Browsing by Author "Glanzmann, Brigitte"
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- ItemThe complete genome sequence of the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer)(BioMed Central, 2016-12-07) Glanzmann, Brigitte; Moller, Marlo; Le Roex, Nikki; Tromp, Gerard; Hoal, Eileen G.; Van Helden, Paul D.Background: The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is an important role player in the savannah ecosystem. It has become a species of relevance because of its role as a wildlife maintenance host for an array of infectious and zoonotic diseases some of which include corridor disease, foot-and-mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis. To date, no complete genome sequence for S. caffer had been available for study and the genomes of other species such as the domestic cow (Bos taurus) had been used as a proxy for any genetics analysis conducted on this species. Here, the high coverage genome sequence of the African buffalo (S. caffer) is presented. Results: A total of 19,765 genes were predicted and 19,296 genes could be successfully annotated to S. caffer while 469 genes remained unannotated. Moreover, in order to extend a detailed annotation of S. caffer, gene clusters were constructed using twelve additional mammalian genomes. The S. caffer genome contains 10,988 gene clusters, of which 62 are shared exclusively between B. taurus and S. caffer. Conclusions: This study provides a unique genomic perspective for the S. caffer, allowing for the identification of novel variants that may play a role in the natural history and physiological adaptations.
- ItemExome sequencing identifies a novel MAP3K14 mutation in recessive atypical combined immunodeficiency(Frontiers, 2017-11) Schlechter, Nikola; Glanzmann, Brigitte; Hoal, Eileen Garner; Schoeman, Mardelle; Petersen, Britt-Sabina; Franke, Andre; Lau, Yu-Lung; Urban, Michael; Van Helden, Paul David; Esser, Maria Esser; Moller, Marlo; Kinnear, CraigENGLISH ABSTRACT: Primary immunodeficiency disorders (PIDs) render patients vulnerable to infection with a wide range of microorganisms and thus provide good in vivo models for the assessment of immune responses during infectious challenges. Priming of the immune system, especially in infancy, depends on different environmental exposures and medical practices. This may determine the timing and phenotype of clinical appearance of immune deficits as exemplified with early exposure to Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination and dissemination in combined immunodeficiencies. Varied phenotype expression poses a challenge to identification of the putative immune deficit. Without the availability of genomic diagnosis and data analysis resources and with limited capacity for functional definition of immune pathways, it is difficult to establish a definitive diagnosis and to decide on appropriate treatment.
- ItemExome sequencing identifies a novel TTC37 mutation in the first reported case of Trichohepatoenteric syndrome (THE-S) in South Africa(BioMed Central, 2017-03-14) Kinnear, Craig; Glanzmann, Brigitte; Banda, Eric; Schlechter, Nikola; Durrheim, Glenda; Neethling, Annika; Nel, Etienne; Schoeman, Mardelle; Johnson, Glynis; Van Helden, Paul D.; Hoal, Eileen G; Esser, Monika; Urban, Michael; Moller, MarloBackground Trichohepatoenteric syndrome (THE-S) or phenotypic diarrhoea of infancy is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterised by severe infantile diarrhoea, facial dysmorphism, immunodeficiency and woolly hair. It was first described in 1982 in two infants with intractable diarrhoea, liver cirrhosis and abnormal hair structure on microscopy. We report on two siblings from a consanguineous family of Somali descent who, despite extensive clinical investigation, remained undiagnosed until their demise. The index patient died of fulminant cytomegalovirus pneumonitis at 3 months of age. Methods Whole exome sequencing (WES) was performed on a premortem DNA sample from the index case. Variants in a homozygous recessive state or compound heterozygous state were prioritized as potential candidate variants using TAPER™. Sanger sequencing was done to genotype the parents, unaffected sibling and a deceased sibling for the variant of interest. Results Exome sequencing identified a novel homozygous mutation (c.4507C > T, rs200067423) in TTC37 which was confirmed by Sanger sequencing in the index case. The identification of this mutation led to the diagnosis of THE-S in the proband and the same homozygous variant was confirmed in a male sibling who died 4 years earlier with severe chronic diarrhoea of infancy. The unaffected parents and sister were heterozygous for the identified variant. Conclusions WES permitted definitive genetic diagnosis despite an atypical presentation in the index case and suggests that severe infection, likely secondary to immunodeficiency, may be a presenting feature. In addition definitive molecular diagnosis allows for genetic counseling and future prenatal diagnosis, and demonstrates the value of WES for post-mortem diagnosis of disorders with a non-specific clinical presentation in which a Mendelian cause is suspected.
- ItemHigh diversity, inbreeding and a dynamic Pleistocene demographic history revealed by African buffalo genomes(Nature Research (part of Springer Nature), 2021) De Jager, Deon; Glanzmann, Brigitte; Moller, Marlo; Hoal, Eileen; Van Helden, Paul; Harper, Cindy; Bloomer, PauletteGenomes retain records of demographic changes and evolutionary forces that shape species and populations. Remnant populations of African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in South Africa, with varied histories, provide an opportunity to investigate signatures left in their genomes by past events, both recent and ancient. Here, we produce 40 low coverage (7.14×) genome sequences of Cape buffalo (S. c. caffer) from four protected areas in South Africa. Genome-wide heterozygosity was the highest for any mammal for which these data are available, while differences in individual inbreeding coefficients reflected the severity of historical bottlenecks and current census sizes in each population. PSMC analysis revealed multiple changes in Ne between approximately one million and 20 thousand years ago, corresponding to paleoclimatic changes and Cape buffalo colonisation of southern Africa. The results of this study have implications for buffalo management and conservation, particularly in the context of the predicted increase in aridity and temperature in southern Africa over the next century as a result of climate change.
- ItemHuman whole genome sequencing in South Africa(Nature, 2021-01) Glanzmann, Brigitte; Jooste, Tracey; Ghoor, Samira; Gordon, Richard; Mia, Rizwana; Mao, Jun; Li, Hao; Charls, Patrick; Douman, Craig; Kotze, Maritha J.; Peeters, Armand V.; Loots, Glaudina; Esser, Monika; Tiemessen, Caroline T.; Wilkinson, Robert J.; Louw, Johan; Gray, Glenda; Warren, Robin M.; Moller, Marlo; Kinnear, CraigThe advent and evolution of next generation sequencing has considerably impacted genomic research. Until recently, South African researchers were unable to access affordable platforms capable of human whole genome sequencing locally and DNA samples had to be exported. Here we report the whole genome sequences of the first six human DNA samples sequenced and analysed at the South African Medical Research Council’s Genomics Centre. We demonstrate that the data obtained is of high quality, with an average sequencing depth of 36.41, and that the output is comparable to data generated internationally on a similar platform. The Genomics Centre creates an environment where African researchers are able to access world class facilities, increasing local capacity to sequence whole genomes as well as store and analyse the data.
- ItemIdentification of a common founder couple for 40 South African Afrikaner families with Parkinson’s disease(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2014-06) Geldenhuys, Gerhard; Glanzmann, Brigitte; Lombard, Debbie; Boolay, Sihaam; Carr, Jonathan; Bardien, SorayaBackground. Afrikaners are a unique ethnic group in South Africa (SA) with well-documented ancestral records spanning a period of over 350 years. They are mainly descended from Dutch, German and French settlers to SA in the 17th and 18th centuries. Today several disorders in this population occur at relatively high frequencies as a result of founder effects. Objective. To determine whether a founder effect for Parkinson’s disease (PD) is present in the Afrikaner population. Methods. Study participants were recruited from the Movement Disorders Clinic at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, SA, and from support groups of the Parkinson’s Association of South Africa. Standard methods for genealogical research in SA on hereditary diseases were used including interviews and searches in sources such as state archives, the Huguenot Museum in Franschhoek, marriage and baptismal records, and tombstone inscriptions. Results. For 40 of the PD families, there was only a single most recent ancestral couple common to all of the families. On average there are between three and four ancestral lines to the founder couple per proband (range 1 -14). Conclusion. If genetic studies confirm the presence of a founder effect for PD in Afrikaners, this would imply that there is a large number of individuals from this ethnic group who may potentially be at risk of developing this debilitating condition. This study illustrates and reinforces the concept that genealogical analysis is a powerful tool for identification of founder effects for various disorders in the Afrikaner population.
- ItemIdentification of a novel WAS mutation in a South African patient presenting with atypical Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome : a case report(BioMed Central, 2020-06-05) Glanzmann, Brigitte; Möller, Marlo; Schoeman, Mardelle; Urban, Michael; Van Helden, Paul D.; Frigati, Lisa; Grewal, Ravnit; Pieters, Hermanus; Loos, Ben; Hoal, Eileen G.; Glashoff, Richard H.; Cornelissen, Helena; Rabie, Helena; Esser, Monika M.; Kinnear, Craig J.Background: The X-linked recessive primary immunodeficiency disease (PIDD) Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is identified by an extreme susceptibility to infections, eczema and thrombocytopenia with microplatelets. The syndrome, the result of mutations in the WAS gene which encodes the Wiskott-Aldrich protein (WASp), has wide clinical phenotype variation, ranging from classical WAS to X-linked thrombocytopaenia and X-linked neutropaenia. In many cases, the diagnosis of WAS in first affected males is delayed, because patients may not present with the classic signs and symptoms, which may intersect with other thrombocytopenia causes. Case presentation: Here, we describe a three-year-old HIV negative boy presenting with recurrent infections, skin rashes, features of autoimmunity and atopy. However, platelets were initially reported as normal in numbers and morphology as were baseline immune investigations. An older male sibling had died in infancy from suspected immunodeficiency. Uncertainty of diagnosis and suspected severe PIDD prompted urgent further molecular investigation. Whole exome sequencing identified c. 397 G > A as a novel hemizygous missense mutation located in exon 4 of WAS. Conclusion: With definitive molecular diagnosis, we could target treatment and offer genetic counselling and prenatal diagnostic testing to the family. The identification of novel variants is important to confirm phenotype variations of a syndrome.
- ItemIdentification of novel Parkinson’s disease genes in the South African population using a whole exome sequencing approach(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-03) Glanzmann, Brigitte; Bardien, Soraya; Gamieldien, Junaid; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dept. of Biomedical Sciences: Molecular Biology and Human Genetics.ENGLISH SUMMARY: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive and severely debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that is characterised by a range of motor symptoms and the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. While the aetiology of PD remains poorly understood, it is hypothesised to involve a combination of various environmental, genetic and cellular factors that independently or collectively contribute to neurodegeneration and ultimately disease. To date, a number of genes including Parkin, PINK1, LRRK2, SNCA, DJ-1, ATP13A2 and VPS35 that have been directly associated with disease and investigations of their functions have provided significant insights into the pathobiology of PD. However, these genes do not play a significant role in the South African PD cohort and for this reason, novel genes and pathogenic mutations must be investigated and identified. This will aid in early diagnosis of patients and also ultimately for the design of more effective therapeutic strategies to treat this debilitating and poorly understood chronic systemic disorder. The present study aimed to identify novel PD-causing mutations in the South African Afrikaner population using a genealogical and whole exome sequencing (WES) approach.. The Afrikaner are unique to South Africa and are known to have undergone a bottleneck in the 1800s which has led to genetic founder effects for a number of different disorders in this particular group. Additionally, we further aimed to determine whether the identified putative disease-causing mutation(s) could be attributed to the development of PD in other South African ethnic groups. A total of 458 patients were recruited, of which 148 were self-identified as Afrikaner. From these, a total of 48 Afrikaner probands were subjected to extensive genealogical analyses and 40 of them could be traced back to a single common couple. For this reason, it was hypothesised that the disorder in these patients may be due to a genetic founder effect. The use of a whole genome SNP array confirmed the relatedness of the individuals to varying degrees (8 to 12 generations back) and subsequently three of the probands and one affected sibling were selected for WES. The selected individuals were sequenced using the Illumina Genome Hiseq 2000TM and approximately 78 000 variants were identified for each individual. Numerous bioinformatics tools were used to scrutinize the variants but none were able to produce a candidate list of plausible disease-causing variants. All variants identified were either present at high frequency, did not co-segregate with the disorder or were artefacts. In order to facilitate and expedite the variant prioritisation process, a novel method for the filtration of WES data was designed in-house. This strategy named TAPER™ (Tool for Automated selection and Prioritisation for Efficient Retrieval of sequence variants) implements a set of logical steps by which to prioritise candidate variants that could be pathogenic. It is primarily aimed at the support of resource-constrained scientific environments with limited bioinformatics capacity. As a proof of concept various independent WES datasets for PD, severe intellectual disability and microcephaly as well as ataxia and myoclonic epilepsy were used, and TAPER™ was able to successfully prioritise and identify the causal variants in each case. Through the use of TAPER™, two putative candidate variants in SYNJ1 and USP17 were identified. The homozygous V1405I variant in SYNJ1 was found only in the affected sibling pair and in none of the 458 patients and 690 control individuals that had been screened. This variant is predicted to be deleterious across multiple platforms and has a CADD score of 29.40 and may alter synaptic vesicle recycling. The homozygous C357S variant in USP17 was found in 18/458 probands (12 Afrikaner, two white and four mixed ancestry) but was identified in 0.14% of the controls (1/184 Afrikaner, 0/160 white, 0/180 mixed ancestry and 0/160 black). This variant is also anticipated to be deleterious across multiple platforms and has a CADD score of 34.89. In summary, the results of the present study reveal that PD in the 40 South African Afrikaner patients studied is not due to a founder effect, but highlights two variants of interest for future studies. Further work is necessary to analyse both of these variants and to assess their possible effect on protein structure and function. The discovery of novel PD-causing genes is important as this allows for the generation of disease-linked protein networks, thereby facilitating identification of additional disease genes and subsequently providing insights into the underlying pathobiology. Moreover, this knowledge is critical for the development of improved treatment strategies and drug interventions that will ultimately prevent or halt neuronal cell loss in susceptible individuals. Although the present study did not conclusively identify a novel PD-causing gene, it does provide a solid foundation for future work in our laboratory in the challenging and rapidly evolving research area of WES and bioinformatics, and its application to studies on PD.
- ItemAn investigation into the molecular aetiology of Parkinson's disease in South African patients(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013-03) Glanzmann, Brigitte; Bardien, Soraya; Carr, Jonathan; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dept. of Biomedical Sciences. Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) is a severely debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that results in motor circuit dysregulation and ultimately, causes impairment of movement. This condition is due to the selective degradation of the dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta in the midbrain, which subsequently results in the pathological symptoms namely bradykinesia, resting tremor, postural instability and rigidity. It was initially hypothesized that individuals who develop PD were exposed to an environmental trigger(s) that caused the onset of the disease, but more recently, a significant genetic component, coupled to environmental factors have been implicated in disease pathogenesis. Currently, there are eight genes (Parkin, PINK1, LRRK2, SNCA, DJ-1, ATP13A2, EIF4G1 and VPS35) that have been directly implicated in PD. Worldwide, the prevalence of neurodegenerative disorders is increasing as populations are living longer. In Europe, Canada and USA, it has been projected that the prevalence of PD may increase by a factor of two between 2010 and 2050; approximately a 92% increase. In Tanzania (the only study done in sub-Saharan Africa) an even larger increase of 184% between 2005 and 2025 is predicted, due to the fact that the speed of populations ageing in developing countries, will exceed that of developed countries. Research into the causes and risk factors underlying neurodegenerative disorders such as PD is therefore urgently needed for policy makers and governments in developing nations to take appropriate action to deal with this impending health care problem. The aim of the present study was to investigate the molecular aetiology of a group of South African PD patients. A total of 262 patients from various ethnic backgrounds were recruited for the study, and 35% had a positive family history of PD with the average age at onset (AAO) being 54.3 years of age (SD = 12.5 years). Mutation screening of the known PD genes (Parkin, PINK1, LRRK2, SNCA and DJ-1) was performed using high resolution melt and Sanger sequencing. Genotyping was done using fluorescently-labelled PCR primers followed by electrophoresis on an ABI 3130xl genetic analyser (for CTG repeats in JPH3) and with a KASP™ Genotyping Assay (for a 16bp indel in DJ-1). In order to identify a novel PD-causing gene, whole exome sequencing (WES) was conducted on three Afrikaner probands with an Illumina Genome Hiseq 2000TM and the sequences were aligned using the NCBI Human Reference Genome 37.2. The BORG (Bio-Ontological Relationship Graph) semantic database, which models the relationship of human and model organism genes to functions, pathways and phenotypes, was used to filter and prioritise genetic variants shared between the three PD exomes. It was determined that the known PD genes do not play a significant role in disease pathogenesis in the South African patients as only 15/262 (5.7%) of the patients harboured mutations: seven in Parkin, one in PINK1, six in LRRK2 and one in SNCA. Only one of the patients harboured a 16bp indel variant at the transcription start site of DJ-1. None of the Black PD patients had pathogenic repeat expansions in JPH3 thereby excluding Huntington disease-like 2 as a cause of the disease phenotype. Genealogical analysis revealed that six of the apparently unrelated Afrikaner PD probands were related to a founder couple that immigrated to South Africa in the 1600s which suggests that there is a possible founder effect for the disease. Bioinformatics analysis of WES data on three of the probands identified 21 variants in 12 genes that were present in all three PD exomes and fulfilled various criteria. Sanger sequencing was used for verification of five variants and of these, two (in CDC27 and NEDD4) were found to be artefacts. The remaining three (in HECDT1, TBCC and RNF40) were excluded based on the lack of cosegregation with disease and the high frequency of the allele in controls. Further work is necessary to verify the presence of the remaining sixteen variants and to characterise each of them for their possible pathogenicity. The discovery of novel PD-causing genes is important as this may shed light on the pathways or processes that are involved. A current hypothesis implicates the lysosome-dependent pathway as a unifying biochemical pathway that can account for the phenotypic spectrum within PD. Notably, although Mendelian forms are thought to account for only about 10- 15% of cases, the study of Mendelian inherited variants is likely to provide insight into the pathophysiology of the more common sporadic form of this condition. Dissecting the key molecular mechanisms underlying PD will provide critical information for improved treatment strategies and drug interventions that will ultimately prevent or halt neuronal cell loss in susceptible individuals.
- ItemA new tool for prioritization of sequence variants from whole exome sequencing data(BioMed Central, 2016-07) Glanzmann, Brigitte; Herbst, Hendri; Kinnear, Craig J.; Moller, Marlo; Gamieldien, Junaid; Bardien, SorayaBackground: Whole exome sequencing (WES) has provided a means for researchers to gain access to a highly enriched subset of the human genome in which to search for variants that are likely to be pathogenic and possibly provide important insights into disease mechanisms. In developing countries, bioinformatics capacity and expertise is severely limited and wet bench scientists are required to take on the challenging task of understanding and implementing the barrage of bioinformatics tools that are available to them. Results: We designed a novel method for the filtration of WES data called TAPER™ (Tool for Automated selection and Prioritization for Efficient Retrieval of sequence variants). Conclusions: TAPER™ implements a set of logical steps by which to prioritize candidate variants that could be associated with disease and this is aimed for implementation in biomedical laboratories with limited bioinformatics capacity. TAPER™ is free, can be setup on a Windows operating system (from Windows 7 and above) and does not require any programming knowledge. In summary, we have developed a freely available tool that simplifies variant prioritization from WES data in order to facilitate discovery of disease-causing genes.