription factor complex. Luciferase assays suggested that mutated regulatory sequence increases expression. Case-control retinal expression comparison of six best HAND1::TCF3 target genes were analyzed with quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR assay and indicated overexpression of EDN2 and COL9A2 in the affected retina. Defects in both EDN2 and COL9A2 have been previously associated with retinal degeneration. In summary, our study describes two genetically different forms of PRA and identifies a fully penetrant variant in type 1 form with a possible regulatory effect. This would be among the first reports of a regulatory variant in retinal degeneration in any species, and establishes a new spontaneous dog model to improve our understanding of retinal biology and gene regulation while the affected breed will benefit from a reliable genetic testing.
  • GEMSTONE Working Grp 3 COST Action; Formosa, Melissa M.; Bergen, Dylan J. M.; Gregson, Celia L.; Mäkitie, Outi (2021)
    Genetic disorders of the skeleton encompass a diverse group of bone diseases differing in clinical characteristics, severity, incidence and molecular etiology. Of particular interest are the monogenic rare bone mass disorders, with the underlying genetic defect contributing to either low or high bone mass phenotype. Extensive, deep phenotyping coupled with high-throughput, cost-effective genotyping is crucial in the characterization and diagnosis of affected individuals. Massive parallel sequencing efforts have been instrumental in the discovery of novel causal genes that merit functional validation using in vitro and ex vivo cell-based techniques, and in vivo models, mainly mice and zebrafish. These translational models also serve as an excellent platform for therapeutic discovery, bridging the gap between basic science research and the clinic. Altogether, genetic studies of monogenic rare bone mass disorders have broadened our knowledge on molecular signaling pathways coordinating bone development and metabolism, disease inheritance patterns, development of new and improved bone biomarkers, and identification of novel drug targets. In this comprehensive review we describe approaches to further enhance the innovative processes taking discoveries from clinic to bench, and then back to clinic in rare bone mass disorders. We highlight the importance of cross laboratory collaboration to perform functional validation in multiple model systems after identification of a novel disease gene. We describe the monogenic forms of rare low and high rare bone mass disorders known to date, provide a roadmap to unravel the genetic determinants of monogenic rare bone mass disorders using proper phenotyping and genotyping methods, and describe different genetic validation approaches paving the way for future treatments.
  • Sola-Carvajal, Agustin; Revechon, Gwladys; Helgadottir, Hafdis T.; Whisenant, Daniel; Hagblom, Robin; Döhla, Julia; Katajisto, Pekka; Brodin, David; Fagerstrom-Billai, Fredrik; Viceconte, Nikenza; Eriksson, Maria (2019)
    Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is the result of a defective form of the lamin A protein called progerin. While progerin is known to disrupt the properties of the nuclear lamina, the underlying mechanisms responsible for the pathophysiology of HGPS remain less clear. Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that progerin expression in murine epidermal basal cells results in impaired stratification and halted development of the skin. Stratification and differentiation of the epidermis is regulated by asymmetric stem cell division. Here, we show that expression of progerin impairs the ability of stem cells to maintain tissue homeostasis as a result of altered cell division. Quantification of basal skin cells showed an increase in symmetric cell division that correlated with progerin accumulation in HGPS mice. Investigation of the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon revealed a putative role of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. Further analysis suggested an alteration in the nuclear translocation of beta-catenin involving the inner and outer nuclear membrane proteins, emerin and nesprin-2. Taken together, our results suggest a direct involvement of progerin in the transmission of Wnt signaling and normal stem cell division. These insights into the molecular mechanisms of progerin may help develop new treatment strategies for HGPS.
  • Pilsworth, Jessica A.; Cochrane, Dawn R.; Neilson, Samantha J.; Moussavi, Bahar H.; Lai, Daniel; Munzur, Asli D.; Senz, Janine; Wang, Yi Kan; Zareian, Sina; Bashashati, Ali; Wong, Adele; Keul, Jacqueline; Staebler, Annette; van Meurs, Hannah S.; Horlings, Hugo M.; Kommoss, Stefan; Kommoss, Friedrich; Oliva, Esther; Färkkilä, Anniina E. M.; Gilks, Blake; Huntsman, David G. (2021)
    Adult-type granulosa cell tumors (aGCTs) account for 90% of malignant ovarian sex cord-stromal tumors and 2-5% of all ovarian cancers. These tumors are usually diagnosed at an early stage and are treated with surgery. However, one-third of patients relapse between 4 and 8 years after initial diagnosis, and there are currently no effective treatments other than surgery for these relapsed patients. As the majority of aGCTs (>95%) harbor a somatic mutation in FOXL2 (c.C402G; p.C134W), the aim of this study was to identify genetic mutations besides FOXL2 C402G in aGCTs that could explain the clinical diversity of this disease. Whole-genome sequencing of 10 aGCTs and their matched normal blood was performed to identify somatic mutations. From this analysis, a custom amplicon-based panel was designed to sequence 39 genes of interest in a validation cohort of 83 aGCTs collected internationally. KMT2D inactivating mutations were present in 10 of 93 aGCTs (10.8%), and the frequency of these mutations was similar between primary and recurrent aGCTs. Inactivating mutations, including a splice site mutation in candidate tumor suppressor WNK2 and nonsense mutations in PIK3R1 and NLRC5, were identified at a low frequency in our cohort. Missense mutations were identified in cell cycle-related genes TP53, CDKN2D, and CDK1. From these data, we conclude that aGCTs are comparatively a homogeneous group of tumors that arise from a limited set of genetic events and are characterized by the FOXL2 C402G mutation. Secondary mutations occur in a subset of patients but do not explain the diverse clinical behavior of this disease. As the FOXL2 C402G mutation remains the main driver of this disease, progress in the development of therapeutics for aGCT would likely come from understanding the functional consequences of the FOXL2 C402G mutation.
  • Llavona, Pablo; Pinelli, Michele; Mutarelli, Margherita; Singh Marwah, Veer; Schimpf-Linzenbold, Simone; Thaler, Sebastian; Yoeruek, Efdal; Vetter, Jan; Kohl, Susanne; Wissinger, Bernd (2017)
    Inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) are often associated with variable clinical expressivity (VE) and incomplete penetrance (IP). Underlying mechanisms may include environmental, epigenetic, and genetic factors. Cis-acting expression quantitative trait loci (cis-eQTLs) can be implicated in the regulation of genes by favoring or hampering the expression of one allele over the other. Thus, the presence of such loci elicits allelic expression imbalance (AEI) that can be traced by massive parallel sequencing techniques. In this study, we performed an AEI analysis on RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data, from 52 healthy retina donors, that identified 194 imbalanced single nucleotide polymorphisms(SNPs) in 67 IRD genes. Focusing on SNPs displaying AEI at a frequency higher than 10%, we found evidence of AEI in several IRD genes regularly associated with IP and VE (BEST1, RP1, PROM1, and PRPH2). Based on these SNPs commonly undergoing AEI, we performed pyrosequencing in an independent sample set of 17 healthy retina donors in order to confirm our findings. Indeed, we were able to validate CDHR1, BEST1, and PROM1 to be subjected to cis-acting regulation. With this work, we aim to shed light on differentially expressed alleles in the human retina transcriptome that, in the context of autosomal dominant IRD cases, could help to explain IP or VE.
  • Laaksovirta, Hannu; Launes, Jyrki; Jansson, Lilja; Traynor, Bryan J.; Kaivola, Karri; Tienari, Pentti J. (2022)
    Background and Objectives To analyze the frequencies of major genetic variants and the clinical features in Finnish patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with or without the C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion. Methods A cohort of patients with motor neuron disease was recruited between 1993 and 2020 at the Helsinki University Hospital and 2 second-degree outpatient clinics in Helsinki. Finnish ancestry patients with ALS fulfilled the diagnosis according to the revised El Escorial criteria and the Awaji-criteria. Two categories of familial ALS (FALS) were used. A patient was defined FALS-A if at least 1 first- or second-degree family member had ALS, and FALS-NP, if family members had additional neurologic or psychiatric endophenotypes. Results Of the 815 patients, 25% had FALS-A and 45% FALS-NP. C9orf72 expansion (C9pos) was found in 256 (31%) of all patients, in 58% of FALS-A category, in 48% of FALS-NP category, and in 23 or 17% of sporadic cases using the FALS-A or FALS-NP definition. C9pos or SOD1 p.D91A homozygosity was found in 328 (40%) of the 815 patients. We compared demographic and clinical characteristics between C9pos and patients with unknown cause of ALS (Unk). We found that the age at onset was significantly earlier and survival markedly shorter in the C9pos vs Unk patients with ALS. The shortest survival was found in bulbar-onset male C9pos patients, whereas the longest survival was found in Unk limb-onset males. Older age at onset associated consistently with shorter survival in C9pos and Unk patients in both limb-onset and bulbaronset groups. There were no significant differences in the frequencies of bulbar-onset and limbonset patients in C9pos and Unk groups. ALS-frontotemporal dementia (FTD) was more common in C9pos (17%) than in Unk (4%) patients, and of all patients with ALS-FTD, 70% were C9pos. Discussion These results provide further evidence for the short survival of C9orf72-associated ALS. A prominent role of the C9orf72 and SOD1 variants was found in the Finnish population. An unusually high frequency of C9pos was also found among patients with sporadic ALS. The enrichment of these 2 variants likely contributes to the high incidence of ALS in Finland.
  • Everson, Richard; Pettitt, Louise; Forman, Oliver P.; Dower-Tylee, Olivia; McLaughlin, Bryan; Ahonen, Saija; Kaukonen, Maria; Komaromy, Andras M.; Lohi, Hannes; Mellersh, Cathryn S.; Sansom, Jane; Ricketts, Sally L. (2017)
    The domestic dog segregates a significant number of inherited progressive retinal diseases, several of which mirror human retinal diseases and which are collectively termed progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). In 2014, a novel form of PRA was reported in the Swedish Vallhund breed, and the disease was mapped to canine chromosome 17. The causal mutation was not identified, but expression analyses of the retinas of affected Vallhunds demonstrated a 6-fold increased expression of the MERTK gene compared to unaffected dogs. Using 24 retinopathy cases and 97 controls with no clinical signs of retinopathy, we replicated the chromosome 17 association in Swedish Vallhunds from the UK and aimed to elucidate the causal variant underlying this association using whole genome sequencing (WGS) of an affected dog. This revealed a 6-8 kb insertion in intron 1 of MERTK that was not present in WGS of 49 dogs of other breeds. Sequencing and BLASTN analysis of the inserted segment was consistent with the insertion comprising a full-length intact LINE-1 retroelement. Testing of the LINE-1 insertion for association with retinopathy in the UK set of 24 cases and 97 controls revealed a strong statistical association (P-value 6.0 x 10(-11)) that was subsequently replicated in the original Finnish study set (49 cases and 89 controls (P-value 4.3 x 10(-19)). In a pooled analysis of both studies (73 cases and 186 controls), the LINE-1 insertion was associated with a similar to 20-fold increased risk of retinopathy (odds ratio 23.41, 95% confidence intervals 10.99-49.86, P-value 1.3 x 10(-27)). Our study adds further support for regulatory disruption of MERTK in Swedish Vallhund retinopathy; however, further work is required to establish a functional overexpression model. Future work to characterise the mechanism by which this intronic mutation disrupts gene regulation will further improve the understanding of MERTK biology and its role in retinal function.
  • Andersson, Noora; Haltia, Ulla-Maija; Färkkilä, Anniina; Wong, Swee Chong; Eloranta, Katja; Wilson, David B.; Unkila-Kallio, Leila; Pihlajoki, Marjut; Kyrönlahti, Antti; Heikinheimo, Markku (2022)
    Adult-type granulosa cell tumor (AGCT) is a rare ovarian malignancy characterized by slow growth and hormonal activity. The prognosis of AGCT is generally favorable, but one-third of patients with low-stage disease experience a late relapse, and over half of them die of AGCT. To identify markers that would distinguish patients at risk for relapse, we performed Lexogen QuantSeq 3 ' mRNA sequencing on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded, archival AGCT tissue samples tested positive for the pathognomonic Forkhead Box L2 (FOXL2) mutation. We compared the transcriptomic profiles of 14 non-relapsed archival primary AGCTs (follow-up time 17-26 years after diagnosis) with 13 relapsed primary AGCTs (follow-up time 1.7-18 years) and eight relapsed tumors (follow-up time 2.8-18.9 years). Non-relapsed and relapsed primary AGCTs had similar transcriptomic profiles. In relapsed tumors three genes were differentially expressed: plasmalemma vesicle associated protein (PLVAP) was upregulated (p = 0.01), whereas argininosuccinate synthase 1 (ASS1) (p = 0.01) and perilipin 4 (PLIN4) (p = 0.02) were downregulated. PLVAP upregulation was validated using tissue microarray RNA in situ hybridization. In our patient cohort with extremely long follow-up, we observed similar gene expression patterns in both primary AGCT groups, suggesting that relapse is not driven by transcriptomic changes. These results reinforce earlier findings that molecular markers do not predict AGCT behavior or risk of relapse.
  • Lek, Monkol; Karczewski, Konrad J.; Minikel, Eric V.; Samocha, Kaitlin E.; Banks, Eric; Fennell, Timothy; O'Donnell-Luria, Anne H.; Ware, James S.; Hill, Andrew J.; Cummings, Beryl B.; Tukiainen, Taru; Birnbaum, Daniel P.; Kosmicki, Jack A.; Duncan, Laramie E.; Estrada, Karol; Zhao, Fengmei; Zou, James; Pierce-Hollman, Emma; Berghout, Joanne; Cooper, David N.; Deflaux, Nicole; DePristo, Mark; Do, Ron; Flannick, Jason; Fromer, Menachem; Gauthier, Laura; Goldstein, Jackie; Gupta, Namrata; Howrigan, Daniel; Kiezun, Adam; Kurki, Mitja I.; Moonshine, Ami Levy; Natarajan, Pradeep; Orozeo, Lorena; Peloso, Gina M.; Poplin, Ryan; Rivas, Manuel A.; Ruano-Rubio, Valentin; Rose, Samuel A.; Ruderfer, Douglas M.; Shakir, Khalid; Stenson, Peter D.; Stevens, Christine; Thomas, Brett P.; Tiao, Grace; Tusie-Luna, Maria T.; Weisburd, Ben; Palotie, Aarno; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Daly, Mark J.; Exome Aggregation Consortium (2016)
    Large-scale reference data sets of human genetic variation are critical for the medical and functional interpretation of DNA sequence changes. Here we describe the aggregation and analysis of high-quality exome (protein-coding region) DNA sequence data for 60,706 individuals of diverse ancestries generated as part of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC). This catalogue of human genetic diversity contains an average of one variant every eight bases of the exome, and provides direct evidence for the presence of widespread mutational recurrence. We have used this catalogue to calculate objective metrics of pathogenicity for sequence variants, and to identify genes subject to strong selection against various classes of mutation; identifying 3,230 genes with near-complete depletion of predicted protein-truncating variants, with 72% of these genes having no currently established human disease phenotype. Finally, we demonstrate that these data can be used for the efficient filtering of candidate disease-causing variants, and for the discovery of human 'knockout' variants in protein-coding genes.
  • Pan, Bohu; Ren, Luyao; Onuchic, Vitor; Guan, Meijian; Kusko, Rebecca; Bruinsma, Steve; Trigg, Len; Scherer, Andreas; Ning, Baitang; Zhang, Chaoyang; Glidewell-Kenney, Christine; Xiao, Chunlin; Donaldson, Eric; Sedlazeck, Fritz J.; Schroth, Gary; Yavas, Gokhan; Grunenwald, Haiying; Chen, Haodong; Meinholz, Heather; Meehan, Joe; Wang, Jing; Yang, Jingcheng; Foox, Jonathan; Shang, Jun; Miclaus, Kelci; Dong, Lianhua; Shi, Leming; Mohiyuddin, Marghoob; Pirooznia, Mehdi; Gong, Ping; Golshani, Rooz; Wolfinger, Russ; Lababidi, Samir; Sahraeian, Sayed Mohammad Ebrahim; Sherry, Steve; Han, Tao; Chen, Tao; Shi, Tieliu; Hou, Wanwan; Ge, Weigong; Zou, Wen; Guo, Wenjing; Bao, Wenjun; Xiao, Wenzhong; Fan, Xiaohui; Gondo, Yoichi; Yu, Ying; Zhao, Yongmei; Su, Zhenqiang; Liu, Zhichao; Tong, Weida; Xiao, Wenming; Zook, Justin M.; Zheng, Yuanting; Hong, Huixiao (2022)
    Background: Reproducible detection of inherited variants with whole genome sequencing (WGS) is vital for the implementation of precision medicine and is a complicated process in which each step affects variant call quality. Systematically assessing reproducibility of inherited variants with WGS and impact of each step in the process is needed for understanding and improving quality of inherited variants from WGS. Results: To dissect the impact of factors involved in detection of inherited variants with WGS, we sequence triplicates of eight DNA samples representing two populations on three short-read sequencing platforms using three library kits in six labs and call variants with 56 combinations of aligners and callers. We find that bioinformatics pipelines (callers and aligners) have a larger impact on variant reproducibility than WGS platform or library preparation. Single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), particularly outside difficult-to-map regions, are more reproducible than small insertions and deletions (indels), which are least reproducible when > 5 bp. Increasing sequencing coverage improves indel reproducibility but has limited impact on SNVs above 30x. Conclusions: Our findings highlight sources of variability in variant detection and the need for improvement of bioinformatics pipelines in the era of precision medicine with WGS.