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See detailPredicting functional effects of missense variants in voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels
Heyne, Henrike O.; Baez-Nieto, David; Iqbal, Sumaiya et al

in Science Translational Medicine (2020), 12(556), 6848

Malfunctions of voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels (encoded by SCNxA and CACNA1x family genes, respectively) have been associated with severe neurologic, psychiatric, cardiac, and other diseases ... [more ▼]

Malfunctions of voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels (encoded by SCNxA and CACNA1x family genes, respectively) have been associated with severe neurologic, psychiatric, cardiac, and other diseases. Altered channel activity is frequently grouped into gain or loss of ion channel function (GOF or LOF, respectively) that often corresponds not only to clinical disease manifestations but also to differences in drug response. Experimental studies of channel function are therefore important, but laborious and usually focus only on a few variants at a time. On the basis of known gene-disease mechanisms of 19 different diseases, we inferred LOF (n = 518) and GOF (n = 309) likely pathogenic variants from the disease phenotypes of variant carriers. By training a machine learning model on sequence- and structure-based features, we predicted LOF or GOF effects [area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (ROC) = 0.85] of likely pathogenic missense variants. Our LOF versus GOF prediction corresponded to molecular LOF versus GOF effects for 87 functionally tested variants in SCN1/2/8A and CACNA1I (ROC = 0.73) and was validated in exome-wide data from 21,703 cases and 128,957 controls. We showed respective regional clustering of inferred LOF and GOF nucleotide variants across the alignment of the entire gene family, suggesting shared pathomechanisms in the SCNxA/CACNA1x family genes. [less ▲]

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See detailA patient-based model of RNA mis-splicing uncovers treatment targets in Parkinson's disease.
Boussaad, Ibrahim UL; Obermaier, Carolin D.; Hanss, Zoé et al

in Science translational medicine (2020), 12(560),

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder with monogenic forms representing prototypes of the underlying molecular pathology and reproducing to variable degrees the sporadic ... [more ▼]

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder with monogenic forms representing prototypes of the underlying molecular pathology and reproducing to variable degrees the sporadic forms of the disease. Using a patient-based in vitro model of PARK7-linked PD, we identified a U1-dependent splicing defect causing a drastic reduction in DJ-1 protein and, consequently, mitochondrial dysfunction. Targeting defective exon skipping with genetically engineered U1-snRNA recovered DJ-1 protein expression in neuronal precursor cells and differentiated neurons. After prioritization of candidate drugs, we identified and validated a combinatorial treatment with the small-molecule compounds rectifier of aberrant splicing (RECTAS) and phenylbutyric acid, which restored DJ-1 protein and mitochondrial dysfunction in patient-derived fibroblasts as well as dopaminergic neuronal cell loss in mutant midbrain organoids. Our analysis of a large number of exomes revealed that U1 splice-site mutations were enriched in sporadic PD patients. Therefore, our study suggests an alternative strategy to restore cellular abnormalities in in vitro models of PD and provides a proof of concept for neuroprotection based on precision medicine strategies in PD. [less ▲]

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See detailTherapeutic targeting of oxygen-sensing prolyl hydroxylases abrogates ATF4-dependent neuronal death and improves outcomes after brain hemorrhage in several rodent models.
Karuppagounder, Saravanan S.; Alim, Ishraq; Khim, Soah J. et al

in Science translational medicine (2016), 8(328), 32829

Disability or death due to intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is attributed to blood lysis, liberation of iron, and consequent oxidative stress. Iron chelators bind to free iron and prevent neuronal death ... [more ▼]

Disability or death due to intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is attributed to blood lysis, liberation of iron, and consequent oxidative stress. Iron chelators bind to free iron and prevent neuronal death induced by oxidative stress and disability due to ICH, but the mechanisms for this effect remain unclear. We show that the hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase domain (HIF-PHD) family of iron-dependent, oxygen-sensing enzymes are effectors of iron chelation. Molecular reduction of the three HIF-PHD enzyme isoforms in the mouse striatum improved functional recovery after ICH. A low-molecular-weight hydroxyquinoline inhibitor of the HIF-PHD enzymes, adaptaquin, reduced neuronal death and behavioral deficits after ICH in several rodent models without affecting total iron or zinc distribution in the brain. Unexpectedly, protection from oxidative death in vitro or from ICH in vivo by adaptaquin was associated with suppression of activity of the prodeath factor ATF4 rather than activation of an HIF-dependent prosurvival pathway. Together, these findings demonstrate that brain-specific inactivation of the HIF-PHD metalloenzymes with the blood-brain barrier-permeable inhibitor adaptaquin can improve functional outcomes after ICH in several rodent models. [less ▲]

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See detailGlobal implementation of genomic medicine: We are not alone.
Manolio, Teri A.; Abramowicz, Marc; Al-Mulla, Fahd et al

in Science translational medicine (2015), 7(290), 29013

Around the world, innovative genomic-medicine programs capitalize on singular capabilities arising from local health care systems, cultural or political milieus, and unusual selected risk alleles or ... [more ▼]

Around the world, innovative genomic-medicine programs capitalize on singular capabilities arising from local health care systems, cultural or political milieus, and unusual selected risk alleles or disease burdens. Such individual efforts might benefit from the sharing of approaches and lessons learned in other locales. The U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Academy of Medicine recently brought together 25 of these groups to compare projects, to examine the current state of implementation and desired near-term capabilities, and to identify opportunities for collaboration that promote the responsible practice of genomic medicine. Efforts to coalesce these groups around concrete but compelling signature projects should accelerate the responsible implementation of genomic medicine in efforts to improve clinical care worldwide. [less ▲]

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