The Genetic Heterogeneity of Brachydactyly Type A1: Identifying the Molecular Pathways

Title: The Genetic Heterogeneity of Brachydactyly Type A1: Identifying the Molecular Pathways
Authors: Racacho, Lemuel Jean
Date: 2015
Abstract: Brachydactyly type A1 (BDA1) is a rare autosomal dominant trait characterized by the shortening of the middle phalanges of digits 2-5 and of the proximal phalange of digit 1 in both hands and feet. Many of the brachymesophalangies including BDA1 have been associated with genetic perturbations along the BMP-SMAD signaling pathway. The goal of this thesis is to identify the molecular pathways that are associated with the BDA1 phenotype through the genetic assessment of BDA1-affected families. We identified four missense mutations that are clustered with other reported BDA1 mutations in the central region of the N-terminal signaling peptide of IHH. We also identified a missense mutation in GDF5 cosegregating with a semi-dominant form of BDA1. In two families we reported two novel BDA1-associated sequence variants in BMPR1B, the gene which codes for the receptor of GDF5. In 2002, we reported a BDA1 trait linked to chromosome 5p13.3 in a Canadian kindred (BDA1B; MIM %607004) but we did not discover a BDA1-causal variant in any of the protein coding genes within the 2.8 Mb critical region. To provide a higher sensitivity of detection, we performed a targeted enrichment of the BDA1B locus followed by high-throughput sequencing. We report the identification of a novel 9.5 Kb intergenic tandem duplication in two unrelated BDA1-affected families. In-vitro and in-vivo reporter assays demonstrated the enhancer activity of noncoding conserved sequence elements found within the microduplication. We also show an upregulation of the neighboring genes, NPR3 and PDZD2, in the patients' fibroblasts that suggests a gain-of-function through the duplication of cis-regulatory elements on dose sensitive genes. By expanding the repertoire of BDA1-causing mutations in IHH, GDF5, BMPR1B and at the BDA1B locus, we have begun to elucidate a common genetic pathway underlying phalangeal formation and elongation.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -