Recent Submissions

  • Comprehensive study of 28 individuals with SIN3A-related disorder underscoring the associated mild cognitive and distinctive facial phenotype

    Vasudevan, Pradeep
    Witteveen-Kolk syndrome (OMIM 613406) is a recently defined neurodevelopmental syndrome caused by heterozygous loss-of-function variants in SIN3A. We define the clinical and neurodevelopmental phenotypes related to SIN3A-haploinsufficiency in 28 unreported patients. Patients with SIN3A variants adversely affecting protein function have mild intellectual disability, growth and feeding difficulties. Involvement of a multidisciplinary team including a geneticist, paediatrician and neurologist should be considered in managing these patients. Patients described here were identified through a combination of clinical evaluation and gene matching strategies (GeneMatcher and Decipher). All patients consented to participate in this study. Mean age of this cohort was 8.2 years (17 males, 11 females). Out of 16 patients ≥ 8 years old assessed, eight (50%) had mild intellectual disability (ID), four had moderate ID (22%), and one had severe ID (6%). Four (25%) did not have any cognitive impairment. Other neurological symptoms such as seizures (4/28) and hypotonia (12/28) were common. Behaviour problems were reported in a minority. In patients ≥2 years, three were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and four with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We report 27 novel variants and one previously reported variant. 24 were truncating variants; three were missense variants and one large in-frame gain including exons 10-12.
  • Variation in human herpesvirus 6B telomeric integration, excision, and transmission between tissues and individuals

    Romaine, Simon; Samani, Nilesh
    Human herpesviruses 6A and 6B (HHV-6A/6B) are ubiquitous pathogens that persist lifelong in latent form and can cause severe conditions upon reactivation. They are spread by community-acquired infection of free virus (acqHHV6A/6B) and by germline transmission of inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6A/6B (iciHHV-6A/6B) in telomeres. We exploited a hypervariable region of the HHV-6B genome to investigate the relationship between acquired and inherited virus and revealed predominantly maternal transmission of acqHHV-6B in families. Remarkably, we demonstrate that some copies of acqHHV-6B in saliva from healthy adults gained a telomere, indicative of integration and latency, and that the frequency of viral genome excision from telomeres in iciHHV-6B carriers is surprisingly high and varies between tissues. In addition, newly formed short telomeres generated by partial viral genome release are frequently lengthened, particularly in telomerase-expressing pluripotent cells. Consequently, iciHHV-6B carriers are mosaic for different iciHHV-6B structures, including circular extra-chromosomal forms that have the potential to reactivate. Finally, we show transmission of an HHV-6B strain from an iciHHV-6B mother to her non-iciHHV-6B son. Altogether, we demonstrate that iciHHV-6B can readily transition between telomere-integrated and free virus forms.
  • Delineating the Smith-Kingsmore syndrome phenotype: Investigation of 16 patients with the MTOR c.5395G > A p.(Glu1799Lys) missense variant

    Searle, Claire; Vasudevan, Pradeep
    Smith-Kingsmore Syndrome (SKS) is a rare genetic syndrome associated with megalencephaly, a variable intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, and MTOR gain of function variants. Only 30 patients with MTOR missense variants are published, including 14 (47%) with the MTOR c.5395G>A p.(Glu1799Lys) variant. Limited phenotypic data impacts the quality of information delivered to families and the robustness of interpretation of novel MTOR missense variation. This study aims to improve our understanding of the SKS phenotype through the investigation of 16 further patients with the MTOR c.5395G>A p.(Glu1799Lys) variant. Through the careful phenotypic evaluation of these 16 patients and integration with data from 14 previously reported patients, we have defined major (100% patients) and frequent (>15%) SKS clinical characteristics and, using these data, proposed guidance for evidence-based management. In addition, in the absence of functional studies, we suggest that the combination of the SKS major clinical features of megalencephaly (where the head circumference is at least 3SD) and an intellectual disability with a de novo MTOR missense variant (absent from population databases) should be considered diagnostic for SKS.
  • Severe symptomatic hypercalcemia in a patient with familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia

    Kurian, Roshini
    One of the less common causes of hypercalcemia is familial hypocalciuric hypercalcemia (FHH). It is an autosomal-dominant genetic condition, which presents asymptomatically in most patients while some may have mild symptoms. The serum calcium levels are mildly elevated with mild elevation in parathyroid hormone, which rarely requires management with pharmacologic agents. We present an unusual case report of a 76-year-old woman, confirmed to have FHH type 1 mutation, presented with symptomatic hypercalcemia probably set off by metabolic stresses of her age and needing intensive treatment with intravenous bisphosphonates, calcitonin and cinacalcet.