There is a significant challenge of attributing specific diagnoses to patients with primary adrenal insufficiency of unknown etiology other than congenital adrenal hyperplasia (non-CAH PAI). Specific diagnoses per se may guide personalized treatment or may illuminate pathophysiology.
Investigation of the efficacy of steroid hormone profiles and high-throughput sequencing methods in establishing the etiology in non-CAH PAI of unknown origin.
Paediatric patients with non-CAH PAI whose etiology could not be established by clinical and biochemical characteristics were enrolled. Genetic analysis was performed using targetedgene panel sequencing (TPS) and whole-exome sequencing (WES). Plasma adrenal steroids were quantified by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and compared to that of controls.
Eighteen pediatric endocrinology clinics.
Forty-one patients (17 females, median age: 3 months, range: 0-8 years) with non-CAH PAI of unknown etiology.
A genetic diagnosis was obtained in 29 (70.7%) patients by TPS. Further molecular diagnosis could not be achieved by WES. Compared to healthy control group, patients showed lower steroid concentrations, most significantly in cortisone, cortisol, and corticosterone (p<0.0001, area under the ROC curve: 0.96, 0.88, 0.87, respectively). Plasma cortisol<4 ng/mL, cortisone<11 ng/mL, and corticosterone<0.11 ng/mL had >95% specificity to ensure the diagnosis of non-CAH PAI of unknown etiology.
Steroid hormone profiles are highly sensitive for the diagnosis of non-CAH PAI of unknown etiology, while they are unlikely to point out a specific molecular diagnosis. TPS is an optimal approach in the molecular diagnosis of these patients with high efficacy, while little additional benefit is expected from WES.
Background and Objectives:Genetic white matter disorders (GWMD) are of heterogeneous origin, with more than a hundred causal genes identified to date. Classical targeted approaches achieve a molecular diagnosis in only half of all patients. Here we aim to determine the clinical utility of singleton whole-exome sequencing and whole-genome sequencing (sWES-WGS) interpreted with a phenotype- and interactome-driven prioritization algorithm to diagnose GWMD patients, while identifying novel phenotypes and candidate genes.Methods:A case series of patients of all ages with undiagnosed GWMD despite extensive standard-of-care paraclinical studies were recruited between April 2017 and December 2019 in a collaborative study at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and neurology units of tertiary Spanish hospitals. We ran sWES and WGS and applied our interactome-prioritization algorithm, based on the network expansion of a seed group of GWMD-related genes, derived from the HPO terms of each patient.Results:We received 126 patients (101 children and 25 adults), with ages ranging from 1 month to 74 years. We obtained a first molecular diagnosis by singleton WES in 59% of cases, which increased to 68% after annual reanalysis and reached 72% after WGS was performed in 16 of the remaining negative cases. We identified variants in 57 different genes among 91 diagnosed cases, with the most frequent being RNASEH2B, EIF2B5, POLR3A and PLP1; and a dual diagnosis underlying complex phenotypes in six families, underscoring the importance of genomic analysis to solve these cases. Finally, we discovered 9 candidate genes causing novel diseases, and propose additional putative novel candidate genes for yet-to-be discovered GWMD.Discussion:Our strategy enables a high diagnostic yield and is a good alternative to trio WES/WGS for GWMD. It shortens the time to diagnosis compared to the classical targeted approach, thus optimizing appropriate management. Furthermore, the interactome-driven prioritization pipeline enables the discovery of novel disease-causing genes and phenotypes, and predicts novel putative candidate genes, shedding light on etiopathogenic mechanisms that are pivotal for myelin generation and maintenance.
AbstractInherited retinal dystrophies are a group of disorders characterized by the progressive degeneration of photoreceptors leading to loss of the visual function and eventually to legal blindness. Although next generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized the molecular diagnosis of these diseases, the pathogenicity of some mutations casts doubts. After the screening of 208 patients with a panel of 117 genes, we obtained 383 variants that were analysed in silico with bioinformatic prediction programs. Based on the results of these tools, we selected 15 variants for their functional assessment. Therefore, we carried out minigene assays to unveil whether they could affect the splicing of the corresponding gene. As a whole, seven variants were found to induce aberrant splicing in the following genes: BEST1, CACNA2D4, PRCD, RIMS1, FSCN2, MERTK and MAK. This study shows the efficacy of a workflow, based on the association of the Minimum Allele Frequency, family co-segregation, in silico predictions and in vitro assays to determine the effect of potential splice site variants identified by DNA-based NGS. These findings improve the molecular diagnosis of inherited retinal dystrophies and will allow some patients to benefit from the upcoming gene-based therapeutic strategies.
The current stage of the pandemic, led by SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs), underscores the necessity to develop a cost-effective and rapid molecular diagnosis assay to differentiate the VOCs. In this study, over 1 million SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences of high quality from GISAID were analyzed and a network of the common mutations of the lineages was constructed.
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a serious threat to public health worldwide. We used multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) to derive information on viral genetic diversity and conduct precise phylogenetic analysis. Four HAV genome sequences were obtained using multiplex PCR-based NGS. HAV whole-genome sequence of one sample was obtained by conventional Sanger sequencing. The HAV strains demonstrated a geographic cluster with sub-genotype IA strains in the Republic of Korea. The phylogenetic pattern of HAV viral protein (VP) 3 region showed no phylogenetic conflict between the whole-genome and partial-genome sequences. The VP3 region in serum and stool samples showed sensitive detection of HAV with differences of quantification that did not exceed <10 copies/μL than the consensus VP4 region using quantitative PCR (qPCR). In conclusion, multiplex PCR-based NGS was implemented to define HAV genotypes using nearly whole-genome sequences obtained directly from hepatitis A patients. The VP3 region might be a potential candidate for tracking the genotypic origin of emerging HAV outbreaks. VP3-specific qPCR was developed for the molecular diagnosis of HAV infection. This study may be useful to predict for the disease management and subsequent development of hepatitis A infection at high risk of severe illness.