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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jul 2023 - 14 Jul 2023

Basic Science

Genetics, Human Studies, Molecular/Cellular

Migraine/Headache, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Jul 08

Hum Genet


Exonic mutations in cell-cell adhesion may contribute to CADASIL-related CSVD pathology.


Dunn PJ, Lea RA, Maksemous N, Smith RA, Sutherland HG, Haupt LM, Griffiths LR


Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is a condition caused by mutations in NOTCH3 and results in a phenotype characterised by recurrent strokes, vascular dementia and migraines. Whilst a genetic basis for the disease is known, the molecular mechanisms underpinning the pathology of CADASIL are still yet to be determined. Studies conducted at the Genomics Research Centre (GRC) have also identified that only 15-23% of individuals clinically suspected of CADASIL have mutations in NOTCH3. Based on this, whole exome sequencing was used to identify novel genetic variants for CADASIL-like cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD). Analysis of functionally important variants in 50 individuals was investigated using overrepresentation tests in Gene ontology software to identify biological processes that are potentially affected in this group of patients. Further investigation of the genes in these processes was completed using the TRAPD software to identify if there is an increased number (burden) of mutations that are associated with CADASIL-like pathology. Results from this study identified that cell-cell adhesion genes were positively overrepresented in the PANTHER GO-slim database. TRAPD burden testing identified n = 15 genes that had a higher number of rare (MAF < 0.001) and predicted functionally relevant (SIFT < 0.05, PolyPhen > 0.8) mutations compared to the gnomAD v2.1.1 exome control dataset. Furthermore, these results identified ARVCF, GPR17, PTPRS, and CELSR1 as novel candidate genes in CADASIL-related pathology. This study identified a novel process that may be playing a role in the vascular damage related to CADASIL-related CSVD and implicated n = 15 genes in playing a role in the disease.