Browsing by Subject "gene variants"

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  • 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.
  • Vanharanta, Lauri; Peränen, Johan; Pfisterer, Simon G.; Enkavi, Giray; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Ikonen, Elina (2020)
    Abstract The human Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) gene encoding a 1278 amino acid protein is very heterogeneous. While some variants represent benign polymorphisms, NPC disease carriers and patients may possess rare variants, whose functional importance remains unknown. An NPC1 cDNA construct known as NPC1 wild-type variant (WT-V), distributed between laboratories and used as a WT control in several studies, also contains changes regarding specific amino acids compared to the NPC1 Genbank reference sequence. To improve the dissection of subtle functional differences, we generated human cells stably expressing NPC1 variants from the AAVS1 safe-harbor locus on an NPC1-null background engineered by CRISPR/Cas9 editing. We then employed high-content imaging with automated image analysis to quantitatively assess LDL-induced, time-dependent changes in lysosomal cholesterol content and lipid droplet formation. Our results indicate that the L472P change present in NPC1 WT-V compromises NPC1 functionality in lysosomal cholesterol export. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the L472P change alters the relative position of the NPC1 middle and the C-terminal luminal domains, disrupting the recently characterized cholesterol efflux tunnel. These results reveal functional defects in NPC1 WT-V and highlight the strength of simulations and quantitative imaging upon stable protein expression in elucidating subtle differences in protein function.
  • Vanharanta, Lauri; Peränen, Johan; Pfisterer, Simon; Enkavi, Giray; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Ikonen, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The human Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) gene encoding a 1278 amino acid protein is very heterogeneous. While some variants represent benign polymorphisms, NPC disease carriers and patients may possess rare variants, whose functional importance remains unknown. An NPC1 cDNA construct known as NPC1 wild-type variant (WT-V), distributed between laboratories and used as a WT control in several studies, also contains changes regarding specific amino acids compared to the NPC1 Genbank reference sequence. To improve the dissection of subtle functional differences, we generated human cells stably expressing NPC1 variants from the AAVS1 safe-harbor locus on an NPC1-null background engineered by CRISPR/Cas9 editing. We then employed high-content imaging with automated image analysis to quantitatively assess LDL-induced, time-dependent changes in lysosomal cholesterol content and lipid droplet formation. Our results indicate that the L472P change present in NPC1 WT-V compromises NPC1 functionality in lysosomal cholesterol export. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the L472P change alters the relative position of the NPC1 middle and the C-terminal luminal domains, disrupting the recently characterized cholesterol efflux tunnel. These results reveal functional defects in NPC1 WT-V and highlight the strength of simulations and quantitative imaging upon stable protein expression in elucidating subtle differences in protein function.