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Targeted resequencing identifies genes with recurrent variation in cerebral palsy

van Eyk CL, Corbett MA, Frank MSB, Webber DL, Newman M, Berry JG, Harper K, Haines BP, McMichael G, Woenig JA, MacLennan AH, Gecz J
NPJ Genom Med. 2019 Nov 4;4:27. doi: 10.1038/s41525-019-0101-z. eCollection 2019
A growing body of evidence points to a considerable and heterogeneous genetic aetiology of cerebral palsy (CP). To identify recurrently variant CP genes, we designed a custom gene panel of 112 candidate genes. We tested 366 clinically unselected singleton cases with CP, including 271 cases not previously examined using next-generation sequencing technologies. Overall, 5.2% of the naïve cases (14/271) harboured a genetic variant of clinical significance in a known disease gene, with a further 4.8% of individuals (13/271) having a variant in a candidate gene classified as intolerant to variation. In the aggregate cohort of individuals from this study and our previous genomic investigations, six recurrently hit genes contributed at least 4% of disease burden to CP: COL4A1, TUBA1A, AGAP1, L1CAM, MAOB and KIF1A. Significance of Rare VAriants (SORVA) burden analysis identified four genes with a genome-wide significant burden of variants, AGAP1, ERLIN1, ZDHHC9 and PROC, of which we functionally assessed AGAP1 using a zebrafish model. Our investigations reinforce that CP is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder with known as well as novel genetic determinants.
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