The objective was to test the hypothesis that a described association between homozygosity for a 50bp deletion in the SOD1 promoter 1684bp upstream of the SOD1 ATG and an increased age of onset in SALS can be replicated in additional SALS and control sample sets from other populations. Our second objective was to examine whether this deletion attenuates expression of the SOD1 gene. Genomic DNA from more than 1200 SALS cases from Ireland, Scotland, Quebec and the USA was genotyped for the 50bp SOD1 promoter deletion. Reporter gene expression analysis, electrophoretic mobility shift assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation studies were utilized to examine the functional effects of the deletion. The genetic association for homozygosity for the promoter deletion with an increased age of symptom onset was confirmed overall in this further study (p=0.032), although it was only statistically significant in the Irish subset, and remained highly significant in the combined set of all cohorts (p=0.001). Functional studies demonstrated that this polymorphism reduces the activity of the SOD1 promoter by approximately 50%. In addition we revealed that the transcription factor SP1 binds within the 50bp deletion region in vitro and in vivo. Our findings suggest the hypothesis that this deletion reduces expression of the SOD1 gene and that levels of the SOD1 protein may modify the phenotype of SALS within selected populations.
Uncertainty exists whether the 4154delA mutation of the BRCA1 gene detected in unrelated individuals from Latvia, Poland and Russia is a founder mutation with a common ancestral origin. To trace back this problem we analysed the mutation-associated haplotype of the BRCA1 intragenic SNPs as well as intragenic and nearby STR markers in mutation carriers from the aforementioned populations. The mutation-associated SNP alleles were found to be "T-A-A-A-A-G" for six intragenic SNPs of the BRCA1 gene (IVS8-58delT, 3232A/G, 3667A/G, IVS16-68A/G, IVS16-92A/G, IVS18+66G/A, respectively). The alleles 195, 154, 210 and 181 were found to be associated with the 4154delA mutation for STR markers D17S1325, D17S855, D17S1328 and D17S1320, correspondingly. Further analysis of markers in the 4154delA mutation carriers from all three populations allows us to assert that all analysed mutation carriers share a common ancestry.
The proportion of identifiable causes of familial thrombophilia has increased from 5-10% to 60-70% since the identification of activated protein C resistance (aPCR) in February 1993 by DahlbÃ¤ck et al. A mutation in the factor V gene (G-->A, 1691) leads to the so called Leiden mutation (R 506 Q) that produces a mutated factor V resistant to the catalytic action of activated protein C (aPC), yet normal in its procoagulant properties. This recently identified aPCR is in Nordic populations the most prevalent and well defined genetic defect associated with disease so far described. Its prevalence in the general population ranges from 0% to up to 15% and suggests that a positive genetic selection pressure has been involved. The aPCR phenotype can be assessed in vitro by measurement of the prolongation of the activated partial thromboplastin time in the presence of aPC, whereas the aPCR genotype is studied using polymerase chain reaction searching for the Arg to Gln mutation in the coagulation factor V gene. Some acquired conditions such as the presence of lupus anticoagulants, antiphospholipid antibodies, pregnancy, liver disease and contraceptives may lead into the aPCR phenotype. The aPCR search must be the initial step in the study of a patient with thrombophilia, either inherited or acquired aPCR together with protein C, protein S and antithrombin III explain 60 to 70% of cases of familial thrombophilia.
Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by a partial deficit of porphobilinogen deaminase (PBGD), the third of eight enzymes in the haem biosynthetic pathway. The overt disease is characterized by neuropsychiatric symptoms that are often triggered by exogenous factors such as certain drugs, stress, and alcohol. The aim of this work has been to identify the underlying genetic defect in each AIP-affected family in order to provide early counselling to assist in the avoidance of precipitating factors. The prevalence of AIP in Sweden is in the order of 1:10 000. The major mutation in Sweden, W198X, is due to a founder effect in the northern part of the country. This mutation, together with a further 11 mutations, have been reported previously. The present communication encompasses the great majority of AIP kindreds in Sweden and includes a further 27 mutations within the PBGD gene. This includes 14 completely new mutations, as well as 11 known mutations detected for the first time in Sweden. The majority of the mutations are located in exons 10 and 12 with fewer in exon 7. The clinical and biochemical outcomes in some patients are described. We also use the three-dimensional structure of the porphobilinogen deaminase enzyme to predict the possible molecular and functional consequences of the new Swedish missense and nonsense mutations.
Acute liver failure (ALF) is a life-threatening condition in the absence of preexisting liver disease in children. The main clinical presentation comprises hepatic dysfunction, elevated liver biochemical values, and coagulopathy. The etiology of ALF remains unclear in most affected children; however, the recent identification of mutations in the neuroblastoma amplified sequence (NBAS) gene in autosomal recessively inherited ALF has shed light on the cause of a subgroup of fever-triggered pediatric ALF episodes. Previously, biallelic mutations in NBAS have been reported to be associated with a syndrome comprising short stature, optic atrophy, and Pelger-Huët anomaly (SOPH) specifically occurring in the Yakut population. No hepatic phenotype has been observed in individuals with this disorder who all carry the homozygous NBAS founder mutation c.5741G>A [p.(Arg1914His)]. We present the case of a 4-year-old girl with the cardinal features of SOPH syndrome: characteristic facial dysmorphism, postnatal growth retardation, delay of bone age, slender long bones, optic atrophy, and Pelger-Huët anomaly. During the first 2 years of her life, a series of infections with episodes of fever were accompanied by elevated liver enzyme levels, but hyperammonemia, hypoglycemia, coagulopathy, or encephalopathy suggestive of acute and severe liver disease were never observed. Whole exome sequencing in the patient revealed compound heterozygosity of the 2 NBAS variants, p.(Arg1914His) and p.(Glu943*). This case highlights the variability of clinical presentation associated with NBAS deficiency. Absence of severe liver problems in this case and SOPH-affected Yakut subjects suggests that individuals carrying the NBAS missense mutation p.(Arg1914His) are less susceptible to developing ALF.
One third of families with classical adenomatous polyposis (FAP), and a majority of those with attenuated FAP (AFAP), remain APC mutation-negative by conventional methods. Our purpose was to clarify the genetic basis of polyposis and genotype-phenotype correlations in such families.
We studied a cohort of 29 adenomatous polyposis families that had screened APC mutation-negative by the protein truncation test, heteroduplex analysis, and exon-specific sequencing. The APC gene was investigated for large genomic rearrangements by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), and for allelic mRNA expression by single nucleotide primer extension (SNuPE). The AXIN2 gene was screened for mutations by sequencing.
Four families (14%) showed a constitutional deletion of the entire APC gene (three families) or a single exon (one family). Seven families (24%) revealed reduced or extinct mRNA expression from one APC allele in blood, accompanied by loss of heterozygosity in the APC region in six (75%) of eight tumors. In 15 families (52%), possible APC involvement could be neither confirmed nor excluded. Finally, as detailed elsewhere, three families (10%) had germline mutations in genes other than APC, AXIN2 in one family, and MYH in two families.
"APC mutation-negative" FAP is genetically heterogeneous, and a combination of MLPA and SNuPE is able to link a considerable proportion (38%) to APC. Significant differences were observed in clinical manifestations between subgroups, emphasizing the importance of accurate genetic and clinical characterization for the proper management of such families.
Given the greatly elevated risks of contralateral breast cancer (CBC) observed in breast cancer patients who carry mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, it is critical to determine the effectiveness of standard adjuvant therapies in preventing CBC in mutation carriers. The WECARE study is a matched, case-control study of 708 women with CBC as cases and 1,399 women with unilateral breast cancer (UBC) as controls, including 181 BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers. Interviews and medical record reviews provided detailed information on risk factors and breast cancer therapy. All study participants were screened for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) to detect genetic variants in the coding and flanking regions of the genes. Conditional logistic regression was used to compare the risk of CBC associated with chemotherapy and tamoxifen in BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers and non-carriers. Chemotherapy was associated with lower CBC risk both in non-carriers (RR = 0.6 [95% CI: 0.5-0.7]) and carriers (RR = 0.5 [95% CI: 0.2-1.0]; P value = 0.04). Tamoxifen was associated with a reduced CBC risk in non-carriers (RR = 0.7 [95% CI: 0.6-1.0]; P value = 0.03). We observed a similar but non-significant reduction associated with tamoxifen in mutation carriers (RR = 0.7 [95% CI: 0.3-1.8]). The tests of heterogeneity comparing carriers to non-carriers did not provide evidence for a difference in the associations with chemotherapy (P value = 0.51) nor with tamoxifen (P value = 0.15). Overall, we did not observe a difference in the relative risk reduction associated with adjuvant treatment between BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation carriers and non-carriers. However, given the higher absolute CBC risk in mutation carriers, the potentially greater impact of adjuvant therapy in reducing CBC risk among mutation carriers should be considered when developing treatment plans for these patients.
X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy is a peroxisomial disorder caused by mutations in the ABCD1 gene. Adrenomyeloneuropathy is the second most frequent phenotype (25-46%) of this disease and classically presents in adulthood with spastic paraparesis. Female heterozygotes can be symptomatic, but they are frequently misdiagnosed as having multiple sclerosis.
We report a novel missense mutation in the ABCD1 gene in a 47-year-old French-Canadian female with spastic paraparesis and no confirmed family history of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. The mutation is located on exon 1 and causes the amino acid substitution of a valine for an alanine in a region of the protein highly conserved between mouse and man.
Adrenomyeloneuropathy must be considered in the differential diagnosis of spastic paraparesis in men or women. This is an initial report of an ABCD1 gene mutation in the French-Canadian population, which should lead to the recognition of other cases in the future.
Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) represents a large group of clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorders linked to over 70 different loci and more than 60 recognized disease-causing genes. A heightened vulnerability to disruption of various cellular processes inherent to the unique function and morphology of corticospinal neurons may account, at least in part, for the genetic heterogeneity.
Whole exome sequencing was utilized to identify candidate genetic variants in a four-generation Siberian kindred that includes nine individuals showing clinical features of HSP. Segregation of candidate variants within the family yielded a disease-associated mutation. Functional as well as in-silico structural analyses confirmed the selected candidate variant to be causative.
Nine known patients had young-adult onset of bilateral slowly progressive lower-limb spasticity, weakness and hyperreflexia progressing over two-to-three decades to wheel-chair dependency. In the advanced stage of the disease, some patients also had distal wasting of lower leg muscles, pes cavus, mildly decreased vibratory sense in the ankles, and urinary urgency along with electrophysiological evidence of a mild distal motor/sensory axonopathy. Molecular analyses uncovered a missense c.2155C > T, p.R719W mutation in the highly conserved GTP-effector domain of dynamin 2. The mutant DNM2 co-segregated with HSP and affected endocytosis when expressed in HeLa cells. In-silico modeling indicated that this HSP-associated dynamin 2 mutation is located in a highly conserved bundle-signaling element of the protein while dynamin 2 mutations associated with other disorders are located in the stalk and PH domains; p.R719W potentially disrupts dynamin 2 assembly.
This is the first report linking a mutation in dynamin 2 to a HSP phenotype. Dynamin 2 mutations have previously been associated with other phenotypes including two forms of Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy and centronuclear myopathy. These strikingly different pathogenic effects may depend on structural relationships the mutations disrupt. Awareness of this distinct association between HSP and c.2155C > T, p.R719W mutation will facilitate ascertainment of additional DNM2 HSP families and will direct future research toward better understanding of cell biological processes involved in these partly overlapping clinical syndromes.
To describe an unusual kindred with adult-onset ataxia and thalamic lesions detected by brain MRI.
The authors characterized clinical, laboratory, and pathologic features of the disease and sought linkage to previously recognized ataxia loci.
Two sisters and a brother developed progressive ataxia, dysarthria, mild cognitive impairment, and sensorimotor neuropathy at age 30, combined with epilepsy in one sibling. MRI showed symmetric thalamic lesions, changes in brainstem gray matter, and white matter changes in the cerebellum. Autopsy in one of the patients revealed neuronal degeneration with a peculiar vacuolar change in thalamus, probably representing transsynaptic degeneration in response to deafferentation. Neuronal and secondary tract degeneration was observed in the spinal cord, cerebellum, and brainstem suggesting a spinocerebellar degeneration. The disorder appears to be transmitted as an autosomal recessive trait. Genetic and sequence analysis of the FRDA gene and comprehensive laboratory examinations excluded Friedreich's ataxia and other similar recessive diseases.
Adult-onset recessive ataxia with bilateral thalamic lesions in this family may represent a distinct hereditary spinocerebellar ataxia.