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See detailGenetic stratification of motor and QoL outcomes in Parkinson's disease in the EARLYSTIM study
Weiss, Daniel; Landoulsi, Zied UL; May, Patrick UL et al

in Parkinsonism and Related Disorders (2022)

Purpose The decision for subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) in Parkinson's disease (PD) relies on clinical predictors. Whether genetic variables could predict favourable or unfavourable ... [more ▼]

Purpose The decision for subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) in Parkinson's disease (PD) relies on clinical predictors. Whether genetic variables could predict favourable or unfavourable decisions is under investigation. Objective First, we aimed to reproduce the previous observation that SNCA rs356220 was associated with favourable STN-DBS motor response. In additional exploratory analyses, we studied if other PD risk and progression variants from the latest GWAS are associated with therapeutic outcome. Further, we evaluated the predictive value of polygenic risk scores. Methods We comprehensively genotyped patients from the EarlyStim cohort using NeuroChip, and assessed the clinico-genetic associations with longitudinal outcome parameters. Results The SNCA rs356220 variant did not predict UPDRS III outcomes. However, it was associated with quality of life improvement in secondary analyses. Several polymorphisms from previously identified GWAS hits predicted motor or quality of life outcomes in DBS patients. Polygenic risk scores did not predict any outcome parameter. Conclusions Our findings support the hypothesis that different common genetic markers are associated with favourable quality of life outcomes of STN-DBS in PD. These findings can be the basis for further validation in larger and independent cohorts. [less ▲]

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See detailBenchmarking of univariate pleiotropy detection methods applied to epilepsy
Adesoji, Oluyomi M.; Schulz, Herbert; May, Patrick UL et al

in Human Mutation (2022), 43(9), 1314-1332

AbstractPleiotropy is a widespread phenomenon that may increase insight into the etiology of biological and disease traits. Since genome-wide association studies frequently provide information on a single ... [more ▼]

AbstractPleiotropy is a widespread phenomenon that may increase insight into the etiology of biological and disease traits. Since genome-wide association studies frequently provide information on a single trait only, only univariate pleiotropy detection methods are applicable, with yet unknown comparative performance. Here, we compared five such methods with respect to their ability to detect pleiotropy, including meta-analysis, ASSET, cFDR, CPBayes, and PLACO, by performing extended computer simulations that varied the underlying etiological model for pleiotropy for a pair of traits, including the number of causal variants, degree of traits’ overlap, effect sizes as well as trait prevalence, and varying sample sizes. Our results indicate that ASSET provides the best trade-off between power and protection against false positives. We then applied ASSET to a previously published ILAE consortium dataset on complex epilepsies, comprising genetic generalized epilepsy and focal epilepsy cases and corresponding controls. We identified a novel candidate locus at 17q21.32 and confirmed locus 2q24.3, previously identified to act pleiotropically on both epilepsy subtypes by a mega-analysis. Functional annotation, tissue-specific expression and regulatory function analysis as well as Bayesian co-localization analysis corroborated this result, rendering 17q21.32 a worthwhile candidate for follow-up studies on pleiotropy in epilepsies.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailConserved patterns across ion channels correlate with variant pathogenicity and clinical phenotypes
Brünger, Tobias; Pérez-Palma, Eduardo; Montanucci, Ludovica et al

in Brain: a Journal of Neurology (2022)

Clinically identified genetic variants in ion channels can be benign or cause disease by increasing or decreasing the protein function. Consequently, therapeutic decision-making is challenging without ... [more ▼]

Clinically identified genetic variants in ion channels can be benign or cause disease by increasing or decreasing the protein function. Consequently, therapeutic decision-making is challenging without molecular testing of each variant. Our biophysical knowledge of ion channel structures and function is just emerging, and it is currently not well understood which amino acid residues cause disease when mutated.We sought to systematically identify biological properties associated with variant pathogenicity across all major voltage and ligand-gated ion channel families. We collected and curated 3,049 pathogenic variants from hundreds of neurodevelopmental and other disorders and 12,546 population variants for 30 ion channel or channel subunits for which a high-quality protein structure was available. Using a wide range of bioinformatics approaches, we computed 163 structural features and tested them for pathogenic variant enrichment. We developed a novel 3D spatial distance scoring approach that enables comparisons of pathogenic and population variant distribution across protein structures.We discovered and independently replicated that several pore residue properties and proximity to the pore axis were most significantly enriched for pathogenic variants compared to population variants. Using our 3D scoring approach, we showed that the strongest pathogenic variant enrichment was observed for pore-lining residues and alpha-helix residues within 5Å distance from the pore axis center and not involved in gating. Within the subset of residues located at the pore, the hydrophobicity of the pore was the feature most strongly associated with variant pathogenicity. We also found an association between the identified properties and both clinical phenotypes and functional in vitro assays for voltage-gated sodium channels (SCN1A, SCN2A, SCN8A) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (GRIN1, GRIN2A, GRIN2B) encoding genes. In an independent expert-curated dataset of 1,422 neurodevelopmental disorder pathogenic patient variants and 679 electrophysiological experiments, we show that pore axis distance is associated with seizure age of onset and cognitive performance as well as differential gain vs. loss-of-channel function.In summary, we identified biological properties associated with ion-channel malfunction and show that these are correlated with in vitro functional read-outs and clinical phenotypes in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. Our results suggest that clinical decision support algorithms that predict variant pathogenicity and function are feasible in the future. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of SORL1 in Lewy Body Dementia Identifies No Significant Associations
Ray, Anindidta; Reho, Paolo; Shah, Zalak et al

in Movement Disorders (2022)

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a clinically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder characterized by parkinsonism, visual hallucinations, fluctuating mental status, and rapid eye movement sleep behavior ... [more ▼]

Lewy body dementia (LBD) is a clinically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder characterized by parkinsonism, visual hallucinations, fluctuating mental status, and rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. LBD lies along a spectrum between Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, and recent evidence suggests that the genetic architectures of these age-related syndromes are intersecting. In summary, we did not find a significant enrichment of rare, damaging SORL1 mutations in our well-powered LBD cohort. Our data set is, to our knowledge, the largest genome-sequence cohort in this understudied disease. Although it is possible that an association was missed due to allelic heterogeneity, our findings indicate that caution should be exercised when interpreting SORL1 mutations in LBD, as the current evidence does not conclusively support an association with disease risk. [less ▲]

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See detailEarly-to-mid idiopathic Parkinson’s disease shows a more cytotoxic but declined CD8-regulatory peripheral immune profile
Capelle, Christophe; Cire, Séverine; Hansen, Maxime UL et al

E-print/Working paper (2022)

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Brain neuroinflammation plays a role in PD pathogenesis. However, the involvement of the peripheral immune system has not been ... [more ▼]

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. Brain neuroinflammation plays a role in PD pathogenesis. However, the involvement of the peripheral immune system has not been systematically investigated. Here we analyzed >700 combinatorial immunological features in fresh blood of 28 early-to-mid-stage PD patients and 24 matched controls. We found an enhanced cytotoxic immune profile in idiopathic PD patients (iPD), with a higher frequency of terminally-differentiated effector CD8 T (TEMRA), late-differentiated CD8+ natural killer T cells and neutrophils. This immune profile was intensified by elevated serum granzyme A, reduced percentages of CD8+FOXP3+ regulatory T cells and group 2 innate lymphoid cells with immunosuppressive or tolerance-inducing functions. The frequency of CD8 TEMRA was negatively correlated with disease duration, suggesting a contribution to PD pathogenesis. Our work provides a comprehensive map on disturbed peripheral adaptive and innate immune cells in early-to-mid iPD, proposing easily-accessible candidates for early diagnosis and treatments. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Interaction between HLA-DRB1 and Smoking in Parkinson's Disease Revisited
Domenighetti, Cloé; Douillard, Venceslas; Sugier, Pierre-Emmanuel et al

in Movement Disorders (2022)

Abstract Background Two studies that examined the interaction between HLA-DRB1 and smoking in Parkinson's disease (PD) yielded findings in opposite directions. Objective To perform a large-scale ... [more ▼]

Abstract Background Two studies that examined the interaction between HLA-DRB1 and smoking in Parkinson's disease (PD) yielded findings in opposite directions. Objective To perform a large-scale independent replication of the HLA-DRB1 × smoking interaction. Methods We genotyped 182 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) associated with smoking initiation in 12 424 cases and 9480 controls to perform a Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis in strata defined by HLA-DRB1. Results At the amino acid level, a valine at position 11 (V11) in HLA-DRB1 displayed the strongest association with PD. MR showed an inverse association between genetically predicted smoking initiation and PD only in absence of V11 (odds ratio, 0.74, 95 confidence interval, 0.59–0.93, PInteraction = 0.028). In silico predictions of the influence of V11 and smoking-induced modifications of α-synuclein on binding affinity showed findings consistent with this interaction pattern. Conclusions Despite being one of the most robust findings in PD research, the mechanisms underlying the inverse association between smoking and PD remain unknown. Our findings may help better understand this association. © 2022 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society [less ▲]

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See detailGRN Mutations Are Associated with Lewy Body Dementia
Reho, Paolo; Koga, Shunsuke; Shah, Zalak et al

in Movement Disorders (2022)

ABSTRACT Background Loss-of-function mutations in GRN are a cause of familial frontotemporal dementia, and common variants within the gene have been associated with an increased risk of developing ... [more ▼]

ABSTRACT Background Loss-of-function mutations in GRN are a cause of familial frontotemporal dementia, and common variants within the gene have been associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Although TDP-43-positive inclusions are characteristic of GRN-related neurodegeneration, Lewy body copathology has also been observed in many GRN mutation carriers. Objective The objective of this study was to assess a Lewy body dementia (LBD) case–control cohort for pathogenic variants in GRN and to test whether there is an enrichment of damaging mutations among patients with LBD. Methods We analyzed whole-genome sequencing data generated for 2591 European-ancestry LBD cases and 4032 neurologically healthy control subjects to identify disease-causing mutations in GRN. Results We identified six heterozygous exonic GRN mutations in seven study participants (cases: n = 6; control subjects: n = 1). Each variant was predicted to be pathogenic or likely pathogenic. We found significant enrichment of GRN loss-of-function mutations in patients with LBD compared with control subjects (Optimized Sequence Kernel Association Test P = 0.0162). Immunohistochemistry in three definite LBD cases demonstrated Lewy body pathology and TDP-43-positive neuronal inclusions. Conclusions Our findings suggest that deleterious GRN mutations are a rare cause of familial LBD. © 2022 International Parkinson Movement Disorder Society. This article has been contributed to by U.S. Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of common genetic variation in presumed monogenic epilepsies
Campbell, Ciarán; Leu, Costin; Feng, Yen-Chen Anne et al

in eBioMedicine (2022), 81

Summary: Background The developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) are the most severe group of epilepsies which co-present with developmental delay and intellectual disability (ID). DEEs usually ... [more ▼]

Summary: Background The developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) are the most severe group of epilepsies which co-present with developmental delay and intellectual disability (ID). DEEs usually occur in people without a family history of epilepsy and have emerged as primarily monogenic, with damaging rare mutations found in 50% of patients. Little is known about the genetic architecture of patients with DEEs in whom no pathogenic variant is identified. Polygenic risk scoring (PRS) is a method that measures a person's common genetic burden for a trait or condition. Here, we used PRS to test whether genetic burden for epilepsy is relevant in individuals with DEEs, and other forms of epilepsy with ID. Methods: Genetic data on 2,759 cases with DEEs, or epilepsy with ID presumed to have a monogenic basis, and 447,760 population-matched controls were analysed. We compared PRS for ‘all epilepsy’, ‘focal epilepsy’, and ‘genetic generalised epilepsy’ (GGE) between cases and controls. We performed pairwise comparisons between cases stratified for identifiable rare deleterious genetic variants and controls. Findings 0.0002) relative to controls, which explain between 0.08% and 3.3% of phenotypic variance. PRS was increased in cases both with and without an identified deleterious variant of major effect, and there was no significant difference in PRS between the two groups. Interpretation: We provide evidence that common genetic variation contributes to the aetiology of DEEs and other forms of epilepsy with ID, even when there is a known pathogenic variant of major effect. These results provide insight into the genetic underpinnings of the severe epilepsies and warrant a shift in our understanding of the aetiology of the DEEs as complex, rather than monogenic, disorders. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide meta-analysis of over 29,000 people with epilepsy reveals 26 loci and subtype-specific genetic architecture
International League Against Epilepsy Consortium on Complex Epilepsies Krause, Roland; Landoulsi, Zied UL; May, Patrick UL et al

E-print/Working paper (2022)

Epilepsy is a highly heritable disorder affecting over 50 million people worldwide, of which about one-third are resistant to current treatments. Here, we report a trans-ethnic GWAS including 29,944 cases ... [more ▼]

Epilepsy is a highly heritable disorder affecting over 50 million people worldwide, of which about one-third are resistant to current treatments. Here, we report a trans-ethnic GWAS including 29,944 cases, stratified into three broad- and seven sub-types of epilepsy, and 52,538 controls. We identify 26 genome-wide significant loci, 19 of which are specific to genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE). We implicate 29 likely causal genes underlying these 26 loci. SNP-based heritability analyses show that common variants substantially close the missing heritability gap for GGE. Subtype analysis revealed markedly different genetic architectures between focal and generalized epilepsies. Gene-set analysis of GGE signals implicate synaptic processes in both excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the brain. Prioritized candidate genes overlap with monogenic epilepsy genes and with targets of current anti-seizure medications. Finally, we leverage our results to identify alternate drugs with predicted efficacy if repurposed for epilepsy treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide Association and Meta-analysis of Age-at-Onset in Parkinson Disease: Evidence From COURAGE-PD Consortium 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200699
Grover, Sandeep; Ashwin, Ashok Kumar Sreelatha; Pihlstrom, Lasse et al

in Neurology (2022)

Background and Objectives: Considerable heterogeneity exists in the literature concerning genetic determinants of the age of onset (AAO) of Parkinson\textquoterights disease (PD), which could be ... [more ▼]

Background and Objectives: Considerable heterogeneity exists in the literature concerning genetic determinants of the age of onset (AAO) of Parkinson\textquoterights disease (PD), which could be attributed to lack of well-powered replication cohorts. The previous largest GWAS identified SNCA and TMEM175 loci on chromosome (Chr) 4 with a significant influence on AAO of PD, these have not been independently replicated. The present study aims to conduct a meta-analysis of GWAS of PD AAO and validate previously observed findings in worldwide populations.Methods: A meta-analysis was performed on PD AAO GWAS of 30 populations of predominantly European ancestry from the Comprehensive Unbiased Risk Factor Assessment for Genetics and Environment in Parkinson\textquoterights Disease (COURAGE-PD) consortium. This was followed up by combining our study with the largest publicly available European ancestry dataset compiled by the International Parkinson disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC).Results: The COURAGE-PD included a cohort of 8,535 patients with PD (91.9\%: Europeans, 9.1\%: East-Asians). The average AAO in the COURAGE-PD dataset was 58.9 years (SD=11.6), with an under-representation of females (40.2\%). The heritability estimate for AAO in COURAGE-PD was 0.083 (SE=0.057). None of the loci reached genome-wide significance (P\<5x10-8). Nevertheless, the COURAGE-PD dataset confirmed the role of the previously published TMEM175 variant as genetic determinant of AAO of PD with Bonferroni-corrected nominal levels of significance (P\<0.025): (rs34311866:β(SE)COURAGE=0.477(0.203), PCOURAGE=0.0185). The subsequent meta-analysis of COURAGE-PD and IPDGC datasets (Ntotal=25,950) led to the identification of two genome-wide significant association signals on Chr 4, including the previously reported SNCA locus (rs983361:β(SE)COURAGE+IPDGC=0.720(0.122), PCOURAGE+IPDGC=3.13x10-9) and a novel BST1 locus (rs4698412:β(SE)COURAGE+IPDGC=-0.526(0.096), PCOURAGE+IPDGC=4.41x10-8).Discussion: Our study further refines the genetic architecture of Chr 4 underlying the AAO of the PD phenotype through the identification of BST1 as a novel AAO PD locus. These findings open a new direction for the development of treatments to delay the onset of PD. [less ▲]

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See detailPolygenic Resilience Modulates the Penetrance of Parkinson Disease Genetic Risk Factors
Liu, Hui; Dehestani, Mohammad; Blauwendraat, Cornelis et al

in Annals of Neurology (2022)

Objective: The aim of the current study is to understand why some individuals avoid developing Parkinson disease (PD) despite being at relatively high genetic risk, using the largest datasets of ... [more ▼]

Objective: The aim of the current study is to understand why some individuals avoid developing Parkinson disease (PD) despite being at relatively high genetic risk, using the largest datasets of individual-level genetic data available. Methods: We calculated polygenic risk score to identify controls and matched PD cases with the highest burden of genetic risk for PD in the discovery cohort (International Parkinson's Disease Genomics Consortium, 7,204 PD cases and 9,412 controls) and validation cohorts (Comprehensive Unbiased Risk Factor Assessment for Genetics and Environment in Parkinson's Disease, 8,968 cases and 7,598 controls; UK Biobank, 2,639 PD cases and 14,301 controls; Accelerating Medicines Partnership–Parkinson's Disease Initiative, 2,248 cases and 2,817 controls). A genome-wide association study meta-analysis was performed on these individuals to understand genetic variation associated with resistance to disease. We further constructed a polygenic resilience score, and performed multimarker analysis of genomic annotation (MAGMA) gene-based analyses and functional enrichment analyses. Results: A higher polygenic resilience score was associated with a lower risk for PD (β = −0.054, standard error [SE] = 0.022, p = 0.013). Although no single locus reached genome-wide significance, MAGMA gene-based analyses nominated TBCA as a putative gene. Furthermore, we estimated the narrow-sense heritability associated with resilience to PD (h2 = 0.081, SE = 0.035, p = 0.0003). Subsequent functional enrichment analysis highlighted histone methylation as a potential pathway harboring resilience alleles that could mitigate the effects of PD risk loci. Interpretation: The present study represents a novel and comprehensive assessment of heritable genetic variation contributing to PD resistance. We show that a genetic resilience score can modify the penetrance of PD genetic risk factors and therefore protect individuals carrying a high-risk genetic burden from developing PD. ANN NEUROL 2022 [less ▲]

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See detailBenchmarking Low-Frequency Variant Calling With Long-Read Data on Mitochondrial DNA
Lüth, Theresa; Schaake, Susen; Grünewald, Anne UL et al

in Frontiers in Genetics (2022), 13

Background: Sequencing quality has improved over the last decade for long-reads, allowing for more accurate detection of somatic low-frequency variants. In this study, we used mixtures of mitochondrial ... [more ▼]

Background: Sequencing quality has improved over the last decade for long-reads, allowing for more accurate detection of somatic low-frequency variants. In this study, we used mixtures of mitochondrial samples with different haplogroups (i.e., a specific set of mitochondrial variants) to investigate the applicability of nanopore sequencing for low-frequency single nucleotide variant detection.Methods: We investigated the impact of base-calling, alignment/mapping, quality control steps, and variant calling by comparing the results to a previously derived short-read gold standard generated on the Illumina NextSeq. For nanopore sequencing, six mixtures of four different haplotypes were prepared, allowing us to reliably check for expected variants at the predefined 5%, 2%, and 1% mixture levels. We used two different versions of Guppy for base-calling, two aligners (i.e., Minimap2 and Ngmlr), and three variant callers (i.e., Mutserve2, Freebayes, and Nanopanel2) to compare low-frequency variants. We used F<sub>1</sub> score measurements to assess the performance of variant calling.Results: We observed a mean read length of 11 kb and a mean overall read quality of 15. Ngmlr showed not only higher F<sub>1</sub> scores but also higher allele frequencies (AF) of false-positive calls across the mixtures (mean F<sub>1</sub> score = 0.83; false-positive allele frequencies < 0.17) compared to Minimap2 (mean F<sub>1</sub> score = 0.82; false-positive AF < 0.06). Mutserve2 had the highest F<sub>1</sub> scores (5% level: F<sub>1</sub> score >0.99, 2% level: F<sub>1</sub> score >0.54, and 1% level: F<sub>1</sub> score >0.70) across all callers and mixture levels.Conclusion: We here present the benchmarking for low-frequency variant calling with nanopore sequencing by identifying current limitations. [less ▲]

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See detailMitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy distinguishes disease manifestation in PINK1- and PRKN-linked Parkinson's disease 2022.05.17.22275087
Trinh, Joanne; Hicks, Andrew A.; Koenig, Inke R. et al

E-print/Working paper (2022)

Biallelic mutations in PINK1 and PRKN cause recessively inherited Parkinson's disease (PD). Though some studies suggest that PINK1/PRKN monoallelic mutations may not contribute to risk, deep phenotyping ... [more ▼]

Biallelic mutations in PINK1 and PRKN cause recessively inherited Parkinson's disease (PD). Though some studies suggest that PINK1/PRKN monoallelic mutations may not contribute to risk, deep phenotyping assessment showed that PINK1 or PRKN monoallelic pathogenic variants were at a significantly higher rate in PD compared to controls. Given the established role of PINK1 and Parkin in regulating mitochondrial dynamics, we explored mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) integrity and inflammation as potential disease modifiers in carriers of mutations in these genes. MtDNA integrity, global gene expression and serum cytokine levels were investigated in a large collection of biallelic (n=84) and monoallelic (n=170) carriers of PINK1/PRKN mutations, iPD patients (n=67) and controls (n=90). Affected and unaffected PINK1/PRKN monoallelic mutation carriers can be distinguished by heteroplasmic mtDNA variant load (AUC=0.83, CI:0.74-0.93). Biallelic PINK1/PRKN mutation carriers harbor more heteroplasmic mtDNA variants in blood (p=0.0006, Z=3.63) compared to monoallelic mutation carriers. This enrichment was confirmed in iPSC-derived and postmortem midbrain neurons from biallelic PRKN-PD patients. Lastly, the heteroplasmic mtDNA variant load was found to correlate with IL6 levels in PINK1/PRKN mutation carriers (r=0.57, p=0.0074). PINK1/PRKN mutations predispose individuals to mtDNA variant accumulation in a dose- and disease-dependent manner. MtDNA variant load over time is a potential marker of disease manifestation in PINK1/PRKN mutation carriers.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.Funding StatementThe authors wish to thank the many patients and their families who volunteered, and the efforts of the many clinical teams involved. Funding has been obtained from the German Research Foundation (ProtectMove; FOR 2488, GR 3731/5-1; SE 2608/2-1; KO 2250/7-1), the Luxembourg National Research Fund in the ATTRACT (Model-IPD, FNR9631103), NCER-PD (FNR11264123) and INTER programmes (ProtectMove, FNR11250962; MiRisk-PD, C17/BM/11676395, NB 4328/2-1), the BMBF (MitoPD), the Hermann and Lilly Schilling Foundation, the European Community (SysMedPD), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Peter and Traudl Engelhorn Foundation. Initial studies in Tunisia on familial parkinsonism were in collaboration with Lefkos Middleton, Rachel Gibson, and the GlaxoSmithKline PD Programme Team (2002-2005). We would like to thank Dr Helen Tuppen from the Welcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, Newcastle University, UK for providing us with the plasmid p7D1. Moreover, this project was supported by the high throughput/high content screening platform and HPC facility at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, and the University of Luxembourg.Author DeclarationsI confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.YesThe details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:University of Lubeck Ethics CommitteeI confirm that all necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived, and that any patient/participant/sample identifiers included were not known to anyone (e.g., hospital staff, patients or participants themselves) outside the research group so cannot be used to identify individuals.YesI understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.YesAll data produced in the present study are available upon reasonable request to the authors [less ▲]

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See detailmGlu3 Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors as a Target for the Treatment of Absence Epilepsy: Preclinical and Human Genetics Data
Celli, Roberta; Striano, Pasquale; Citraro, Rita et al

in Current Neuropharmacology (2022)

Abstract: Background: Previous studies suggest that different metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor subtypes are potential drug targets for treating absence epilepsy. However, no information is available ... [more ▼]

Abstract: Background: Previous studies suggest that different metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptor subtypes are potential drug targets for treating absence epilepsy. However, no information is available on mGlu3 receptors. Objective: To examine whether (i) changes of mGlu3 receptor expression/signaling are found in the somatosensory cortex and thalamus of WAG/Rij rats developing spontaneous absence seizures; (ii) selective activation of mGlu3 receptors with LY2794193 affects the number and duration of spike- wave discharges (SWDs) in WAG/Rij rats; and (iii) a genetic variant of GRM3 (encoding the mGlu3 receptor) is associated with absence epilepsy. Methods: Animals: immunoblot analysis of mGlu3 receptors, GAT-1, GLAST, and GLT-1; real- time PCR analysis of mGlu3 mRNA levels; assessment of mGlu3 receptor signaling; EEG analysis of SWDs; assessment of depressive-like behavior. Humans: search for GRM3 and GRM5 missense variants in 196 patients with absence epilepsy or other Idiopathic Generalized Epilepsy (IGE)/ Genetic Generalized Epilepsy (GGE) and 125,748 controls. Results: mGlu3 protein levels and mGlu3-mediated inhibition of cAMP formation were reduced in the thalamus and somatosensory cortex of pre-symptomatic (25-27 days old) and symptomatic (6-7 months old) WAG/Rij rats compared to age-matched controls. Treatment with LY2794193 (1 or 10 mg/kg, i.p.) reduced absence seizures and depressive-like behavior in WAG/Rij rats. LY2794193 also enhanced GAT1, GLAST, and GLT-1 protein levels in the thalamus and somatosensory cortex. GRM3 and GRM5 gene variants did not differ between epileptic patients and controls. Conclusion: We suggest that mGlu3 receptors modulate the activity of the cortico-thalamo-cortical circuit underlying SWDs and that selective mGlu3 receptor agonists are promising candidate drugs for absence epilepsy treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailSingle-cell sequencing of human midbrain reveals glial activation and a Parkinson-specific neuronal state.
Smajic, Semra UL; Prada-Medina, Cesar A.; Landoulsi, Zied UL et al

in Brain : a journal of neurology (2022), 145(3), 964-978

Idiopathic Parkinson's disease is characterized by a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons, but the exact disease etiology remains largely unknown. To date, Parkinson's disease research has mainly ... [more ▼]

Idiopathic Parkinson's disease is characterized by a progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons, but the exact disease etiology remains largely unknown. To date, Parkinson's disease research has mainly focused on nigral dopaminergic neurons, although recent studies suggest disease-related changes also in non-neuronal cells and in midbrain regions beyond the substantia nigra. While there is some evidence for glial involvement in Parkinson's disease, the molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to characterize the contribution of all cell types of the midbrain to Parkinson's disease pathology by single-nuclei RNA sequencing and to assess the cell type-specific risk for Parkinson's disease employing the latest genome-wide association study. We profiled >41 000 single-nuclei transcriptomes of postmortem midbrain from six idiopathic Parkinson's disease patients and five age-/sex-matched controls. To validate our findings in a spatial context, we utilized immunolabeling of the same tissues. Moreover, we analyzed Parkinson's disease-associated risk enrichment in genes with cell type-specific expression patterns. We discovered a neuronal cell cluster characterized by CADPS2 overexpression and low TH levels, which was exclusively present in IPD midbrains. Validation analyses in laser-microdissected neurons suggest that this cluster represents dysfunctional dopaminergic neurons. With regard to glial cells, we observed an increase in nigral microglia in Parkinson's disease patients. Moreover, nigral idiopathic Parkinson's disease microglia were more amoeboid, indicating an activated state. We also discovered a reduction in idiopathic Parkinson's disease oligodendrocyte numbers with the remaining cells being characterized by a stress-induced upregulation of S100B. Parkinson's disease risk variants were associated with glia- and neuron-specific gene expression patterns in idiopathic Parkinson's disease cases. Furthermore, astrocytes and microglia presented idiopathic Parkinson's disease-specific cell proliferation and dysregulation of genes related to unfolded protein response and cytokine signaling. While reactive patient astrocytes showed CD44 overexpression, idiopathic Parkinson's disease-microglia revealed a pro-inflammatory trajectory characterized by elevated levels of IL1B, GPNMB, and HSP90AA1. Taken together, we generated the first single-nuclei RNA sequencing dataset from the idiopathic Parkinson's disease midbrain, which highlights a disease-specific neuronal cell cluster as well as 'pan-glial' activation as a central mechanism in the pathology of the movement disorder. This finding warrants further research into inflammatory signaling and immunomodulatory treatments in Parkinson's disease. [less ▲]

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See detailConserved patterns across ion channels correlate with variant pathogenicity and clinical phenotypes 2022.03.23.485339
Brünger, Tobias; Perez-Palma, Eduardo; Montanucci, Ludovica et al

E-print/Working paper (2022)

Clinically identified genetic variants in ion channels can be benign or cause disease by increasing or decreasing the protein function. Consequently, therapeutic decision-making is challenging without ... [more ▼]

Clinically identified genetic variants in ion channels can be benign or cause disease by increasing or decreasing the protein function. Consequently, therapeutic decision-making is challenging without molecular testing of each variant. Our biophysical knowledge of ion channel structures and function is just emerging, and it is currently not well understood which amino acid residues cause disease when mutated.We sought to systematically identify biological properties associated with variant pathogenicity across all major voltage and ligand-gated ion channel families. We collected and curated 3,049 pathogenic variants from hundreds of neurodevelopmental and other disorders and 12,546 population variants for 30 ion channel or channel subunits for which a high-quality protein structure was available. Using a wide range of bioinformatics approaches, we computed 163 structural features and tested them for pathogenic variant enrichment. We developed a novel 3D spatial distance scoring approach that enables comparisons of pathogenic and population variant distribution across protein structures.We discovered and independently replicated that several pore residue properties and proximity to the pore axis were most significantly enriched for pathogenic variants compared to population variants. Using our novel 3D scoring approach, we showed that the strongest pathogenic variant enrichment was observed for pore-lining residues and alpha-helix residues within 5 A distance from the pore axis center and not involved in gating. Within the subset of residues located at the pore, the hydrophobicity of the pore was the feature most strongly associated with variant pathogenicity. We also found an association between the identified properties and both clinical phenotypes and fucntional in vitro assays for voltage-gated sodium channels (SCN1A, SCN2A, SCN8A) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (GRIN1, GRIN2A, GRIN2B) encoding genes. In an independent expert-curated dataset of 1,422 neurodevelopmental disorder pathogenic patient variants, and 679 electrophysiological experiments that pore axis distance is associated with seizure age of onset and cognitive performance as well as differential gain vs. loss-of-channel function.In summary, we identified biological properties associated with ion-channel malfunction and show that these are correlated with in vitro functional read-outs and clinical phenotypes in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. Our results suggest that clinical decision support algorithms that predict variant pathogenicity and function are feasible in the future.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.DSSPDictionary of Protein Secondary StructuregnomADGenome aggregation DatabaseGoFGain of functionGRIN genesGRIN1, GRIN2A. GRIN2BHGMDHuman Gene Mutation DatabaseNMDA receptorN-methyl-D-aspartate receptorGABA receptorGamma-aminobutyric acid receptorLoFLoss of functionSCN genesSCN1A, SCN2A, SCN8AVCFVariant Call Format [less ▲]

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See detailCNV-ClinViewer: Enhancing the clinical interpretation of large copy-number variants online
Macnee, Marie; Perez-Palma, Eduardo; Brünger, Tobias et al

E-print/Working paper (2022)

Purpose Large copy number variants (CNVs) can cause a heterogeneous spectrum of rare and severe disorders. However, most CNVs are benign and are part of natural variation in human genomes. CNV ... [more ▼]

Purpose Large copy number variants (CNVs) can cause a heterogeneous spectrum of rare and severe disorders. However, most CNVs are benign and are part of natural variation in human genomes. CNV pathogenicity classification, genotype-phenotype analyses, and therapeutic target identification are challenging and time-consuming tasks that require the integration and analysis of information from multiple scattered sources by experts. Methods We developed a web-application combining >250,000 patient and population CNVs together with a large set of biomedical annotations and provide tools for CNV classification based on ACMG/ClinGen guidelines and gene-set enrichment analyses. Results Here, we introduce the CNV-ClinViewer (https://cnv-ClinViewer.broadinstitute.org), an open-source web-application for clinical evaluation and visual exploration of CNVs. The application enables real-time interactive exploration of large CNV datasets in a user-friendly designed interface. Conclusion Overall, this resource facilitates semi-automated clinical CNV interpretation and genomic loci exploration and, in combination with clinical judgment, enables clinicians and researchers to formulate novel hypotheses and guide their decision-making process. Subsequently, the CNV-ClinViewer enhances for clinical investigators patient care and for basic scientists translational genomic research. [less ▲]

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See detailSpectrum of Phenotypic, Genetic, and Functional Characteristics in Epilepsy Patients With KCNC2 Pathogenic Variants 10.1212/WNL.0000000000200660
Schwarz, Niklas; Seiffert, Simone; Pendziwiat, Manuela et al

in Neurology (2022)

Background: KCNC2 encodes Kv3.2, a member of the Shaw-related (Kv3) voltage-gated potassium channel subfamily, which is important for sustained high-frequency firing and optimized energy efficiency of ... [more ▼]

Background: KCNC2 encodes Kv3.2, a member of the Shaw-related (Kv3) voltage-gated potassium channel subfamily, which is important for sustained high-frequency firing and optimized energy efficiency of action potentials in the brain. The objective of this study was to analyse the clinical phenotype, genetic background, and biophysical function of disease-associated Kv3.2 variants.Methods: Individuals with KCNC2 variants detected by exome sequencing were selected for clinical, further genetic, and functional analysis. Cases were referred through clinical and research collaborations. Selected de novo variants were examined electrophysiologically in Xenopus laevis oocytes.Results: We identified novel KCNC2 variants in 18 patients with various forms of epilepsy including genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE), developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (DEE) including early-onset absence epilepsy (EOAE), focal epilepsy (FE), and myoclonic-atonic epilepsy (MAE). 10/18 variants were de novo and 8/18 variants were classified as modifying variants. 8 drug responsive cases became seizure-free using valproic acid as monotherapy or in combination including severe DEE cases. Functional analysis of four variants demonstrated gain-of-function in three severely affected DEE cases and loss-of-function in one case with a milder phenotype (GGE) as the underlying pathomechanisms.Conclusion: These findings implicate KCNC2 as a novel causative gene for epilepsy and emphasize the critical role of KV3.2 in the regulation of brain excitability. [less ▲]

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See detailClinically relevant combined effect of polygenic background, rare pathogenic germline variants, and family history on colorectal cancer incidence 2022.01.20.22269585
Hassanin, Emadeldin; Spier, Isabel; Bobbili, Dheeraj Reddy UL et al

E-print/Working paper (2022)

Background and aims: Summarised in polygenic risk scores (PRS), the effect of common, low penetrant genetic variants associated with colorectal cancer (CRC), can be used for risk stratification.Methods To ... [more ▼]

Background and aims: Summarised in polygenic risk scores (PRS), the effect of common, low penetrant genetic variants associated with colorectal cancer (CRC), can be used for risk stratification.Methods To assess the combined impact of the PRS and other main factors on CRC risk, 163,516 individuals from the UK Biobank were stratified as follows: 1. carriers status for germline pathogenic variants (PV) in CRC susceptibility genes (APC, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2), 2. low (<20%), intermediate (20-80%), or high PRS (>80\%), and 3. family history (FH) of CRC. Multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models were applied to compare odds ratios (OR) and to compute the lifetime incidence, respectively. Results: Depending on the PRS, the CRC lifetime incidence for non-carriers ranges between 6 and 22\%, compared to 40 and 74 for carriers. A suspicious FH is associated with a further increase of the cumulative incidence reaching 26 for non-carriers and 98 for carriers. In non-carriers without FH, but high PRS, the CRC risk is doubled, whereas a low PRS even in the context of a FH results in a decreased risk. The full model including PRS, carrier status, and FH improved the area under the curve (AUC) in risk prediction (0.704). Conclusion: The findings demonstrate that CRC risks are strongly influenced by the PRS for both a sporadic and monogenic background. FH, PV, and common variants complementary contribute to CRC risk. The implementation of PRS in routine care will likely improve personalized risk stratification, which will in turn guide tailored preventive surveillance strategies in high, intermediate, and low risk groups. [less ▲]

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See detailAssociation of ultra-rare coding variants with genetic generalized epilepsy: A case–control whole exome sequencing study
Koko, Mahmoud; Motelow, Joshua E.; Stanley, Kate E. et al

in Epilepsia (2022)

Abstract Objective We aimed to identify genes associated with genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE) by combining large cohorts enriched with individuals with a positive family history. Secondarily, we set ... [more ▼]

Abstract Objective We aimed to identify genes associated with genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE) by combining large cohorts enriched with individuals with a positive family history. Secondarily, we set out to compare the association of genes independently with familial and sporadic GGE. Methods We performed a case–control whole exome sequencing study in unrelated individuals of European descent diagnosed with GGE (previously recruited and sequenced through multiple international collaborations) and ancestry-matched controls. The association of ultra-rare variants (URVs; in 18 834 protein-coding genes) with epilepsy was examined in 1928 individuals with GGE (vs. 8578 controls), then separately in 945 individuals with familial GGE (vs. 8626 controls), and finally in 1005 individuals with sporadic GGE (vs. 8621 controls). We additionally examined the association of URVs with familial and sporadic GGE in two gene sets important for inhibitory signaling (19 genes encoding γ-aminobutyric acid type A [GABAA] receptors, 113 genes representing the GABAergic pathway). Results GABRG2 was associated with GGE (p = 1.8 × 10−5), approaching study-wide significance in familial GGE (p = 3.0 × 10−6), whereas no gene approached a significant association with sporadic GGE. Deleterious URVs in the most intolerant subgenic regions in genes encoding GABAA receptors were associated with familial GGE (odds ratio [OR] = 3.9, 95 confidence interval [CI] = 1.9–7.8, false discovery rate [FDR]-adjusted p = .0024), whereas their association with sporadic GGE had marginally lower odds (OR = 3.1, 95 CI = 1.3–6.7, FDR-adjusted p = .022). URVs in GABAergic pathway genes were associated with familial GGE (OR = 1.8, 95 CI = 1.3–2.5, FDR-adjusted p = .0024) but not with sporadic GGE (OR = 1.3, 95 CI = .9–1.9, FDR-adjusted p = .19). Significance URVs in GABRG2 are likely an important risk factor for familial GGE. The association of gene sets of GABAergic signaling with familial GGE is more prominent than with sporadic GGE. [less ▲]

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