204 results found
Whiffin N, Karczewski KJ, Zhang X, et al., 2020, Characterising the loss-of-function impact of 5’ untranslated region variants in 15,708 individuals, Nature Communications, Vol: 11
Mazzarotto F, Olivotto I, Boschi B, et al., 2020, Contemporary insights into the genetics of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: towards a new era in clinical testing?, Journal of the American Heart Association, Vol: 21, Pages: 1-22, ISSN: 2047-9980
Genetic testing for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is an established clinical technique, supported by30 years of research into its genetic aetiology. Although pathogenic variants are often detected in patientsand used to identify at-risk relatives, the effectiveness of genetic testing has been hampered by ambiguousgenetic associations (yielding uncertain and potentially false-positive results), difficulties in classifyingvariants and uncertainty about genotype-negative patients. Recent case-control studies on rare variation,improved data sharing and meta-analysis of case cohorts contributed to new insights into the genetic basisof HCM. In particular, while research into new genes and mechanisms remains essential, re-assessment ofMendelian genetic associations in HCM argues that current clinical genetic testing should be limited to asmall number of validated disease genes that yield informative and interpretable results. Accurate andconsistent variant interpretation has benefitted from new standardised variant interpretation guidelines andinnovative approaches to improve classification. Most cases lacking a pathogenic variant are now believedto indicate non-Mendelian HCM, with more benign prognosis and minimal risk to relatives.Here, we discuss recent advances in the genetics of HCM and their application to clinical genetic testingtogether with practical issues regarding implementation. While this review focuses on HCM, many of theissues discussed are also relevant to other inherited cardiac diseases.
Mazzarotto F, Tayal U, Buchan RJ, et al., 2020, Reevaluating the Genetic Contribution of Monogenic Dilated Cardiomyopathy., Circulation, Vol: 141, Pages: 387-398
BACKGROUND: Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is genetically heterogeneous, with >100 purported disease genes tested in clinical laboratories. However, many genes were originally identified based on candidate-gene studies that did not adequately account for background population variation. Here we define the frequency of rare variation in 2538 patients with DCM across protein-coding regions of 56 commonly tested genes and compare this to both 912 confirmed healthy controls and a reference population of 60 706 individuals to identify clinically interpretable genes robustly associated with dominant monogenic DCM. METHODS: We used the TruSight Cardio sequencing panel to evaluate the burden of rare variants in 56 putative DCM genes in 1040 patients with DCM and 912 healthy volunteers processed with identical sequencing and bioinformatics pipelines. We further aggregated data from 1498 patients with DCM sequenced in diagnostic laboratories and the Exome Aggregation Consortium database for replication and meta-analysis. RESULTS: Truncating variants in TTN and DSP were associated with DCM in all comparisons. Variants in MYH7, LMNA, BAG3, TNNT2, TNNC1, PLN, ACTC1, NEXN, TPM1, and VCL were significantly enriched in specific patient subsets, with the last 2 genes potentially contributing primarily to early-onset forms of DCM. Overall, rare variants in these 12 genes potentially explained 17% of cases in the outpatient clinic cohort representing a broad range of adult patients with DCM and 26% of cases in the diagnostic referral cohort enriched in familial and early-onset DCM. Although the absence of a significant excess in other genes cannot preclude a limited role in disease, such genes have limited diagnostic value because novel variants will be uninterpretable and their diagnostic yield is minimal. CONCLUSIONS: In the largest sequenced DCM cohort yet described, we observe robust disease association with 12 genes, highlighting their importance in DCM and translating in
Chothani S, Schäfer S, Adami E, et al., 2019, Widespread translational control of fibrosis in the human heart by RNA-binding proteins, Circulation, Vol: 140, Pages: 937-951, ISSN: 0009-7322
BACKGROUND: Fibrosis is a common pathology in many cardiac disorders and is driven by the activation of resident fibroblasts. The global post-transcriptional mechanisms underlying fibroblast-to-myofibroblast conversion in the heart have not been explored. METHODS: Genome-wide changes of RNA transcription and translation during human cardiac fibroblast activation were monitored with RNA sequencing and ribosome profiling. We then used an RNA-binding protein-based analyses to identify translational regulators of fibrogenic genes. The integration with cardiac ribosome occupancy levels of 30 dilated cardiomyopathy patients demonstrates that these post-transcriptional mechanisms are also active in the diseased fibrotic human heart. RESULTS: We generated nucleotide-resolution translatome data during the TGFβ1-driven cellular transition of human cardiac fibroblasts to myofibroblasts. This identified dynamic changes of RNA transcription and translation at several time points during the fibrotic response, revealing transient and early-responder genes. Remarkably, about one-third of all changes in gene expression in activated fibroblasts are subject to translational regulation and dynamic variation in ribosome occupancy affects protein abundance independent of RNA levels. Targets of RNA-binding proteins were strongly enriched in post-transcriptionally regulated genes, suggesting genes such as MBNL2 can act as translational activators or repressors. Ribosome occupancy in the hearts of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy suggested the same post-transcriptional regulatory network was underlying cardiac fibrosis. Key network hubs include RNA-binding proteins such as PUM2 and QKI that work in concert to regulate the translation of target transcripts in human diseased hearts. Furthermore, silencing of both PUM2 and QKI inhibits the transition of fibroblasts toward pro-fibrotic myofibroblasts in response to TGFβ1. CONCLUSIONS: We reveal widespread translational effects of
Chen H, Moreno-Moral A, Pesce F, et al., 2019, WWP2 regulates pathological cardiac fibrosis by modulating SMAD2 signaling (vol 10, 3616, 2019), NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723
Chen H, Moreno-Moral A, Pesce F, et al., 2019, WWP2 regulates pathological cardiac fibrosis by modulating SMAD2 signaling, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723
Cardiac fibrosis is a final common pathology in inherited and acquired heart diseases that causes cardiac electrical and pump failure. Here, we use systems genetics to identify a pro-fibrotic gene network in the diseased heart and show that this network is regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase WWP2, specifically by the WWP2-N terminal isoform. Importantly, the WWP2-regulated pro-fibrotic gene network is conserved across different cardiac diseases characterized by fibrosis: human and murine dilated cardiomyopathy and repaired tetralogy of Fallot. Transgenic mice lacking the N-terminal region of the WWP2 protein show improved cardiac function and reduced myocardial fibrosis in response to pressure overload or myocardial infarction. In primary cardiac fibroblasts, WWP2 positively regulates the expression of pro-fibrotic markers and extracellular matrix genes. TGFβ1 stimulation promotes nuclear translocation of the WWP2 isoforms containing the N-terminal region and their interaction with SMAD2. WWP2 mediates the TGFβ1-induced nucleocytoplasmic shuttling and transcriptional activity of SMAD2.
Garcia-Pavia P, Kim Y, Restrepo-Cordoba MA, et al., 2019, Genetic variants associated with cancer therapy-induced cardiomyopathy, Circulation, Vol: 140, Pages: 31-41, ISSN: 0009-7322
BackgroundCancer therapy-induced cardiomyopathy (CCM) is associated with cumulative drug exposures and pre-existing cardiovascular disorders. These parametersincompletely account for substantial inter-individual susceptibility to CCM. We hypothesized that rare variants in cardiomyopathy genes contribute to CCM.MethodsWe studied 213 CCM patients from three cohorts: retrospectively recruited adults with diverse cancers (n=99), prospectively phenotyped breast cancer adults (n=73) and prospectively phenotyped children with acute myeloid leukemia (n=41). Cardiomyopathy genes, including nine pre-specified genes were sequenced. The prevalence of rare variants was compared between CCM cohorts and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) participants(n=2053), healthy volunteers(n=445), and ancestry-matchedreference population. Clinical characteristics and outcomes were assessed, stratified by genotypes. A prevalent CCM genotype was modeled in anthracycline-treated mice.ResultsCCM was diagnosed 0.4-9 years after chemotherapy; 90% of these patients received anthracyclines. Adult CCM patients had cardiovascular risk factors similar to the U.S. population. Among nine prioritized genes CCM patients had more rare protein-altering variants than comparative cohorts (p≤1.98e-04). Titin-truncating variants (TTNtv) predominated, occurring in 7.5% CCM patients versus 1.1% TCGA participants (p=7.36e-08), 0.7% healthy volunteers (p=3.42e-06), and 0.6% reference population (p=5.87e-14). Adult CCM patients with TTNtv experienced more heart failure and atrial fibrillation (p=0.003)and impaired myocardial recovery (p=0.03) than those without.Consistent with human data, anthracycline-treated TTNtv mice and isolated TTNtv cardiomyocytes showed sustained contractile dysfunction unlike wildtype (p=0.0004 and p<0.002, respectively).ConclusionsUnrecognized rare variants in cardiomyopathy-associated genes, particularly TTNtv, increased the risk for CCM in children and adults, and adverse cardiac events
Corden B, Jarman J, Whiffin N, et al., 2019, Association between titin truncating variants and life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and implantable defibrillator, JAMA Network Open, Vol: 2, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2574-3805
Importance There is a need for better arrhythmic risk stratification in nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Titin-truncating variants (TTNtvs) in the TTN gene are the most common genetic cause of DCM and may be associated with higher risk of arrhythmias in patients with DCM.Objective To determine if TTNtv status is associated with the development of life-threatening ventricular arrhythmia and new persistent atrial fibrillation in patients with DCM and implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) devices.Design, Setting, and Participants This retrospective, multicenter cohort study recruited 148 patients with or without TTNtvs who had nonischemic DCM and ICD or CRT-D devices from secondary and tertiary cardiology clinics in the United Kingdom from February 1, 2011, to June 30, 2016, with a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 4.2 (2.1-6.5) years. Exclusion criteria were ischemic cardiomyopathy, primary valve disease, congenital heart disease, or a known or likely pathogenic variant in the lamin A/C gene. Analyses were performed February 1, 2017, to May 31, 2017.Main Outcome and Measures The primary outcome was time to first device-treated ventricular tachycardia of more than 200 beats/min or first device-treated ventricular fibrillation. Secondary outcome measures included time to first development of persistent atrial fibrillation.Results Of 148 patients recruited, 117 adult patients with nonischemic DCM and an ICD or CRT-D device (mean [SD] age, 56.9 [12.5] years; 76 [65.0%] men; 106 patients [90.6%] with primary prevention indications) were included. Having a TTNtv was associated with a higher risk of receiving appropriate ICD therapy (shock or antitachycardia pacing) for ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation (hazard ratio [HR], 4.9; 95% CI, 2.2-10.7; P < .001). This association was independent of all covariates, including midwall fibrosis measured by late gadolinium enhanc
Gene expression in human tissue has primarily been studied on the transcriptional level, largely neglecting translational regulation. Here, we analyze the translatomes of 80 human hearts to identify new translation events and quantify the effect of translational regulation. We show extensive translational control of cardiac gene expression, which is orchestrated in a process-specific manner. Translation downstream of predicted disease-causing protein-truncating variants appears to be frequent, suggesting inefficient translation termination. We identify hundreds of previously undetected microproteins, expressed from lncRNAs and circRNAs, for which we validate the protein products in vivo. The translation of microproteins is not restricted to the heart and prominent in the translatomes of human kidney and liver. We associate these microproteins with diverse cellular processes and compartments and find that many locate to the mitochondria. Importantly, dozens of microproteins are translated from lncRNAs with well-characterized noncoding functions, indicating previously unrecognized biology.
Whiffin N, Karczewski KJ, Zhang X, et al., Characterising the loss-of-function impact of 5’ untranslated region variants in whole genome sequence data from 15,708 individuals
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Upstream open reading frames (uORFs) are important tissue-specific <jats:italic>cis</jats:italic>-regulators of protein translation. Although isolated case reports have shown that variants that create or disrupt uORFs can cause disease, genetic sequencing approaches typically focus on protein-coding regions and ignore these variants. Here, we describe a systematic genome-wide study of variants that create and disrupt human uORFs, and explore their role in human disease using 15,708 whole genome sequences collected by the Genome Aggregation Database (gnomAD) project. We show that 14,897 variants that create new start codons upstream of the canonical coding sequence (CDS), and 2,406 variants disrupting the stop site of existing uORFs, are under strong negative selection. Furthermore, variants creating uORFs that overlap the CDS show signals of selection equivalent to coding loss-of-function variants, and uORF-perturbing variants are under strong selection when arising upstream of known disease genes and genes intolerant to loss-of-function variants. Finally, we identify specific genes where perturbation of uORFs is likely to represent an important disease mechanism, and report a novel uORF frameshift variant upstream of <jats:italic>NF2</jats:italic> in families with neurofibromatosis. Our results highlight uORF-perturbing variants as an important and under-recognised functional class that can contribute to penetrant human disease, and demonstrate the power of large-scale population sequencing data to study the deleteriousness of specific classes of non-coding variants.</jats:p>
Walsh R, Mazzarotto F, Whiffin N, et al., 2019, Quantitative approaches to variant classification increase the yield and precision of genetic testing in Mendelian diseases: The case of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Genome Medicine, Vol: 11, ISSN: 1756-994X
BackgroundInternational guidelines for variant interpretation in Mendelian disease set stringent criteria to report a variant as (likely) pathogenic, prioritising control of false-positive rate over test sensitivity and diagnostic yield. Genetic testing is also more likely informative in individuals with well-characterised variants from extensively studied European-ancestry populations. Inherited cardiomyopathies are relatively common Mendelian diseases that allow empirical calibration and assessment of this framework.MethodsWe compared rare variants in large hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) cohorts (up to 6179 cases) to reference populations to identify variant classes with high prior likelihoods of pathogenicity, as defined by etiological fraction (EF). We analysed the distribution of variants using a bespoke unsupervised clustering algorithm to identify gene regions in which variants are significantly clustered in cases.ResultsAnalysis of variant distribution identified regions in which variants are significantly enriched in cases and variant location was a better discriminator of pathogenicity than generic computational functional prediction algorithms. Non-truncating variant classes with an EF ≥ 0.95 were identified in five established HCM genes. Applying this approach leads to an estimated 14–20% increase in cases with actionable HCM variants, i.e. variants classified as pathogenic/likely pathogenic that might be used for predictive testing in probands’ relatives.ConclusionsWhen found in a patient confirmed to have disease, novel variants in some genes and regions are empirically shown to have a sufficiently high probability of pathogenicity to support a “likely pathogenic” classification, even without additional segregation or functional data. This could increase the yield of high confidence actionable variants, consistent with the framework and recommendations of current guidelines. The techniques outlined offer a consisten
Whiffin N, Roberts AM, Minikel E, et al., 2019, Using high-resolution variant frequencies empowers clinical genome interpretation and enables investigation of genetic architecture, American Journal of Human Genetics, Vol: 104, Pages: 187-190, ISSN: 0002-9297
Horvat C, Johnson R, Lam L, et al., 2019, A gene-centric strategy for identifying disease-causing rare variants in dilated cardiomyopathy, Genetics in Medicine, Vol: 21, Pages: 133-143, ISSN: 1098-3600
PurposeWe evaluated strategies for identifying disease-causing variants in genetic testing for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).MethodsCardiomyopathy gene panel testing was performed in 532 DCM patients and 527 healthy control subjects. Rare variants in 41 genes were stratified using variant-level and gene-level characteristics.ResultsA majority of DCM cases and controls carried rare protein-altering cardiomyopathy gene variants. Variant-level characteristics alone had limited discriminative value. Differentiation between groups was substantially improved by addition of gene-level information that incorporated ranking of genes based on literature evidence for disease association. The odds of DCM were increased to nearly 9-fold for truncating variants or high-impact missense variants in the subset of 14 genes that had the strongest biological links to DCM (P <0.0001). For some of these genes, DCM-associated variants appeared to be clustered in key protein functional domains. Multiple rare variants were present in many family probands, however, there was generally only one “driver” pathogenic variant that cosegregated with disease.ConclusionRare variants in cardiomyopathy genes can be effectively stratified by combining variant-level and gene-level information. Prioritization of genes based on their a priori likelihood of disease causation is a key factor in identifying clinically actionable variants in cardiac genetic testing.
Domínguez F, Cuenca S, Bilińska Z, et al., 2018, Dilated cardiomyopathy due to BLC2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) mutations, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol: 72, Pages: 2471-2481, ISSN: 0735-1097
BackgroundThe BAG3 (BLC2-associated athanogene 3) gene codes for an antiapoptotic protein located on the sarcomere Z-disc. Mutations in BAG3 are associated with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), but only a small number of cases have been reported to date, and the natural history of BAG3 cardiomyopathy is poorly understood.ObjectivesThis study sought to describe the phenotype and prognosis of BAG3 mutations in a large multicenter DCM cohort.MethodsThe study cohort comprised 129 individuals with a BAG3 mutation (62% males, 35.1 ± 15.0 years of age) followed at 18 European centers. Localization of BAG3 in cardiac tissue was analyzed in patients with truncating BAG3 mutations using immunohistochemistry.ResultsAt first evaluation, 57.4% of patients had DCM. After a median follow-up of 38 months (interquartile range: 7 to 95 months), 68.4% of patients had DCM and 26.1% who were initially phenotype-negative developed DCM. Disease penetrance in individuals >40 years of age was 80% at last evaluation, and there was a trend towards an earlier onset of DCM in men (age 34.6 ± 13.2 years vs. 40.7 ± 12.2 years; p = 0.053). The incidence of adverse cardiac events (death, left ventricular assist device, heart transplantation, and sustained ventricular arrhythmia) was 5.1% per year among individuals with DCM. Male sex, decreased left ventricular ejection fraction. and increased left ventricular end-diastolic diameter were associated with adverse cardiac events. Myocardial tissue from patients with a BAG3 mutation showed myofibril disarray and a relocation of BAG3 protein in the sarcomeric Z-disc.ConclusionsDCM caused by mutations in BAG3 is characterized by high penetrance in carriers >40 years of age and a high risk of progressive heart failure. Male sex, decreased left ventricular ejection fraction, and enlarged left ventricular end-diastolic diameter are associated with adverse outcomes in patients with BAG3 mutations.
<jats:sec id="s1"> Abstract <jats:sec id="s1a"> Background Fibrosis is a common pathology in many cardiac disorders and is driven by the activation of resident fibroblasts. The global post-transcriptional mechanisms underlying fibroblast-to-myofibroblast conversion in the heart have not been explored. <jats:sec id="s1b"> Methods Genome-wide changes of RNA transcription and translation during human cardiac fibroblast activation were monitored with RNA sequencing and ribosome profiling. We then used miRNA-and RNA-binding protein-based analyses to identify translational regulators of fibrogenic genes. To reveal post-transcriptional mechanisms in the human fibrotic heart, we then integrated our findings with cardiac ribosome occupancy levels of 30 dilated cardiomyopathy patients. <jats:sec id="s1c"> Results We generated nucleotide-resolution translatome data during the TGFβ1-driven cellular transition of human cardiac fibroblasts to myofibroblasts. This identified dynamic changes of RNA transcription and translation at several time points during the fibrotic response, revealing transient and early-responder genes. Remarkably, about one-third of all changes in gene expression in activated fibroblasts are subject to translational regulation and dynamic variation in ribosome occupancy affects protein abundance independent of RNA levels. Targets of RNA-binding proteins were strongly enriched in post-transcriptionally regulated genes, suggesting genes such as MBNL2 can act as translational activators or repressors. Ribosome occupancy in the hearts of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy suggested an extensive post-transcriptional regulatory network underlying cardiac fibrosis. Key network hubs include RNA-binding proteins such as PUM2 and QKI that work in concert to regulate the translation of target transcripts in human diseased hearts. <jats:sec id="s1d"> Conclusions We reveal widespread t
Rossi R, Scotton C, Lorenzo M, et al., 2018, POPDC1 gene mutations screening in laminopathies: possible role as a modifier, 50th European-Society-of-Human-Genetics (ESHG) Conference, Publisher: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, Pages: 445-446, ISSN: 1018-4813
Walsh R, Mazzarotto F, Whiffin N, et al., 2018, Quantitative approaches to variant classification increase the yield and precision of genetic testing in Mendelian diseases: The case of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title><jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>International guidelines for variant interpretation in Mendelian disease set stringent criteria to report a variant as (likely) pathogenic, prioritising control of false positive rate over test sensitivity and diagnostic yield. Genetic testing is also more likely informative in individuals with well-characterised variants from extensively studied European-ancestry populations. Inherited cardiomyopathies are relatively common Mendelian diseases that allow empirical calibration and assessment of this framework.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>We compared rare variants in large hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) cohorts to reference populations to identify variant classes with high prior likelihoods of pathogenicity, as defined by etiological fraction (EF). Analysis of variant distribution identified regions in which variants are significantly enriched in cases and variant location was a better discriminator of pathogenicity than generic computational functional prediction algorithms. Non-truncating variant classes with an EF≥0.95, and therefore clinically actionable, were identified in 5 established HCM genes. Applying this approach leads to an estimated 14-20% increase in cases with actionable HCM variants.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title><jats:p>When found in a patient confirmed to have disease, novel variants in some genes and regions are empirically shown to have a sufficiently high probability of pathogenicity to support a “likely pathogenic” classification, even without additional segregation or functional data. This could increase the yield of high confidence actionable variants, consistent with the framework and recommendations of current guidelines. The techniques outlined offer a consi
Ware JS, Amor-Salamanca A, Tayal U, et al., 2018, A genetic etiology for alcohol-induced cardiac toxicity, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol: 71, Pages: 2293-2302, ISSN: 0735-1097
Background: Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) is defined by a dilated and impaired left ventricle due to chronic excess alcohol consumption. It is largely unknown what factors determine cardiac toxicity on exposure to alcohol.Objectives: We sought to evaluate the role of variation in cardiomyopathy-associated genes in the pathophysiology of ACM, and to examine the effects of alcohol intake and genotype on DCM severity.Methods: We characterized 141 ACM cases, 716 dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases and 445 healthy volunteers. We compared the prevalence of rare, protein-altering variants in 9 genes associated with inherited DCM. We evaluated the effect of genotype and alcohol-consumption on phenotype in DCM.Results: Variants in well-characterized DCM-causing genes were more prevalent in patients with ACM than controls (13.5% vs 2.9%; P=1.2e-05), but similar between patients with ACM and DCM (19.4%; P=0.12) and with a predominant burden of Titin-truncating variants (TTNtv, 9.9%). Separately, we identified an interaction between TTN genotype and excess alcohol consumption in a cohort of DCM patients not meeting ACM criteria. On multivariate analysis, DCM patients with a TTNtv who consumed excess alcohol had an 8.7% absolute reduction in ejection fraction (95% CI -2.3 to -15.1, P<0.007) compared with those without TTNtv and excess alcohol consumption. The presence of TTNtv did not predict phenotype, outcome or functional recovery on treatment in ACM patients. Conclusions: TTNtv represent a prevalent genetic predisposition for ACM, and are also associated with a worse LVEF in DCM patients who consume alcohol above recommended levels. Familial evaluation and genetic testing should be considered in patients presenting with ACM.
de Marvao A, Biffi C, Walsh R, et al., 2018, Defining The Effects Of Genetic Variation Using Machine Learning Analysis Of CMRs: A Study In Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy And In A Healthy Population, Joint Meeting of the British-Society-of-Cardiovascular-Imaging/British-Society-of-Cardiovascular-CT, British-Society-of-Cardiovascular-Magnetic-Resonance and British-Nuclear-Cardiac-Society on British Cardiovascular Imaging, Publisher: BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, Pages: A7-A8, ISSN: 1355-6037
Whiffin N, walsh R, Govind R, et al., 2018, CardioClassifier: disease- and gene-specific computational decision support for clinical genome interpretation, Genetics in Medicine, Vol: 20, Pages: 1246-1254, ISSN: 1098-3600
PurposeInternationally adopted variant interpretation guidelines from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) are generic and require disease-specific refinement. Here we developed CardioClassifier (http://www.cardioclassifier.org), a semiautomated decision-support tool for inherited cardiac conditions (ICCs).MethodsCardioClassifier integrates data retrieved from multiple sources with user-input case-specific information, through an interactive interface, to support variant interpretation. Combining disease- and gene-specific knowledge with variant observations in large cohorts of cases and controls, we refined 14 computational ACMG criteria and created three ICC-specific rules.ResultsWe benchmarked CardioClassifier on 57 expertly curated variants and show full retrieval of all computational data, concordantly activating 87.3% of rules. A generic annotation tool identified fewer than half as many clinically actionable variants (64/219 vs. 156/219, Fisher’s P = 1.1 × 10−18), with important false positives, illustrating the critical importance of disease and gene-specific annotations. CardioClassifier identified putatively disease-causing variants in 33.7% of 327 cardiomyopathy cases, comparable with leading ICC laboratories. Through addition of manually curated data, variants found in over 40% of cardiomyopathy cases are fully annotated, without requiring additional user-input data.ConclusionCardioClassifier is an ICC-specific decision-support tool that integrates expertly curated computational annotations with case-specific data to generate fast, reproducible, and interactive variant pathogenicity reports, according to best practice guidelines.
Tayal U, Newsome S, Buchan R, et al., 2017, Phenotype and Clinical Outcomes of Titin Cardiomyopathy, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol: 70, Pages: 2264-2274, ISSN: 0735-1097
Background Improved understanding of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) due to titin truncation (TTNtv) may help guide patient stratification.Objectives The purpose of this study was to establish relationships among TTNtv genotype, cardiac phenotype, and outcomes in DCM.Methods In this prospective, observational cohort study, DCM patients underwent clinical evaluation, late gadolinium enhancement cardiovascular magnetic resonance, TTN sequencing, and adjudicated follow-up blinded to genotype for the primary composite endpoint of cardiovascular death, and major arrhythmic and major heart failure events.Results Of 716 subjects recruited (mean age 53.5 ± 14.3 years; 469 men [65.5%]; 577 [80.6%] New York Heart Association function class I/II), 83 (11.6%) had TTNtv. Patients with TTNtv were younger at enrollment (49.0 years vs. 54.1 years; p = 0.002) and had lower indexed left ventricular mass (5.1 g/m2 reduction; padjusted = 0.03) compared with patients without TTNtv. There was no difference in biventricular ejection fraction between TTNtv+/− groups. Overall, 78 of 604 patients (12.9%) met the primary endpoint (median follow-up 3.9 years; interquartile range: 2.0 to 5.8 years), including 9 of 71 patients with TTNtv (12.7%) and 69 of 533 (12.9%) without. There was no difference in the composite primary outcome of cardiovascular death, heart failure, or arrhythmic events, for patients with or without TTNtv (hazard ratio adjusted for primary endpoint: 0.92 [95% confidence interval: 0.45 to 1.87]; p = 0.82).Conclusions In this large, prospective, genotype-phenotype study of ambulatory DCM patients, we show that prognostic factors for all-cause DCM also predict outcome in TTNtv DCM, and that TTNtv DCM does not appear to be associated with worse medium-term prognosis.
Heinig M, Adriaens ME, Schafer S, et al., 2017, Natural genetic variation of the cardiac transcriptome in non-diseased donors and patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, Genome Biology, Vol: 18, ISSN: 1474-7596
Background: Genetic variation is an important determinant of RNA transcription and splicing, which in turncontributes to variation in human traits, including cardiovascular diseases.Results: Here we report the first in-depth survey of heart transcriptome variation using RNA-sequencing in 97patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and 108 non-diseased controls. We reveal extensive differences of geneexpression and splicing between dilated cardiomyopathy patients and controls, affecting known as well as noveldilated cardiomyopathy genes. Moreover, we show a widespread effect of genetic variation on the regulation oftranscription, isoform usage, and allele-specific expression. Systematic annotation of genome-wide association SNPsidentifies 60 functional candidate genes for heart phenotypes, representing 20% of all published heart genome-wideassociation loci. Focusing on the dilated cardiomyopathy phenotype we found that eQTL variants are also enriched fordilated cardiomyopathy genome-wide association signals in two independent cohorts.Conclusions: RNA transcription, splicing, and allele-specific expression are each important determinants of the dilatedcardiomyopathy phenotype and are controlled by genetic factors. Our results represent a powerful resource for thefield of cardiovascular genetics.
Whiffin N, Minikel E, Walsh R, et al., 2017, Using high-resolution variant frequencies to empower clinical genome interpretation, Genetics in Medicine, Vol: 19, Pages: 1151-1158, ISSN: 1530-0366
Purpose: Whole exome and genome sequencing have transformed the discovery of genetic variants that cause human Mendelian disease, but discriminating pathogenic from benign variants remains a daunting challenge. Rarity is recognised as a necessary, although not sufficient, criterion for pathogenicity, but frequency cutoffs used in Mendelian analysis are often arbitrary and overly lenient. Recent very large reference datasets, such as the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC), provide an unprecedented opportunity to obtain robust frequency estimates even for very rare variants.Methods: We present a statistical framework for the frequency-based filtering of candidate disease-causing variants, accounting for disease prevalence, genetic and allelic heterogeneity, inheritance mode, penetrance, and sampling variance in reference datasets.Results: Using the example of cardiomyopathy, we show that our approach reduces by two-thirds the number of candidate variants under consideration in the average exome, without removing true pathogenic variants (false positive rate<0.001).Conclusion: We outline a statistically robust framework for assessing whether a variant is 'too common' to be causative for a Mendelian disorder of interest. We present precomputed allele frequency cutoffs for all variants in the ExAC dataset.
Tayal U, Newsome S, Buchan R, et al., 2017, Truncating variants in titin independently predict early arrhythmias in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Vol: 69, Pages: 2466-2468, ISSN: 1558-3597
Walsh R, Buchan R, Wilk A, et al., 2017, Defining the genetic architecture ofhypertrophic cardiomyopathy: re-evaluating the role of non-sarcomeric genes, European Heart Journal, Vol: 38, Pages: 3461-3468, ISSN: 1522-9645
Aim: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)exhibits genetic heterogeneity that is dominated by variation in eight sarcomericgenes.Genetic variation in a large number of non-sarcomeric genes has also been implicated in HCM but not formally assessed. Here we used very large case and control cohorts to determine the extent to which variation in non-sarcomeric genes contributes to HCM.Methods and results: We sequenced known and putative HCM genes ina new large prospective HCM cohort (n=804) and analysed data alongside the largest published series of clinically genotyped HCM patients (n=6179), previously published HCM cohorts and reference population samples from the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC, n=60,706) to assess variation in 31 genes implicated in HCM. We foundno significant excess of rare (minor allele frequency < 1:10,000 in ExAC)protein-alteringvariants over controls for most genes tested and conclude that novel variantsin these genes are rarely interpretable, even for genes with previous evidence of co-segregation (e.g. ACTN2). To provide an aid for variant interpretation, weintegratedHCM gene sequencedata with aggregatedpedigreeand functional data and suggest ameans of assessing genepathogenicity in HCMusing this evidence. Conclusions: We show that genetic variation in the majority of non-sarcomeric genes implicated in HCM is not associated with the condition, reinforce the fact that the sarcomeric gene variation is the primary cause of HCM known to date and underscore that the aetiology of HCM is unknown in the majority ofpatients.
Schafer S, de Marvao A, Adami E, et al., 2016, Titin truncating variants affect heart function in disease cohorts and the general population, Nature Genetics, Vol: 49, Pages: 46-53, ISSN: 1546-1718
Titin-truncating variants (TTNtv) commonly cause dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). TTNtv are also encountered in ~1% of the general population, where they may be silent, perhaps reflecting allelic factors. To better understand TTNtv, we integrated TTN allelic series, cardiac imaging and genomic data in humans and studied rat models with disparate TTNtv. In patients with DCM, TTNtv throughout titin were significantly associated with DCM. Ribosomal profiling in rat showed the translational footprint of premature stop codons in Ttn, TTNtv-position-independent nonsense-mediated degradation of the mutant allele and a signature of perturbed cardiac metabolism. Heart physiology in rats with TTNtv was unremarkable at baseline but became impaired during cardiac stress. In healthy humans, machine-learning-based analysis of high-resolution cardiac imaging showed TTNtv to be associated with eccentric cardiac remodeling. These data show that TTNtv have molecular and physiological effects on the heart across species, with a continuum of expressivity in health and disease.
rea G, Homfray T, Till J, et al., 2016, Histiocytoid cardiomyopathy and microphthalmia with linear skin defects syndrome: phenotypes linked by truncating variants in NDUFB11, Cold Spring Harbor Molecular Case Studies, Vol: 3, ISSN: 2373-2873
Variants in NDUFB11, which encodes a structural component of complex I of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC), were recently independently reported to cause histiocytoid cardiomyopathy (histiocytoid CM) and microphthalmia with linear skin defects syndrome (MLS syndrome). Here we report an additional case of histiocytoid CM, which carries a de novo nonsense variant in NDUFB11 (ENST00000276062.8: c.262C > T; p.[Arg88*]) identified using whole-exome sequencing (WES) of a family trio. An identical variant has been previously reported in association with MLS syndrome. The case we describe here lacked the diagnostic features of MLS syndrome, but a detailed clinical comparison of the two cases revealed significant phenotypic overlap. Heterozygous variants in HCCS (which encodes an important mitochondrially targeted protein) and COX7B, which, like NDUFB11, encodes a protein of the MRC, have also previously been identified in MLS syndrome including a case with features of both MLS syndrome and histiocytoid CM. However, a systematic review of WES data from previously published histiocytoid CM cases, alongside four additional cases presented here for the first time, did not identify any variants in these genes. We conclude that NDUFB11 variants play a role in the pathogenesis of both histiocytoid CM and MLS and that these disorders are allelic (genetically related).
Whiffin N, Minikel E, Walsh R, et al., 2016, Using high-resolution variant frequencies to empower clinical genome interpretation
Whole exome and genome sequencing have transformed the discovery of genetic variants that cause human Mendelian disease, but discriminating pathogenic from benign variants remains a daunting challenge. Rarity is recognised as a necessary, although not sufficient, criterion for pathogenicity, but frequency cutoffs used in Mendelian analysis are often arbitrary and overly lenient. Recent very large reference datasets, such as the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC), provide an unprecedented opportunity to obtain robust frequency estimates even for very rare variants. Here we present a statistical framework for the frequency-based filtering of candidate disease-causing variants, accounting for disease prevalence, genetic and allelic heterogeneity, inheritance mode, penetrance, and sampling variance in reference datasets. Using the example of cardiomyopathy, we show that our approach reduces by two-thirds the number of candidate variants under consideration in the average exome, and identifies 43 variants previously reported as pathogenic that can now be reclassified. We present precomputed allele frequency cutoffs for all variants in the ExAC dataset.
Gómez-Salinero JM, López-Olañeta MM, Ortiz-Sánchez P, et al., 2016, The Calcineurin Variant CnAβ1 controls mouse embryonic stem cell differentiation by directing mTORC2 membrane localization and activation, Cell Chemical Biology, Vol: 23, Pages: 1372-1382, ISSN: 2451-9456
Embryonic stem cells (ESC) have the potential to generate all the cell lineages that form the body. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying ESC differentiation and especially the role of alternative splicing in this process remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the alternative splicing regulator MBNL1 promotes generation of the atypical calcineurin Aβ variant CnAβ1 in mouse ESCs (mESC). CnAβ1 has a unique C-terminal domain that drives its localization mainly to the Golgi apparatus by interacting with Cog8. CnAβ1 regulates the intracellular localization and activation of the mTORC2 complex. CnAβ1 knockdown results in delocalization of mTORC2 from the membrane to the cytoplasm, inactivation of the AKT/GSK3β/β-catenin signaling pathway, and defective mesoderm specification. In summary, here we unveil the structural basis for the mechanism of action of CnAβ1 and its role in the differentiation of mESCs to the mesodermal lineage.
Felkin LE, Walsh R, Ware JS, et al., 2016, Recovery of cardiac function in cardiomyopathy due to titin truncation, JAMA Cardiology, Vol: 1, Pages: 234-235, ISSN: 2380-6583
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a frequent cause of heart failure and a common indication for heart transplantation. Dilated cardiomyopathy has a strong genetic basis, and the most common disease-causing mutations are variants that truncate the sarcomeric protein titin (TTN-truncating variants [TTNtvs] are prevalent in 25%1 of familial DCM cases and 13%2 of idiopathic DCM cases). The prognosis of DCM is poor, but functional recovery from end-stage failure has been reported following both optimal medical therapy3 and left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support,4,5 although the determinants of successful recovery are unknown. It has been proposed that recovery from genetic cardiomyopathy may not be expected because the underlying cause is irreversible, whereas recovery may be more likely when DCM is caused by reversible, nongenetic factors (eg, myocarditis).6 To address this directly, we sequenced TTN in patients with end-stage DCM who either recovered or did not recover following LVAD support.
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