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See detailNanopore Single-Molecule Sequencing for Mitochondrial DNA Methylation Analysis: Investigating Parkin-Associated Parkinsonism as a Proof of Concept
Lüth, Theresa; Wasner, Kobi UL; Klein, Christine et al

in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (2021)

Objective: To establish a workflow for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) CpG methylation using Nanopore whole-genome sequencing and perform first pilot experiments on affected Parkin biallelic mutation carriers ... [more ▼]

Objective: To establish a workflow for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) CpG methylation using Nanopore whole-genome sequencing and perform first pilot experiments on affected Parkin biallelic mutation carriers (Parkin-PD) and healthy controls. Background: Mitochondria, including mtDNA, are established key players in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. Mutations in Parkin, essential for degradation of damaged mitochondria, cause early-onset PD. However, mtDNA methylation and its implication in PD is understudied. Herein, we establish a workflow using Nanopore sequencing to directly detect mtDNA CpG methylation and compare mtDNA methylation between Parkin-related PD and healthy individuals. Methods: To obtain mtDNA, whole-genome Nanopore sequencing was performed on blood-derived from five Parkin-PD and three control subjects. In addition, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived midbrain neurons from four of these patients with PD and the three control subjects were investigated. The workflow was validated, using methylated and unmethylated 897 bp synthetic DNA samples at different dilution ratios (0, 50, 100% methylation) and mtDNA without methylation. MtDNA CpG methylation frequency (MF) was detected using Nanopolish and Megalodon. Results: Across all blood-derived samples, we obtained a mean coverage of 250.3X (SD ± 80.5X) and across all neuron-derived samples 830X (SD ± 465X) of the mitochondrial genome. We detected overall low-level CpG methylation from the blood-derived DNA (mean MF ± SD = 0.029 ± 0.041) and neuron-derived DNA (mean MF ± SD = 0.019 ± 0.035). Validation of the workflow, using synthetic DNA samples showed that highly methylated DNA molecules were prone to lower Guppy Phred quality scores and thereby more likely to fail Guppy base-calling. CpG methylation in blood- and neuron-derived DNA was significantly lower in Parkin-PD compared to controls (Mann-Whitney U-test p < 0.05). Conclusion: Nanopore sequencing is a useful method to investigate mtDNA methylation architecture, including Guppy-failed reads is of importance when investigating highly methylated sites. We present a mtDNA methylation workflow and suggest methylation variability across different tissues and between Parkin-PD patients and controls as an initial model to investigate. [less ▲]

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See detailCoffee, smoking and aspirin are associated with age at onset and clinical severity in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease
Gabbert, Carolin; König, Inke; Lüth, Theresa et al

E-print/Working paper (2021)

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See detailLIPAD (LRRK2/Luebeck International Parkinson's Disease) Study Protocol: Deep Phenotyping of an International Genetic Cohort
Usnich, Tatiana; Vollstedt, Eva-Juliane; Schell, Nathalie et al

in Frontiers in Neurology (2021), 12

Background: Pathogenic variants in the Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 ( LRRK2) gene are the most common known monogenic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 -linked PD is clinically indistinguishable ... [more ▼]

Background: Pathogenic variants in the Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 ( LRRK2) gene are the most common known monogenic cause of Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 -linked PD is clinically indistinguishable from idiopathic PD and inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion with reduced penetrance and variable expressivity that differ across ethnicities and geographic regions. Objective: To systematically assess clinical signs and symptoms including non-motor features, comorbidities, medication and environmental factors in PD patients, unaffected LRRK2 pathogenic variant carriers, and controls. A further focus is to enable the investigation of modifiers of penetrance and expressivity of LRRK2 pathogenic variants using genetic and environmental data. Methods: Eligible participants are invited for a personal or online examination which comprises completion of a detailed eCRF and collection of blood samples (to obtain DNA, RNA, serum/plasma, immune cells), urine as well as household dust. We plan to enroll 1,000 participants internationally: 300 with LRRK2 -linked PD, 200 with LRRK2 pathogenic variants but without PD, 100 PD patients with pathogenic variants in the GBA or PRKN genes, 200 patients with idiopathic PD, and 200 healthy persons without pathogenic variants. Results: The eCRF consists of an investigator-rated (1 h) and a self-rated (1.5 h) part. The first part includes the Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating, Hoehn \&Yahr, and Schwab \& England Scales, the Brief Smell Identification Test, and Montreal Cognitive Assessment. The self-rating part consists of a PD risk factor, food frequency, autonomic dysfunction, and quality of life questionnaires, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory, and the Epworth Sleepiness as well as the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales. The first 15 centers have been initiated and the first 150 participants enrolled (as of March 25th, 2021). Conclusions: LIPAD is a large-scale international scientific effort focusing on deep phenotyping of LRRK2 -linked PD and healthy pathogenic variant carriers, including the comparison with additional relatively frequent genetic forms of PD, with a future perspective to identify genetic and environmental modifiers of penetrance and expressivity Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT04214509. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscordant Monozygotic Parkinson Disease Twins: Role of Mitochondrial Integrity
Dulovic-Mahlow, Marija; König, Inke R.; Trinh, Joanne et al

in Annals of Neurology (2020)

Objective Even though genetic predisposition has proven to be an important element in Parkinson's disease (PD) etiology, monozygotic (MZ) twins with PD displayed a concordance rate of only about 20 ... [more ▼]

Objective Even though genetic predisposition has proven to be an important element in Parkinson's disease (PD) etiology, monozygotic (MZ) twins with PD displayed a concordance rate of only about 20% despite their shared identical genetic background. Methods We recruited 5 pairs of MZ twins discordant for idiopathic PD and established skin fibroblast cultures to investigate mitochondrial phenotypes in these cellular models against the background of a presumably identical genome. To test for genetic differences, we performed whole genome sequencing, deep mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing, and tested for mitochondrial deletions by multiplex real‐time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the fibroblast cultures. Further, the fibroblast cultures were tested for mitochondrial integrity by immunocytochemistry, immunoblotting, flow cytometry, and real‐time PCR to quantify gene expression. Results Genome sequencing did not identify any genetic difference. We found decreased mitochondrial functionality with reduced cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels, altered mitochondrial morphology, elevated protein levels of superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2), and increased levels of peroxisome proliferator‐activated receptor‐gamma coactivator‐α (PPARGC1A) messenger RNA (mRNA) in skin fibroblast cultures from the affected compared to the unaffected twins. Further, there was a tendency for a higher number of somatic mtDNA variants among the affected twins. Interpretation We demonstrate disease‐related differences in mitochondrial integrity in the genetically identical twins. Of note, the clinical expression matches functional alterations of the mitochondria [less ▲]

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See detailMitochondrial Mechanisms of LRRK2 G2019S Penetrance
Delcambre, Sylvie UL; Ghelfi, Jenny UL; Ouzren, Nassima et al

in Frontiers in Neurology (2020)

Several mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase-2 (LRRK2) have been associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The most common substitution, G2019S, interferes with LRRK2 kinase activity, which is ... [more ▼]

Several mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase-2 (LRRK2) have been associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The most common substitution, G2019S, interferes with LRRK2 kinase activity, which is regulated by autophosphorylation. Yet, the penetrance of this gain-of-function mutation is incomplete, and thus far, few factors have been correlated with disease status in carriers. This includes (i) LRRK2 autophosphorylation in urinary exosomes, (ii) serum levels of the antioxidant urate, and (iii) abundance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transcription-associated 7S DNA. In light of a mechanistic link between LRRK2 kinase activity and mtDNA lesion formation, we previously investigated mtDNA integrity in fibroblasts from manifesting (LRRK2+/PD+) and non-manifesting carriers (LRRK2+/PD−) of the G2019S mutation as well as from aged-matched controls. In our published study, mtDNA major arc deletions correlated with PD status, with manifesting carriers presenting the highest levels. In keeping with these findings, we now further explored mitochondrial features in fibroblasts derived from LRRK2+/PD+ (n = 10), LRRK2+/PD− (n = 21), and control (n = 10) individuals. In agreement with an accumulation of mtDNA major arc deletions, we also detected reduced NADH dehydrogenase activity in the LRRK2+/PD+ group. Moreover, in affected G2019S carriers, we observed elevated mitochondrial mass and mtDNA copy numbers as well as increased expression of the transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which regulates antioxidant signaling. Taken together, these results implicate mtDNA dyshomeostasis—possibly as a consequence of impaired mitophagy—in the penetrance of LRRK2-associated PD. Our findings are a step forward in the pursuit of unveiling markers that will allow monitoring of disease progression of LRRK2 mutation carriers [less ▲]

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See detailVariants in Miro1 cause alterations of ER-mitochondria contact sites in fibroblasts from Parkinson's disease patients
Berenguer, Clara UL; Grossmann, Dajana; Massart, François UL et al

in Journal of Clinical Medicine (2019)

Background: Although most cases of Parkinson´s disease (PD) are idiopathic with unknown cause, an increasing number of genes and genetic risk factors have been discovered that play a role in PD ... [more ▼]

Background: Although most cases of Parkinson´s disease (PD) are idiopathic with unknown cause, an increasing number of genes and genetic risk factors have been discovered that play a role in PD pathogenesis. Many of the PD‐associated proteins are involved in mitochondrial quality control, e.g., PINK1, Parkin, and LRRK2, which were recently identified as regulators of mitochondrial‐endoplasmic reticulum (ER) contact sites (MERCs) linking mitochondrial homeostasis to intracellular calcium handling. In this context, Miro1 is increasingly recognized to play a role in PD pathology. Recently, we identified the first PD patients carrying mutations in RHOT1, the gene coding for Miro1. Here, we describe two novel RHOT1 mutations identified in two PD patients and the characterization of the cellular phenotypes. Methods: Using whole exome sequencing we identified two PD patients carrying heterozygous mutations leading to the amino acid exchanges T351A and T610A in Miro1. We analyzed calcium homeostasis and MERCs in detail by live cell imaging and immunocytochemistry in patient‐derived fibroblasts. Results: We show that fibroblasts expressing mutant T351A or T610A Miro1 display impaired calcium homeostasis and a reduced amount of MERCs. All fibroblast lines from patients with pathogenic variants in Miro1, revealed alterations of the structure of MERCs. Conclusion: Our data suggest that Miro1 is important for the regulation of the structure and function of MERCs. Moreover, our study supports the role of MERCs in the pathogenesis of PD and further establishes variants in RHOT1 as rare genetic risk factors for neurodegeneration. [less ▲]

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See detailMtDNA deletions discriminate affected from unaffected LRRK2 mutation carriers
Ouzren, Nassima UL; Delcambre, Sylvie UL; Ghelfi, Jenny UL et al

in Annals of Neurology (2019), 86(2), 324-326

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See detailGenotype-phenotype relations for the Parkinson’s disease genes SNCA, LRRK2, VPS35: MDSGene Review.
Trinh, Joanne; Zeldenrust, Florentine M. J.; Huang, Jana et al

in Movement Disorders (2018), 33(12), 1857-1870

This comprehensive MDSGene review is devoted to the three autosomal-dominant PD forms: PARK-SNCA, PARK-LRRK2, and PARK-VPS35. It follows MDSGene's standardized data extraction protocol, screened a total ... [more ▼]

This comprehensive MDSGene review is devoted to the three autosomal-dominant PD forms: PARK-SNCA, PARK-LRRK2, and PARK-VPS35. It follows MDSGene's standardized data extraction protocol, screened a total of 2,972 citations, and is based on fully curated phenotypic and genotypic data on 937 patients with dominantly inherited PD attributed to 44 different mutations in SNCA, LRRK2, or VPS35. All of these data are also available in an easily searchable online database (www.mdsgene.org), which additionally provides descriptive summary statistics on phenotypic and genetic data. Despite the high degree of missingness of phenotypic features and unsystematic reporting of genotype data in the original literature, the present review recapitulates many of the previously described findings including later onset of disease (median age at onset: ∼49 years) compared to recessive forms of PD of an overall excellent treatment response. Our systematic review validates previous reports showing that SNCA mutation carriers have a younger age at onset compared to LRRK2 and VPS35 (P < 0.001). SNCA mutation carriers often have additional psychiatric symptoms, and although not exclusive to only LRRK2 or VPS35 mutation carriers, LRRK2 mutation carriers have a typical form of PD, and, lastly, VPS35 mutation carriers have good response to l-dopa. [less ▲]

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