GNE myopathy is a rare autosomal recessive muscle disease caused by mutations in GNE, the gene encoding the rate-limiting enzyme in sialic acid biosynthesis. GNE myopathy usually manifests in early adulthood with distal myopathy that progresses slowly and symmetrically, first involving distal muscles of the lower extremities, followed by proximal muscles with relative sparing of the quadriceps. Upper extremities are typically affected later in the disease. We report a patient with GNE myopathy who presented with asymmetric hand weakness. He had considerably decreased left grip strength, atrophy of the left anterior forearm and fibro-fatty tissue replacement of left forearm flexor muscles on T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. The patient was an endoscopist and thus the asymmetric hand involvement may be associated with left hand overuse in daily repetitive pinching and gripping movements, highlighting the possible impact of environmental factors on the progression of genetic muscle conditions.
OPA3-related 3-methylglutaconic aciduria, or Costeff Optic Atrophy syndrome, is a neuro-ophthalmologic syndrome of early-onset bilateral optic atrophy and later-onset spasticity, and extrapyramidal dysfunction. Urinary excretion of 3-methylglutaconic acid and of 3-methylglutaric acid is markedly increased. OPA3-related 3-methylglutaconic aciduria is due to mutations in the OPA3 gene located at 19q13.2-13.3. Here we describe two siblings with novel compound heterozygous variants in OPA3: c.1A>G (p.1M>V) in the translation initiation codon in exon 1 and a second variant, c.142+5G>C in intron 1. On cDNA sequencing the c.1A>G appeared homozygous, indicating that the allele without the c.1A>G variant is degraded. This is likely due to an intronic variant; possibly the IVS1+5 splice site variant. The older female sibling initially presented with motor developmental delay and vertical nystagmus during her first year of life and was diagnosed subsequently with optic atrophy. Her brother presented with mildly increased hip muscle tone followed by vertical nystagmus within the first 6 months of life, and was found to have elevated urinary excretion of 3-methylglutaconic acid and 3-methylglutaric acid, and optic atrophy by 1.5 years of age. Currently, ages 16 and 7, both children exhibit ataxic gaits and dysarthric speech. Immunofluorescence studies on patient's cells showed fragmented mitochondrial morphology. Thus, though the exact function of OPA3 remains unknown, our experimental results and clinical summary provide evidence for the pathogenicity of the identified OPA3 variants and provide further evidence for a mitochondrial pathology in this disease.
Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) is the most common childhood-onset ciliopathy. As treatments improve, more women are reaching reproductive age, but little is known about ARPKD and pregnancy.
The GNE gene encodes the rate-limiting, bifunctional enzyme of sialic acid biosynthesis, uridine diphosphate-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase (GNE). Biallelic GNE mutations underlie GNE myopathy, an adult-onset progressive myopathy. GNE myopathy-associated GNE mutations are predominantly missense, resulting in reduced, but not absent, GNE enzyme activities. The exact pathomechanism of GNE myopathy remains unknown, but likely involves aberrant (muscle) sialylation. Here, we summarize 154 reported and novel GNE variants associated with GNE myopathy, including 122 missense, 11 nonsense, 14 insertion/deletions, and seven intronic variants. All variants were deposited in the online GNE variation database (http://www.dmd.nl/nmdb2/home.php?select_db=GNE). We report the predicted effects on protein function of all variants well as the predicted effects on epimerase and/or kinase enzymatic activities of selected variants. By analyzing exome sequence databases, we identified three frequently occurring, unreported GNE missense variants/polymorphisms, important for future sequence interpretations. Based on allele frequencies, we estimate the world-wide prevalence of GNE myopathy to be ?4-21/1,000,000. This previously unrecognized high prevalence confirms suspicions that many patients may escape diagnosis. Awareness among physicians for GNE myopathy is essential for the identification of new patients, which is required for better understanding of the disorder's pathomechanism and for the success of ongoing treatment trials.
UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase is the key enzyme of sialic acid biosynthesis in vertebrates. It catalyzes the first two steps of the cytosolic formation of CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid from UDP-N-acetylglucosamine. In this review we give an overview of structure, biochemistry, and genetics of the bifunctional enzyme and its complex regulation. Furthermore, we will focus on diseases related to UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase.
Neutrophils are the predominant phagocytes that provide protection against bacterial and fungal infections. Genetically determined neutrophil disorders confer a predisposition to severe infections and reveal novel mechanisms that control vesicular trafficking, hematopoiesis, and innate immunity.
UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase/ManNAc 6-kinase (GNE) is a bifunctional enzyme responsible for the first committed steps in the synthesis of sialic acid, a common terminal monosaccharide in both protein and lipid glycosylation. GNE mutations are responsible for a rare autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder, GNE myopathy (also called hereditary inclusion body myopathy). The connection between the impairment of sialic acid synthesis and muscle pathology in GNE myopathy remains poorly understood.
Two syndromic cognitive impairment disorders have very similar craniofacial dysmorphisms. One is caused by mutations of SATB2, a transcription regulator and the other by heterozygous mutations leading to premature stop codons in UPF3B, encoding a member of the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay complex. Here we demonstrate that the products of these two causative genes function in the same pathway. We show that the SATB2 nonsense mutation in our patient leads to a truncated protein that localizes to the nucleus, forms a dimer with wild-type SATB2 and interferes with its normal activity. This suggests that the SATB2 nonsense mutation has a dominant negative effect. The patients leukocytes had significantly decreased UPF3B mRNA compared to controls. This effect was replicated both in vitro, where siRNA knockdown of SATB2 in HEK293 cells resulted in decreased UPF3B expression, and in vivo, where embryonic tissue of Satb2 knockout mice showed significantly decreased Upf3b expression. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrates that SATB2 binds to the UPF3B promoter, and a luciferase reporter assay confirmed that SATB2 expression significantly activates gene transcription using the UPF3B promoter. These findings indicate that SATB2 activates UPF3B expression through binding to its promoter. This study emphasizes the value of recognizing disorders with similar clinical phenotypes to explore underlying mechanisms of genetic interaction.
Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is a rare genetic disorder of melanin synthesis that results in hypopigmented hair, skin, and eyes. There are four types of OCA caused by mutations in TYR (OCA-1), OCA2 (OCA-2), TYRP1 (OCA-3), or SLC45A2 (OCA-4). Here we report 22 novel mutations in the OCA genes; 14 from a cohort of 61 patients seen as part of the NIH OCA Natural History Study and eight from a prior study at the University of Minnesota. We also include a comprehensive list of almost 600 previously reported OCA mutations along with ethnicity information, carrier frequencies, and in silico pathogenicity predictions as a supplement. In addition to discussing the clinical and molecular features of OCA, we address the cases of apparent missing heritability. In our cohort, 26% of patients did not have two mutations in a single OCA gene. We demonstrate the utility of multiple detection methods to reveal mutations missed by Sanger sequencing. Finally, we review the TYR p.R402Q temperature-sensitive variant and confirm its association with cases of albinism with only one identifiable TYR mutation.
BEACH (named after Beige and Chediak-Higashi) is a conserved ?280 residue domain, present in nine human BEACH domain containing proteins (BDCPs). Most BDCPs are large, containing a PH-like domain for membrane association preceding their BEACH domain, and containing WD40 and other domains for ligand binding. Recent studies found that mutations in individual BDCPs cause several human diseases. BDCP alterations affect lysosome size (LYST and NSMAF), apoptosis (NSMAF), autophagy (LYST, WDFY3, LRBA), granule size (LYST, NBEAL2, NBEA) or synapse formation (NBEA). However, the roles of each BDCP in these membrane events remain controversial. After reviewing studies on individual BDCPs, we propose a unifying hypothesis that BDCPs act as scaffolding proteins that facilitate membrane events, including both fission and fusion, determined by their binding partners. BDCPs may also bind each other, enabling fusion or fission of vesicles that are not necessarily of the same type. Such mechanisms explain why different BDCPs may have roles in autophagy; each BDCP is specific for the cell type or the cargo, but not necessarily specific for attaching to the autophagosome. Further elucidation of these mechanisms, preferably carrying out the same experiment on multiple BDCPs, and possibly using patients cells, may identify potential targets for therapy.
Elevated serum vitamin D with hypercalciuria can result in nephrocalcinosis and nephrolithiasis. This study evaluated the cause of excess 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (1?,25(OH)2D3) in the development of those disorders in two individuals.
The RAB27A/Melanophilin/Myosin-5a tripartite protein complex is required for capturing mature melanosomes in the peripheral actin network of melanocytes for subsequent transfer to keratinocytes. Mutations in any one member of this tripartite complex cause three forms of Griscelli syndrome (GS), each with distinct clinical features but with a similar cellular phenotype. To date, only one case of GS type III (GSIII), caused by mutations in the Melanophilin (MLPH) gene, has been reported. Here, we report seven new cases of GSIII in three distinct Arab pedigrees. All affected individuals carried a homozygous missense mutation (c.102C>T; p.R35W), located in the conserved Slp homology domain of MLPH, and had hypomelanosis of the skin and hair. We report the first cellular studies on GSIII melanocytes, which demonstrated that MLPH(R35W) causes perinuclear aggregation of melanosomes in melanocytes, typical for GS. Additionally, co-immunoprecipitation assays showed that MLPH(R35W) lost its interaction with RAB27A, indicating pathogenicity of the R35W mutation.
UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase/ManNAc kinase (GNE) catalyzes the first two committed steps in sialic acid synthesis. In addition to the three previously described human GNE isoforms (hGNE1-hGNE3), our database and polymerase chain reaction analysis yielded five additional human isoforms (hGNE4-hGNE8). hGNE1 is the ubiquitously expressed major isoform, while the hGNE2-hGNE8 isoforms are differentially expressed and may act as tissue-specific regulators of sialylation. hGNE2 and hGNE7 display a 31-residue N-terminal extension compared to hGNE1. On the basis of similarities to kinases and helicases, this extension does not seem to hinder the epimerase enzymatic active site. hGNE3 and hGNE8 contain a 55-residue N-terminal deletion and a 50-residue N-terminal extension compared to hGNE1. The size and secondary structures of these fragments are similar, and modeling predicted that these modifications do not affect the overall fold compared to that of hGNE1. However, the epimerase enzymatic activity of GNE3 and GNE8 is likely absent, because the deleted fragment contains important substrate binding residues in homologous bacterial epimerases. hGNE5-hGNE8 have a 53-residue deletion, which was assigned a role in substrate (UDP-GlcNAc) binding. Deletion of this fragment likely eliminates epimerase enzymatic activity. Our findings imply that GNE is subject to evolutionary mechanisms to improve cellular functions, without increasing the number of genes. Our expression and modeling data contribute to elucidation of the complex functional and regulatory mechanisms of human GNE and may contribute to further elucidating the pathology and treatment strategies of the human GNE-opathies sialuria and hereditary inclusion body myopathy.
Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) is an autosomal recessive condition characterized by a bleeding diathesis and hypopigmentation of the skin, hair, and eyes. Some HPS patients develop other complications such as granulomatous colitis and/or fatal pulmonary fibrosis. Eight genes have been associated with this condition, resulting in subtypes HPS-1 through HPS-8. The HPS gene products are involved in the biogenesis of specialized lysosome-related organelles such as melanosomes and platelet delta granules. HPS1 and HPS4 form a stable complex named biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex (BLOC)-3, and patients with BLOC-3 or AP-3 deficiency develop pulmonary fibrosis. Therefore, it is important to subtype each HPS patient. HPS type 1 (HPS-1) occurs frequently on the island of Puerto Rico because of a founder mutation. Here, we describe seven mutations, six of which, to our knowledge, are previously unreported in the HPS1, HPS4, and HPS5 genes among patients of Mexican, Uruguayan, Honduran, Cuban, Venezuelan, and Salvadoran ancestries. Our findings demonstrate that the diagnosis of HPS should be considered in Hispanic patients with oculocutaneous albinism and bleeding symptoms. Moreover, such patients should not be assumed to have the HPS-1 subtype typical of northwest Puerto Rican patients. We recommend molecular HPS subtyping in such cases, as it may have significant implications for prognosis and intervention.
We evaluated a 32-year-old woman whose oculocutaneous albinism (OCA), bleeding diathesis, neutropenia, and history of recurrent infections prompted consideration of the diagnosis of Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome type 2. This was ruled out because of the presence of platelet ?-granules and absence of AP3B1 mutations. As parental consanguinity suggested an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, we employed homozygosity mapping, followed by whole-exome sequencing, to identify two candidate disease-causing genes, SLC45A2 and G6PC3. Conventional dideoxy sequencing confirmed pathogenic mutations in SLC45A2, associated with OCA type 4 (OCA-4), and G6PC3, associated with neutropenia. The substantial reduction of SLC45A2 protein in the patients melanocytes caused the mislocalization of tyrosinase from melanosomes to the plasma membrane and also led to the incorporation of tyrosinase into exosomes and secretion into the culture medium, explaining the hypopigmentation in OCA-4. Our patients G6PC3 mRNA expression level was also reduced, leading to increased apoptosis of her fibroblasts under endoplasmic reticulum stress. To our knowledge, this report describes the first North American patient with OCA-4, the first culture of human OCA-4 melanocytes, and the use of homozygosity mapping, followed by whole-exome sequencing, to identify disease-causing mutations in multiple genes in a single affected individual.
Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) is a complex neurobehavioral disorder characterized by multiple congenital anomalies. The syndrome is primarily ascribed to a ?3.7 Mb de novo deletion on chromosome 17p11.2. Haploinsufficiency of multiple genes likely underlies the complex clinical phenotype. RAI1 (Retinoic Acid Induced 1) is recognized as a major gene involved in the SMS phenotype. Extensive genetic and clinical analyses of 36 patients with SMS-like features, but without the 17p11.2 microdeletion, yielded 10 patients with RAI1 variants, including 4 with de novo deleterious mutations, and 6 with novel missense variants, 5 of which were familial. Haplotype analysis showed two major RAI1 haplotypes in our primarily Caucasian cohort; the novel RAI1 variants did not occur in a preferred haplotype. RNA analysis revealed that RAI1 mRNA expression was significantly decreased in cells of patients with the common 17p11.2 deletion, as well as in those with de novo RAI1 variants. Expression levels varied in patients with familial RAI1 variants and in non-17p11.2 deleted patients without identified RAI1 defects. No correlation between SNP haplotype and RAI1 expression was found. Two clinical features, ocular abnormalities and polyembolokoilomania (object insertion), were significantly correlated with decreased RAI1 expression. While not significantly correlated, the presence of hearing loss, seizures, hoarse voice, childhood onset of obesity and specific behavioral aspects and the absence of immunologic abnormalities and cardiovascular or renal structural anomalies, appeared to be specific for the de novo RAI1 subgroup. Recognition of the combination of these features will assist in referral for RAI1 analysis of patients with SMS-like features without detectable microdeletion of 17p11.2. Moreover, RAI1 expression emerged as a genetic target for development of therapeutic interventions for SMS.
Hereditary inclusion body myopathy (HIBM) is an autosomal recessive adult-onset myopathy due to mutations in the GNE (UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase) gene. Affected patients have no therapeutic options. We have previously demonstrated in preclinical testing the ability to safely correct GNE gene function through liposomal delivery of the wild-type GNE gene. Results were verified in a single patient treated by intravenous infusion of GNE gene lipoplex. A single patient (patient 001) with severe HIBM treated with a compassionate investigational new drug received seven doses of GNE gene lipoplex via intravenous infusion at the following doses: 0.4, 0.4, 1.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, and 7.0?mg of DNA. GNE transgene expression, downstream induction of sialic acid, safety, and muscle function were evaluated. Transient low-grade fever, myalgia, tachycardia, transaminase elevation, hyponatremia, and hypotension were observed after infusion of each dose of GNE gene lipoplex. Quadriceps muscle expression of the delivered GNE, plasmid, and RNA was observed 24?hr after the 5.0-mg dose and at significantly greater levels 72?hr after the 7.0-mg infusion in comparison with expression in quadriceps muscle immediately before infusion. Sialic acid-related proteins were increased and stabilization in the decline of muscle strength was observed. We conclude that clinical safety and activity have been demonstrated with intravenous infusion of GNE gene lipoplex. Further assessment will involve a phase I trial of intravenous administration of GNE gene lipoplex in individuals with less advanced HIBM with more muscle function.
Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS) is an autosomal-recessive condition characterized by oculocutaneous albinism and a bleeding diathesis due to absent platelet delta granules. HPS is a genetically heterogeneous disorder of intracellular vesicle biogenesis. We first screened all our patients with HPS-like symptoms for mutations in the genes responsible for HPS-1 through HPS-6 and found no functional mutations in 38 individuals. We then examined all eight genes encoding the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex-1, or BLOC-1, proteins in these individuals. This identified a homozygous nonsense mutation in PLDN in a boy with characteristic features of HPS. PLDN is mutated in the HPS mouse model pallid and encodes the protein pallidin, which interacts with the early endosomal t-SNARE syntaxin-13. We could not detect any full-length pallidin in our patients cells despite normal mRNA expression of the mutant transcript. We could detect an alternative transcript that would skip the exon that harbored the mutation, but we demonstrate that if this transcript is translated into protein, although it correctly localizes to early endosomes, it does not interact with syntaxin-13. In our patients melanocytes, the melanogenic protein TYRP1 showed aberrant localization, an increase in plasma-membrane trafficking, and a failure to reach melanosomes, explaining the boys severe albinism and establishing his diagnosis as HPS-9.
Intravenous vascular access is technically challenging in the adult mouse and even more challenging in neonatal mice. The authors describe the technique of retro-orbital injection of the venous sinus in the adult and neonatal mouse. This technique is a useful alternative to tail vein injection for the administration of non-tumorigenic compounds. The authors report that they have routinely used this technique in the adult mouse to administer volumes up to 150 ?l without incident. Administration of retro-orbital injections is more challenging in neonatal mice but can reliably deliver volumes up to 10 ?l.
We used exome sequencing to identify the genetic basis of combined malonic and methylmalonic aciduria (CMAMMA). We sequenced the exome of an individual with CMAMMA and followed up with sequencing of eight additional affected individuals (cases). This included one individual who was identified and diagnosed by searching an exome database. We identify mutations in ACSF3, encoding a putative methylmalonyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA synthetase as a cause of CMAMMA. We also examined a canine model of CMAMMA, which showed pathogenic mutations in a predicted ACSF3 ortholog. ACSF3 mutant alleles occur with a minor allele frequency of 0.0058 in ?1,000 control individuals, predicting a CMAMMA population incidence of ?1:30,000. ACSF3 deficiency is the first human disorder identified as caused by mutations in a gene encoding a member of the acyl-CoA synthetase family, a diverse group of evolutionarily conserved proteins, and may emerge as one of the more common human metabolic disorders.
Gray platelet syndrome (GPS) is an autosomal recessive bleeding disorder that is characterized by large platelets that lack ?-granules. Here we show that mutations in NBEAL2 (neurobeachin-like 2), which encodes a BEACH/ARM/WD40 domain protein, cause GPS and that megakaryocytes and platelets from individuals with GPS express a unique combination of NBEAL2 transcripts. Proteomic analysis of sucrose-gradient subcellular fractions of platelets indicated that NBEAL2 localizes to the dense tubular system (endoplasmic reticulum) in platelets.
Gray platelet syndrome (GPS) is an inherited bleeding disorder characterized by macrothrombocytopenia and absence of platelet ?-granules resulting in typical gray platelets on peripheral smears. GPS is associated with a bleeding tendency, myelofibrosis, and splenomegaly. Reports on GPS are limited to case presentations. The causative gene and underlying pathophysiology are largely unknown. We present the results of molecular genetic analysis of 116 individuals including 25 GPS patients from 14 independent families as well as novel clinical data on the natural history of the disease. The mode of inheritance was autosomal recessive (AR) in 11 and indeterminate in 3 families. Using genome-wide linkage analysis, we mapped the AR-GPS gene to a 9.4-Mb interval on 3p21.1-3p22.1, containing 197 protein-coding genes. Sequencing of 1423 (69%) of the 2075 exons in the interval did not identify the GPS gene. Long-term follow-up data demonstrated the progressive nature of the thrombocytopenia and myelofibrosis of GPS resulting in fatal hemorrhages in some patients. We identified high serum vitamin B(12) as a consistent, novel finding in GPS. Chromosome 3p21.1-3p22.1 has not been previously linked to a platelet disorder; identification of the GPS gene will likely lead to the discovery of novel components of platelet organelle biogenesis. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00069680 and NCT00369421.
Costeff Syndrome, which is caused by mutations in the OPTIC ATROPHY 3 (OPA3) gene, is an early-onset syndrome characterized by urinary excretion of 3-methylglutaconic acid (MGC), optic atrophy and movement disorders, including ataxia and extrapyramidal dysfunction. The OPA3 protein is enriched in the inner mitochondrial membrane and has mitochondrial targeting signals, but a requirement for mitochondrial localization has not been demonstrated. We find zebrafish opa3 mRNA to be expressed in the optic nerve and retinal layers, the counterparts of which in humans have high mitochondrial activity. Transcripts of zebrafish opa3 are also expressed in the embryonic brain, inner ear, heart, liver, intestine and swim bladder. We isolated a zebrafish opa3 null allele for which homozygous mutants display increased MGC levels, optic nerve deficits, ataxia and an extrapyramidal movement disorder. This correspondence of metabolic, ophthalmologic and movement abnormalities between humans and zebrafish demonstrates a phylogenetic conservation of OPA3 function. We also find that delivery of exogenous Opa3 can reduce increased MGC levels in opa3 mutants, and this reduction requires the mitochondrial localization signals of Opa3. By manipulating MGC precursor availability, we infer that elevated MGC in opa3 mutants derives from extra-mitochondrial HMG-CoA through a non-canonical pathway. The opa3 mutants have normal mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation profiles, but are nonetheless sensitive to inhibitors of the electron transport chain, which supports clinical recommendations that individuals with Costeff Syndrome avoid mitochondria-damaging agents. In summary, this paper introduces a faithful Costeff Syndrome model and demonstrates a requirement for mitochondrial OPA3 to limit HMG-CoA-derived MGC and protect the electron transport chain against inhibitory compounds.
Chediak-Higashi syndrome (CHS) is a rare autosomal recessive disease characterized by variable oculocutaneous albinism, immunodeficiency, mild bleeding diathesis, and an accelerated lymphoproliferative state. Abnormal lysosome-related organelle membrane function leads to the accumulation of large intracellular vesicles in several cell types, including granulocytes, melanocytes, and platelets. This report describes a severe case of CHS resulting from paternal heterodisomy of chromosome 1, causing homozygosity for the most distal nonsense mutation (p.E3668X, exon 50) reported to date in the LYST/CHS1 gene. The mutation is located in the WD40 region of the CHS1 protein. The patients fibroblasts expressed no detectable CHS1. Besides manifesting the classical CHS findings, the patient exhibited hypotonia and global developmental delays, raising concerns about other effects of heterodisomy. An interstitial 747 kb duplication on 6q14.2-6q14.3 was identified in the propositus and paternal samples by comparative genomic hybridization. SNP genotyping revealed no additional whole chromosome or segmental isodisomic regions or other dosage variations near the crossover breakpoints on chromosome 1. Unmasking of a separate autosomal recessive cause of developmental delay, or an additive effect of the paternal heterodisomy, could underlie the severity of the phenotype in this patient.
Hereditary inclusion body myopathy (HIBM) is an autosomal recessive adult onset myopathy. It is characterized by mutations of the GNE (UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase) gene. Afflicted patients have no therapeutic options. In preclinical testing, we have previously demonstrated the ability to correct GNE gene function and the safety of delivery of wild type GNE gene using a liposomal delivery vehicle.
Griscelli syndrome (GS), a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by partial albinism and immunological impairment and/or severe neurological impairment, results from mutations in the MYO5A (GS1), RAB27A (GS2), or MLPH (GS3) genes. We identified a Hispanic patient born of a consanguineous union who presented with immunodeficiency, partial albinism, hepatic dysfunction, hemophagocytosis, neurological impairment, nystagmus, and silvery hair indicative of Griscelli Syndrome Type 2 (GS2). We screened for point mutations, but only exons 2-6 of the patients DNA could be PCR-amplified. Whole genome analysis using the Illumina 1M-Duo DNA Analysis BeadChip identified a homozygous deletion in the patients DNA. The exact breakpoints of the 47.5-kb deletion were identified as chr15q15-q21.1: g.53332432_53379990del (NCBI Build 37.1); the patient lacks the promoter and 5UTR regions of RAB27A, thus confirming the diagnosis of GS2.
3-Methylglutaconic aciduria type III (3-MGCA type III), caused by recessive mutations in the 2-exon gene OPA3, is characterized by early-onset bilateral optic atrophy, later-onset extrapyramidal dysfunction, and increased urinary excretion of 3-methylglutaconic acid and 3-methylglutaric acid. Here we report the identification of a novel third OPA3 coding exon, the apparent product of a segmental duplication event, resulting in two gene transcripts, OPA3A and OPA3B. OPA3A deficiency (as in optic atrophy type 3) causes up-regulation of OPA3B. OPA3 protein function remains unknown, but it contains a putative mitochondrial leader sequence, mitochondrial sorting signal and a peroxisomal sorting signal. Our green fluorescent protein tagged OPA3 expression studies found its localization to be predominantly mitochondrial. These findings thus place the cellular metabolic defect of 3-MGCA type III in the mitochondrion rather than the peroxisome and implicate loss of OPA3A rather than gain of OPA3B in disease etiology.
Background. Chediak-Higashi syndrome (CHS) is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder characterized by oculocutaneous albinism, immunodeficiency, coagulopathy and late-onset, progressive neurological dysfunction. It also has an "accelerated phase" characterized by hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). The disease is caused by mutations in the CHS1/LYST gene located on chromosome 1, which affects lysosome morphology and function. We report the case of an African-American child with CHS in Case. This 16-month old African-American girl presented with fever and lethargy. The proband had pale skin compared to her parents, with light brown eyes, silvery hair and massive hepatosplenomegaly. Her laboratory evaluation was remarkable for pancytopenia, high serum ferritin and an elevated LDH. Bone marrow aspirate revealed large inclusions in granulocytes and erythrophagocytosis consistent with HLH. Genetic evaluation revealed two novel nonsense mutations in the CHS1 gene: c.3622C > T (p.Q1208X) and c.11002G > T (p.E3668X). Conclusions. Our patient is one of the few cases of CHS reported in the African American population. We identified 2 nonsense mutations in the CHS1 gene, the first mutation analysis published of an African-American child with Chediak-Higashi Syndrome. These two mutations predict a severe phenotype and thus identification of these mutations has an important clinical significance in CHS.
The bifunctional enzyme UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase/ ManNAc kinase (GNE/MNK), encoded by the GNE gene, catalyzes the first two committed, rate-limiting steps in the biosynthesis of N-acetylneuraminic acid (sialic acid). GNE/MNK is feedback inhibited by binding of the downstream product, CMP-sialic acid in its allosteric site. GNE mutations can result in two human disorders, hereditary inclusion body myopathy (HIBM) or sialuria. So far, no active site geometry predictions or conformational transitions involved with function are available for mammalian GNE/MNK. The N-terminal GNE domain is homologous to various prokaryotic 2-epimerases, some of which have solved crystallographic structures. The C-terminal MNK domain belongs to the sugar kinases superfamily; its crystallographic structure is solved at 2.84 A and three-dimensional structures have also been reported for several other kinases. In this work, we employed available structural data of GNE/MNK homologs to model the active sites of human GNE/MNK and identify critical amino acid residues responsible for interactions with substrates. In addition, we modeled effects of GNE/MNK missense mutations associated with HIBM or sialuria on helix arrangement, substrate binding, and enzyme action. We found that all reported mutations are associated with the active sites or secondary structure interfaces of GNE/MNK. The Persian-Jewish HIBM founder mutation p.M712T is located at the interface alpha4alpha10 and likely affects GlcNAc, Mg2+, and ATP binding. This work contributes to further understanding of GNE/MNK function and ligand binding, which may assist future studies for therapeutic options that target misfolded GNE/MNK in HIBM and/or sialuria.
Alkaptonuria (AKU) is a rare autosomal recessive metabolic disorder, characterized by accumulation of homogentisic acid, leading to darkened urine, pigmentation of connective tissue (ochronosis), joint and spine arthritis, and destruction of cardiac valves. AKU is due to mutations in the homogentisate dioxygenase gene (HGD) that converts homogentisic acid to maleylacetoacetic acid in the tyrosine catabolic pathway. Here we report a comprehensive mutation analysis of 93 patients enrolled in our study, as well as an extensive update of all previously published HGD mutations associated with AKU. Within our patient cohort, we identified 52 HGD variants, of which 22 were novel. This yields a total of 91 identified HGD variations associated with AKU to date, including 62 missense, 13 splice site, 10 frameshift, 5 nonsense, and 1 no-stop mutation. Most HGD variants reside in exons 3, 6, 8, and 13. We assessed the potential effect of all missense variations on protein function, using five bioinformatic tools specifically designed for interpretation of missense variants (SIFT, POLYPHEN, PANTHER, PMUT, and SNAP). We also analyzed the potential effect of splice-site variants using two different tools (BDGP and NetGene2). This study provides valuable resources for molecular analysis of alkaptonuria and expands our knowledge of the molecular basis of this disease.
PKHD1, the gene mutated in autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD)/congenital hepatic fibrosis (CHF), is an exceptionally large and complicated gene that consists of 86 exons and has a number of alternatively spliced transcripts. Its longest open reading frame contains 67 exons that encode a 4074 amino acid protein called fibrocystin or polyductin. The phenotypes caused by PKHD1 mutations are similarly complicated, ranging from perinatally-fatal PKD to CHF presenting in adulthood with mild kidney disease. To date, more than 300 mutations have been described throughout PKHD1. Most reported cohorts include a large proportion of perinatal-onset ARPKD patients; mutation detection rates vary between 42% and 87%. Here we report PKHD1 sequencing results on 78 ARPKD/CHF patients from 68 families. Differing from previous investigations, our study required survival beyond 6 months and included many adults with a CHF-predominant phenotype. We identified 77 PKHD1 variants (41 novel) including 19 truncating, 55 missense, 2 splice, and 1 small in-frame deletion. Using computer-based prediction tools (GVGD, PolyPhen, SNAP), we achieved a mutation detection rate of 79%, ranging from 63% in the CHF-predominant group to 82% in the remaining families. Prediction of the pathogenicity of missense variants will remain challenging until a functional assay is available. In the meantime, use of PKHD1 sequencing data for clinical decisions requires caution, especially when only novel or rare missense variants are identified.
Individuals with Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome type 1 (HPS-1), an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by defective biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles, develop an accelerated form of progressive fibrotic lung disease. The etiology of pulmonary fibrosis associated with HPS-1 is unknown.
We performed high-resolution in vitro proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy on cerebrospinal fluid and urine samples of 44 patients with leukodystrophies of unknown cause. Free sialic acid concentration was increased in cerebrospinal fluid of two siblings with mental retardation and mild hypomyelination. By contrast, urinary excretion of free sialic acid in urine was normal on repeated testing by two independent methods. Both patients were homozygous for the K136E mutation in SLC17A5, the gene responsible for the free sialic acid storage diseases. Our findings demonstrate that mutations in the SLC17A5 gene have to be considered in patients with hypomyelination, even in the absence of sialuria.
Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) is a disorder characterized by multiple congenital anomalies and behavior problems, including abnormal sleep patterns. It is most commonly due to a 3.5 Mb interstitial deletion of chromosome 17 band p11.2. Secretion of melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, is the bodys signal for nighttime darkness. Published reports of 24-hr melatonin secretion patterns in two independent SMS cohorts (US and France) document an inverted endogenous melatonin pattern in virtually all cases (96%), suggesting that this finding is pathognomic for the syndrome. We report on a woman with SMS due to an atypical large proximal deletion ( approximately 6Mb; cen<->TNFRSFproteinB) of chromosome band (17)(p11.2p11.2) who presents with typical sleep disturbances but a normal pattern of melatonin secretion. We further describe a melatonin light suppression test in this patient. This is the second reported patient with a normal endogenous melatonin rhythm in SMS associated with an atypical large deletion. These two patients are significant because they suggest that the sleep disturbances in SMS cannot be solely attributed to the abnormal diurnal melatonin secretion versus the normal nocturnal pattern.
HPS is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by oculocutaneous albinism and prolonged bleeding. Eight human genes are described resulting in the HPS subtypes 1-8. Certain HPS proteins combine to form Biogenesis of Lysosome-related Organelles Complexes (BLOCs), thought to function in the formation of intracellular vesicles such as melanosomes, platelet dense bodies, and lytic granules. Specifically, BLOC-2 contains the HPS3, HPS5 and HPS6 proteins. We used phylogenetic footprinting to identify conserved regions in the upstream sequences of HPS3, HPS5 and HPS6. These conserved regions were verified to have in vitro transcription activation activity using luciferase reporter assays. Transcription factor binding site analyses of the regions identified 52 putative sites shared by all three genes. When analysis was limited to the conserved footprints, seven binding sites were found shared among all three genes: Pax-5, AIRE, CACD, ZF5, Zic1, E2F and Churchill. The HPS3 conserved upstream region was sequenced in four patients with decreased fibroblast HPS3 RNA levels and only one HPS3 mutation in the coding exons and surrounding exon/intron boundaries; no mutation was found. These findings illustrate the power of phylogenetic footprinting for identifying potential regulatory regions in non-coding sequences and define the first putative promoter elements for any HPS genes.
Autoinflammatory diseases manifest inflammation without evidence of infection, high-titer autoantibodies, or autoreactive T cells. We report a disorder caused by mutations of IL1RN, which encodes the interleukin-1-receptor antagonist, with prominent involvement of skin and bone.
Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by oculocutaneous albinism, a bleeding disorder, and, in some patients, granulomatous colitis and/or a fatal pulmonary fibrosis. There are eight different subtypes of HPS, each due to mutations in one of eight different genes, whose functions are thought to involve intracellular vesicle formation and trafficking. HPS has been identified in patients of nearly all ethnic groups, though it has primarily been associated with patients of Puerto Rican, Northern European, Japanese and Israeli descent. We report on the diagnosis of HPS type 1 in two African-American patients. Both brothers carried compound heterozygous mutations in HPS1: previously reported p.M325WfsX6 (c.972delC) and a novel silent mutation p.E169E (c.507G > A), which resulted in a splice defect. HPS may be under-diagnosed in African-American patients and other ethnic groups. A history of easy bruising or evidence of a bleeding disorder, combined with some degree of hypopigmentation, should prompt investigation into the diagnosis of HPS.
Hereditary Inclusion Body Myopathy (HIBM) is an autosomal recessive, quadriceps sparing type commonly referred to as HIBM but also termed h-IBM or Inclusion Body Myopathy 2 (IBM2). The clinical manifestations begin with muscle weakness progressing over the next 10-20 years uniquely sparing the quadriceps until the most advanced stage of the disease. Histopathology of an HIBM muscle biopsy shows rimmed vacuoles on Gomoris trichrome stain, small fibers in groups and tubulofilaments without evidence of inflammation. In affected individuals distinct mutations have been identified in the GNE gene, which encodes the bifunctional enzyme uridine diphospho-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) 2-epimerase/N-acetyl-mannosamine (ManNAc) kinase (GNE/MNK). GNE/MNK catalyzes the first two committed steps in the biosynthesis of acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), an abundant and functionally important sugar. The generation of HIBM animal models has led to novel insights into both the disease and the role of GNE/MNK in pathophysiology. Recent advances in therapeutic approaches for HIBM, including administration of N-acetyl-mannosamine (ManNAc), a precursor of Neu5Ac will be discussed.
The heterogeneous group of 3-methylglutaconic aciduria type IV consists of patients with various organ involvement and mostly progressive neurological impairment in combination with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria and biochemical features of dysfunctional oxidative phosphorylation. Here we describe the clinical and biochemical phenotype in 18 children and define 4 clinical subgroups (encephalomyopathic, hepatocerebral, cardiomyopathic, myopathic). In the encephalomyopathic group with neurodegenerative symptoms and respiratory chain complex I deficiency, two of the children, presenting with mild Methylmalonic aciduria, Leigh-like encephalomyopathy, dystonia and deafness, harboured SUCLA2 mutations. In children with a hepatocerebral phenotype most patients presented with complex I deficiency and mtDNA-depletion, three of which carried POLG1-mutations. In the cardiomyopathic subgroup most patients had complex V deficiency and an overlapping phenotype with that previously described in isolated complex V deficiency, in three patients a TMEM70 mutation was confirmed. In one male with a pure myopathic form and severe combined respiratory chain disorder, based on the pathogenomic histology of central core disease, RYR1 mutations were detected. In our patient group the presence of the biochemical marker 3-methylglutaconic acid was indicative for nuclear coded respiratory chain disorders. By delineating patient-groups we elucidated the genetic defect in 10 out of 18 children. Depending on the clinical and biochemical phenotype we suggest POLG1, SUCLA2, TMEM70 and RYR1 sequence analysis and mtDNA-depletion studies in children with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria type IV.
Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) develops from defects in the biogenesis and/or function of lysosome-related organelles essential to membrane and protein trafficking. Of the eight known human subtypes, only HPS-1 and HPS-4 develop pulmonary fibrosis in addition to the general clinical manifestations of oculocutaneous albinism and bleeding diathesis. We identified HPS-1 in three unrelated patients from different regions of India, who presented with iris transillumination, pale fundi, hypopigmentation, nystagmus, decreased visual acuity, and a bleeding diathesis. Two of these patients carried the homozygous mutation c.398+5G>A (IVS5+5G>A) in HPS1, resulting in skipping of exon 5 in HPS1 mRNA. The third patient carried a novel homozygous c.988-1G>T mutation that resulted in in-frame skipping of HPS1 exon 12 and removes 56 amino acids from the HPS1 protein. Given the discovery of HPS-1 in an ethnic group where oculocutaneous albinism (OCA) is highly prevalent, it is possible that HPS in India is under-diagnosed. We recommend that unconfirmed OCA patients in this ethic group be considered for mutational screening of known HPS genes, in particular c.398+5G>A and c.980-1G>T, to ensure that patients can be monitored and treated for clinical complications unique to HPS.
The bifunctional enzyme UDP-GlcNAc 2-epimerase/ManNAc kinase (GNE) catalyzes the first two committed steps in sialic acid synthesis. Non-allosteric GNE gene mutations cause the muscular disorder GNE myopathy (also known as hereditary inclusion body myopathy), whose exact pathology remains unknown. Increased knowledge of GNE regulation, including isoform regulation, may help elucidate the pathology of GNE myopathy. While eight mRNA transcripts encoding human GNE isoforms are described, we only identified two mouse Gne mRNA transcripts, encoding mGne1 and mGne2, homologous to human hGNE1 and hGNE2. Orthologs of the other human isoforms were not identified in mice. mGne1 appeared as the ubiquitously expressed, major mouse isoform. The mGne2 encoding transcript is differentially expressed and may act as a tissue-specific regulator of sialylation. mGne2 expression appeared significantly increased the first 2 days of life, possibly reflecting the high sialic acid demand during this period. Tissues of the knock-in Gne p.M712T mouse model had similar mGne transcript expression levels among genotypes, indicating no effect of the mutation on mRNA expression. However, upon treatment of these mice with N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc, a Gne substrate, sialic acid precursor, and proposed therapy for GNE myopathy), Gne transcript expression, in particular mGne2, increased significantly, likely resulting in increased Gne enzymatic activities. This dual effect of ManNAc supplementation (increased flux through the sialic acid pathway and increased Gne activity) needs to be considered when treating GNE myopathy patients with ManNAc. In addition, the existence and expression of GNE isoforms needs consideration when designing other therapeutic strategies for GNE myopathy.
GNE myopathy, previously termed hereditary inclusion body myopathy (HIBM), is an adult-onset neuromuscular disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness. The disorder results from biallelic mutations in GNE, encoding UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase, the key enzyme of sialic acid synthesis. GNE myopathy, associated with impaired glycan sialylation, has no approved therapy. Here we test potential sialylation-increasing monosaccharides for their effectiveness in prophylaxis (at the embryonic and neonatal stages) and therapy (after the onset of symptoms) by evaluating renal and muscle hyposialylation in a knock-in mouse model (Gne p.M712T) of GNE myopathy. We demonstrate that oral mannosamine (ManN), but not sialic acid (Neu5Ac), mannose (Man), galactose (Gal), or glucosamine (GlcN), administered to pregnant female mice has a similar prophylactic effect on renal hyposialylation, pathology and neonatal survival of mutant offspring, as previously shown for N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) therapy. ManN may be converted to ManNAc by a direct, yet unknown, pathway, or may act through another mode of action. The other sugars (Man, Gal, GlcN) may either not cross the placental barrier (Neu5Ac) and/or may not be able to directly increase sialylation. Because GNE myopathy patients will likely require treatment in adulthood after onset of symptoms, we also administered ManNAc (1 or 2g/kg/day for 12 weeks), Neu5Ac (2 g/kg/day for 12 weeks), or ManN (2 g/kg/day for 6 weeks) in drinking water to 6 month old mutant Gne p.M712T mice. All three therapies markedly improved the muscle and renal hyposialylation, as evidenced by lectin histochemistry for overall sialylation status and immunoblotting of specific sialoproteins. These preclinical data strongly support further evaluation of oral ManNAc, Neu5Ac and ManN as therapy for GNE myopathy and conceivably for certain glomerular diseases with hyposialylation.
Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), the most common ciliopathy of childhood, is characterized by congenital hepatic fibrosis and progressive cystic degeneration of kidneys. We aimed to describe congenital hepatic fibrosis in patients with ARPKD, confirmed by detection of mutations in PKHD1.
Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder of lysosome-related organelle biogenesis and is characterized by oculocutaneous albinism and a bleeding diathesis. Over the past decade, we screened 250 patients with HPS-like symptoms for mutations in the genes responsible for HPS subtypes 1-6. We identified 38 individuals with no functional mutations, and therefore, we analyzed all eight genes encoding the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex-1 (BLOC-1) proteins in these individuals. Here, we describe the identification of a novel nonsense mutation in BLOC1S3 (HPS-8) in a 6-yr-old Iranian boy. This mutation caused nonsense-mediated decay of BLOC1S3 mRNA and destabilized the BLOC-1 complex. Our patients melanocytes showed aberrant localization of TYRP1, with increased plasma membrane trafficking. These findings confirm a common cellular defect for HPS patients with defects in BLOC-1 subunits. We identified only two patients with BLOC-1 defects in our cohort, suggesting that other HPS genes remain to be identified.
Biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles (LROs) complex-1 (BLOC-1) is an eight-subunit complex involved in lysosomal trafficking. Interacting proteins of these subunits expand the understanding of its biological functions. With the implementation of the naïve Bayesian analysis, we found that a human uncharacterized 20 kDa coiled-coil KxDL protein, KXD1, is a BLOS1-interacting protein. In vitro binding assays confirmed the interaction between BLOS1 and KXD1. The mouse KXD1 homolog was widely expressed and absent in Kxd1 knockout (KO) mice. BLOS1 was apparently reduced in Kxd1-KO mice. Mild defects in the melanosomes of the retinal pigment epithelia and in the platelet dense granules of the Kxd1-KO mouse were observed, mimicking a mouse model of mild Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome that affects the biogenesis of LROs.
Pathological glomerular hyposialylation has been implicated in certain unexplained glomerulopathies, including minimal change nephrosis, membranous glomerulonephritis, and IgA nephropathy. We studied our previously established mouse model carrying a homozygous mutation in the key enzyme of sialic acid biosynthesis, N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase/N-acetylmannosamine kinase. Mutant mice died before postnatal day 3 (P3) from severe glomerulopathy with podocyte effacement and segmental glomerular basement membrane splitting due to hyposialylation. Administration of the sialic acid precursor N-acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) led to improved sialylation and survival of mutant pups beyond P3. We determined the onset of the glomerulopathy in the embryonic stage. A lectin panel, distinguishing normally sialylated from hyposialylated glycans, used WGA, SNA, PNA, Jacalin, HPA, and VVA, indicating glomerular hyposialylation of predominantly O-linked glycoproteins in mutant mice. The glomerular glycoproteins nephrin and podocalyxin were hyposialylated in this unique murine model. ManNAc treatment appeared to ameliorate the hyposialylation status of mutant mice, indicated by a lectin histochemistry pattern similar to that of wild-type mice, with improved sialylation of both nephrin and podocalyxin, as well as reduced albuminuria compared with untreated mutant mice. These findings suggest application of our lectin panel for categorizing human kidney specimens based on glomerular sialylation status. Moreover, the partial restoration of glomerular architecture in ManNAc-treated mice highlights ManNAc as a potential treatment for humans affected with disorders of glomerular hyposialylation.
Rationale: The etiology of Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive interstitial lung disease with high mortality, is unknown. Galectin-3 is a beta-galactoside-binding lectin with pro-fibrotic effects. Objectives: To investigate the involvement of Galectin-3 in HPS pulmonary fibrosis. Methods: Galectin-3 was measured by ELISA, immunohistochemistry, and immunoblotting in human specimens from subjects with HPS and controls. Mechanisms of galectin-3 accumulation were studied by qRT-PCR, Northern blot analysis, membrane biotinylation assays, and rescue of HPS-1 deficient cells by transfection. Measurements and Main Results: Bronchoalveolar lavage Galectin-3 concentrations were significantly higher in HPS pulmonary fibrosis compared to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or normal volunteers and correlated with disease severity. Galectin-3 immunostaining was increased in HPS pulmonary fibrosis compared to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or normal lung tissue. Fibroblasts from subjects with HPS subtypes associated with pulmonary fibrosis had increased Galectin-3 protein expression compared to cells from non-fibrotic HPS subtypes. Galectin-3 protein accumulation was associated with reduced Galectin-3 mRNA, normal MUC1 levels, and upregulated miR-322 in HPS pulmonary fibrosis cells. Membrane biotinylation assays showed reduced Galectin-3 and normal MUC1 expression at the plasma membrane in HPS pulmonary fibrosis cells compared to control, which suggests that Galectin-3 is mistrafficked in these cells. Reconstitution of HPS1 cDNA into HPS1-deficient cells normalized Galectin-3 protein and mRNA levels as well as corrected Galectin-3 trafficking to the membrane. Conclusions: Intracellular Galectin-3 levels are regulated by HPS1 protein. Abnormal accumulation of Galectin-3 may contribute to the pathogenesis of HPS pulmonary fibrosis.
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