Intellectual disability (ID) has an estimated prevalence of 2-3%. Due to its extreme heterogeneity, the genetic basis of ID remains elusive in many cases. Recently, whole exome sequencing (WES) studies revealed that a large proportion of sporadic cases are caused by de novo gene variants. To identify further genes involved in ID, we performed WES in 250 patients with unexplained ID and their unaffected parents and included exomes of 51 previously sequenced child-parents trios in the analysis. Exome analysis revealed de novo intragenic variants in SET domain-containing 5 (SETD5) in two patients. One patient carried a nonsense variant, and the other an 81?bp deletion located across a splice-donor site. Chromosomal microarray diagnostics further identified four de novo non-recurrent microdeletions encompassing SETD5. CRISPR/Cas9 mutation modelling of the two intragenic variants demonstrated nonsense-mediated decay of the resulting transcripts, pointing to a loss-of-function (LoF) and haploinsufficiency as the common disease-causing mechanism of intragenic SETD5 sequence variants and SETD5-containing microdeletions. In silico domain prediction of SETD5, a predicted SET domain-containing histone methyltransferase (HMT), substantiated the presence of a SET domain and identified a novel putative PHD domain, strengthening a functional link to well-known histone-modifying ID genes. All six patients presented with ID and certain facial dysmorphisms, suggesting that SETD5 sequence variants contribute substantially to the microdeletion 3p25.3 phenotype. The present report of two SETD5 LoF variants in 301 patients demonstrates a prevalence of 0.7% and thus SETD5 variants as a relatively frequent cause of ID.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 20 August 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.165.
Recent studies revealed the power of whole-exome sequencing to identify mutations in sporadic cases with non-syndromic intellectual disability. We now identified de novo missense variants in NAA10 in two unrelated individuals, a boy and a girl, with severe global developmental delay but without any major dysmorphism by trio whole-exome sequencing. Both de novo variants were predicted to be deleterious, and we excluded other variants in this gene. This X-linked gene encodes N-alpha-acetyltransferase 10, the catalytic subunit of the NatA complex involved in multiple cellular processes. A single hypomorphic missense variant p.(Ser37Pro) was previously associated with Ogden syndrome in eight affected males from two different families. This rare disorder is characterized by a highly recognizable phenotype, global developmental delay and results in death during infancy. In an attempt to explain the discrepant phenotype, we used in vitro N-terminal acetylation assays which suggested that the severity of the phenotype correlates with the remaining catalytic activity. The variant in the Ogden syndrome patients exhibited a lower activity than the one seen in the boy with intellectual disability, while the variant in the girl was the most severe exhibiting only residual activity in the acetylation assays used. We propose that N-terminal acetyltransferase deficiency is clinically heterogeneous with the overall catalytic activity determining the phenotypic severity.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 6 August 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.150.
Recently, we identified in two individuals with intellectual disability (ID) different de novo mutations in DEAF1, which encodes a transcription factor with an important role in embryonic development. To ascertain whether these mutations in DEAF1 are causative for the ID phenotype, we performed targeted resequencing of DEAF1 in an additional cohort of over 2,300 individuals with unexplained ID and identified two additional individuals with de novo mutations in this gene. All four individuals had severe ID with severely affected speech development, and three showed severe behavioral problems. DEAF1 is highly expressed in the CNS, especially during early embryonic development. All four mutations were missense mutations affecting the SAND domain of DEAF1. Altered DEAF1 harboring any of the four amino acid changes showed impaired transcriptional regulation of the DEAF1 promoter. Moreover, behavioral studies in mice with a conditional knockout of Deaf1 in the brain showed memory deficits and increased anxiety-like behavior. Our results demonstrate that mutations in DEAF1 cause ID and behavioral problems, most likely as a result of impaired transcriptional regulation by DEAF1.
BACKGROUND: Intellectual disability (ID) is often associated with behavioral problems or disorders. Mutations in the GRIN2B gene (MRD6, MIM613970) have been identified as a common cause of ID (prevalence of 0.5 -- 1% in individuals with ID) associated with EEG and behavioral problems. METHODS: We assessed five GRIN2B mutation carriers aged between 3 and 14 years clinically and via standardized questionnaires to delineate a detailed behavioral phenotype. Parents and teachers rated problem behavior of their affected children by completing the Developmental Behavior Checklist (DBC) and the Conners Rating Scales Revised (CRS-R:L). RESULTS: All individuals had mild to severe ID and needed guidance in daily routine. They showed characteristic behavior problems with prominent hyperactivity, impulsivity, distractibility and a short attention span. Stereotypies, sleeping problems and a friendly but boundless social behavior were commonly reported. CONCLUSION: Our observations provide an initial delineation of the behavioral phenotype of GRIN2B mutation carriers.
Intellectual disability (ID) is frequent in the general population, with 1 in 50 individuals directly affected worldwide. The multiple etiologies include X-linked ID (XLID). Among syndromic XLID, few syndromes present severe ID associated with postnatal microcephaly and midline stereotypic hand movements. We report on three male patients with ID, midline stereotypic hand movements, hypotonia, hyperkinesia, strabismus, as well as seizures (2/3), and non-inherited and postnatal onset microcephaly (2/3). Using array CGH and exome sequencing we characterised two truncating mutations in IQSEC2, namely two de novo intragenic duplication mapped to the Xp11.22 region and a nonsense mutation in exon 7. We propose that truncating mutations in IQSEC2 are responsible for syndromic severe ID in male patients and should be screened in patients without mutations in MECP2, FOXG1, CDKL5 and MEF2C.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 15 May 2013; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.113.
In order to identify novel genes involved in mental retardation/intellectual disability, we focused on a microdeletion reported in a patient with a mild form of Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. This patient presented with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, some learning and fine motor deficits as well as facial abnormalities. The deleted region included three genes. Here, we report the first characterization of one of these genes, C4ORF48. C4ORF48 encodes a short (139 aa) evolutionarily conserved protein with a predicted signal peptide and two potential dibasic convertase cleavage sites. In mice, we demonstrated expression of the corresponding protein exclusively in brain tissue using an anti-mouse C4Orf48 polyclonal antibody. Detailed RNA in situ hybridization experiments revealed expression of C4Orf48 in different zones during cortical and cerebellar development, as well as in almost all cortical and subcortical regions of the adult mouse brain. Based on the present data, we propose that C4Orf48 probably encodes a novel neuropeptide, which, if hemizygously deleted, may be involved in the observed intellectual and fine motor disabilities and thus in the overall neurological aspects of Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome.
N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors mediate excitatory neurotransmission in the mammalian brain. Two glycine-binding NR1 subunits and two glutamate-binding NR2 subunits each form highly Ca²(+)-permeable cation channels which are blocked by extracellular Mg²(+) in a voltage-dependent manner. Either GRIN2B or GRIN2A, encoding the NMDA receptor subunits NR2B and NR2A, was found to be disrupted by chromosome translocation breakpoints in individuals with mental retardation and/or epilepsy. Sequencing of GRIN2B in 468 individuals with mental retardation revealed four de novo mutations: a frameshift, a missense and two splice-site mutations. In another cohort of 127 individuals with idiopathic epilepsy and/or mental retardation, we discovered a GRIN2A nonsense mutation in a three-generation family. In a girl with early-onset epileptic encephalopathy, we identified the de novo GRIN2A mutation c.1845C>A predicting the amino acid substitution p.N615K. Analysis of NR1-NR2A(N615K) (NR2A subunit with the p.N615K alteration) receptor currents revealed a loss of the Mg²(+) block and a decrease in Ca²(+) permeability. Our findings suggest that disturbances in the neuronal electrophysiological balance during development result in variable neurological phenotypes depending on which NR2 subunit of NMDA receptors is affected.
The authors observed a patient with a cryptic subtelomeric de novo balanced translocation 46,XY.ish t(11;20)(p15.4;q13.2) presenting with severe mental retardation, muscular hypotonia, seizures, bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, submucous cleft palate, persistent ductus Botalli, unilateral cystic kidney dysplasia and frequent infections.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder. All mendelian patterns of inheritance have been described. We identified a homozygous p.A335V mutation in the MED25 gene in an extended Costa Rican family with autosomal recessively inherited Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy linked to the CMT2B2 locus in chromosome 19q13.3. MED25, also known as ARC92 and ACID1, is a subunit of the human activator-recruited cofactor (ARC), a family of large transcriptional coactivator complexes related to the yeast Mediator. MED25 was identified by virtue of functional association with the activator domains of multiple cellular and viral transcriptional activators. Its exact physiological function in transcriptional regulation remains obscure. The CMT2B2-associated missense amino acid substitution p.A335V is located in a proline-rich region with high affinity for SH3 domains of the Abelson type. The mutation causes a decrease in binding specificity leading to the recognition of a broader range of SH3 domain proteins. Furthermore, Med25 is coordinately expressed with Pmp22 gene dosage and expression in transgenic mice and rats. These results suggest a potential role of this protein in the molecular etiology of CMT2B2 and suggest a potential, more general role of MED25 in gene dosage sensitive peripheral neuropathy pathogenesis.
The genetic cause of intellectual disability in most patients is unclear because of the absence of morphological clues, information about the position of such genes, and suitable screening methods. Our aim was to identify de-novo variants in individuals with sporadic non-syndromic intellectual disability.
Intellectual disability (ID) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous common condition that remains etiologically unresolved in the majority of cases. Although several hundred diseased genes have been identified in X-linked, autosomal-recessive, or syndromic types of ID, the establishment of an etiological basis remains a difficult task in unspecific, sporadic cases. Just recently, de novo mutations in SYNGAP1, STXBP1, MEF2C, and GRIN2B were reported as relatively common causes of ID in such individuals. On the basis of a patient with severe ID and a 2.5 Mb microdeletion including ARID1B in chromosomal region 6q25, we performed mutational analysis in 887 unselected patients with unexplained ID. In this cohort, we found eight (0.9%) additional de novo nonsense or frameshift mutations predicted to cause haploinsufficiency. Our findings indicate that haploinsufficiency of ARID1B, a member of the SWI/SNF-A chromatin-remodeling complex, is a common cause of ID, and they add to the growing evidence that chromatin-remodeling defects are an important contributor to neurodevelopmental disorders.
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