Publications

Twelve novel HGD gene variants identified in 99 alkaptonuria patients: focus on 'black bone disease' in Italy.

Publications by the Blundell group - Mon, 30/03/2015 - 16:51

Twelve novel HGD gene variants identified in 99 alkaptonuria patients: focus on 'black bone disease' in Italy.

Eur J Hum Genet. 2015 Mar 25;

Authors: Nemethova M, Radvanszky J, Kadasi L, Ascher DB, Pires DE, Blundell TL, Porfirio B, Mannoni A, Santucci A, Milucci L, Sestini S, Biolcati G, Sorge F, Aurizi C, Aquaron R, Alsbou M, Marques Lourenço C, Ramadevi K, Ranganath LR, Gallagher JA, van Kan C, Hall AK, Olsson B, Sireau N, Ayoob H, Timmis OG, Le Quan Sang KH, Genovese F, Imrich R, Rovensky J, Srinivasaraghavan R, Bharadwaj SK, Spiegel R, Zatkova A

Abstract
Alkaptonuria (AKU) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in homogentisate-1,2-dioxygenase (HGD) gene leading to the deficiency of HGD enzyme activity. The DevelopAKUre project is underway to test nitisinone as a specific treatment to counteract this derangement of the phenylalanine-tyrosine catabolic pathway. We analysed DNA of 40 AKU patients enrolled for SONIA1, the first study in DevelopAKUre, and of 59 other AKU patients sent to our laboratory for molecular diagnostics. We identified 12 novel DNA variants: one was identified in patients from Brazil (c.557T>A), Slovakia (c.500C>T) and France (c.440T>C), three in patients from India (c.469+6T>C, c.650-85A>G, c.158G>A), and six in patients from Italy (c.742A>G, c.614G>A, c.1057A>C, c.752G>A, c.119A>C, c.926G>T). Thus, the total number of potential AKU-causing variants found in 380 patients reported in the HGD mutation database is now 129. Using mCSM and DUET, computational approaches based on the protein 3D structure, the novel missense variants are predicted to affect the activity of the enzyme by three mechanisms: decrease of stability of individual protomers, disruption of protomer-protomer interactions or modification of residues in the region of the active site. We also present an overview of AKU in Italy, where so far about 60 AKU cases are known and DNA analysis has been reported for 34 of them. In this rather small group, 26 different HGD variants affecting function were described, indicating rather high heterogeneity. Twelve of these variants seem to be specific for Italy.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 25 March 2015; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2015.60.

PMID: 25804398 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Categories: Publications

Mutations in the NHEJ Component XRCC4 Cause Primordial Dwarfism.

Publications by the Blundell group - Mon, 23/03/2015 - 22:46

Mutations in the NHEJ Component XRCC4 Cause Primordial Dwarfism.

Am J Hum Genet. 2015 Feb 25;

Authors: Murray JE, van der Burg M, IJspeert H, Carroll P, Wu Q, Ochi T, Leitch A, Miller ES, Kysela B, Jawad A, Bottani A, Brancati F, Cappa M, Cormier-Daire V, Deshpande C, Faqeih EA, Graham GE, Ranza E, Blundell TL, Jackson AP, Stewart GS, Bicknell LS

Abstract
Non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) is a key cellular process ensuring genome integrity. Mutations in several components of the NHEJ pathway have been identified, often associated with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), consistent with the requirement for NHEJ during V(D)J recombination to ensure diversity of the adaptive immune system. In contrast, we have recently found that biallelic mutations in LIG4 are a common cause of microcephalic primordial dwarfism (MPD), a phenotype characterized by prenatal-onset extreme global growth failure. Here we provide definitive molecular genetic evidence supported by biochemical, cellular, and immunological data for mutations in XRCC4, encoding the obligate binding partner of LIG4, causing MPD. We report the identification of biallelic mutations in XRCC4 in five families. Biochemical and cellular studies demonstrate that these alterations substantially decrease XRCC4 protein levels leading to reduced cellular ligase IV activity. Consequently, NHEJ-dependent repair of ionizing-radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks is compromised in XRCC4 cells. Similarly, immunoglobulin junctional diversification is impaired in cells. However, immunoglobulin levels are normal, and individuals lack overt signs of immunodeficiency. Additionally, in contrast to individuals with LIG4 mutations, pancytopenia leading to bone marrow failure has not been observed. Hence, alterations that alter different NHEJ proteins give rise to a phenotypic spectrum, from SCID to extreme growth failure, with deficiencies in certain key components of this repair pathway predominantly exhibiting growth deficits, reflecting differential developmental requirements for NHEJ proteins to support growth and immune maturation.

PMID: 25728776 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Categories: Publications

Analysis of HGD Gene Mutations in Patients with Alkaptonuria from the United Kingdom: Identification of Novel Mutations.

Publications by the Blundell group - Mon, 23/02/2015 - 18:58
Related Articles

Analysis of HGD Gene Mutations in Patients with Alkaptonuria from the United Kingdom: Identification of Novel Mutations.

JIMD Rep. 2015 Feb 15;

Authors: Usher JL, Ascher DB, Pires DE, Milan AM, Blundell TL, Ranganath LR

Abstract
Alkaptonuria (AKU) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder with incidence ranging from 1:100,000 to 1:250,000. The disorder is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase (HGD), which results from defects in the HGD gene. This enzyme converts homogentisic acid to maleylacetoacetate and has a major role in the catabolism of phenylalanine and tyrosine. To elucidate the mutation spectrum of the HGD gene in patients with alkaptonuria from 42 patients attending the National Alkaptonuria Centre, 14 exons of the HGD gene and the intron-exon boundaries were analysed by PCR-based sequencing. A total of 34 sequence variants was observed, confirming the genetic heterogeneity of AKU. Of these mutations, 26 were missense substitutions and four splice site mutations. There were two deletions and one duplication giving rise to frame shifts and one substitution abolishing the translation termination codon (no stop). Nine of the mutations were previously unreported novel variants. Using computational approaches based on the 3D structure, these novel mutations are predicted to affect the activity of the protein complex through destabilisation of the individual protomer structure or through disruption of protomer-protomer interactions.

PMID: 25681086 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Categories: Publications

DNA repair. PAXX, a paralog of XRCC4 and XLF, interacts with Ku to promote DNA double-strand break repair.

Publications by the Blundell group - Tue, 10/02/2015 - 16:17
Related Articles

DNA repair. PAXX, a paralog of XRCC4 and XLF, interacts with Ku to promote DNA double-strand break repair.

Science. 2015 Jan 9;347(6218):185-8

Authors: Ochi T, Blackford AN, Coates J, Jhujh S, Mehmood S, Tamura N, Travers J, Wu Q, Draviam VM, Robinson CV, Blundell TL, Jackson SP

Abstract
XRCC4 and XLF are two structurally related proteins that function in DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair. Here, we identify human PAXX (PAralog of XRCC4 and XLF, also called C9orf142) as a new XRCC4 superfamily member and show that its crystal structure resembles that of XRCC4. PAXX interacts directly with the DSB-repair protein Ku and is recruited to DNA-damage sites in cells. Using RNA interference and CRISPR-Cas9 to generate PAXX(-/-) cells, we demonstrate that PAXX functions with XRCC4 and XLF to mediate DSB repair and cell survival in response to DSB-inducing agents. Finally, we reveal that PAXX promotes Ku-dependent DNA ligation in vitro and assembly of core nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) factors on damaged chromatin in cells. These findings identify PAXX as a new component of the NHEJ machinery.

PMID: 25574025 [PubMed - in process]

Categories: Publications
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