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ZSCAN10 deficiency causes a neurodevelopmental disorder with characteristic oto-facial malformations.

Brain : a journal of neurology

Authors: Lucia Laugwitz, Fubo Cheng, Stephan C Collins, Alexander Hustinx, Nicolas Navarro, Simon Welsch, Helen Cox, Tzung-Chien Hsieh, Aswinkumar Vijayananth, Rebecca Buchert, Benjamin Bender, Stephanie Efthymiou, David Murphy, Faisal Zafar, Nuzhat Rana, Ute Grasshoff, Ruth J Falb, Mona Grimmel, Annette Seibt, Wenxu Zheng, Hamid Ghaedi, Marie Thirion, Sébastien Couette, Reza Azizimalamiri, Saeid Sadeghian, Hamid Galehdari, Mina Zamani, Jawaher Zeighami, Alireza Sedaghat, Samira Molaei Ramshe, Ali Zare, Behnam Alipoor, Dirk Klee, Marc Sturm, Stephan Ossowski, Henry Houlden, Olaf Riess, Dagmar Wieczorek, Ryan Gavin, Reza Maroofian, Peter Krawitz, Binnaz Yalcin, Felix Distelmaier, Tobias B Haack

Neurodevelopmental disorders are major indications for genetic referral and have been linked to more than 1,500 loci including genes encoding transcriptional regulators. The dysfunction of transcription factors often results in characteristic syndromic presentations, however, at least half of these patients lack a genetic diagnosis. The implementation of machine learning approaches has the potential to aid in the identification of new disease genes and delineate associated phenotypes. Next generation sequencing was performed in seven affected individuals with neurodevelopmental delay and dysmorphic features. Clinical characterization included reanalysis of available neuroimaging datasets and 2D portrait image analysis with GestaltMatcher. The functional consequences of ZSCAN10 loss were modelled in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC), including a knock-out and a representative ZSCAN10 protein truncating variant. These models were characterized by gene expression and Western blot analyses, chromatin immunoprecipitation and quantitative PCR (ChIP-qPCR), and immunofluorescence staining. Zscan10 knockout mouse embryos were generated and phenotyped. We prioritized bi-allelic ZSCAN10 loss-of-function variants in seven affected individuals from five unrelated families as the underlying molecular cause. RNA-Seq analyses in Zscan10-/- mESCs indicated dysregulation of genes related to stem cell pluripotency. In addition, we established in mESCs the loss-of-function mechanism for a representative human ZSCAN10 protein truncating variant by showing alteration of its expression levels and subcellular localization, interfering with its binding to DNA enhancer targets. Deep phenotyping revealed global developmental delay, facial asymmetry, and malformations of the outer ear as consistent clinical features. Cerebral MRI showed dysplasia of the semicircular canals as an anatomical correlate of sensorineural hearing loss. Facial asymmetry was confirmed as a clinical feature by GestaltMatcher and was recapitulated in the Zscan10 mouse model along with inner and outer ear malformations. Our findings provide evidence of a novel syndromic neurodevelopmental disorder caused by bi-allelic loss-of-function variants in ZSCAN10.

© The Author(s) 2024. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain.

PMID: 38386308

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