Friday, December 16, 2016

"Independent functional evidence in Drosophila" contributes to study related to intellectual disability

Lugtenberg D, Reijnders MR, Fenckova M, Bijlsma EK, Bernier R, van Bon BW, Smeets E, Vulto-van Silfhout AT, Bosch D, Eichler EE, Mefford HC, Carvill GL, Bongers EM, Schuurs-Hoeijmakers JH, Ruivenkamp CA, Santen GW, van den Maagdenberg AM, Peeters-Scholte CM, Kuenen S, Verstreken P, Pfundt R, Yntema HG, de Vries PF, Veltman JA, Hoischen A, Gilissen C, de Vries BB, Schenck A, Kleefstra T, Vissers LE. De novo loss-of-function mutations in WAC cause a recognizable intellectual disability syndrome and learning deficits in Drosophila. Eur J Hum Genet. 2016 Aug;24(8):1145-53. PMID: 26757981; PMCID: PMC4970694.

From the abstract: "Recently WAC was reported as a candidate gene for intellectual disability (ID) based on the identification of a de novo mutation in an individual with severe ID. ... In this study, we report on 10 individuals with de novo WAC mutations which we identified through routine (diagnostic) exome sequencing and targeted resequencing of WAC in 2326 individuals with unexplained ID. All but one mutation was expected to lead to a loss-of-function of WAC. ... To investigate the role of WAC in ID, we studied the importance of the Drosophila WAC orthologue (CG8949) in habituation, a non-associative learning paradigm. Neuronal knockdown of Drosophila CG8949 resulted in impaired learning, suggesting that WAC is required in neurons for normal cognitive performance. In conclusion, we defined a clinically recognizable ID syndrome, caused by de novo loss-of-function mutations in WAC. Independent functional evidence in Drosophila further supported the role of WAC in ID. On the basis of our data WAC can be added to the list of ID genes with a role in transcription regulation through histone modification."

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