Pathogenic variants in dopa decarboxylase (DDC), the gene encoding the aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) enzyme, lead to a severe deficiency of neurotransmitters, resulting in neurological, neuromuscular, and behavioral manifestations clinically characterized by developmental delays, oculogyric crises, dystonia, and severe neurologic dysfunction in infancy. Historically, therapy has been aimed at compensating for neurotransmitter abnormalities, but response to pharmacologic therapy varies, and in most cases, the therapy shows little or no benefit. A novel human DDC gene therapy was recently approved in the European Union that targets the underlying genetic cause of the disorder, providing a new treatment option for patients with AADC deficiency. However, the applicability of human DDC gene therapy depends on the ability of laboratories and clinicians to interpret the results of genetic testing accurately enough to diagnose the patient. An accurate interpretation of genetic variants depends in turn on expert-guided curation of locus-specific databases. The purpose of this research was to identify previously uncharacterized DDC variants that are of pathologic significance in AADC deficiency as well as characterize and curate variants of unknown significance (VUSs) to further advance the diagnostic accuracy of genetic testing for this condition. DDC variants were identified using existing databases and the literature. The pathogenicity of the variants was classified using modified American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics/Association for Molecular Pathology/Association for Clinical Genomic Science (ACMG-AMP/ACGS) criteria. To improve the current variant interpretation recommendations, in silico variant interpretation tools were combined with structural 3D modeling of protein variants and applied comparative analysis to predict the impact of the variant on protein function. A total of 422 variants were identified (http://biopku.org/home/pnddb.asp). Variants were identified on nearly all introns and exons of the DDC gene, as well as the 3' and 5' untranslated regions. The largest percentage of the identified variants (48%) were classified as missense variants. The molecular effects of these missense variants were then predicted, and the pathogenicity of each was classified using a number of variant effect predictors. Using ACMG-AMP/ACGS criteria, 7% of variants were classified as pathogenic, 32% as likely pathogenic, 58% as VUSs of varying subclassifications, 1% as likely benign, and 1% as benign. For 101 out of 108 reported genotypes, at least one allele was classified as pathogenic or likely pathogenic. In silico variant pathogenicity interpretation tools, combined with structural 3D modeling of variant proteins and applied comparative analysis, have improved the current DDC variant interpretation recommendations, particularly of VUSs.

Spectrum of DDC variants causing aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency and pathogenicity interpretation using ACMG-AMP/ACGS recommendations

Montioli, Riccardo;Voltattorni, Carla B
;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Pathogenic variants in dopa decarboxylase (DDC), the gene encoding the aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) enzyme, lead to a severe deficiency of neurotransmitters, resulting in neurological, neuromuscular, and behavioral manifestations clinically characterized by developmental delays, oculogyric crises, dystonia, and severe neurologic dysfunction in infancy. Historically, therapy has been aimed at compensating for neurotransmitter abnormalities, but response to pharmacologic therapy varies, and in most cases, the therapy shows little or no benefit. A novel human DDC gene therapy was recently approved in the European Union that targets the underlying genetic cause of the disorder, providing a new treatment option for patients with AADC deficiency. However, the applicability of human DDC gene therapy depends on the ability of laboratories and clinicians to interpret the results of genetic testing accurately enough to diagnose the patient. An accurate interpretation of genetic variants depends in turn on expert-guided curation of locus-specific databases. The purpose of this research was to identify previously uncharacterized DDC variants that are of pathologic significance in AADC deficiency as well as characterize and curate variants of unknown significance (VUSs) to further advance the diagnostic accuracy of genetic testing for this condition. DDC variants were identified using existing databases and the literature. The pathogenicity of the variants was classified using modified American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics/Association for Molecular Pathology/Association for Clinical Genomic Science (ACMG-AMP/ACGS) criteria. To improve the current variant interpretation recommendations, in silico variant interpretation tools were combined with structural 3D modeling of protein variants and applied comparative analysis to predict the impact of the variant on protein function. A total of 422 variants were identified (http://biopku.org/home/pnddb.asp). Variants were identified on nearly all introns and exons of the DDC gene, as well as the 3' and 5' untranslated regions. The largest percentage of the identified variants (48%) were classified as missense variants. The molecular effects of these missense variants were then predicted, and the pathogenicity of each was classified using a number of variant effect predictors. Using ACMG-AMP/ACGS criteria, 7% of variants were classified as pathogenic, 32% as likely pathogenic, 58% as VUSs of varying subclassifications, 1% as likely benign, and 1% as benign. For 101 out of 108 reported genotypes, at least one allele was classified as pathogenic or likely pathogenic. In silico variant pathogenicity interpretation tools, combined with structural 3D modeling of variant proteins and applied comparative analysis, have improved the current DDC variant interpretation recommendations, particularly of VUSs.
pathogenicity
AADC
dopa decarboxylase
gene variant curation
locus-specific database
neurotransmitter deficiency
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1079611
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