De novo variants implicate chromatin modification, transcriptional regulation, and retinoic acid signaling in syndromic craniosynostosis

Andrew T. Timberlake, Stephen McGee, Garrett Allington, Emre Kiziltug, Erin M. Wolfe, Amy L. Stiegler, Titus J. Boggon, May Sanyoura, Michelle Morrow, Tara L. Wenger, Erica M. Fernandes, Oana Caluseriu, John A. Persing, Sheng Chih Jin, Richard P. Lifton, Kristopher T. Kahle, Paul Kruszka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Craniosynostosis (CS) is the most common congenital cranial anomaly. Several Mendelian forms of syndromic CS are well described, but a genetic etiology remains elusive in a substantial fraction of probands. Analysis of exome sequence data from 526 proband-parent trios with syndromic CS identified a marked excess (observed 98, expected 33, p = 4.83 × 10−20) of damaging de novo variants (DNVs) in genes highly intolerant to loss-of-function variation (probability of LoF intolerance > 0.9). 30 probands harbored damaging DNVs in 21 genes that were not previously implicated in CS but are involved in chromatin modification and remodeling (4.7-fold enrichment, p = 1.1 × 10−11). 17 genes had multiple damaging DNVs, and 13 genes (CDK13, NFIX, ADNP, KMT5B, SON, ARID1B, CASK, CHD7, MED13L, PSMD12, POLR2A, CHD3, and SETBP1) surpassed thresholds for genome-wide significance. A recurrent gain-of-function DNV in the retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARA; c.865G>A [p.Gly289Arg]) was identified in two probands with similar CS phenotypes. CS risk genes overlap with those identified for autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, are highly expressed in cranial neural crest cells, and converge in networks that regulate chromatin modification, gene transcription, and osteoblast differentiation. Our results identify several CS loci and have major implications for genetic testing and counseling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-862
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Volume110
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2023

Keywords

  • RARA
  • chromatin modifiers
  • cranial neural crest
  • craniofacial syndromes
  • de novo mutation
  • neurodevelopmental disorders
  • retinoic acid signaling
  • syndromic craniosynostosis

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