Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hot off the presses! Jul 15 Am J Hum Genet

The Jul 15 issue of the Am J Hum Genet is now up on Pubget (About Am J Hum Genet): if you're at a subscribing institution, just click the link in the latest link at the home page. (Note you'll only be able to get all the PDFs in the issue if your institution subscribes to Pubget.)

Latest Articles Include:

  • This Month in The Journal
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):1-2 (2011)
  • This Month in Genetics
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):3-4 (2011)
  • Human Genetics: The Basics
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):5-6 (2011)
  • Mutations in the TGFβ Binding-Protein-Like Domain 5 of FBN1 Are Responsible for Acromicric and Geleophysic Dysplasias
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):7-14 (2011)
    Geleophysic (GD) and acromicric dysplasia (AD) belong to the acromelic dysplasia group and are both characterized by severe short stature, short extremities, and stiff joints. Although AD has an unknown molecular basis, we have previously identified ADAMTSL2 mutations in a subset of GD patients. After exome sequencing in GD and AD cases, we selected fibrillin 1 (FBN1) as a candidate gene, even though mutations in this gene have been described in Marfan syndrome, which is characterized by tall stature and arachnodactyly. We identified 16 heterozygous FBN1 mutations that are all located in exons 41 and 42 and encode TGFβ-binding protein-like domain 5 (TB5) of FBN1 in 29 GD and AD cases. Microfibrillar network disorganization and enhanced TGFβ signaling were consistent features in GD and AD fibroblasts. Importantly, a direct interaction between ADAMTSL2 and FBN1 was demonstrated, suggesting a disruption of this interaction as the underlying mechanism of GD and AD phenot! ypes. Although enhanced TGFβ signaling caused by FBN1 mutations can trigger either Marfan syndrome or GD and AD, our findings support the fact that TB5 mutations in FBN1 are responsible for short stature phenotypes.
  • Faulty Initiation of Proteoglycan Synthesis Causes Cardiac and Joint Defects
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):15-27 (2011)
    Proteoglycans are a major component of extracellular matrix and contribute to normal embryonic and postnatal development by ensuring tissue stability and signaling functions. We studied five patients with recessive joint dislocations and congenital heart defects, including bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) and aortic root dilatation. We identified linkage to chromosome 11 and detected a mutation (c.830G>A, p.Arg277Gln) in B3GAT3, the gene coding for glucuronosyltransferase-I (GlcAT-I). The enzyme catalyzes an initial step in the synthesis of glycosaminoglycan side chains of proteoglycans. Patients' cells as well as recombinant mutant protein showed reduced glucuronyltransferase activity. Patient fibroblasts demonstrated decreased levels of dermatan sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and heparan sulfate proteoglycans, indicating that the defect in linker synthesis affected all three lines of O-glycanated proteoglycans. Further studies demonstrated that GlcAT-I resides in the cis a! nd cis-medial Golgi apparatus and is expressed in the affected tissues, i.e., heart, aorta, and bone. The study shows that reduced GlcAT-I activity impairs skeletal as well as heart development and results in variable combinations of heart malformations, including mitral valve prolapse, ventricular septal defect, and bicuspid aortic valve. The described family constitutes a syndrome characterized by heart defects and joint dislocations resulting from altered initiation of proteoglycan synthesis (Larsen-like syndrome, B3GAT3 type).
  • Using VAAST to Identify an X-Linked Disorder Resulting in Lethality in Male Infants Due to N-Terminal Acetyltransferase Deficiency
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):28-43 (2011)
    We have identified two families with a previously undescribed lethal X-linked disorder of infancy; the disorder comprises a distinct combination of an aged appearance, craniofacial anomalies, hypotonia, global developmental delays, cryptorchidism, and cardiac arrhythmias. Using X chromosome exon sequencing and a recently developed probabilistic algorithm aimed at discovering disease-causing variants, we identified in one family a c.109T>C (p.Ser37Pro) variant in NAA10, a gene encoding the catalytic subunit of the major human N-terminal acetyltransferase (NAT). A parallel effort on a second unrelated family converged on the same variant. The absence of this variant in controls, the amino acid conservation of this region of the protein, the predicted disruptive change, and the co-occurrence in two unrelated families with the same rare disorder suggest that this is the pathogenic mutation. We confirmed this by demonstrating a significantly impaired biochemical activity of! the mutant hNaa10p, and from this we conclude that a reduction in acetylation by hNaa10p causes this disease. Here we provide evidence of a human genetic disorder resulting from direct impairment of N-terminal acetylation, one of the most common protein modifications in humans.
  • Deficiency of the Cytoskeletal Protein SPECC1L Leads to Oblique Facial Clefting
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):44-55 (2011)
    Genetic mutations responsible for oblique facial clefts (ObFC), a unique class of facial malformations, are largely unknown. We show that loss-of-function mutations in SPECC1L are pathogenic for this human developmental disorder and that SPECC1L is a critical organizer of vertebrate facial morphogenesis. During murine embryogenesis, Specc1l is expressed in cell populations of the developing facial primordial, which proliferate and fuse to form the face. In zebrafish, knockdown of a SPECC1L homolog produces a faceless phenotype with loss of jaw and facial structures, and knockdown in Drosophila phenocopies mutants in the integrin signaling pathway that exhibit cell-migration and -adhesion defects. Furthermore, in mammalian cells, SPECC1L colocalizes with both tubulin and actin, and its deficiency results in defective actin-cytoskeleton reorganization, as well as abnormal cell adhesion and migration. Collectively, these data demonstrate that SPECC1L functions in actin-cy! toskeleton reorganization and is required for proper facial morphogenesis.
  • Functional Mutation of SMAC/DIABLO, Encoding a Mitochondrial Proapoptotic Protein, Causes Human Progressive Hearing Loss DFNA64
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):56-66 (2011)
    SMAC/DIABLO is a mitochondrial proapoptotic protein that is released from mitochondria during apoptosis and counters the inhibitory activities of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins, IAPs. By linkage analysis and candidate screening, we identified a heterozygous SMAC/DIABLO mutation, c.377C>T (p.Ser126Leu, refers to p.Ser71Leu in the mature protein) in a six-generation Chinese kindred characterized by dominant progressive nonsyndromic hearing loss, designated as DFNA64. SMAC/DIABLO is highly expressed in human embryonic ears and is enriched in the developing mouse inner-ear hair cells, suggesting it has a role in the development and homeostasis of hair cells. We used a functional study to demonstrate that the SMAC/DIABLOS71L mutant, while retaining the proapoptotic function, triggers significant degradation of both wild-type and mutant SMAC/DIABLO and renders host mitochondria susceptible to calcium-induced loss of the membrane potential. Our work identifies DFNA64 as the ! human genetic disorder associated with SMAC/DIABLO malfunction and suggests that mutant SMAC/DIABLOS71L might cause mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • Inactivation of IL11 Signaling Causes Craniosynostosis, Delayed Tooth Eruption, and Supernumerary Teeth
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):67-81 (2011)
    Craniosynostosis and supernumerary teeth most often occur as isolated developmental anomalies, but they are also separately manifested in several malformation syndromes. Here, we describe a human syndrome featuring craniosynostosis, maxillary hypoplasia, delayed tooth eruption, and supernumerary teeth. We performed homozygosity mapping in three unrelated consanguineous Pakistani families and localized the syndrome to a region in chromosome 9. Mutational analysis of candidate genes in the region revealed that all affected children harbored homozygous missense mutations (c.662C>G [p.Pro221Arg], c.734C>G [p.Ser245Cys], or c.886C>T [p.Arg296Trp]) in IL11RA (encoding interleukin 11 receptor, alpha) on chromosome 9p13.3. In addition, a homozygous nonsense mutation, c.475C>T (p.Gln159X), and a homozygous duplication, c.916_924dup (p.Thr306_Ser308dup), were observed in two north European families. In cell-transfection experiments, the p.Arg296Trp mutation rendered the receptor! unable to mediate the IL11 signal, indicating that the mutation causes loss of IL11RA function. We also observed disturbed cranial growth and suture activity in the Il11ra null mutant mice, in which reduced size and remodeling of limb bones has been previously described. We conclude that IL11 signaling is essential for the normal development of craniofacial bones and teeth and that its function is to restrict suture fusion and tooth number. The results open up the possibility of modulation of IL11 signaling for the treatment of craniosynostosis.
  • Rare-Variant Association Testing for Sequencing Data with the Sequence Kernel Association Test
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):82-93 (2011)
    Sequencing studies are increasingly being conducted to identify rare variants associated with complex traits. The limited power of classical single-marker association analysis for rare variants poses a central challenge in such studies. We propose the sequence kernel association test (SKAT), a supervised, flexible, computationally efficient regression method to test for association between genetic variants (common and rare) in a region and a continuous or dichotomous trait while easily adjusting for covariates. As a score-based variance-component test, SKAT can quickly calculate p values analytically by fitting the null model containing only the covariates, and so can easily be applied to genome-wide data. Using SKAT to analyze a genome-wide sequencing study of 1000 individuals, by segmenting the whole genome into 30 kb regions, requires only 7 hr on a laptop. Through analysis of simulated data across a wide range of practical scenarios and triglyceride data from the D! allas Heart Study, we show that SKAT can substantially outperform several alternative rare-variant association tests. We also provide analytic power and sample-size calculations to help design candidate-gene, whole-exome, and whole-genome sequence association studies.
  • Disruption of a Ciliary B9 Protein Complex Causes Meckel Syndrome
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):94-110 (2011)
    Nearly every ciliated organism possesses three B9 domain-containing proteins: MKS1, B9D1, and B9D2. Mutations in human MKS1 cause Meckel syndrome (MKS), a severe ciliopathy characterized by occipital encephalocele, liver ductal plate malformations, polydactyly, and kidney cysts. Mouse mutations in either Mks1 or B9d2 compromise ciliogenesis and result in phenotypes similar to those of MKS. Given the importance of these two B9 proteins to ciliogenesis, we examined the role of the third B9 protein, B9d1. Mice lacking B9d1 displayed polydactyly, kidney cysts, ductal plate malformations, and abnormal patterning of the neural tube, concomitant with compromised ciliogenesis, ciliary protein localization, and Hedgehog (Hh) signal transduction. These data prompted us to screen MKS patients for mutations in B9D1 and B9D2. We identified a homozygous c.301A>C (p.Ser101Arg) B9D2 mutation that segregates with MKS, affects an evolutionarily conserved residue, and is absent from cont! rols. Unlike wild-type B9D2 mRNA, the p.Ser101Arg mutation failed to rescue zebrafish phenotypes induced by the suppression of b9d2. With coimmunoprecipitation and mass spectrometric analyses, we found that Mks1, B9d1, and B9d2 interact physically, but that the p.Ser101Arg mutation abrogates the ability of B9d2 to interact with Mks1, further suggesting that the mutation compromises B9d2 function. Our data indicate that B9d1 is required for normal Hh signaling, ciliogenesis, and ciliary protein localization and that B9d1 and B9d2 are essential components of a B9 protein complex, disruption of which causes MKS.
  • Recent Admixture in an Indian Population of African Ancestry
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):111-120 (2011)
    Identification and study of genetic variation in recently admixed populations not only provides insight into historical population events but also is a powerful approach for mapping disease loci. We studied a population (OG-W-IP) that is of African-Indian origin and has resided in the western part of India for 500 years; members of this population are believed to be descendants of the Bantu-speaking population of Africa. We have carried out this study by using a set of 18,534 autosomal markers common between Indian, CEPH-HGDP, and HapMap populations. Principal-components analysis clearly revealed that the African-Indian population derives its ancestry from Bantu-speaking west-African as well as Indo-European-speaking north and northwest Indian population(s). STRUCTURE and ADMIXTURE analyses show that, overall, the OG-W-IPs derive 58.7% of their genomic ancestry from their African past and have very little inter-individual ancestry variation (8.4%). The extent of linkag! e disequilibrium also reveals that the admixture event has been recent. Functional annotation of genes encompassing the ancestry-informative markers that are closer in allele frequency to the Indian ancestral population revealed significant enrichment of biological processes, such as ion-channel activity, and cadherins. We briefly examine the implications of determining the genetic diversity of this population, which could provide opportunities for studies involving admixture mapping.
  • Expansion of Intronic GGCCTG Hexanucleotide Repeat in NOP56 Causes SCA36, a Type of Spinocerebellar Ataxia Accompanied by Motor Neuron Involvement
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):121-130 (2011)
    Autosomal-dominant spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, we performed genetic analysis of a unique form of SCA (SCA36) that is accompanied by motor neuron involvement. Genome-wide linkage analysis and subsequent fine mapping for three unrelated Japanese families in a cohort of SCA cases, in whom molecular diagnosis had never been performed, mapped the disease locus to the region of a 1.8 Mb stretch (LOD score of 4.60) on 20p13 (D20S906–D20S193) harboring 37 genes with definitive open reading frames. We sequenced 33 of these and observed a large expansion of an intronic GGCCTG hexanucleotide repeat in NOP56 and an unregistered missense variant (Phe265Leu) in C20orf194, but we found no mutations in PDYN and TGM6. The expansion showed complete segregation with the SCA phenotype in family studies, whereas Phe265Leu in C20orf194 did not. Screening of the expansions in the SCA cohort cases revealed four addi! tional occurrences, but none were revealed in the cohort of 27 Alzheimer disease cases, 154 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cases, or 300 controls. In total, nine unrelated cases were found in 251 cohort SCA patients (3.6%). A founder haplotype was confirmed in these cases. RNA foci formation was detected in lymphoblastoid cells from affected subjects by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Double staining and gel-shift assay showed that (GGCCUG)n binds the RNA-binding protein SRSF2 but that (CUG)6 does not. In addition, transcription of MIR1292, a neighboring miRNA, was significantly decreased in lymphoblastoid cells of SCA patients. Our finding suggests that SCA36 is caused by hexanucleotide repeat expansions through RNA gain of function.
  • Complement Receptor 1 Gene Variants Are Associated with Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):131-138 (2011)
    The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), a commonly performed test of the acute phase response, is the rate at which erythrocytes sediment in vitro in 1 hr. The molecular basis of erythrocyte sedimentation is unknown. To identify genetic variants associated with ESR, we carried out a genome-wide association study of 7607 patients in the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) network. The discovery cohort consisted of 1979 individuals from the Mayo Clinic, and the replication cohort consisted of 5628 individuals from the remaining four eMERGE sites. A nonsynonymous SNP, rs6691117 (Val→IIe), in the complement receptor 1 gene (CR1) was associated with ESR (discovery cohort p = 7 × 10−12, replication cohort p = 3 × 10−14, combined cohort p = 9 × 10−24). We imputed 61 SNPs in CR1, and a "possibly damaging" SNP (rs2274567, His→Arg) in linkage disequilibrium (r2 = 0.74) with rs6691117 was also associated with ESR (discovery p = 5 × 10−11, replic! ation p = 7 × 10−17, and combined cohort p = 2 × 10−25). The two nonsynonymous SNPs in CR1 are near the C3b/C4b binding site, suggesting a possible mechanism by which the variants may influence ESR. In conclusion, genetic variation in CR1, which encodes a protein that clears complement-tagged inflammatory particles from the circulation, influences interindividual variation in ESR, highlighting an association between the innate immunity pathway and erythrocyte interactions.
  • Disruption of PTPRO Causes Childhood-Onset Nephrotic Syndrome
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):139-147 (2011)
    Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS) is a genetically heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, and edema. Because it typically results in end-stage kidney disease, the steroid-resistant subtype (SRNS) of INS is especially important when it occurs in children. The present study included 29 affected and 22 normal individuals from 17 SRNS families; genome-wide analysis was performed with Affymetrix 250K SNP arrays followed by homozygosity mapping. A large homozygous stretch on chromosomal region 12p12 was identified in one consanguineous family with two affected siblings. Direct sequencing of protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type O (PTPRO; also known as glomerular epithelial protein-1 [GLEPP1]) showed homozygous c.2627+1G>T donor splice-site mutation. This mutation causes skipping of the evolutionarily conserved exon 16 (p.Glu854_Trp876del) at the RNA level. Immunohistochemistry with GLEPP1 antibody showed a similar staining patt! ern in the podocytes of the diseased and control kidney tissues. We used a highly polymorphic intragenic DNA marker—D12S1303—to search for homozygosity in 120 Turkish and 13 non-Turkish individuals in the PodoNet registry. This analysis yielded 17 candidate families, and a distinct homozygous c.2745+1G>A donor splice-site mutation in PTPRO was further identified via DNA sequencing in a second Turkish family. This mutation causes skipping of exon 19, and this introduces a premature stop codon at the very beginning of exon 20 (p.Asn888Lysfs*3) and causes degradation of mRNA via nonsense-mediated decay. Immunohistochemical analysis showed complete absence of immunoreactive PTPRO. Ultrastructural alterations, such as diffuse foot process fusion and extensive microvillus transformation of podocytes, were observed via electron microscopy in both families. The present study introduces mutations in PTPRO as another cause of autosomal-recessive nephrotic syndrome.
  • Exome Sequencing Identifies CCDC8 Mutations in 3-M Syndrome, Suggesting that CCDC8 Contributes in a Pathway with CUL7 and OBSL1 to Control Human Growth
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):148-153 (2011)
    3-M syndrome, a primordial growth disorder, is associated with mutations in CUL7 and OBSL1. Exome sequencing now identifies mutations in CCDC8 as a cause of 3-M syndrome. CCDC8 is a widely expressed gene that is transcriptionally associated to CUL7 and OBSL1, and coimmunoprecipitation indicates a physical interaction between CCDC8 and OBSL1 but not CUL7. We propose that CUL7, OBSL1, and CCDC8 are members of a pathway controlling mammalian growth.
  • Indian Siddis: African Descendants with Indian Admixture
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):154-161 (2011)
    The Siddis (Afro-Indians) are a tribal population whose members live in coastal Karnataka, Gujarat, and in some parts of Andhra Pradesh. Historical records indicate that the Portuguese brought the Siddis to India from Africa about 300–500 years ago; however, there is little information about their more precise ancestral origins. Here, we perform a genome-wide survey to understand the population history of the Siddis. Using hundreds of thousands of autosomal markers, we show that they have inherited ancestry from Africans, Indians, and possibly Europeans (Portuguese). Additionally, analyses of the uniparental (Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA) markers indicate that the Siddis trace their ancestry to Bantu speakers from sub-Saharan Africa. We estimate that the admixture between the African ancestors of the Siddis and neighboring South Asian groups probably occurred in the past eight generations (200 years ago), consistent with historical records.
  • VPS35 Mutations in Parkinson Disease
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):162-167 (2011)
    The identification of genetic causes for Mendelian disorders has been based on the collection of multi-incident families, linkage analysis, and sequencing of genes in candidate intervals. This study describes the application of next-generation sequencing technologies to a Swiss kindred presenting with autosomal-dominant, late-onset Parkinson disease (PD). The family has tremor-predominant dopa-responsive parkinsonism with a mean onset of 50.6 ± 7.3 years. Exome analysis suggests that an aspartic-acid-to-asparagine mutation within vacuolar protein sorting 35 (VPS35 c.1858G>A; p.Asp620Asn) is the genetic determinant of disease. VPS35 is a central component of the retromer cargo-recognition complex, is critical for endosome-trans-golgi trafficking and membrane-protein recycling, and is evolutionarily highly conserved. VPS35 c.1858G>A was found in all affected members of the Swiss kindred and in three more families and one patient with sporadic PD, but it was not observed! in 3,309 controls. Further sequencing of familial affected probands revealed only one other missense variant, VPS35 c.946C>T; (p.Pro316Ser), in a pedigree with one unaffected and two affected carriers, and thus the pathogenicity of this mutation remains uncertain. Retromer-mediated sorting and transport is best characterized for acid hydrolase receptors. However, the complex has many types of cargo and is involved in a diverse array of biologic pathways from developmental Wnt signaling to lysosome biogenesis. Our study implicates disruption of VPS35 and retromer-mediated trans-membrane protein sorting, rescue, and recycling in the neurodegenerative process leading to PD.
  • A Mutation in VPS35, Encoding a Subunit of the Retromer Complex, Causes Late-Onset Parkinson Disease
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):168-175 (2011)
    To identify rare causal variants in late-onset Parkinson disease (PD), we investigated an Austrian family with 16 affected individuals by exome sequencing. We found a missense mutation, c.1858G>A (p.Asp620Asn), in the VPS35 gene in all seven affected family members who are alive. By screening additional PD cases, we saw the same variant cosegregating with the disease in an autosomal-dominant mode with high but incomplete penetrance in two further families with five and ten affected members, respectively. The mean age of onset in the affected individuals was 53 years. Genotyping showed that the shared haplotype extends across 65 kilobases around VPS35. Screening the entire VPS35 coding sequence in an additional 860 cases and 1014 controls revealed six further nonsynonymous missense variants. Three were only present in cases, two were only present in controls, and one was present in cases and controls. The familial mutation p.Asp620Asn and a further variant, c.1570C>T (p! .Arg524Trp), detected in a sporadic PD case were predicted to be damaging by sequence-based and molecular-dynamics analyses. VPS35 is a component of the retromer complex and mediates retrograde transport between endosomes and the trans-Golgi network, and it has recently been found to be involved in Alzheimer disease.
  • Mutations in the Alpha 1,2-Mannosidase Gene, MAN1B1, Cause Autosomal-Recessive Intellectual Disability
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):176-182 (2011)
    We have used genome-wide genotyping to identify an overlapping homozygosity-by-descent locus on chromosome 9q34.3 (MRT15) in four consanguineous families affected by nonsyndromic autosomal-recessive intellectual disability (NS-ARID) and one in which the patients show additional clinical features. Four of the families are from Pakistan, and one is from Iran. Using a combination of next-generation sequencing and Sanger sequencing, we have identified mutations in the gene MAN1B1, encoding a mannosyl oligosaccharide, alpha 1,2-mannosidase. In one Pakistani family, MR43, a homozygous nonsense mutation (RefSeq number NM_016219.3: c.1418G>A [p.Trp473*]), segregated with intellectual disability and additional dysmorphic features. We also identified the missense mutation c. 1189G>A (p.Glu397Lys; RefSeq number NM_016219.3), which segregates with NS-ARID in three families who come from the same village and probably have shared inheritance. In the Iranian family, the missense muta! tion c.1000C>T (p.Arg334Cys; RefSeq number NM_016219.3) also segregates with NS-ARID. Both missense mutations are at amino acid residues that are conserved across the animal kingdom, and they either reduce kcat by 1300-fold or disrupt stable protein expression in mammalian cells. MAN1B1 is one of the few NS-ARID genes with an elevated mutation frequency in patients with NS-ARID from different populations.
  • Recessive Mutations in KCNJ13, Encoding an Inwardly Rectifying Potassium Channel Subunit, Cause Leber Congenital Amaurosis
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):183-190 (2011)
    Inherited retinal degenerations, including retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), comprise a group of disorders showing high genetic and allelic heterogeneity. The determination of a full catalog of genes that can, when mutated, cause human retinal disease is a powerful means to understand the molecular physiology and pathology of the human retina. As more genes are found, remaining ones are likely to be rarer and/or unexpected candidates. Here, we identify a family in which all known RP/LCA-related genes are unlikely to be associated with their disorder. A combination of homozygosity mapping and exome sequencing identifies a homozygous nonsense mutation, c.496C>T (p.Arg166X), in a gene, KCNJ13, encoding a potassium channel subunit Kir7.1. A screen of a further 333 unrelated individuals with recessive retinal degeneration identified an additional proband, homozygous for a missense mutation, c.722T>C (p.Leu241Pro), in the same gene. The three af! fected members of the two families have been diagnosed with LCA. All have a distinct and unusual retinal appearance and a similar early onset of visual loss, suggesting both impaired retinal development and progressive retinal degeneration, involving both rod and cone pathways. Examination of heterozygotes revealed no ocular disease. This finding implicates Kir7.1 as having an important role in human retinal development and maintenance. This disorder adds to a small diverse group of diseases consequent upon loss or reduced function of inwardly rectifying potassium channels affecting various organs. The distinct retinal phenotype that results from biallelic mutations in KCNJ13 should facilitate the molecular diagnosis in further families.
  • Population Structure Can Inflate SNP-Based Heritability Estimates
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):191-193 (2011)
  • Response to Browning and Browning
    - Am J Hum Genet 89(1):193-195 (2011)

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