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Response to lithium in patients with bipolar disorder is associated with clinical and transdiagnostic genetic factors. The predictive combination of these variables might help clinicians better predict which patients will respond to lithium treatment.
To use a combination of transdiagnostic genetic and clinical factors to predict lithium response in patients with bipolar disorder.
This study utilised genetic and clinical data (n = 1034) collected as part of the International Consortium on Lithium Genetics (ConLi+Gen) project. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were computed for schizophrenia and major depressive disorder, and then combined with clinical variables using a cross-validated machine-learning regression approach. Unimodal, multimodal and genetically stratified models were trained and validated using ridge, elastic net and random forest regression on 692 patients with bipolar disorder from ten study sites using leave-site-out cross-validation. All models were then tested on an independent test set of 342 patients. The best performing models were then tested in a classification framework.
The best performing linear model explained 5.1% (P = 0.0001) of variance in lithium response and was composed of clinical variables, PRS variables and interaction terms between them. The best performing non-linear model used only clinical variables and explained 8.1% (P = 0.0001) of variance in lithium response. A priori genomic stratification improved non-linear model performance to 13.7% (P = 0.0001) and improved the binary classification of lithium response. This model stratified patients based on their meta-polygenic loadings for major depressive disorder and schizophrenia and was then trained using clinical data.
Using PRS to first stratify patients genetically and then train machine-learning models with clinical predictors led to large improvements in lithium response prediction. When used with other PRS and biological markers in the future this approach may help inform which patients are most likely to respond to lithium treatment.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
To estimate the minimum prevalence of adult hereditary ataxias (HA) and spastic paraplegias (HSP) in Eastern Quebec and to evaluate the proportion of associated mutations in identified genes.
We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study of patients who met clinical criteria for the diagnosis of HA (n = 241) and HSP (n = 115) in the East of the Quebec province between January 2007 and July 2019. The primary outcome was the prevalence per 100,000 persons with a 95% confidence interval (CI). The secondary outcome was the frequency of mutations identified by targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach. Minimum carrier frequency for identified variants was calculated based on allele frequency values and the Hardy–Weinberg (HW) equation.
The minimum prevalence of HA in Eastern Quebec was estimated at 6.47/100 000 [95% CI; 6.44–6.51]; divided into 3.73/100 000 for autosomal recessive (AR) ataxias and 2.67/100 000 for autosomal dominant (AD) ataxias. The minimum prevalence of HSP was 4.17/100 000 [95% CI; 4.14–4.2]; with 2.05/100 000 for AD-HSP and 2.12/100 000 for AR-HSP. In total, 52.4% of patients had a confirmed genetic diagnosis. AR cerebellar ataxia type 1 (2.67/100 000) and AD spastic paraplegia SPG4 (1.18/100 000) were the most prevalent disorders identified. Mutations were identified in 23 genes and molecular alterations in 7 trinucleotides repeats expansion; the most common mutations were c.15705–12 A > G in SYNE1 and c.1529C > T (p.A510V) in SPG7.
We described the minimum prevalence of genetically defined adult HA and HSP in Eastern Quebec. This study provides a framework for international comparisons and service planning.
The aim of the present study was to identify the mutations in the connexin 32 gene in French-Canadian families with X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX).
Molecular analysis was performed by nonisotopic single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis and sequencing. Clinical evaluation was carried out according to the scale defined by the European Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy Consortium.
In one family, the mutation Arg142Trp was located in the transmembrane domain III whereas, in four other families we identified a novel mutation (Ser26Trp) located in the transmembrane domain I of the connexin 32 gene. Haplotype analysis revealed that these four families are related and suggests a founder mutation. Sixteen patients from these four families were studied. As expected, all the affected males were more clinically affected than the females and all affected patients exhibited some electrophysiological characteristics of demyelination.
Our study suggests that the Ser26Trp mutation may cause a primary demyelinating neuropathy that is not associated with a specific clinical phenotype. We also find evidence that the majority of kindreds share a common ancestor.
Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a form of intracranial vascular disease that may arise sporadically or be dominantly inherited. Linkage studies have revealed genetic heterogeneity among the dominantly inherited forms suggesting the existence of at least three loci called CCM1, CCM2 and CCM3.
In the present study, we screened five families with dominantly inherited CCM for CCM1 gene mutations with denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC). Then, we performed linkage analysis and haplotyping on these five families using highly polymorphic markers at the candidate CCM loci.
None of the five families tested with DHPLC were found to have mutations in the CCM1 gene. Based on haplotyping, we identified three families segregating alleles for CCM2, while two families segregated alleles for CCM3. Using linkage analysis, we could confirm that one family (IFCAS-1) had a positive Lod score of 2.03 (p<0.0001) at the CCM2 locus using marker D7S678.
The present study is the first one to replicate linkage at the CCM2 locus and provides a fifth family identified as such. It also supports the concept of genetic heterogeneity in CCM, identifying four other families that showed no mutations in the CCM1 gene.
We have compared the relative localizing value of common tests in the presurgical evaluation of epilepsy in 73 patients with depth electrode (SEEG) confirmed epileptogenic foci and excellent surgical outcome. We found the tests of abnormality (CT, amytal, neuropsychology) to be frequently non-informative and often discordant with SEEG. The EEG was concordant with the SEEG in 38% of cases and provided lateralization in 78%. EEG was less localizing than ictal behavior in frontals but not in temporals. The need for SEEG is rather evident in these results but could become attenuated by the development of the localizing power of scalp EEG.
The authors report, for the first time, the finding by magnetic resonance imaging of a neurofibroma at the craniocervical junction with upper cervical cord and lower brainstem compression causing complete apnea from birth. Subsequent subtotal resection of the neurofibroma resulted in the successful extubation of a previously ventilator-dependent patient. After a two month period of breathing spontaneously, the newborn developed an upper respiratory tract infection and was reintubated. The patient, unable to be weaned off of the respirator, was extubated and expired shortly thereafter, at the age of five months. The authors suggest that in newborns with unexplained apnea, MRI of the craniocervical junction is indicated. Certain patients may be discovered who have less compromised cervicomedullary function and are afflicted by less aggressive forms of neurofibromatosis type 1. These patients may benefit permanently from a surgical decompression.
Historical events have shaped the various regional gene pools of the French-Canadian (FC) population, leading to increased prevalence of some rare diseases. The first studies of these founder effects were performed in large part by astute clinicians such as André Barbeau. In collaboration with others, he contributed greatly to the delineation of phenotypic subtypes of these conditions. As such, the following neurogenetic disorders were first identified in patients of FC origin: AOA2, ARSACS, HSAN2, RAB, and HMSN/ACC. We have summarized our current knowledge of the main hereditary ataxias, spastic parapareses and neuropathies that are particular to the FC population. The initial genetic characterization of the more common and homogeneous of these diseases has been largely completed. We predict that the regional populations of Canada will allow the identification of new rare forms of hereditary ataxias, spastic parapareses and neuropathies, and contribute to the unravelling of the genetic basis of these entities.
Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) is an autosomal dominant disease predisposing individuals to the risk of developing tumors of cranial and spinal nerves. The NF2 tumor suppressor protein, known as Merlin/Schwanomin, is a member of the protein 4.1 superfamily that function as links between the cytoskeleton and the plasma membrane.
Upon selective extraction of membrane-associated proteins from erythrocyte plasma membrane (ghosts) using low ionic strength solution, the bulk of NF2 protein remains associated with the spectrin-actin depleted inside-out-vesicles. Western blot analysis showed a ~70 kDa polypeptide in the erythrocyte plasma membrane. Furthermore, quantitative removal of NF2 protein from the inside-out-vesicles was achieved using 1.0 M potassium iodide, a treatment known to remove tightly-bound peripheral membrane proteins.
These results suggest a novel mode of NF2 protein association with the erythrocyte membrane that is distinct from the known membrane interactions of protein 4.1. Based on these biochemical properties, several purification strategies were devised to isolate native NF2 protein from human erythrocyte ghosts. Using purified and recombinant NF2 protein as internal standards, we quantified approximately ~41-65,000 molecules of NF2 protein per erythrocyte.
We provide evidence for the presence of NF2 protein in the human erythrocyte membrane. The identification of NF2 protein in the human erythrocyte membrane will make it feasible to discover novel interactions of NF2 protein utilizing powerful techniques of erythrocyte biochemistry and genetics in mammalian cells.
To characterize at clinical and molecular levels a family presenting with X-linked recessive Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP).
HSPs are a large group of genetically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorders characterized by progressive upper motor neuron signs. Mutations in the proteolipid protein (PLP1) gene have been identified in families linked to the SPG2 locus on chromosome Xq22. However, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is also an X-linked recessive neurological disorder caused by PLP1 mutations.
The SPG2 locus was investigated by linkage analysis in the family. The PLP1 gene was screened by sequencing. We present findings in a large French-Canadian family with an X-linked recessive HSP. The proband presented early with developmental delay and developed progressive spastic paraplegia. He has been wheelchair-bound since the age of three years. At the latest follow-up, he was 20 years-old and had severe spasticity predominantly affecting the lower extremities, moderate cerebellar dysfunction, and optic atrophy.
Linkage to SPG2 was established and a G to A mutation (M1R) in the initiation codon of the PLP1 gene was identified, likely resulting in the complete absence of proteolipid protein.
We report a new PLP1 gene mutation in a patient with a clinical phenotype consistent with a PLP1 null syndrome.
Limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 1B is an autosomal dominant disease characterized by late onset proximal muscle involvement associated with cardiac complications such as atrioventricular conduction blocks, dilated cardiomyopathy, and sudden death.
Define the full phenotypic spectrum of a new mutation in the LMNA gene causing limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 1B.
We identified a large French Canadian family with the LGMD 1B phenotype and a cardiac conduction disease phenotype that carried a new mutation in the LMNA gene and sought to define its full phenotypic spectrum by performing complete neurological and cardiac evaluations, muscle biopsy, RNA and DNA studies.
The proband and 12 living at risk relatives were tested. In total, we identified seven carriers of a new (IVS9-3C>G) LMNA gene mutation. Of the three symptomatic patients, all had cardiac involvement, but only two presented proximal limb weakness. The one available muscle biopsy demonstrated a normally expressed lamin A/C protein, localized at the nuclear envelope. RNA study revealed a loss of exon 10 transcription caused by the IVS9-3C to G splicing mutation.
We have identified a new mutations in the LMNA gene in a French-Canadian family. This diagnosis has important implications for affected patients and their siblings since they may eventually require pacemaker implantation.
The most common cause of autosomal dominant Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP) is mutations in the SPG4 gene. We have previously identified novel SPG4 mutations in a collection of North American families including the c.G1801A mutation present in two families from Quebec. The aim of this study is to estimate the frequency of the c.G1801A mutation in the French Canadian (FC) population and to determine whether this mutation originates from a common ancestor.
We collected and sequenced exon 15 in probands of 37 families. Genotypes of markers flanking the SPG4 gene were used to construct haplotypes in five families. Clinical information was reviewed by a neurologist with expertise in HSP.
We have identified three additional unrelated families with the c.G1801A mutation and haplotype analysis revealed that all five families share a common ancestor. The mutation is present in 7% of all our FC families and explains half of our spastin linked FC families. The phenotype associated with the c.G1801A genotype is pure HSP with bladder involvement.
In this study we have determined that the relative frequency of the c.G1801A mutation in our FC collection is 7%, and approximately 50% in the spastin positive FC group. This mutation is the most common HSP mutation identified in this population to date and is suggestive of a founder effect in Quebec.
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is an adult-onset disorder characterized by progressive eyelid drooping (ptosis), swallowing difficulties (dysphagia), and proximal limb weakness. The autosomal dominant form of this disease is caused by expansions of a (GCG)6 repeat to (GCG)8-13 in the PABPN1 gene. These mutations lead to the expansion of a polyalanine stretch from 10 to 12-17 alanines in the N-terminal domain of PABPN1. Mutated PABPN1 (mPABPN1) induces the formation of muscle intranuclear inclusions that are thought to be the hallmark of this disease. In this review, we discuss: 1) OPMD genetics and PABPN1 function studies; 2) diseases caused by polyalanine expansions and cellular polyalanine toxicity; 3) mPABPN1-induced intranuclear inclusion toxicity; 4) role of oligomerization of mPABPN1 in the formation and toxicity of OPMD intranuclear inclusions and; 5) recruitment of subcellular components to the OPMD inclusions. We present a potential molecular mechanism for OPMD pathogenesis that accounts for these observations.
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is an adult-onset disorder characterized by progressive ptosis, dysphagia and proximal limb weakness. The autosomal dominant form of this disease is caused by short expansions of a (GCG)6 repeat to (GCG)8-13 in the PABPN1 gene. The mutations lead to the expansion of a polyalanine stretch from 10 to 12-17 alanines in the N-terminus of PABPN1. The mutated PABPN1 (mPABPN1) induces the formation of intranuclear filamentous inclusions that sequester poly(A) RNA and are associated with cell death.
Human fetal brain cDNA library was used to look for PABPN1 binding proteins using yeast two-hybrid screen. The protein interaction was confirmed by GST pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation assays. Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy cellular model and OPMD patient muscle tissue were used to check whether the PABPN1 binding proteins were involved in the formation of OPMD intranuclear inclusions.
We identify two PABPN1 interacting proteins, hnRNP A1 and hnRNP A/B. When co-expressed with mPABPN1 in COS-7 cells, predominantly nuclear protein hnRNP A1 and A/B co-localize with mPABPN1 in the insoluble intranuclear aggregates. Patient studies showed that hnRNP A1 is sequestered in OPMD nuclear inclusions.
The hnRNP proteins are involved in mRNA processing and mRNA nucleocytoplasmic export, sequestering of hnRNPs in OPMD intranuclear aggregates supports the view that OPMD intranuclear inclusions are “poly(A) RNA traps”, which would interfere with RNA export, and cause muscle cell death.