Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are a heterogeneous class of brain diseases, with a complex genetic basis estimated to account for up to 50% of cases. Nevertheless, genetic diagnostic yield is about 20%. Array-comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) is an established first-level diagnostic test able to detect pathogenic copy number variants (CNVs), however, most identified variants remain of uncertain significance (VUS). Failure of interpretation of VUSs may depend on various factors, including complexity of clinical phenotypes and inconsistency of genotype-phenotype correlations. Indeed, although most NDD-associated CNVs are de novo, transmission from unaffected parents to affected children of CNVs with high risk for NDDs has been observed. Moreover, variability of genetic components overlapped by CNVs, such as long non-coding genes, genomic regions with long-range effects, and additive effects of multiple CNVs can make CNV interpretation challenging. We report on 12 patients with complex phenotypes possibly explained by complex genetic mechanisms, including involvement of antisense genes and boundaries of topologically associating domains. Eight among the 12 patients carried two CNVs, either de novo or inherited, respectively, by each of their healthy parents, that could additively contribute to the patients' phenotype. CNVs overlapped either known NDD-associated or novel candidate genes (PTPRD, BUD13, GLRA3, MIR4465, ABHD4, and WSCD2). Bioinformatic enrichment analyses showed that genes overlapped by the co-occurring CNVs have synergistic roles in biological processes fundamental in neurodevelopment. Double CNVs could concur in producing deleterious effects, according to a two-hit model, thus explaining the patients' phenotypes and the incomplete penetrance, and variable expressivity, associated with the single variants. Overall, our findings could contribute to the knowledge on clinical and genetic diagnosis of complex forms of NDD.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Patients With Complex Phenotypes and Potential Complex Genetic Basis Involving Non-Coding Genes, and Double CNVs

Servetti, Martina;Cerminara, Maria;Nobili, Lino;Boeri, Silvia;Rosti, Giulia;Lerone, Margherita;Divizia, Maria Teresa;Puliti, Aldamaria
2021

Abstract

Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are a heterogeneous class of brain diseases, with a complex genetic basis estimated to account for up to 50% of cases. Nevertheless, genetic diagnostic yield is about 20%. Array-comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) is an established first-level diagnostic test able to detect pathogenic copy number variants (CNVs), however, most identified variants remain of uncertain significance (VUS). Failure of interpretation of VUSs may depend on various factors, including complexity of clinical phenotypes and inconsistency of genotype-phenotype correlations. Indeed, although most NDD-associated CNVs are de novo, transmission from unaffected parents to affected children of CNVs with high risk for NDDs has been observed. Moreover, variability of genetic components overlapped by CNVs, such as long non-coding genes, genomic regions with long-range effects, and additive effects of multiple CNVs can make CNV interpretation challenging. We report on 12 patients with complex phenotypes possibly explained by complex genetic mechanisms, including involvement of antisense genes and boundaries of topologically associating domains. Eight among the 12 patients carried two CNVs, either de novo or inherited, respectively, by each of their healthy parents, that could additively contribute to the patients' phenotype. CNVs overlapped either known NDD-associated or novel candidate genes (PTPRD, BUD13, GLRA3, MIR4465, ABHD4, and WSCD2). Bioinformatic enrichment analyses showed that genes overlapped by the co-occurring CNVs have synergistic roles in biological processes fundamental in neurodevelopment. Double CNVs could concur in producing deleterious effects, according to a two-hit model, thus explaining the patients' phenotypes and the incomplete penetrance, and variable expressivity, associated with the single variants. Overall, our findings could contribute to the knowledge on clinical and genetic diagnosis of complex forms of NDD.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1059685
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 2
  • Scopus 5
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 5
social impact