Autosomal recessive cutis laxa (ARCL) type 2 constitutes a heterogeneous group of diseases mainly characterized by lax and wrinkled skin, skeletal anomalies, and a variable degree of intellectual disability. ALDH18A1-related ARCL is the most severe form within this disease spectrum. Here we report on the clinical and molecular findings of two affected individuals from two unrelated families. The patients presented with typical features of de Barsy syndrome and an overall progeroid appearance. However, the phenotype was highly variable including cardiovascular involvement in the more severe case. Investigation of a skin biopsy of one patient revealed not only the typical alterations of elastic fibers, but also an altered structure of mitochondria in cutaneous fibroblasts. Using conventional sequencing and copy number analysis we identified a frameshift deletion of one nucleotide and a microdeletion affecting the ALDH18A1 gene, respectively, in a homozygous state in both patients. Expression analysis in dermal fibroblasts from the patient carrying the microdeletion showed an almost complete absence of the ALDH18A1 mRNA resulting in an absence of the ALDH18A1 protein. So far, only 13 affected individuals from seven unrelated families suffering from ALDH18A1-related cutis laxa have been described in literature. Our findings provide new insights into the clinical spectrum and show that beside point mutations microdeletions are a possible cause of ALDH18A1-ARCL.
Ritscher-Schinzel syndrome (RSS)/3C (cranio-cerebro-cardiac) syndrome (OMIM#220210) is a rare and clinically heterogeneous developmental disorder characterized by intellectual disability, cerebellar brain malformations, congenital heart defects, and craniofacial abnormalities. A recent study of a Canadian cohort identified homozygous sequence variants in the KIAA0196 gene, which encodes the WASH complex subunit strumpellin, as a cause for a form of RSS/3C syndrome. We have searched for genetic causes of a phenotype similar to RSS/3C syndrome in an Austrian family with two affected sons. To search for disease-causing variants, whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed on samples from two affected male children and their parents. Before WES, CGH array comparative genomic hybridization was applied. Validation of WES and segregation studies was done using routine Sanger sequencing. Exome sequencing detected a missense variant (c.1670A>G; p.(Tyr557Cys)) in exon 15 of the CCDC22 gene, which maps to chromosome Xp11.23. Western blots of immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from the affected individual showed decreased expression of CCDC22 and an increased expression of WASH1 but a normal expression of strumpellin and FAM21 in the patients cells. We identified a variant in CCDC22 gene as the cause of an X-linked phenotype similar to RSS/3C syndrome in the family described here. A hypomorphic variant in CCDC22 was previously reported in association with a familial case of syndromic X-linked intellectual disability, which shows phenotypic overlap with RSS/3C syndrome. Thus, different inactivating variants affecting CCDC22 are associated with a phenotype similar to RSS/3C syndrome.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 11 June 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.109.
Autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 2B (ARCL2B; OMIM # 612940) is a segmental progeroid disorder caused by mutations in PYCR1 encoding pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase 1, which is part of the conserved proline de novo synthesis pathway. Here we describe 33 patients with PYCR1-related ARCL from 27 families with initial diagnoses varying between wrinkly skin syndrome, gerodermia osteodysplastica, De Barsy syndrome or more severe progeria syndromes. Given the difficult differential diagnosis of ARCL syndromes we performed a systematic comparison of clinical features of PYCR1-related ARCL. Intrauterine growth retardation, a characteristic triangular facial gestalt, psychomotor retardation, and hypotonia were the most relevant distinctive hallmarks of ARCL due to proline de novo synthesis defects. Corneal clouding or cataracts, athetoid movements, and finger contractures were rather rare features, but had a high predictive value. In our cohort we identified 20 different PYCR1 mutations of which seven were novel. Most of the mutations accumulated in exons 4 to 6. Missense alterations of highly conserved residues were most frequent followed by splice site changes and a single nonsense mutation. Analysis of genotype-phenotype correlation revealed that patients with mutations in the first two exons had lower average clinical scores and absent or only mild intellectual disability. Structural analyses predicted interference with PYCR1 multimerization for a subset of missense mutations. These findings have implications for the clinics as well as the pathomechanism of PYCR1-related ARCL.
Human Autosomal Recessive Osteopetrosis (ARO) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder caused by reduced bone resorption by osteoclasts. In 2000, we found that mutations in the TCIRG1 gene encoding for a subunit of the proton pump (V-ATPase) are responsible for more than one-half of ARO cases. Since then, five additional genes have been demonstrated to be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease, leaving approximately 25% of cases that could not be associated with a genotype. Very recently, a mutation in the sorting nexin 10 (SNX10) gene, whose product is suggested to interact with the proton pump, has been found in 3 consanguineous families of Palestinian origin, thus adding a new candidate gene in patients not previously classified. Here we report the identification of 9 novel mutations in this gene in 14 ARO patients from 12 unrelated families of different geographic origin. Interestingly, we define the molecular defect in three cases of "Västerbottenian osteopetrosis," named for the Swedish Province where a higher incidence of the disease has been reported. In our cohort of more than 310 patients from all over the world, SNX10-dependent ARO constitutes 4% of the cases, with a frequency comparable to the receptor activator of NF-?B ligand (RANKL), receptor activator of NF-?B (RANK) and osteopetrosis-associated transmembrane protein 1 (OSTM1)-dependent subsets. Although the clinical presentation is relatively variable in severity, bone seems to be the only affected tissue and the defect can be almost completely rescued by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). These results confirm the involvement of the SNX10 gene in human ARO and identify a new subset with a relatively favorable prognosis as compared to TCIRG1-dependent cases. Further analyses will help to better understand the role of SNX10 in osteoclast physiology and verify whether this protein might be considered a new target for selective antiresorptive therapies.
Autosomal recessive osteopetrosis (ARO) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder attributed to reduced bone resorption by osteoclasts. Most human AROs are classified as osteoclast rich, but recently two subsets of osteoclast-poor ARO have been recognized as caused by defects in either TNFSF11 or TNFRSF11A genes, coding the RANKL and RANK proteins, respectively. The RANKL/RANK axis drives osteoclast differentiation and also plays a role in the immune system. In fact, we have recently reported that mutations in the TNFRSF11A gene lead to osteoclast-poor osteopetrosis associated with hypogammaglobulinemia. Here we present the characterization of five additional unpublished patients from four unrelated families in which we found five novel mutations in the TNFRSF11A gene, including two missense and two nonsense mutations and a single-nucleotide insertion. Immunological investigation in three of them showed that the previously described defect in the B cell compartment was present only in some patients and that its severity seemed to increase with age and the progression of the disease. HSCT performed in all five patients almost completely cured the disease even when carried out in late infancy. Hypercalcemia was the most important posttransplant complication. Overall, our results further underline the heterogeneity of human ARO also deriving from the interplay between bone and the immune system, and highlight the prognostic and therapeutic implications of the molecular diagnosis.
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