Sprechstunden/ Spezialsprechstunden am MGZ
Whole exome sequencing and the clinician: we need clinical skills and functional validation in variant filtering
Whole exome sequencing (WES) is a recently developed technique in genetics research that attempts to identify causative mutations in complex, undiagnosed genetic conditions. Causative mutations are usually identified after filtering the hundreds of variants on WES from an individual's DNA selected by the phenotype. We investigated a patient with a slowly progressive chronic axonal distal motor neuropathy and extrapyramidal syndrome using WES, in whom common genetic mutations had been excluded. Variant filtering identified potentially deleterious mutations in three known disease genes: DCTN1, KIF5A and NEFH, which have been all associated with similar clinical presentations of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinsonism and/or hereditary spastic paraplegia. Predicting the functional effect of the mutations were analysed in parallel with detailed clinical investigations. This case highlights the difficulties and pitfalls of applying WES in patients with complex neurological diseases and serves as an instructive tale.
J Neurol. 2015;262(7):1673-1677.
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