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See detailSub-genic intolerance, ClinVar, and the epilepsies: A whole-exome sequencing study of 29,165 individuals
Motelow, Joshua E.; Povysil, Gundula; Dhindsa, Ryan S. et al

in The American Journal of Human Genetics (2021)

Summary Both mild and severe epilepsies are influenced by variants in the same genes, yet an explanation for the resulting phenotypic variation is unknown. As part of the ongoing Epi25 Collaboration, we ... [more ▼]

Summary Both mild and severe epilepsies are influenced by variants in the same genes, yet an explanation for the resulting phenotypic variation is unknown. As part of the ongoing Epi25 Collaboration, we performed a whole-exome sequencing analysis of 13,487 epilepsy-affected individuals and 15,678 control individuals. While prior Epi25 studies focused on gene-based collapsing analyses, we asked how the pattern of variation within genes differs by epilepsy type. Specifically, we compared the genetic architectures of severe developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) and two generally less severe epilepsies, genetic generalized epilepsy and non-acquired focal epilepsy (NAFE). Our gene-based rare variant collapsing analysis used geographic ancestry-based clustering that included broader ancestries than previously possible and revealed novel associations. Using the missense intolerance ratio (MTR), we found that variants in DEE-affected individuals are in significantly more intolerant genic sub-regions than those in NAFE-affected individuals. Only previously reported pathogenic variants absent in available genomic datasets showed a significant burden in epilepsy-affected individuals compared with control individuals, and the ultra-rare pathogenic variants associated with DEE were located in more intolerant genic sub-regions than variants associated with non-DEE epilepsies. MTR filtering improved the yield of ultra-rare pathogenic variants in affected individuals compared with control individuals. Finally, analysis of variants in genes without a disease association revealed a significant burden of loss-of-function variants in the genes most intolerant to such variation, indicating additional epilepsy-risk genes yet to be discovered. Taken together, our study suggests that genic and sub-genic intolerance are critical characteristics for interpreting the effects of variation in genes that influence epilepsy. [less ▲]

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See detailGenotype-phenotype correlations in SCN8A-related disorders reveal prognostic and therapeutic implications
Johannesen, Katrine M.; Liu, Yuanyuan; Gjerulfsen, Cathrine E. et al

E-print/Working paper (2021)

We report detailed functional analyses and genotype-phenotype correlations in 433 individuals carrying disease-causing variants in SCN8A, encoding the voltage-gated Na+ channel NaV1.6. Five different ... [more ▼]

We report detailed functional analyses and genotype-phenotype correlations in 433 individuals carrying disease-causing variants in SCN8A, encoding the voltage-gated Na+ channel NaV1.6. Five different clinical subgroups could be identified: 1) Benign familial infantile epilepsy (BFIE) (n=17, normal cognition, treatable seizures), 2) intermediate epilepsy (n=36, mild ID, partially pharmacoresponsive), 3) developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (DEE, n=191, severe ID, majority pharmacoresistant), 4) generalized epilepsy (n=21, mild to moderate ID, frequently with absence seizures), and 5) affected individuals without epilepsy (n=25, mild to moderate ID). Groups 1-3 presented with early-onset (median: four months) focal or multifocal seizures and epileptic discharges, whereas the onset of seizures in group 4 was later (median: 39 months) with generalized epileptic discharges. The epilepsy was not classifiable in 143 individuals. We performed functional studies expressing missense variants in ND7/23 neuroblastoma cells and primary neuronal cultures using recombinant tetrodotoxin insensitive human NaV1.6 channels and whole-cell patch clamping. Two variants causing DEE showed a strong gain-of-function (GOF, hyperpolarising shift of steady-state activation, strongly increased neuronal firing rate), and one variant causing BFIE or intermediate epilepsy showed a mild GOF (defective fast inactivation, less increased firing). In contrast, all three variants causing generalized epilepsy induced a loss-of-function (LOF, reduced current amplitudes, depolarising shift of steady-state activation, reduced neuronal firing). Including previous studies, functional effects were known for 165 individuals. All 133 individuals carrying GOF variants had either focal (76, groups 1-3), or unclassifiable epilepsy (37), whereas 32 with LOF variants had either generalized (14), no (11) or unclassifiable (5) epilepsy; only two had DEE. Computational modeling in the GOF group revealed a significant correlation between the severity of the electrophysiological and clinical phenotypes. GOF variant carriers responded significantly better to sodium channel blockers (SCBs) than to other anti-seizure medications, and the same applied for all individuals of groups 1-3.In conclusion, our data reveal clear genotype-phenotype correlations between age at seizure onset, type of epilepsy and gain- or loss-of-function effects of SCN8A variants. Generalized epilepsy with absence seizures is the main epilepsy phenotype of LOF variant carriers and the extent of the electrophysiological dysfunction of the GOF variants is a main determinant of the severity of the clinical phenotype in focal epilepsies. Our pharmacological data indicate that SCBs present a therapeutic treatment option in early onset SCN8A-related focal epilepsy. [less ▲]

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See detailUltra-Rare Genetic Variation in the Epilepsies: A Whole-Exome Sequencing Study of 17,606 Individuals
Feng, Yen-Chen Anne; Howrigan, Daniel P.; Abbott, Liam E. et al

in American Journal of Human Genetics (2019)

Sequencing-based studies have identified novel risk genes associated with severe epilepsies and revealed an excess of rare deleterious variation in less-severe forms of epilepsy. To identify the shared ... [more ▼]

Sequencing-based studies have identified novel risk genes associated with severe epilepsies and revealed an excess of rare deleterious variation in less-severe forms of epilepsy. To identify the shared and distinct ultra-rare genetic risk factors for different types of epilepsies, we performed a whole-exome sequencing (WES) analysis of 9,170 epilepsy-affected individuals and 8,436 controls of European ancestry. We focused on three phenotypic groups: severe developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs), genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE), and non-acquired focal epilepsy (NAFE). We observed that compared to controls, individuals with any type of epilepsy carried an excess of ultra-rare, deleterious variants in constrained genes and in genes previously associated with epilepsy; we saw the strongest enrichment in individuals with DEEs and the least strong in individuals with NAFE. Moreover, we found that inhibitory GABAA receptor genes were enriched for missense variants across all three classes of epilepsy, whereas no enrichment was seen in excitatory receptor genes. The larger gene groups for the GABAergic pathway or cation channels also showed a significant mutational burden in DEEs and GGE. Although no single gene surpassed exome-wide significance among individuals with GGE or NAFE, highly constrained genes and genes encoding ion channels were among the lead associations; such genes included CACNA1G, EEF1A2, and GABRG2 for GGE and LGI1, TRIM3, and GABRG2 for NAFE. Our study, the largest epilepsy WES study to date, confirms a convergence in the genetics of severe and less-severe epilepsies associated with ultra-rare coding variation, and it highlights a ubiquitous role for GABAergic inhibition in epilepsy etiology. [less ▲]

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See detailA Recurrent Missense Variant in AP2M1 Impairs Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis and Causes Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathy.
Helbig, Ingo; Lopez-Hernandez, Tania; Shor, Oded et al

in American journal of human genetics (2019)

The developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) are heterogeneous disorders with a strong genetic contribution, but the underlying genetic etiology remains unknown in a significant proportion of ... [more ▼]

The developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEEs) are heterogeneous disorders with a strong genetic contribution, but the underlying genetic etiology remains unknown in a significant proportion of individuals. To explore whether statistical support for genetic etiologies can be generated on the basis of phenotypic features, we analyzed whole-exome sequencing data and phenotypic similarities by using Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) in 314 individuals with DEEs. We identified a de novo c.508C>T (p.Arg170Trp) variant in AP2M1 in two individuals with a phenotypic similarity that was higher than expected by chance (p = 0.003) and a phenotype related to epilepsy with myoclonic-atonic seizures. We subsequently found the same de novo variant in two individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and generalized epilepsy in a cohort of 2,310 individuals who underwent diagnostic whole-exome sequencing. AP2M1 encodes the mu-subunit of the adaptor protein complex 2 (AP-2), which is involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) and synaptic vesicle recycling. Modeling of protein dynamics indicated that the p.Arg170Trp variant impairs the conformational activation and thermodynamic entropy of the AP-2 complex. Functional complementation of both the mu-subunit carrying the p.Arg170Trp variant in human cells and astrocytes derived from AP-2mu conditional knockout mice revealed a significant impairment of CME of transferrin. In contrast, stability, expression levels, membrane recruitment, and localization were not impaired, suggesting a functional alteration of the AP-2 complex as the underlying disease mechanism. We establish a recurrent pathogenic variant in AP2M1 as a cause of DEEs with distinct phenotypic features, and we implicate dysfunction of the early steps of endocytosis as a disease mechanism in epilepsy. [less ▲]

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See detailApplication of rare variant transmission disequilibrium tests to epileptic encephalopathy trio sequence data
Allen, Andrew S.; Berkovic, Samuel F.; Bridgers, Joshua et al

in European Journal of Human Genetics (2017)

The classic epileptic encephalopathies, including infantile spasms (IS) and Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (LGS), are severe seizure disorders that usually arise sporadically. De novo variants in genes mainly ... [more ▼]

The classic epileptic encephalopathies, including infantile spasms (IS) and Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (LGS), are severe seizure disorders that usually arise sporadically. De novo variants in genes mainly encoding ion channel and synaptic proteins have been found to account for over 15% of patients with IS or LGS. The contribution of autosomal recessive genetic variation, however, is less well understood. We implemented a rare variant transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) to search for autosomal recessive epileptic encephalopathy genes in a cohort of 320 outbred patient–parent trios that were generally prescreened for rare metabolic disorders. In the current sample, our rare variant transmission disequilibrium test did not identify individual genes with significantly distorted transmission over expectation after correcting for the multiple tests. While the rare variant transmission disequilibrium test did not find evidence of a role for individual autosomal recessive genes, our current sample is insufficiently powered to assess the overall role of autosomal recessive genotypes in an outbred epileptic encephalopathy population. [less ▲]

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See detailDe Novo Mutations in Synaptic Transmission Genes Including DNM1 Cause Epileptic Encephalopathies.
Appenzeller, Silke; Balling, Rudi UL; Barisic, Nina et al

in American Journal of Human Genetics (2017), 100(1), 179-

In the list of consortium members for the Epilepsy Phenome/Genome Project, member Dina Amrom’s name was misspelled as Amron. The authors regret the error.

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See detailDe novo loss- or gain-of-function mutations in KCNA2 cause epileptic encephalopathy
Syrbe, Steffen; Hedrich, Ulrike B.S.; Riesch, Erik et al

in Nature Genetics (2015), 47(4), 393-9

Epileptic encephalopathies are a phenotypically and genetically heterogeneous group of severe epilepsies accompanied by intellectual disability and other neurodevelopmental features1–6. Using next ... [more ▼]

Epileptic encephalopathies are a phenotypically and genetically heterogeneous group of severe epilepsies accompanied by intellectual disability and other neurodevelopmental features1–6. Using next-generation sequencing, we identified four different de novo mutations in KCNA2, encoding the potassium channel KV1.2, in six patients with epileptic encephalopathy (one mutation recurred three times independently). Four individuals presented with febrile and multiple afebrile, often focal seizure types, multifocal epileptiform discharges strongly activated by sleep, mild to moderate intellectual disability, delayed speech development and sometimes ataxia. Functional studies of the two mutations associated with this phenotype showed almost complete loss of function with a dominant-negative effect. Two further individuals presented with a different and more severe epileptic encephalopathy phenotype. They carried mutations inducing a drastic gain-of-function effect leading to permanently open channels. These results establish KCNA2 as a new gene involved in human neurodevelopmental disorders through two different mechanisms, predicting either hyperexcitability or electrical silencing of KV1.2-expressing neurons. [less ▲]

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See detailCHD2 myoclonic encephalopathy is frequently associated with self-induced seizures
Thomas, Rhys H.; Zhang, Lin Mei; Carvill, Gemma L. et al

in Neurology (2015), 84(9), 951-958

Objective: To delineate the phenotype of early childhood epileptic encephalopathy due to de novo mutations of CHD2, which encodes the chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 2. Methods: We analyzed the ... [more ▼]

Objective: To delineate the phenotype of early childhood epileptic encephalopathy due to de novo mutations of CHD2, which encodes the chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 2. Methods: We analyzed the medical history, MRI, and video-EEG recordings of 9 individuals with de novo CHD2 mutations and one with a de novo 15q26 deletion encompassing CHD2. Results: Seizures began at a mean of 26 months (12–42) with myoclonic seizures in all 10 cases. Seven exhibited exquisite clinical photosensitivity; 6 self-induced with the television. Absence seizures occurred in 9 patients including typical (4), atypical (2), and absence seizures with eyelid myoclonias (4). Generalized tonic-clonic seizures occurred in 9 of 10 cases with a mean onset of 5.8 years. Convulsive and nonconvulsive status epilepticus were later features (6/10, mean onset 9 years). Tonic (40%) and atonic (30%) seizures also occurred. In 3 cases, an unusual seizure type, the atonic-myoclonic-absence was captured on video. A phenotypic spectrum was identified with 7 cases having moderate to severe intellectual disability and refractory seizures including tonic attacks. Their mean age at onset was 23 months. Three cases had a later age at onset (34 months) with relative preservation of intellect and an initial response to antiepileptic medication. Conclusion: The phenotypic spectrum of CHD2 encephalopathy has distinctive features of myoclonic epilepsy, marked clinical photosensitivity, atonic-myoclonic-absence, and intellectual disability ranging from mild to severe. Recognition of this genetic entity will permit earlier diagnosis and enable the development of targeted therapies. [less ▲]

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See detailDe Novo Mutations in Synaptic Transmission Genes Including DNM1 Cause Epileptic Encephalopathies
Appenzeller, Silke; Balling, Rudi UL; Barisic, Nina et al

in American Journal of Human Genetics (2014), 4

Emerging evidence indicates that epileptic encephalopathies are genetically highly heterogeneous, underscoring the need for large cohorts of well-characterized individuals to further define the genetic ... [more ▼]

Emerging evidence indicates that epileptic encephalopathies are genetically highly heterogeneous, underscoring the need for large cohorts of well-characterized individuals to further define the genetic landscape. Through a collaboration between two consortia (EuroEPINOMICS and Epi4K/EPGP), we analyzed exome-sequencing data of 356 trios with the “classical” epileptic encephalopathies, infantile spasms and Lennox Gastaut syndrome, including 264 trios previously analyzed by the Epi4K/EPGP consortium. In this expanded cohort, we find 429 de novo mutations, including de novo mutations in DNM1 in five individuals and de novo mutations in GABBR2, FASN, and RYR3 in two individuals each. Unlike previous studies, this cohort is sufficiently large to show a significant excess of de novo mutations in epileptic encephalopathy probands compared to the general population using a likelihood analysis (p = 8.2 × 10−4), supporting a prominent role for de novo mutations in epileptic encephalopathies. We bring statistical evidence that mutations in DNM1 cause epileptic encephalopathy, find suggestive evidence for a role of three additional genes, and show that at least 12% of analyzed individuals have an identifiable causal de novo mutation. Strikingly, 75% of mutations in these probands are predicted to disrupt a protein involved in regulating synaptic transmission, and there is a significant enrichment of de novo mutations in genes in this pathway in the entire cohort as well. These findings emphasize an important role for synaptic dysregulation in epileptic encephalopathies, above and beyond that caused by ion channel dysfunction. [less ▲]

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See detailDe novo mutations in HCN1 cause early infantile epileptic encephalopathy
Nava, Caroline; Dalle, Carine; Rastetter, Agnès et al

in Nature Genetics (2014)

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