Several copy number variants have been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders and these variants have been shown to also influence cognitive abilities in carriers unaffected by psychiatric disorders. Previously, we associated the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion with specific learning disabilities and a larger corpus callosum. Here we investigate, in a much larger sample, the effect of the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion on cognitive, structural and functional correlates of dyslexia and dyscalculia. We report that the deletion confers greatest risk of the combined phenotype of dyslexia and dyscalculia. We also show that the deletion associates with a smaller left fusiform gyrus. Moreover, tailored functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments using phonological lexical decision and multiplication verification tasks demonstrate altered activation in the left fusiform and the left angular gyri in carriers. Thus, by using convergent evidence from neuropsychological testing, and structural and functional neuroimaging, we show that the 15q11.2(BP1-BP2) deletion affects cognitive, structural and functional correlates of both dyslexia and dyscalculia.
Andermann syndrome or Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum with Polyneuropathy (MIM 218000) is an autosomal recessive disease almost exclusively found in Québec. Only few cases have been reported in other populations. The locus for Andermann syndrome was assigned to chromosome 15q13-q15 in French Canadian families. We performed a haplotype analysis with two markers of this chromosomal region in an Algerian consanguineous family with two affected sibs. The children were homozygous for both markers, suggesting genetic homogeneity in Andermann syndrome.
Aspartylglucosaminuria (AGU) was diagnosed in two unrelated males with progressive mental retardation, coarse facies and skeletal abnormalities. Until now, this disorder has been described in predominantly Finnish populations with only one previous case reported in the U.S. We conclude that AGU may be more common in non-Finnish populations than the number of reported cases would indicate and should be included in the differential diagnosis in patients with suspected lysosomal storage disorders regardless of their geographical or ethnic backgrounds.
Mental retardation is a prominent feature of many neurodevelopmental syndromes. In an attempt to identify genetic components of these illnesses, we isolated and sequenced a large number of human genomic cosmid inserts containing large trinucleotide repeats. One of these cosmids, Cos-4, maps to the X-chromosome and contains the sequence of a 7.3-kb mRNA. Initial polymorphism analysis across a region of repetitive DNA in this gene revealed a rare 12-bp exonic variation (
The ubiquitin fold modifier 1 (UFM1) cascade is a recently identified evolutionarily conserved ubiquitin-like modification system whose function and link to human disease have remained largely uncharacterized. By using exome sequencing in Finnish individuals with severe epileptic syndromes, we identified pathogenic compound heterozygous variants in UBA5, encoding an activating enzyme for UFM1, in two unrelated families. Two additional individuals with biallelic UBA5 variants were identified from the UK-based Deciphering Developmental Disorders study and one from the Northern Finland Intellectual Disability cohort. The affected individuals (n = 9) presented in early infancy with severe irritability, followed by dystonia and stagnation of development. Furthermore, the majority of individuals display postnatal microcephaly and epilepsy and develop spasticity. The affected individuals were compound heterozygous for a missense substitution, c.1111G>A (p.Ala371Thr; allele frequency of 0.28% in Europeans), and a nonsense variant or c.164G>A that encodes an amino acid substitution p.Arg55His, but also affects splicing by facilitating exon 2 skipping, thus also being in effect a loss-of-function allele. Using an in vitro thioester formation assay and cellular analyses, we show that the p.Ala371Thr variant is hypomorphic with attenuated ability to transfer the activated UFM1 to UFC1. Finally, we show that the CNS-specific knockout of Ufm1 in mice causes neonatal death accompanied by microcephaly and apoptosis in specific neurons, further suggesting that the UFM1 system is essential for CNS development and function. Taken together, our data imply that the combination of a hypomorphic p.Ala371Thr variant in trans with a loss-of-function allele in UBA5 underlies a severe infantile-onset encephalopathy.
Cites: Mol Cell. 2014 Oct 23;56(2):261-7425219498
Cites: Annu Rev Biochem. 2012;81:323-5722404627
Cites: Nat Genet. 1999 Sep;23(1):99-10310471508
Cites: Nature. 2012 Nov 1;491(7422):56-6523128226
Cites: Hum Mutat. 2015 Oct;36(10):928-3026220891
Cites: Nat Genet. 2015 Nov;47(11):1363-926437029
Cites: Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun. 2014 Aug;70(Pt 8):1093-725084390
There are at least five distinct Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) loci, four of which have been mapped: 11q (BBS1), 16q (BBS2), 3p (BBS3), and 15q (BBS4). A comparative study of the three Arab-Bedouin kindreds used to map the BBS2, BBS3, and BBS4 loci suggests that the variability in the number and severity of clinical manifestations, particularly the pattern of polydactyly, reflects chromosome-specific subtypes of BBS [Carmi et al., 1995a; Am J Med Genet 59:199-203]. We describe a Newfoundland kindred of northern European descent and confirm the initial finding of a BBS locus on chromosome 3. However, the "BBS3 phenotype," which includes polydactyly of all four limbs and a progression to morbid obesity, was not observed. Rather, four of the five BBS patients in this family had polydactyly restricted to their feet. The obesity in these patients was reversible with caloric restriction and/or exercise. Mental retardation has been considered a major symptom of BBS. However, formal IQ testing shows that these patients are of average intelligence. Haplotype analysis reduces the BBS3 critical region to a 6-cM interval between D3S1595-D3S1753.
We identified six patients presenting with a strikingly similar clinical phenotype of profound syndromic intellectual disability of unknown etiology. All patients lived in the same village. Extensive genealogical work revealed that the healthy parents of the patients were all distantly related to a common ancestor from the 17th century, suggesting autosomal recessive inheritance. In addition to intellectual disability, the clinical features included hypotonia, strabismus, difficulty to fix the eyes to an object, planovalgus in the feet, mild contractures in elbow joints, interphalangeal joint hypermobility and coarse facial features that develop gradually during childhood. The clinical phenotype did not fit any known syndrome. Genome-wide SNP genotyping of the patients and genetic mapping revealed the longest shared homozygosity at 3p22.1-3p21.1 encompassing 11.5 Mb, with no other credible candidate loci emerging. Single point parametric linkage analysis showed logarithm of the odds score of 11 for the homozygous region, thus identifying a novel intellectual disability predisposition locus. Whole-genome sequencing of one affected individual pinpointed three genes with potentially protein damaging homozygous sequence changes within the predisposition locus: transketolase (TKT), prolyl 4-hydroxylase transmembrane (P4HTM), and ubiquitin specific peptidase 4 (USP4). The changes were found in heterozygous form with 0.3-0.7% allele frequencies in 402 whole-genome sequenced controls from the north-east of Finland. No homozygotes were found in this nor additional control data sets. Our study facilitates clinical and molecular diagnosis of patients with this novel autosomal recessive intellectual disability syndrome. However, further studies are needed to unambiguously identify the underlying genetic defect.