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Rare Diseases

Emma Bondy-Chorney, Tara E Crawford Parks, Aymeric Ravel-Chapuis, Bernard J Jasmin, Jocelyn Côté
In a recent issue of PLOS Genetics, we reported that the double-stranded RNA-binding protein, Staufen1, functions as a disease modifier in the neuromuscular disorder Myotonic Dystrophy Type I (DM1). In this work, we demonstrated that Staufen1 regulates the alternative splicing of exon 11 of the human Insulin Receptor, a highly studied missplicing event in DM1, through Alu elements located in an intronic region. Furthermore, we found that Staufen1 overexpression regulates numerous alternative splicing events, potentially resulting in both positive and negative effects in DM1...
2016: Rare Diseases
Glenn S Belinsky, Leanne Ward, Chuhan Chung
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) Type VI is characterized by a defect in bone mineralization, which results in multiple fractures early in life. Null mutations in the PEDF gene, Serpinf1, are the cause of OI VI. Whether PEDF restoration in a murine model of OI Type VI could improve bone mass and function was previously unknown. In Belinsky et al, we provided evidence that PEDF delivery enhanced bone mass and improved parameters of bone function in vivo. Further, we demonstrated that PEDF temporally inhibits Wnt signaling to enhance osteoblast differentiation...
2016: Rare Diseases
Moones Heidari, Sam H Gerami, Brianna Bassett, Ross M Graham, Anita C G Chua, Ritambhara Aryal, Michael J House, Joanna F Collingwood, Conceição Bettencourt, Henry Houlden, Mina Ryten, John K Olynyk, Debbie Trinder, Daniel M Johnstone, Elizabeth A Milward
We previously demonstrated elevated brain iron levels in myelinated structures and associated cells in a hemochromatosis Hfe (-/-) xTfr2 (mut) mouse model. This was accompanied by altered expression of a group of myelin-related genes, including a suite of genes causatively linked to the rare disease family 'neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation' (NBIA). Expanded data mining and ontological analyses have now identified additional myelin-related transcriptome changes in response to brain iron loading...
2016: Rare Diseases
Jean-Loup Duband, Sophie Escot, Claire Fournier-Thibault
The DiGeorge/22q11-deletion syndrome (22q11DS), also known as velocardiofacial syndrome, is a congenital disease causing numerous structural and behavioral disorders, including cardiac outflow tract anomalies, craniofacial dysmorphogenesis, parathyroid and thymus hypoplasia, and mental disorders. It results from a unique chromosomal microdeletion on the 22q11.2 region in which the transcriptional activator TBX1 is decisive for the occurrence of the disease. During embryogenesis, Tbx1 is required for patterning of pharyngeal region giving rise to structures of the face, neck and chest...
2016: Rare Diseases
Ola Abdelhadi, Daniela Iancu, Horia Stanescu, Robert Kleta, Detlef Bockenhauer
EAST syndrome is a recently described autosomal recessive disorder secondary to mutations in KCNJ10 (Kir4.1), a gene encoding a potassium channel expressed in the brain, eye, ear and kidney. This condition is characterized by 4 cardinal features; Epilepsy, Ataxia, Sensorineural deafness, and (a renal salt-wasting) Tubulopathy, hence the acronym EAST syndrome. Here we review reported clinical manifestations, in particular the neurological signs and symptoms which typically have the most impact on the quality of life of patients...
2016: Rare Diseases
Yoichiro Hamamoto, Shinjiro Takeoka, Atsuto Mouri, Munehisa Fukusumi, Kazushige Wakuda, Tatsuya Ibe, Chie Honma, Yoshihito Arimoto, Kazuaki Yamada, Miyuki Wagatsuma, Akito Tashiro, Shingo Kamoshida, Mitsuhiro Kamimura
OBJECTIVE: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive, treatment-resistant cancer. Pemetrexed, an inhibitor of thymidylate synthase (TS), is used worldwide for MPM as a first-line chemotherapy regimen. However, there is little consensus for a second-line chemotherapy. S-1, a highly effective dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD)-inhibitory fluoropyrimidine, mainly acts via a TS inhibitory mechanism similar to pemetrexed. Orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRT) is a key enzyme related to the first step activation of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) for inhibiting RNA synthesis...
2016: Rare Diseases
Nicolas Pilon
Neurocristopathies form a specific group of rare genetic diseases in which a defect in neural crest cell development is causal. Because of the large number of neural crest cell derivatives, distinct structures/cell types (isolated or in combination) are affected in each neurocristopathy. The most important issues in this research field is that the underlying genetic cause and associated pathogenic mechanism of most cases of neurocristopathy are poorly understood. This article describes how a relatively simple insertional mutagenesis approach in the mouse has proved useful for identifying new candidate genes and pathogenic mechanisms for diverse neurocristopathies...
2016: Rare Diseases
Nicholas P Whitehead, Min Jeong Kim, Kenneth L Bible, Marvin E Adams, Stanley C Froehner
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common and severe inherited neuromuscular disorder. DMD is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the dystrophin protein in muscle fibers. Dystrophin was originally proposed to be a structural protein that protected the sarcolemma from stresses produced during contractions. However, more recently, experimental evidence has revealed a far more complicated picture, with the loss of dystrophin causing dysfunction of multiple muscle signaling pathways, which all contribute to the overall disease pathophysiology...
2016: Rare Diseases
Jonasz J Weber, Midea M Ortiz Rios, Olaf Riess, Laura E Clemens, Huu P Nguyen
Olesoxime, a small molecule drug candidate, has recently attracted attention due to its significant beneficial effects in models of several neurodegenerative disorders including Huntington's disease. Olesoxime's neuroprotective effects have been assumed to be conveyed through a direct, positive influence on mitochondrial function. In a long-term treatment study in BACHD rats, the latest rat model of Huntington's disease, olesoxime revealed a positive influence on mitochondrial function and improved specific behavioral and neuropathological phenotypes...
2016: Rare Diseases
Dariusz C Górecki
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common inherited muscle disease leading to severe disability and death of young men. Current interventions are palliative as no treatment improves the long-term outcome. Therefore, new therapeutic modalities with translational potential are urgently needed and abnormalities downstream from the absence of dystrophin are realistic targets. It has been shown that DMD mutations alter extracellular ATP (eATP) signaling via P2RX7 purinoceptor upregulation, which leads to autophagic death of dystrophic muscle cells...
2016: Rare Diseases
Saverio Marchi, Eliana Trapani, Mariangela Corricelli, Luca Goitre, Paolo Pinton, Saverio Francesco Retta
Cerebral Cavernous Malformation (CCM) is a major cerebrovascular disease of proven genetic origin affecting 0.3-0.5% of the general population. It is characterized by abnormally enlarged and leaky capillaries, which predispose to seizures, focal neurological deficits and intracerebral hemorrhage. Causative loss-of-function mutations have been identified in 3 genes, KRIT1 (CCM1), CCM2 and PDCD10 (CCM3). While providing new options for the development of pharmacological therapies, recent advances in knowledge of the functions of these genes have clearly indicated that they exert pleiotropic effects on several biological pathways...
2016: Rare Diseases
Helen Budworth, Cynthia T McMurray
Huntington's Disease is caused by inheritance of a single disease-length allele harboring an expanded CAG repeat, which continues to expand in somatic tissues with age. Whether somatic expansion contributed to toxicity was unknown. From extensive work from multiple laboratories, it has been made clear that toxicity depended on length of the inherited allele, but whether preventing or delaying somatic repeat expansion in vivo would be beneficial was unknown, since the inherited disease allele was still expressed...
2016: Rare Diseases
Christopher Patzke, Thomas C Südhof
The use of human pluripotent stem cells to model human diseases has become a new standard in biomedical sciences. To this end, patient-derived somatic cells are studied in vitro to mimic human pathological conditions. Here, we describe an alternative experimental strategy, the 'conditional KO approach', which allows engineering disease-relevant mutations in pluripotent stem cells from healthy donors. In combination with the Cre/Lox technology, this strategy enables us to study the molecular causes of human diseases independent of the genetic background or of genetic alterations induced by clonal selection...
2016: Rare Diseases
Kerri J Kinghorn, Jorge Iván Castillo-Quan
The PLA2G6 gene encodes a group VIA calcium independent phospholipase A2 (iPLA2β), which hydrolyses glycerophospholipids to release fatty acids and lysophospholipids. Mutations in PLA2G6 are associated with a number of neurodegenerative disorders including neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA), infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy (INAD), and dystonia parkinsonism, collectively known as PLA2G6-associated neurodegeneration (PLAN). Recently Kinghorn et al. demonstrated in Drosophila and PLA2G6 mutant fibroblasts that loss of normal PLA2G6 activity is associated with mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial lipid peroxidation...
2016: Rare Diseases
Samuel J Rose, Ellen J Hess
In a recent issue of Brain, we reported on the generation and characterization of a mouse model of the rare disease L-DOPA-responsive dystonia (DRD). Here, we discuss the utility of these mice for understanding broader disease processes and treatment strategies. Using specific experimental designs that either work "forward" from genetic etiology or "backward" from the symptomatic presentation, we discuss how our data and future work can be used to understand broader themes.
2016: Rare Diseases
Martha S Field, Elena Kamynina, David Watkins, David S Rosenblatt, Patrick J Stover
Human mutations in MTHFD1 have recently been identified in patients with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). SCID results from inborn errors of metabolism that cause impaired T- and B-cell proliferation and function. One of the most common causes of SCID is adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency, which ultimately inhibits DNA synthesis and cell division. MTHFD1 has been shown to translocate to the nucleus during S-phase of the cell cycle; this localization is critical for synthesis of thymidyate (dTMP or the "T" base in DNA) and subsequent progression through the cell cycle and cell proliferation...
2015: Rare Diseases
Jeong-A Lim, Or Kakhlon, Lishu Li, Rachel Myerowitz, Nina Raben
Pompe disease, an inherited deficiency of lysosomal acid α-glucosidase (GAA), is a severe metabolic myopathy with a wide range of clinical manifestations. It is the first recognized lysosomal storage disorder and the first neuromuscular disorder for which a therapy (enzyme replacement) has been approved. As GAA is the only enzyme that hydrolyses glycogen to glucose in the acidic environment of the lysosome, its deficiency leads to glycogen accumulation within and concomitant enlargement of this organelle. Since the introduction of the therapy, the overall understanding of the disease has progressed significantly, but the pathophysiology of muscle damage is still not fully understood...
2015: Rare Diseases
(no author information available yet)
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.4161/rdis.26314.].
2015: Rare Diseases
Milena Bellin, Boris Greber
Recessive mutations in the ion channel-encoding KCNQ1 gene may cause Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome (JLNS), a fatal cardiac disease leading to arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death in young patients. Mutations in KCNQ1 may also cause a milder and dominantly inherited form of the disease, long QT syndrome 1 (LQT1). However, why some mutations cause LQT1 and others cause JLNS can often not be understood a priori. In a recent study,(1) we have generated human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) models of JLNS...
2015: Rare Diseases
S Armando Villalta, Amy S Rosenberg, Jeffrey A Bluestone
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a genetic disease caused by mutations in the X-linked dystrophin gene, resulting in reduced or absent protein production, subsequently leading to the structural instability of the dystroglycan complex (DGC), muscle degeneration, and early death in males. Thus, current treatments have been targeting the genetic defect either by bypassing the mutation through exon skipping or replacing the defective gene through gene therapy and stem cell approaches. However, what has been an underappreciated mediator of muscle pathology and, ultimately, of muscle degeneration and fibrotic replacement, is the prominent inflammatory response...
2015: Rare Diseases
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