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Development of a functional assay for CHD7, a protein involved in CHARGE syndrome

Abstract : CHARGE syndrome (CS) is a rare genetic disease characterized by numerous congenital abnormalities, mainly caused by de novo alterations of the CHD7 gene. It encodes a chromodomain protein, involved in the ATP-dependent remodeling of chromatin. The vast majority of CHD7 alterations consists in null alleles like deletions, non-sense substitutions or frameshift-causing variations. We report the first molecular diagnosis of an Indonesian CS patient by a targeted NGS (next-generation sequencing) gene panel (CHD7, EFTUD2, and HOXA1). We identified a novel heterozygous nonsense mutation in exon 34 of CHD7 (c.7234G>T or p.Glu2412Ter). Functional analyses to confirm the pathogenicity of CHD7 variants are lacking and urgently needed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to establish a functional test for wild-type (WT) or variants of CHD7 protein found in CS patients. Using an expression vector encoding CHD7, three variants harboring an amino acid substitution and one variant with a five-amino acid insertion were generated via site-directed mutagenesis. Then CHD7 proteins, either wild-type (WT) or variants, were overexpressed in HeLa cell line. Protein expression was highlighted by western blot and immunofluorescence. We then used real-time RT-PCR to study CHD7 functionality by evaluating the transcript amounts of five genes whose expression is regulated by CHD7 according to the literature. These reporter genes are 45S rDNA, SOX4, SOX10, ID2, and MYRF. We observed that, upon WT-CHD7 expression, the reporter gene transcriptions were downregulated, whereas the four variant alleles of CHD7 had no impact. This suggests that these alleles are not polymorphisms because the variant proteins appeared non-functional. Furthermore, we applied our biological assay in SH-SY5Y cell line in which endogenous CHD7 gene was mutated using the CRISPR/Cas9 technique. Then, we observed that when a CHD7 missense variant was expressed, the transcription levels of the five reporter genes were non-significantly different, compared with the cells in which both CHD7 alleles were knocked-out. Therefore, the studied variants can be considered as disease-causing of CS.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 3:09:10 PM
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Gara Samara Brajadenta. Development of a functional assay for CHD7, a protein involved in CHARGE syndrome. Human genetics. Université de Poitiers, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019POIT1401⟩. ⟨tel-02459642⟩



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