Pubmed du 8/01/09

vendredi 9 janvier 2009

1. Crino PB. Do we have a cure for tuberous sclerosis complex ? Epilepsy Curr ;2008 (Nov-Dec) ;8(6):159-162.

The recent development of several mouse models for tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) provides in vivo systems to test new therapies for the neurological manifestations of TSC. Rapamycin is known to antagonize the effects of loss of TSC protein function in vitro and in mouse TSC models, rapamycin can prevent seizures and improve learning task performance. These findings provide new hope for TSC patients suffering from intractable seizures and possibly, for those with autism and cognitive disabilities.

2. Delcuve GP, Rastegar M, Davie JR. Epigenetic control. J Cell Physiol ;2009 (Jan 6)

Epigenetics refers to mitotically and/or meiotically heritable variations in gene expression that are not caused by changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate all biological processes from conception to death, including genome reprogramming during early embryogenesis and gametogenesis, cell differentiation and maintenance of a committed lineage. Key epigenetic players are DNA methylation and histone post-translational modifications, which interplay with each other, with regulatory proteins and with non-coding RNAs, to remodel chromatin into domains such as euchromatin, constitutive or facultative heterochromatin and to achieve nuclear compartmentalization. Besides epigenetic mechanisms such as imprinting, chromosome X inactivation or mitotic bookmarking which establish heritable states, other rapid and transient mechanisms, such as histone H3 phosphorylation, allow cells to respond and adapt to environmental stimuli. However, these epigenetic marks can also have long-term effects, for example in learning and memory formation or in cancer. Erroneous epigenetic marks are responsible for a whole gamut of diseases including diseases evident at birth or infancy or diseases becoming symptomatic later in life. Moreover, although epigenetic marks are deposited early in development, adaptations occurring through life can lead to diseases and cancer. With epigenetic marks being reversible, research has started to focus on epigenetic therapy which has had encouraging success. As we witness an explosion of knowledge in the field of epigenetics, we are forced to revisit our dogma. For example, recent studies challenge the idea that DNA methylation is irreversible. Further, research on Rett syndrome has revealed an unforeseen role for methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in neurons. J. Cell. Physiol. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

3. Kristrom B, Zdunek AM, Rydh A, Jonsson H, Sehlin P, Escher SA. A novel mutation in the LHX3 gene is responsible for combined pituitary hormone deficiency, hearing impairment, and vertebral malformations. J Clin Endocrinol Metab ;2009 (Jan 6)

Context : The LHX3 LIM-homeodomain transcription factor gene, found in both man and mouse, is required for development of the pituitary and motor neurons and is also expressed in the auditory system. Objective : The objective of this study was to determine the cause of, and further explore, the phenotype in six patients (aged 6 months to 22 years) with combined pituitary hormone deficiency (CPHD), restricted neck rotation, scoliosis and congenital hearing impairment. Three of the patients also have mild autistic-like behaviour. Design : As patients with CPHD and restricted neck rotation have previously been shown to have mutations in the LHX3 gene, a candidate gene approach was applied and the gene was sequenced. Neck anatomy was explored by computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, including three-dimensional reformatting. Results : A novel, recessive, splice-acceptor site mutation was found. The predicted protein encoded by the mutated gene lacks the homeodomain and carboxyl terminus of the normal, functional protein. Genealogical studies revealed a common gene source for all six families dating back to the seventeenth century. Anatomical abnormalities in the occipito-atlanto-axial joints in combination with a basilar impression of the dens axis were found in all patients assessed. Conclusions : This study extends both the mutations known to be responsible for LHX3-associated syndromes and their possible phenotypic consequences. Previously reported traits include CPHD and restricted neck rotation ; patients examined in the present study also show a severe hearing defect. Additionally the existence of cervical vertebral malformations are revealed, responsible for the rigid neck and the development of scoliosis.

4. Loat CS, Curran S, Lewis CM, Duvall J, Geschwind D, Bolton P, Craig IW. Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 polymorphisms and vulnerability to autism. Genes Brain Behav ;2008 (Oct) ;7(7):754-760.

The methyl-binding protein gene, MECP2, is a candidate for involvement in autism through its implication as a major causative factor in Rett syndrome that has similarities to autism. Rare mutations in MECP2 have also been identified in autistic individuals. We have examined the possible broader involvement of MECP2 as a predisposing factor in the disorder. Analysis of polymorphic markers spanning the gene and comprising both microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) by the transmission disequilibrium test in two collections of families (219 in total), one in the USA and one in the UK, has provided evidence for significant association (P = 0.009) for a three-marker SNP haplotype of MECP2 with autism/autism spectrum disorders. This association is supported by association of both Single Sequence Repeat (SSR) and SNP single markers located at the 3’ end of the MECP2 locus and flanking sequence, the most significant being that of an indel marker located in intron 2 (P = 0.001 - Bonferroni corrected P = 0.006). This suggests that one or more functional variants of MECP2 existing at significant frequencies in the population may confer increased risk of autism/autism spectrum disorders and warrants further investigation in additional independent samples.


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