Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Identification of a mutation in LARS as a novel cause of infantile hepatopathy
    Infantile hepatopathies are life-threatening liver disorders that manifest in the first few months of life. We report on a consanguineous Irish Traveller family that includes six individuals presenting with acute liver failure in the first few months of life. Additional symptoms include anaemia, renal tubulopathy, developmental delay, seizures, failure to thrive and deterioration of liver function with minor illness. The multisystem manifestations suggested a possible mitochondrial basis to the disorder. However, known causes of childhood liver failure and mitochondrial disease were excluded in this family by biochemical, metabolic and genetic analyses. We aimed to identify the underlying risk gene using homozygosity mapping and whole exome sequencing. SNP homozygosity mapping identified a candidate locus at 5q31.3–q33.1. Whole exome sequencing identified 1 novel homozygous missense mutation within the 5q31.3–q33.1 candidate region that segregated with the hepatopathy. The candidate mutation is located in the LARS gene which encodes a cytoplasmic leucyl-tRNA synthetase enzyme responsible for exclusively attaching leucine to its cognate tRNA during protein translation. Knock-down of LARS in HEK293 cells did not impact on mitochondrial function even when the cells were put under physiological stress. The molecular studies confirm the findings of the patients' biochemical and genetic analyses which show that the hepatopathy is not a mitochondrial-based dysfunction problem, despite clinical appearances. This study highlights the clinical utility of homozygosity mapping and exome sequencing in diagnosing recessive liver disorders. It reports mutation of a cytoplasmic aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase enzyme as a possible novel cause of infantile hepatopathy and underscores the need to consider mutations in LARS in patients with liver disease and multisystem presentations.
      636Scopus© Citations 65
  • Publication
    Recessive mutations in MCM4/PRKDC cause a novel syndrome involving a primary immunodeficiency and a disorder of DNA repair
    Background: A study is presented of 10 children with a novel syndrome born to consanguineous parents from the Irish Traveller population. The syndrome is characterised by a natural killer (NK) cell deficiency, evidence of an atypical Fanconi's type DNA breakage disorder, and features of familial glucocorticoid deficiency (FGD). The NK cell deficiency probably accounts for the patients' recurrent viral illnesses. Molecular tests support a diagnosis of mosaic Fanconi's anaemia, but the patients do not present with any of the expected clinical features of the disorder. The symptomatic presentation of FGD was delayed in onset and may be a secondary phenotype. As all three phenotypes segregate together, the authors postulated that the NK cell deficiency, DNA repair disorder and FGD were caused by a single recessive genetic event.Methods: Single-nucleotide polymorphism homozygosity mapping and targeted next-generation sequencing of 10 patients and 16 unaffected relatives. Results: A locus for the syndrome was identified at 8p11.21-q11.22. Targeted resequencing of the candidate region revealed a homozygous mutation in MCM4/PRKDC in all 10 affected individuals. Consistent with the observed DNA breakage disorder, MCM4 and PRKDC are both involved in the ATM/ATR (ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated/ATM-Rad 3-related) DNA repair pathway, which is defective in patients with Fanconi's anaemia. Deficiency of PRKDC in mice has been shown to result in an abnormal NK cell physiology similar to that observed in these patients.Conclusion: Mutations in MCM4/PRKDC represent a novel cause of DNA breakage and NK cell deficiency. These findings suggest that clinicians should consider this disorder in patients with failure to thrive who develop pigmentation or who have recurrent infections.
      351Scopus© Citations 45
  • Publication
    First implication of STRA6 mutations in isolated anophthalmia, microphthalmia and coloboma: a new dimension to the STRA6 phenotype
    Microphthalmia, anophthalmia, and coloboma (MAC) are structural congenital eye malformations that cause a significant proportion of childhood visual impairments. Several disease genes have been identified but do not account for all MAC cases, suggesting that additional risk loci exist. We used single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) homozygosity mapping (HM) and targeted next-generation sequencing to identify the causative mutation for autosomal recessive isolated colobomatous microanophthalmia (MCOPCB) in a consanguineous Irish Traveller family. We identified a double-nucleotide polymorphism (g.1157G>A and g.1156G>A; p.G304K) in STRA6 that was homozygous in all of the MCOPCB patients. The STRA6 p.G304K mutation was subsequently detected in additional MCOPCB patients, including one individual with Matthew-Wood syndrome (MWS; MCOPS9). STRA6 encodes a transmembrane receptor involved in vitamin A uptake, a process essential to eye development and growth. We have shown that the G304K mutant STRA6 protein is mislocalized and has severely reduced vitamin A uptake activity. Furthermore, we reproduced the MCOPCB phenotype in a zebrafish disease model by inhibiting retinoic acid (RA) synthesis, suggesting that diminished RA levels account for the eye malformations in STRA6 p.G304K patients. The current study demonstrates that STRA6 mutations can cause isolated eye malformations in addition to the congenital anomalies observed in MWS.
      193Scopus© Citations 56
  • Publication
    Atypical Alstrom syndrome with novel ALMS1 mutations precluded by current diagnostic criteria
    We report on clinical and genetic studies in a non-consanguineous Irish sib-pair with infantile dilated cardiomyopathy and retinopathy. A diagnosis of Alström Syndrome (AS) was considered and diagnostic testing pursued. The Alströms gene (ALMS1) is very large (23 exons) and diagnostic testing of mutational hotspots (exon 6, 8 and 10) was negative. Furthermore the siblings were tall and did not have the typical phenotype of nystagmus, photophobia, obesity or hearing loss and so the AS diagnosis was removed. We then sought to identify the causative gene in this family using whole exome sequencing. Unexpectedly, the exome analysis identified novel compound heterozygous ALMS1 mutations in exon 5 (c.777delT:p.D260fs*26) and exon 20 (c.12145_12146insC:p.S4049fs*36) that segregated with the phenotype. Although the siblings show some clinical overlap with AS, their phenotype is not classical. It is plausible that their atypical presentation may be due to the location of the ALMS1 mutations outside the usual mutational hotspots. Our findings show how atypical cases of AS may be missed under the current diagnostic guidelines and support consideration of complete ALMS1 sequencing in children with two or more features, even if all of the core clinical features of AS are not present.
      512Scopus© Citations 17
  • Publication
    Unexpected genetic heterogeneity for primary ciliary dyskinesia in the Irish Traveller population
    We present a study of five children from three unrelated Irish Traveller families presenting with primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). As previously characterized disorders in the Irish Traveller population are caused by common homozygous mutations, we hypothesised that all three PCD families shared the same recessive mutation. However, exome sequencing showed that there was no pathogenic homozygous mutation common to all families. This finding was supported by histology, which showed that each family has a different type of ciliary defect; transposition defect (family A), nude epithelium (family B) and absence of inner and outer dynein arms (family C). Therefore, each family was analysed independently using homozygosity mapping and exome sequencing. The affected siblings in family A share a novel 1 bp duplication in RSPH4A (NM_001161664.1:c.166dup; p.Arg56Profs*11), a radial-spoke head protein involved in ciliary movement. In family B, we identified three candidate genes (CCNO, KCNN3 and CDKN1C), with a 5-bp duplication in CCNO (NM_021147.3:c.258_262dup; p.Gln88Argfs*8) being the most likely cause of ciliary aplasia. This is the first study to implicate CCNO, a DNA repair gene reported to be involved in multiciliogenesis, in PCD. In family C, we identified a ~3.5-kb deletion in DYX1C1, a neuronal migration gene previously associated with PCD. This is the first report of a disorder in the relatively small Irish Traveller population to be caused by >1 disease gene. Our study identified at least three different PCD genes in the Irish Traveller population, highlighting that one cannot always assume genetic homogeneity, even in small consanguineous populations.
      443Scopus© Citations 19