A novel skeletal dysplasia with developmental delay and acanthosis nigricans is caused by a Lys650Met mutation in the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 gene.
We have identified a novel fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) missense mutation in four unrelated individuals with skeletal dysplasia that approaches the severity observed in thanatophoric dysplasia type I (TD1). However, three of the four individuals developed extensive areas of acanthosis nigricans beginning in early childhood, suffer from severe neurological impairments, and have survived past infancy without prolonged life-support measures. The FGFR3 mutation (A1949T: Lys650Met) occurs at the nucleotide adjacent to the TD type II (TD2) mutation (A1948G: Lys650Glu) and results in a different amino acid substitution at a highly conserved codon in the kinase domain activation loop. Transient transfection studies with FGFR3 mutant constructs show that the Lys650Met mutation causes a dramatic increase in constitutive receptor kinase activity, approximately three times greater than that observed with the Lys650Glu mutation. We refer to the phenotype caused by the Lys650Met mutation as "severe achondroplasia with developmental delay and acanthosis nigricans" (SADDAN) because it differs significantly from the phenotypes of other known FGFR3 mutations. (+info)
Can transvaginal fetal biometry be considered a useful tool for early detection of skeletal dysplasias in high-risk patients?
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the possibility of an early diagnosis of skeletal dysplasias in high-risk patients. METHODS: A total of 149 consecutive, uncomplicated singleton pregnancies at 9-13 weeks' amenorrhea, with certain menstrual history and regular cycles, were investigated with transvaginal ultrasound to establish the relationship between femur length and menstrual age, biparietal diameter and crown-rump length, using a polynomial regression model. A further eight patients with previous skeletal dysplasias in a total of 13 pregnancies were evaluated with serial examinations every 2 weeks from 10-11 weeks. RESULTS: A significant correlation between femur length and crown-rump length and biparietal diameter was found, whereas none was observed between femur length and menstrual age. Of the five cases with skeletal dysplasias, only two (one with recurrent osteogenesis imperfecta and one with recurrent achondrogenesis) were diagnosed in the first trimester. CONCLUSIONS: An early evaluation of fetal morphology in conjunction with the use of biometric charts of femur length against crown-rump length and femur length against biparietal diameter may be crucial for early diagnosis of severe skeletal dysplasias. By contrast, in less severe cases, biometric evaluation appears to be of no value for diagnosis. (+info)
A mouse model for achondroplasia produced by targeting fibroblast growth factor receptor 3.
Achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism in man, is a dominant genetic disorder caused by a point mutation (G380R) in the transmembrane region of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3). We used gene targeting to introduce the human achondroplasia mutation into the murine FGFR3 gene. Heterozygotes for this point mutation that carried the neo cassette were normal whereas neo+ homozygotes had a phenotype similar to FGFR3-deficient mice, exhibiting bone overgrowth. This was because of interference with mRNA processing in the presence of the neo cassette. Removal of the neo selection marker by Cre/loxP recombination yielded a dominant dwarf phenotype. These mice are distinguished by their small size, shortened craniofacial area, hypoplasia of the midface with protruding incisors, distorted brain case with anteriorly shifted foramen magnum, kyphosis, and narrowed and distorted growth plates in the long bones, vertebrae, and ribs. These experiments demonstrate that achondroplasia results from a gain-of-FGFR3-function leading to inhibition of chondrocyte proliferation. These achondroplastic dwarf mice represent a reliable and useful model for developing drugs for potential treatment of the human disease. (+info)
Gly369Cys mutation in mouse FGFR3 causes achondroplasia by affecting both chondrogenesis and osteogenesis.
Missense mutations in fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) result in several human skeletal dysplasias, including the most common form of dwarfism, achondroplasia. Here we show that a glycine-to-cysteine substitution at position 375 (Gly375Cys) in human FGFR3 causes ligand-independent dimerization and phosphorylation of FGFR3 and that the equivalent substitution at position 369 (Gly369Cys) in mouse FGFR3 causes dwarfism with features mimicking human achondroplasia. Accordingly, homozygous mice were more severely affected than heterozygotes. The resulting mutant mice exhibited macrocephaly and shortened limbs due to retarded endochondral bone growth and premature closure of cranial base synchondroses. Compared with their wild-type littermates, mutant mice growth plates shared an expanded resting zone and narrowed proliferating and hypertrophic zones, which is correlated with the activation of Stat proteins and upregulation of cell-cycle inhibitors. Reduced bone density is accompanied by increased activity of osteoclasts and upregulation of genes that are related to osteoblast differentiation, including osteopontin, osteonectin, and osteocalcin. These data reveal an essential role for FGF/FGFR3 signals in both chondrogenesis and osteogenesis during endochondral ossification. (+info)
Report of five novel and one recurrent COL2A1 mutations with analysis of genotype-phenotype correlation in patients with a lethal type II collagen disorder.
Achondrogenesis II-hypochondrogenesis and severe spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SEDC) are lethal forms of dwarfism caused by dominant mutations in the type II collagen gene (COL2A1). To identify the underlying defect in seven cases with this group of conditions, we used the combined strategy of cartilage protein analysis and COL2A1 mutation analysis. Overmodified type II collagen and the presence of type I collagen was found in the cartilage matrix of all seven cases. Five patients were heterozygous for a nucleotide change that predicted a glycine substitution in the triple helical domain (G313S, G517V, G571A, G910C, G943S). In all five cases, analysis of cartilage type II collagen suggested incorporation of the abnormal alpha1(II) chain in the extracellular collagen trimers. The G943S mutation has been reported previously in another unrelated patient with a strikingly similar phenotype, illustrating the possible specific effect of the mutation. The radiographically less severely affected patient was heterozygous for a 4 bp deletion in the splice donor site of intron 35, likely to result in aberrant splicing. One case was shown to be heterozygous for a single nucleotide change predicted to result in a T1191N substitution in the carboxy-propeptide of the proalpha1(II) collagen chain. Study of the clinical, radiographic, and morphological features of the seven cases supports evidence for a phenotypic continuum between achondrogenesis II-hypochondrogenesis and lethal SEDC and suggests a relationship between the amount of type I collagen in the cartilage and the severity of the phenotype. (+info)
A cartilage oligomeric matrix protein mutation associated with pseudoachondroplasia changes the structural and functional properties of the type 3 domain.
Cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) is a member of the thrombospondin family of extracellular matrix glycoproteins. All members of the family contain a highly conserved region of thrombospondin type 3 sequence repeats that bind calcium. A mutation in COMP previously identified in a patient with pseudoachondroplasia resulted in abnormal sequestration of COMP in distinctive rER vesicles. The mutation, Asp-446 --> Asn, is located in the type 3 repeats of the molecule. This region was expressed in a mammalian culture with and without the mutation to study the structural or functional properties associated with the mutation. The biophysical parameters of the mutant peptide were compared with those of the wild type and revealed the following difference: secondary structural analysis by circular dichroism showed more alpha-helix content in the wild-type peptides. The calcium binding properties of the two peptides were significantly different; there were 17 calcium ions bound/wild-type COMP3 peptide compared with 8/mutant peptide. In addition, wild-type COMP3 had a higher affinity for calcium and bound calcium more cooperatively. Calcium bound by the wild-type peptide was reflected in a structural change as indicted by velocity sedimentation. Thus, the effect of the COMP mutation appears to profoundly alter the calcium binding properties and may account for the difference observed in the structure of the type 3 domain. Furthermore, the highly cooperative binding of calcium to COMP3 suggests that these type 3 sequence repeats form a single protein domain, the thrombospondin type 3 domain. (+info)
Disability, gene therapy and eugenics--a challenge to John Harris.
This article challenges the view of disability presented by Harris in his article, "Is gene therapy a form of eugenics?" It is argued that his definition of disability rests on an individual model of disability, where disability is regarded as a product of biological determinism or "personal tragedy" in the individual. Within disability theory this view is often called "the medical model" and it has been criticised for not being able to deal with the term "disability", but only with impairment. The individual model of disability presupposes a necessary causal link between a certain condition in the individual and disablement. The shortcomings of such a view of disability are stated and it is argued that in order to have an adequate ethical discourse on gene therapy perspectives from disability research need to be taken into consideration. (+info)
Molecular cloning and expression patterns of mouse cartilage oligomeric matrix protein gene.
OBJECTIVE: To develop transgenic mice harboring mutations in the COMP gene as animal models for pseudoachondroplasia (PSACH) and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED), autosomal dominant disorders characterized by early onset osteoarthritis and epiphyseal abnormalities. As a first step in generating a mouse model for COMP mutations, we have cloned the cDNA of mouse COMP and examined its tissue expression pattern. DESIGN: Total mRNA was isolated from the skeletal tissues of newborn C57BL/6j mice and used as a template for oligo(dT) first-strand cDNA synthesis. The cDNA was used for PCR amplification of COMP using three oligonucleotide primer pairs designed from the published rat COMP cDNA sequence. Nested PCR was used to complete the sequence between the amplified fragments. The entire cDNA was sequenced and the expression pattern of the corresponding transcripts examined by Northern hybridizations. RESULTS: A full-length COMP cDNA was isolated. Analysis showed that the entire translated region of the mouse COMP gene is 2268 bp and the derived amino acid sequence shows 90% homology to human COMP. Of eight adult mouse non-cartilage tissues tested, COMP expression was detected only in testis. (+info)