Iminoglycinuria (IG) is an autosomal recessive abnormality of renal transport of glycine and the imino acids proline and hydroxyproline, but the specific genetic defect(s) have not been determined. Similarly, although the related disorder hyperglycinuria (HG) without iminoaciduria has been attributed to heterozygosity of a putative defective glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline transporter, confirming the underlying genetic defect(s) has been difficult. Here we applied a candidate gene sequencing approach in 7 families first identified through newborn IG screening programs. Both inheritance and functional studies identified the gene encoding the proton amino acid transporter SLC36A2 (PAT2) as the major gene responsible for IG in these families, and its inheritance was consistent with a classical semidominant pattern in which 2 inherited nonfunctional alleles conferred the IG phenotype, while 1 nonfunctional allele was sufficient to confer the HG phenotype. Mutations in SLC36A2 that retained residual transport activity resulted in the IG phenotype when combined with mutations in the gene encoding the imino acid transporter SLC6A20 (IMINO). Additional mutations were identified in the genes encoding the putative glycine transporter SLC6A18 (XT2) and the neutral amino acid transporter SLC6A19 (B0AT1) in families with either IG or HG, suggesting that mutations in the genes encoding these transporters may also contribute to these phenotypes. In summary, although recognized as apparently simple Mendelian disorders, IG and HG exhibit complex molecular explanations depending on a major gene and accompanying modifier genes.
Stefan Bröer, Charles G. Bailey, Sonja Kowalczuk, Cynthia Ng, Jessica M. Vanslambrouck, Helen Rodgers, Christiane Auray-Blais, Juleen A. Cavanaugh, Angelika Bröer, John E.J. Rasko
Bitter taste–sensing G protein–coupled receptors (type 2 taste receptors [T2Rs]) are expressed in taste receptor cells of the tongue, where they play an important role in limiting ingestion of bitter-tasting, potentially toxic compounds. T2Rs are also expressed in gut-derived enteroendocrine cells, where they have also been hypothesized to play a role in limiting toxin absorption. In this study, we have shown that T2R gene expression in both cultured mouse enteroendocrine cells and mouse intestine is regulated by the cholesterol-sensitive SREBP-2. In addition, T2R stimulation of cholecystokinin (CCK) secretion was enhanced directly by SREBP-2 in cultured cells and in mice fed chow supplemented with lovastatin and ezetimibe (L/E) to decrease dietary sterol absorption and increase nuclear activity of SREBP-2. Low-cholesterol diets are naturally composed of high amounts of plant matter that is likely to contain dietary toxins, and CCK is known to improve dietary absorption of fats, slow gastric emptying, and decrease food intake. Thus, these studies suggest that SREBP-2 activation of bitter signaling receptors in the intestine may sensitize the gut to a low-fat diet and to potential accompanying food-borne toxins that make it past the initial aversive response in the mouth.
Tae-Il Jeon, Bing Zhu, Jarrod L. Larson, Timothy F. Osborne
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), a rare disease that results in what appears to be premature aging, is caused by the production of a mutant form of prelamin A known as progerin. Progerin retains a farnesyl lipid anchor at its carboxyl terminus, a modification that is thought to be important in disease pathogenesis. Inhibition of protein farnesylation improves the hallmark nuclear shape abnormalities in HGPS cells and ameliorates disease phenotypes in mice harboring a knockin HGPS mutation (LmnaHG/+). The amelioration of disease, however, is incomplete, leading us to hypothesize that nonfarnesylated progerin also might be capable of eliciting disease. To test this hypothesis, we created knockin mice expressing nonfarnesylated progerin (LmnanHG/+). LmnanHG/+ mice developed the same disease phenotypes observed in LmnaHG/+ mice, although the phenotypes were milder, and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) derived from these mice contained fewer misshapen nuclei. The steady-state levels of progerin in LmnanHG/+ MEFs and tissues were lower, suggesting a possible explanation for the milder phenotypes. These data support the concept that inhibition of protein farnesylation in progeria could be therapeutically useful but also suggest that this approach may be limited, as progerin elicits disease phenotypes whether or not it is farnesylated.
Shao H. Yang, Douglas A. Andres, H. Peter Spielmann, Stephen G. Young, Loren G. Fong
Previously, several individuals with X-linked SCID (SCID-X1) were treated by gene therapy to restore the missing IL-2 receptor γ (IL2RG) gene to CD34+ BM precursor cells using gammaretroviral vectors. While 9 of 10 patients were successfully treated, 4 of the 9 developed T cell leukemia 31–68 months after gene therapy. In 2 of these cases, blast cells contained activating vector insertions near the LIM domain–only 2 (LMO2) proto-oncogene. Here, we report data on the 2 most recent adverse events, which occurred in patients 7 and 10. In patient 10, blast cells contained an integrated vector near LMO2 and a second integrated vector near the proto-oncogene BMI1. In patient 7, blast cells contained an integrated vector near a third proto-oncogene,CCND2. Additional genetic abnormalities in the patients’ blast cells included chromosomal translocations, gain-of-function mutations activating NOTCH1, and copy number changes, including deletion of tumor suppressor gene CDKN2A, 6q interstitial losses, and SIL-TAL1 rearrangement. These findings functionally specify a genetic network that controls growth in T cell progenitors. Chemotherapy led to sustained remission in 3 of the 4 cases of T cell leukemia, but failed in the fourth. Successful chemotherapy was associated with restoration of polyclonal transduced T cell populations. As a result, the treated patients continued to benefit from therapeutic gene transfer.
Salima Hacein-Bey-Abina, Alexandrine Garrigue, Gary P. Wang, Jean Soulier, Annick Lim, Estelle Morillon, Emmanuelle Clappier, Laure Caccavelli, Eric Delabesse, Kheira Beldjord, Vahid Asnafi, Elizabeth MacIntyre, Liliane Dal Cortivo, Isabelle Radford, Nicole Brousse, François Sigaux, Despina Moshous, Julia Hauer, Arndt Borkhardt, Bernd H. Belohradsky, Uwe Wintergerst, Maria C. Velez, Lily Leiva, Ricardo Sorensen, Nicolas Wulffraat, Stéphane Blanche, Frederic D. Bushman, Alain Fischer, Marina Cavazzana-Calvo
X-linked SCID (SCID-X1) is amenable to correction by gene therapy using conventional gammaretroviral vectors. Here, we describe the occurrence of clonal T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) promoted by insertional mutagenesis in a completed gene therapy trial of 10 SCID-X1 patients. Integration of the vector in an antisense orientation 35 kb upstream of the protooncogene LIM domain only 2 (LMO2) caused overexpression of LMO2 in the leukemic clone. However, leukemogenesis was likely precipitated by the acquisition of other genetic abnormalities unrelated to vector insertion, including a gain-of-function mutation in NOTCH1, deletion of the tumor suppressor gene locus cyclin-dependent kinase 2A (CDKN2A), and translocation of the TCR-β region to the STIL-TAL1 locus. These findings highlight a general toxicity of endogenous gammaretroviral enhancer elements and also identify a combinatorial process during leukemic evolution that will be important for risk stratification and for future protocol design.
Steven J. Howe, Marc R. Mansour, Kerstin Schwarzwaelder, Cynthia Bartholomae, Michael Hubank, Helena Kempski, Martijn H. Brugman, Karin Pike-Overzet, Stephen J. Chatters, Dick de Ridder, Kimberly C. Gilmour, Stuart Adams, Susannah I. Thornhill, Kathryn L. Parsley, Frank J.T. Staal, Rosemary E. Gale, David C. Linch, Jinhua Bayford, Lucie Brown, Michelle Quaye, Christine Kinnon, Philip Ancliff, David K. Webb, Manfred Schmidt, Christof von Kalle, H. Bobby Gaspar, Adrian J. Thrasher
Germline activation of H-RAS oncogenes is the primary cause of Costello syndrome (CS), a neuro-cardio-facio-cutaneous developmental syndrome. Here we describe the generation of a mouse model of CS by introduction of an oncogenic Gly12Val mutation in the mouse H-Ras locus using homologous recombination in ES cells. Germline expression of the endogenous H-RasG12V oncogene, even in homozygosis, resulted in hyperplasia of the mammary gland. However, development of tumors in these mice was rare. H-RasG12V mutant mice closely phenocopied some of the abnormalities observed in patients with CS, including facial dysmorphia and cardiomyopathies. These mice also displayed alterations in the homeostasis of the cardiovascular system, including development of systemic hypertension, extensive vascular remodeling, and fibrosis in both the heart and the kidneys. This phenotype was age dependent and was a consequence of the abnormal upregulation of the renin–Ang II system. Treatment with captopril, an inhibitor of Ang II biosynthesis, prevented development of the hypertension condition, vascular remodeling, and heart and kidney fibrosis. In addition, it partially alleviated the observed cardiomyopathies. These mice should help in elucidating the etiology of CS symptoms, identifying additional defects, and evaluating potential therapeutic strategies.
Alberto J. Schuhmacher, Carmen Guerra, Vincent Sauzeau, Marta Cañamero, Xosé R. Bustelo, Mariano Barbacid
Cytosolic phospholipase A2α (cPLA2α) hydrolyzes arachidonic acid from cellular membrane phospholipids, thereby providing enzymatic substrates for the synthesis of eicosanoids, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Considerable understanding of cPLA2α function has been derived from investigations of the enzyme and from cPLA2α-null mice, but knowledge of discrete roles for this enzyme in humans is limited. We investigated a patient hypothesized to have an inherited prostanoid biosynthesis deficiency due to his multiple, complicated small intestinal ulcers despite no use of cyclooxygenase inhibitors. Levels of thromboxane B2 and 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid produced by platelets and leukotriene B4 released from calcium ionophore–activated blood were markedly reduced, indicating defective enzymatic release of the arachidonic acid substrate for the corresponding cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenases. Platelet aggregation and degranulation induced by adenosine diphosphate or collagen were diminished but were normal in response to arachidonic acid. Two heterozygous single base pair mutations and a known SNP were found in the coding regions of the patient’s cPLA2α genes (p.[Ser111Pro]+[Arg485His; Lys651Arg]). The total PLA2 activity in sonicated platelets was diminished, and the urinary metabolites of prostacyclin, prostaglandin E2, prostaglandin D2, and thromboxane A2 were also reduced. These findings characterize what we believe is a novel inherited deficiency of cPLA2.
David H. Adler, Joy D. Cogan, John A. Phillips III, Nathalie Schnetz-Boutaud, Ginger L. Milne, Tina Iverson, Jeffrey A. Stein, David A. Brenner, Jason D. Morrow, Olivier Boutaud, John A. Oates
Paroxysmal dyskinesias are episodic movement disorders that can be inherited or are sporadic in nature. The pathophysiology underlying these disorders remains largely unknown but may involve disrupted ion homeostasis due to defects in cell-surface channels or nutrient transporters. In this study, we describe a family with paroxysmal exertion-induced dyskinesia (PED) over 3 generations. Their PED was accompanied by epilepsy, mild developmental delay, reduced CSF glucose levels, hemolytic anemia with echinocytosis, and altered erythrocyte ion concentrations. Using a candidate gene approach, we identified a causative deletion of 4 highly conserved amino acids (Q282_S285del) in the pore region of the glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1). Functional studies in Xenopus oocytes and human erythrocytes revealed that this mutation decreased glucose transport and caused a cation leak that alters intracellular concentrations of sodium, potassium, and calcium. We screened 4 additional families, in which PED is combined with epilepsy, developmental delay, or migraine, but not with hemolysis or echinocytosis, and identified 2 additional GLUT1 mutations (A275T, G314S) that decreased glucose transport but did not affect cation permeability. Combining these data with brain imaging studies, we propose that the dyskinesias result from an exertion-induced energy deficit that may cause episodic dysfunction of the basal ganglia, and that the hemolysis with echinocytosis may result from alterations in intracellular electrolytes caused by a cation leak through mutant GLUT1.
Yvonne G. Weber, Alexander Storch, Thomas V. Wuttke, Knut Brockmann, Judith Kempfle, Snezana Maljevic, Lucia Margari, Christoph Kamm, Susanne A. Schneider, Stephan M. Huber, Arnulf Pekrun, Robert Roebling, Guiscard Seebohm, Saisudha Koka, Camelia Lang, Eduard Kraft, Dragica Blazevic, Alberto Salvo-Vargas, Michael Fauler, Felix M. Mottaghy, Alexander Münchau, Mark J. Edwards, Anna Presicci, Francesco Margari, Thomas Gasser, Florian Lang, Kailash P. Bhatia, Frank Lehmann-Horn, Holger Lerche
Vectors derived from adeno-associated virus (AAV) are promising for human gene therapy, including treatment for retinal blindness. One major limitation of AAVs as vectors is that AAV cargo capacity has been considered to be restricted to 4.7 kb. Here we demonstrate that vectors with an AAV5 capsid (i.e., rAAV2/5) incorporated up to 8.9 kb of genome more efficiently than 6 other serotypes tested, independent of the efficiency of the rAAV2/5 production process. Efficient packaging of the large murine Abca4 and human MYO7A and CEP290 genes, which are mutated in common blinding diseases, was obtained, suggesting that this packaging efficiency is independent of the specific sequence packaged. Expression of proteins of the appropriate size and function was observed following transduction with rAAV2/5 carrying large genes. Intraocular administration of rAAV2/5 encoding ABCA4 resulted in protein localization to rod outer segments and significant and stable morphological and functional improvement of the retina in Abca4–/– mice. This use of rAAV2/5 may be a promising therapeutic strategy for recessive Stargardt disease, the most common form of inherited macular degeneration. The possibility of packaging large genes in AAV greatly expands the therapeutic potential of this vector system.
Mariacarmela Allocca, Monica Doria, Marco Petrillo, Pasqualina Colella, Maria Garcia-Hoyos, Daniel Gibbs, So Ra Kim, Albert Maguire, Tonia S. Rex, Umberto Di Vicino, Luisa Cutillo, Janet R. Sparrow, David S. Williams, Jean Bennett, Alberto Auricchio
Retroviral vector–mediated HSC gene therapy has been used to treat individuals with a number of life-threatening diseases. However, some patients with SCID-X1 developed retroviral vector–mediated leukemia after treatment. The selective growth advantage of gene-modified cells in patients with SCID-X1 suggests that the transgene may have played a role in leukemogenesis. Here we report that 2 of 2 dogs and 1 of 2 macaques developed myeloid leukemia approximately 2 years after being transplanted with cells that overexpressed homeobox B4 (HOXB4) and cells transduced with a control gammaretroviral vector that did not express HOXB4. The leukemic cells had dysregulated expression of oncogenes, a block in myeloid differentiation, and overexpression of HOXB4. HOXB4 knockdown restored differentiation in leukemic cells, suggesting involvement of HOXB4. In contrast, leukemia did not arise from the cells carrying the control gammaretroviral vector. In addition, leukemia did not arise in 5 animals with high-level marking and polyclonal long-term repopulation following transplantation with cells transduced with an identical gammaretrovirus vector backbone expressing methylguanine methyltransferase. These findings, combined with the absence of leukemia in many other large animals transplanted with cells transduced with gammaretroviral vectors expressing genes other than HOXB4, show that HOXB4 overexpression poses a significant risk of leukemogenesis. Our data thus suggest the continued need for caution in genetic manipulation of repopulating cells, particularly when the transgene might impart an intrinsic growth advantage.
Xiao-Bing Zhang, Brian C. Beard, Grant D. Trobridge, Brent L. Wood, George E. Sale, Reeteka Sud, R. Keith Humphries, Hans-Peter Kiem