eLetters

18 e-Letters

published between 2015 and 2018

  • Comment on: Kleinendorst et al. Genetic obesity: next-generation sequencing results of 1230 patients with obesity. J Med Genet 2018 Sep;55(9):578-586.

    To the Editor:
    We read with interest the article by Kleinendorst et al. on a next-generation sequencing-based gene panel analysis of 52 obesity-related genes in 1,230 patients with obesity [1]. This study is among the first to screen an exhaustive list of causal genes to determine the prevalence of monogenic obesity in a large series of severely obese children and adults recruited from a medical setting [2]. Genetic testing for obesity should be routinely performed in carefully selected patients, especially given the possibility of effective personalized treatments for a subset of monogenic cases [3]. We wanted to express several important concerns.
    First, the selection of these 52 genes is highly questionable. Several genes that have not been robustly associated with highly penetrant forms of obesity in the literature were included in the panel (e.g. IRS1, IRS2, IRS4, MCHR1), while 3 non-syndromic (MRAP2, KSR2, ADCY3) and 39 syndromic monogenic obesity genes were omitted [4,5].
    Second, the authors claim a ‘definitive diagnosis of a genetic obesity disorder’ in 3.9% of obese probands. This is a highly dubious conclusion considering that the authors used proprietary bioinformatics tools and did not detail how they classified variants as being pathogenic/likely pathogenic, uncertain, or likely begnin/begnin. In vitro functional characterization experiments are needed to confirm the pathogenicity of genetic variants [2].
    Third, the authors should have...

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  • Additional evidence for the c.428del variant in KIAA0586 as hypomorphic allele that is only disease causing in compound heterozygosity with strong mutations.

    Matias Wagner1,2,3, Dominik S Westphal1,2, Iris Hannibal4, Johannes A. Mayr5, Tim M. Strom1,2, Thomas Meitinger1,2, Holger Prokisch1,2, Saskia B. Wortmann1,2,5
    1. Institute of Human Genetics, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany;
    2. Institute of Human Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Neuherberg, Germany;
    3. Institute of Neurogenomics, Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Neuherberg, Germany
    4. Dr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany
    5. Department of Pediatrics, Salzburger Landeskliniken (SALK) and Paracelsus Medical University (PMU), Salzburg, Austria

    Biallelic mutations in KIAA0586 have been related to Joubert syndrome (JBTS) 23 and as the most frequent disease causing variant c.428del (p.Arg143Lysfs*4) was identified.1 However, the allele frequency of 0.003117 and two homozygotes in the gnomAD dataset as well as additional reports of healthy carriers have questioned the variant’s pathogenicity.2, 3 Pauli et al. have recently hypothesized that c.428del is a hypomorphic allele which is only causing JBTS in compound heterozygosity with other mutations.

    In 15,000 in-house exome data sets, we have identified three individuals harboring c.428del in a homozygous state. In two, we identified other variants sufficiently explaining the phenotype: In a 6 year old girl with global developmental delay and progressive myoclonic astatic epilepsy, we identified a de novo variant c.2683del, p.Ser895Le...

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  • Comment on Agalsidase alfa versus agalsidase beta for the treatment of Fabry disease: an international cohort study

    Dear Editor,

    in their recent study Arends and colleagues demonstrate a significant 2.8-fold increased risk for the formation of neutralizing anti-drug antibodies (ADA) in male patients with Fabry disease (FD) when treated with agalsidase-beta (1.0 mg/kg every other week) compared to agalsidase-alfa (0.2 mg/kg every other week).[1] Interestingly, Rombach and colleagues and later Smid and colleagues reported no significant differences in a humoral response, when using an identical dosage of 0.2 mg/kg for both drugs. [2,3] Hence, the 5-fold higher dosage of agalsidase-beta and not the compound itself seems to be an important trigger for antibody formation. However, none of the studies determined the cross reactive immunological status, which is crucial for the risk of a humoral response. The subgroup analysis of patients with ADAs by Arends and colleagues also revealed a better biochemical response to agalsidase-beta at 1.0 mg/kg in terms of decreasing lyso-Gb3 levels.[1] The authors propose that a saturation of antibody titers due to the 5-fold higher dosage might lead to the observed effect. In this respect, we recently demonstrated that antibodies can be supersaturated and that appropriate (i.e. individually optimized) enzyme dosages can overcome ADA titers already during infusions, which may result in improved patients’ outcome.[4] However, in the same study, we also demonstrated that even in patients treated with low-dose enzyme replacement therapy ADA titers can...

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  • Novel biallelic truncating mutation in KLHL7 causing recessive Bohring-Opitz syndrome with central apnea

    We read with interest the case series of 6 patients with Bohring-Opitz syndrome (BOS) phenotype who were found to have autosomal recessive truncating mutations in the KLHL7 gene[1]. The purpose of this letter is to report a novel truncating mutation in KLHL7, and to expand the phenotype of recessive KLHL7 variants.
    Our patient is a now 32-month-old male of Guatemalan descent who was born at 37 weeks’ gestation after a pregnancy complicated by fetal hydronephrosis, IUGR, and maternal hypertension. Birthweight was 2.5 kg, and he failed the neonatal hearing screen bilaterally. He was admitted to the NICU for desaturation events and was treated with supplemental oxygen. Polysomnography was performed at 4 weeks of life and identified central sleep apnea, with a central apnea index of 11 events/hour and no significant obstructive component. PHOX2B testing ruled out congenital central hypoventilation syndrome. A brain MRI demonstrated hypoplasia of the corpus callosum, delayed myelination, pontine hypoplasia, and subependymal nodular heterotopia along the lateral ventricles. A chromosome microarray was negative for deletions and duplications, though it indicated multiple areas of homozygosity (combined total length ~24 Mb).
    He demonstrated some neck control at 3 months of age, and at age 2 years was able to roll for mobility. He remains nonverbal, tracheosteomy- and gastrostomy tube-dependent. Kyphoscoliosis was noted at 11 months of age and is progressing. He is also...

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  • Milder phenotype in a boy with Bainbridge Ropers Syndrome and ASXL3 mutation. Expanding the phenotypic spectrum

    We read with interest the case series of 12 patients with loss-of-function denovo heterozygous mutations in ASXL3, reported by Balasubramanian et al in August 2017. We want to report on a further case of Bainbridge – Ropers Syndrome (BRS) seen in our department. The purpose of this letter is two-fold. The first is to report on the mild features of BRS and the second is to expand the spectrum of features in BRS reiterating that all cases may not have severe features.

    The proband is now 7 years old who first presented to the genetic services at the age of 3 years with global developmental delay and epilepsy. He is the first child of non-consanguineous healthy parent of Indian heritage. There is no family history of learning difficulties, autism or developmental delay.

    He was born after a normal pregnancy by LSCS for prolonged labour with a birth weight of 2.9kg at term. He started sitting independently at 16 months and walking at 22 months. He has speech and language delay. He initially presented with 2 episodes of febrile convulsions; the first lasting 1 minute and second 10 minutes, at 3 and a half years of age. He then went on to develop tonic- clonic seizures thereafter all requiring hospital admission. He was recruited to the deciphering development disorder project (DDD) and on whole exome sequencing detected two variants in ASXL3 and DMD gene respectively.

    This variant is predicted to cause a frameshift mutation resulting in a premature terminat...

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  • Response

    We thank our colleagues for their interest in our study recently published in the Journal of Medical Genetics entitled ‘Risk assessment of maternally inherited SDHD paraganglioma and pheochromocytoma’.
    In response, we would like to underline that our study is a prospective study (see 'Methods' section) and not a case study.
    Today, the French national registry for hereditary paraganglioma (PGL.R) contains 193 SDHD different families carrying more than 60 different mutations, which is different from the Dutch situation where 87.1% of the SDHD-mutation carriers have the same founder Dutch mutation p.Asp92Tyr [1]. As explained in our paper, we have launched this prospective study because of the few cases of SDHD-tumors inherited via the maternal line reported in the literature, but also because we were aware of three other putative cases among patients suffering from paraganglioma or pheochromocytoma (PPGL) registered in PGL.R. Unfortunately, for those three cases we were not able to collect tumor tissues to definitely prove the role of the maternally inherited SDHD mutation in the tumorigenesis. The identification of a new case, a young asymptomatic woman, by our prospective study was nevertheless a surprise for us. So we strongly suggest our colleagues to take advantage from their large cohort of 600 at-risk subjects to perform the same prospective study in asymptomatic subjects, although most of them would carry the same SDHD founder mutation, to confi...

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  • Should we screen carriers of maternally inherited SDHD mutations?
    Jean-Pierre Bayley

    Dear Editor,

    We are writing to comment on a recent paper published in your journal by Burnichon and colleagues: Burnichon N, et al. Risk assessment of maternally inherited SDHD paraganglioma and phaeochromocytoma. J Med Genet. 2017; 54:125-133.

    In this paper a case study is presented describing development of pheochromocytoma in a carrier of an SDHD mutation. Although at first sight not an uncommon occu...

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  • Phenotypic non-penetrance in Milroy-like disease associated with a mutation in the vascular endothelial growth factor-C gene (VEGFC)

    Phenotypic non-penetrance in Milroy-like disease associated with a mutation in the vascular endothelial growth factor-C gene (VEGFC)

    Boersma, H.J.1, M.V. Heitink2, J.M. van de Kamp3, van Geel, M 1,4

    1 Department of Dermatology, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Maastricht, The Netherlands
    2 Department of Dermatology, VieCuri, Venlo, The Netherlands
    3 Department of Clinical Genetics, VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    4 Department of Clinical Genetics, Maastricht University Medical Centre+, Maastricht, The Netherlands

    With great interest, we read the article by Balboa-Beltran et al [1], where they presented a three-generation family with a phenotype of typical Milroy disease without mutations in FLT4 but instead in VEGFC. Milroy disease is an autosomal dominant, congenital form of primary lymphoedema with reduced penetrance. In approximately 70% of Milroy disease patients, mutations in FLT4 are identified [2]. Connell et al. presented research wherein FLT4 pathogenic variants were detected in 75% of clearly affected patients having a positive family history and in 68% of typical Milroy patients but without a family history [3], suggesting that other genes may be involved. Balboa-Beltran et al [1], detected a novel nonsense mutation (p.(Arg210*)) in VEGFC by exome sequencing causing Milroy-like disease. They found that all carriers of this VEGFC mutation exhibited the clinical diagnostic criteria of Milroy disease, inclu...

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  • Could a mutation in the hair keratin KRT83 cause recessive progressive symmetric erythrokeratoderma?
    Yuval Ramot

    Yuval Ramot1, Abraham Zlotogorski1, Maurice van Steensel2,3,4

    1 Department of Dermatology, Hadassah - Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

    2 School of Medicine and School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, United Kingdom

    3 Institute of Medical Biology, Singapore

    4 Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

    In their rec...

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  • Re:NONO mutations and non compaction cardiomyopathy
    Daryl Armstrong Scott

    We only became aware of the paper by Reinstein et al. after our manuscript was published online. It is gratifying to know that we are not the only group who has identified left ventricular non-compaction (LVNC) in males with loss-of-function mutations in NONO.

    Conflict of Interest:

    None declared

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