Profile Url: sbastien-kry
Researcher at l’Institut du Thorax, INSERM, CNRS, Université de Nantes
The majority of monogenic disorders cause craniofacial abnormalities with characteristic facial morphology. These disorders can be diagnosed more efficiently with the support of computer-aided next-generation phenotyping tools, such as DeepGestalt. These tools have learned to associate facial phenotypes with the underlying syndrome through training on thousands of patient photographs. However, this "supervised" approach means that diagnoses are only possible if they were part of the training set. To improve recognition of ultra-rare diseases, we created GestaltMatcher, which uses a deep convolutional neural network based on the DeepGestalt framework. We used photographs of 21,836 patients with 1,362 rare disorders to define a "Clinical Face Phenotype Space". Distance between cases in the phenotype space defines syndromic similarity, allowing test patients to be matched to a molecular diagnosis even when the disorder was not included in the training set. Similarities among patients with previously unknown disease genes can also be detected. Therefore, in concert with mutation data, GestaltMatcher could accelerate the clinical diagnosis of patients with ultra-rare disorders and facial dysmorphism.
Objective An understanding of the etiologic heterogeneity of colorectal cancer (CRC) is critical for improving precision prevention, including individualized screening recommendations and the discovery of novel drug targets and repurposable drug candidates for chemoprevention. Known differences in molecular characteristics and environmental risk factors among tumors arising in different locations of the colorectum suggest partly distinct mechanisms of carcinogenesis. The extent to which the contribution of inherited genetic risk factors for sporadic CRC differs by anatomical subsite of the primary tumor has not been examined. Design To identify new anatomical subsite-specific risk loci, we performed genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses including data of 48,214 CRC cases and 64,159 controls of European ancestry. We characterized effect heterogeneity at CRC risk loci using multinomial modeling. Results We identified 13 loci that reached genome-wide significance (P<5x10-8) and that were not reported by previous GWAS for overall CRC risk. Multiple lines of evidence support candidate genes at several of these loci. We detected substantial heterogeneity between anatomical subsites. Just over half (61) of 109 known and new risk variants showed no evidence for heterogeneity. In contrast, 22 variants showed association with distal CRC (including rectal cancer), but no evidence for association or an attenuated association with proximal CRC. For two loci, there was strong evidence for effects confined to proximal colon cancer. Conclusion Genetic architectures of proximal and distal CRC are partly distinct. Studies of risk factors and mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and precision prevention strategies should take into consideration the anatomical subsite of the tumor.
De novo germline mutations in the RNA helicase DDX3X account for 1-3% of unexplained intellectual disability (ID) cases in females, and are associated with autism, brain malformations, and epilepsy. Yet, the developmental and molecular mechanisms by which DDX3X mutations impair brain function are unknown. Here we use human and mouse genetics, and cell biological and biochemical approaches to elucidate mechanisms by which pathogenic DDX3X variants disrupt brain development. We report the largest clinical cohort to date with DDX3X mutations (n=78), demonstrating a striking correlation between recurrent dominant missense mutations, polymicrogyria, and the most severe clinical outcomes. We show that Ddx3x controls cortical development by regulating neuronal generation and migration. Severe DDX3X missense mutations profoundly disrupt RNA helicase activity and induce ectopic RNA-protein granules and aberrant translation in neural progenitors and neurons. Together, our study demonstrates novel mechanisms underlying DDX3X syndrome, and highlights roles for RNA-protein aggregates in the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disease.
From a GeneMatcher-enabled international collaboration, we identified ten individuals with intellectual disability, speech delay, ataxia and facial dysmorphism and a mutation in EBF3, encoding a transcription factor required for neuronal differentiation. Structural assessments, transactivation assays, in situ fractionation, RNA-seq and ChIP-seq experiments collectively show that the mutations are deleterious and impair EBF3 transcriptional regulation. These findings demonstrate that EBF3-mediated dysregulation of gene expression has profound effects on neuronal development in humans.