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See detailDiscovery and pathogenicity assessment of neuropathology-associated gene variants
Neupert, Lisa-Marie; May, Patrick UL; Kobow, Katja et al

in Epilepsia (2017, December 08), 58(Suppl.5), 174

Germline and brain-specific somatic variants have been reported as an underlying cause in patients with epilepsy-associated neuropathologies, including focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) and long-term ... [more ▼]

Germline and brain-specific somatic variants have been reported as an underlying cause in patients with epilepsy-associated neuropathologies, including focal cortical dysplasias (FCDs) and long-term epilepsy associated tumors (LEAT). However, evaluation of identified neuropathology associated variants in genetic screens is complex since not all observed variants contribute to the etiology of neuropathologies not even in genuinely disease-associated genes. Here, we critically reevaluated the pathogenicity of 12 previously published disease-related genes and of 79 neuropathology-associated missense variants listed in the PubMed and ClinVar databases. We (1) assessed the evolutionary gene constraint using the pLI and the missense z score, (2) used the latest American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) guidelines, and (3) performed bioinformatic variant pathogenicity prediction analyses using PolyPhen-2, CADD and GERP. Constraint analysis classified only seven out of 12 genes to be likely disease-associated. Furthermore, 78 (89%) of 88 neuropathology-associated missense variants were classified as being of unknown significance (VUS) and only 10 (11%) as being likely pathogenic (LPII). Pathogenicity prediction yielded a discrimination between LPII variants and a discrimination for VUS compared with rare variant scores from individuals present in the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD). In summary, our results demonstrate that interpretation of variants associated with neuropathologies is complex while the application of current ACMG guidelines including bioinformatic pathogenicity prediction can help improving variant evaluation. Furthermore, we will augment this set of literature-identified variants at the conference by results from our variant screen using self-generated deep sequencing data in >150 candidate genes in >50 patients not yet analyzed. [less ▲]

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See detailReassessment Of Lesion-Associated Gene And Variant Pathogenicity In Focal Human Epilepsies
Neupert, Lisa Marie; Nothnagel, Michael; May, Patrick UL et al

E-print/Working paper (2017)

Purpose: Increasing availability of surgically resected brain tissue from Focal Cortical Dysplasia and low-grade epilepsy-associated tumor patients fostered large-scale genetic examination. However ... [more ▼]

Purpose: Increasing availability of surgically resected brain tissue from Focal Cortical Dysplasia and low-grade epilepsy-associated tumor patients fostered large-scale genetic examination. However, assessment of germline and somatic variant pathogenicity remains difficult. Methods: Here, we critically reevaluated the pathogenicity for all neuropathology-associated variants reported to date in the PubMed and ClinVar databases, including 12 disease-related genes and 88 neuropathology-associated missense variants. We (1) assessed evolutionary gene constraint using the pLI and missense z scores, (2) applied guidelines by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG), and (3) predicted pathogenicity by using PolyPhen-2, CADD, and GERP. Results: Constraint analysis classified only seven out of 12 genes to be likely disease-associated, while 35 (40\%) of those 88 variants were classified as being variants of unknown significance (VUS) and 53 (60\%) as being likely pathogenic (LPII). Pathogenicity prediction yielded discrimination between neuropathology-associated variants (LPII and VUS) and rare variant scores obtained from individuals present in the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD). Conclusion: We conclude that several VUS are likely disease-associated and will be reclassified by future molecular evidence. In summary, interpretation of lesion-associated gene variants remains complex while the application of current ACMG guidelines including bioinformatic pathogenicity prediction will help improving interpretation and prediction. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of Presumably Disease Causing SCN1A Variants in a Cohort of Common Epilepsy Syndromes
Lal, Dennis; Reinthaler, Eva; Dejanovic et al

in PLoS ONE (2016)

Objective The SCN1A gene, coding for the voltage-gated Na+ channel alpha subunit NaV1.1, is the clinically most relevant epilepsy gene. With the advent of high-throughput next-generation sequencing ... [more ▼]

Objective The SCN1A gene, coding for the voltage-gated Na+ channel alpha subunit NaV1.1, is the clinically most relevant epilepsy gene. With the advent of high-throughput next-generation sequencing, clinical laboratories are generating an ever-increasing catalogue of SCN1A variants. Variants are more likely to be classified as pathogenic if they have already been identified previously in a patient with epilepsy. Here, we critically re-evaluate the pathogenicity of this class of variants in a cohort of patients with common epilepsy syndromes and subsequently ask whether a significant fraction of benign variants have been misclassified as pathogenic. Methods We screened a discovery cohort of 448 patients with a broad range of common genetic epilepsies and 734 controls for previously reported SCN1A mutations that were assumed to be disease causing. We re-evaluated the evidence for pathogenicity of the identified variants using in silico predictions, segregation, original reports, available functional data and assessment of allele frequencies in healthy individuals as well as in a follow up cohort of 777 patients. Results and Interpretation We identified 8 known missense mutations, previously reported as pathogenic, in a total of 17 unrelated epilepsy patients (17/448; 3.80%). Our re-evaluation indicates that 7 out of these 8 variants (p.R27T; p.R28C; p.R542Q; p.R604H; p.T1250M; p.E1308D; p.R1928G; NP_001159435.1) are not pathogenic. Only the p.T1174S mutation may be considered as a genetic risk factor for epilepsy of small effect size based on the enrichment in patients (P = 6.60 x 10−4; OR = 0.32, fishers exact test), previous functional studies but incomplete penetrance. Thus, incorporation of previous studies in genetic counseling of SCN1A sequencing results is challenging and may produce incorrect conclusions. [less ▲]

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See detailRecessive mutations in SLC13A5 result in a loss of citrate transport and cause neonatal epilepsy, developmental delay and teeth hypoplasia
Hardies, Katia; de Kovel, Carolien G.F.; Weckhuysen, Sarah et al

in Brain : A Journal of Neurology (2015)

The epileptic encephalopathies are a clinically and aetiologically heterogeneous subgroup of epilepsy syndromes. Most epileptic encephalopathies have a genetic cause and patients are often found to carry ... [more ▼]

The epileptic encephalopathies are a clinically and aetiologically heterogeneous subgroup of epilepsy syndromes. Most epileptic encephalopathies have a genetic cause and patients are often found to carry a heterozygous de novo mutation in one of the genes associated with the disease entity. Occasionally recessive mutations are identified: a recent publication described a distinct neonatal epileptic encephalopathy (MIM 615905) caused by autosomal recessive mutations in the SLC13A5 gene. Here, we report eight additional patients belonging to four different families with autosomal recessive mutations in SLC13A5. SLC13A5 encodes a high affinity sodium-dependent citrate transporter, which is expressed in the brain. Neurons are considered incapable of de novo synthesis of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates; therefore they rely on the uptake of intermediates, such as citrate, to maintain their energy status and neurotransmitter production. The effect of all seven identified mutations (two premature stops and five amino acid substitutions) was studied in vitro, using immunocytochemistry, selective western blot and mass spectrometry. We hereby demonstrate that cells expressing mutant sodium-dependent citrate transporter have a complete loss of citrate uptake due to various cellular loss-of-function mechanisms. In addition, we provide independent proof of the involvement of autosomal recessive SLC13A5 mutations in the development of neonatal epileptic encephalopathies, and highlight teeth hypoplasia as a possible indicator for SLC13A5 screening. All three patients who tried the ketogenic diet responded well to this treatment, and future studies will allow us to ascertain whether this is a recurrent feature in this severe disorder. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigation of GRIN2A in common epilepsy phenotypes.
Lal, Dennis; Steinbrucker, Sandra; Schubert, Julian et al

in Epilepsy research (2015), 115

Recently, mutations and deletions in the GRIN2A gene have been identified to predispose to benign and severe idiopathic focal epilepsies (IFE), revealing a higher incidence of GRIN2A alterations among the ... [more ▼]

Recently, mutations and deletions in the GRIN2A gene have been identified to predispose to benign and severe idiopathic focal epilepsies (IFE), revealing a higher incidence of GRIN2A alterations among the more severe phenotypes. This study aimed to explore the phenotypic boundaries of GRIN2A mutations by investigating patients with the two most common epilepsy syndromes: (i) idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) and (ii) temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Whole exome sequencing data of 238 patients with IGE as well as Sanger sequencing of 84 patients with TLE were evaluated for GRIN2A sequence alterations. Two additional independent cohorts comprising 1469 IGE and 330 TLE patients were screened for structural deletions (>40kb) involving GRIN2A. Apart from a presumably benign, non-segregating variant in a patient with juvenile absence epilepsy, neither mutations nor deletions were detected in either cohort. These findings suggest that mutations in GRIN2A preferentially are involved in genetic variance of pediatric IFE and do not contribute significantly to either adult focal epilepsies as TLE or generalized epilepsies. [less ▲]

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