New paper: Genetic diagnosis of Mendelian disorders via RNA sequencing

Laura S. Kremer, Daniel M. Bader, Christian Mertes, Robert Kopajtich, …, Julien Gagneur & Holger Prokisch

Abstract

Across a variety of Mendelian disorders, ∼50–75% of patients do not receive a genetic diagnosis by exome sequencing indicating disease-causing variants in non-coding regions. Although genome sequencing in principle reveals all genetic variants, their sizeable number and poorer annotation make prioritization challenging. Here, we demonstrate the power of transcriptome sequencing to molecularly diagnose 10% (5 of 48) of mitochondriopathy patients and identify candidate genes for the remainder. We find a median of one aberrantly expressed gene, five aberrant splicing events and six mono-allelically expressed rare variants in patient-derived fibroblasts and establish disease-causing roles for each kind. Private exons often arise from cryptic splice sites providing an important clue for variant prioritization. One such event is found in the complex I assembly factor TIMMDC1 establishing a novel disease-associated gene. In conclusion, our study expands the diagnostic tools for detecting non-exonic variants and provides examples of intronic loss-of-function variants with pathological relevance.

Read more

New paper: Genomic variant annotation workflow for clinical applications

Thomas Thurnherr, Franziska Singer, Daniel J. Stekhoven and Niko Beerenwinkel

Abstract

Annotation and interpretation of DNA aberrations identified through next-generation sequencing is becoming an increasingly important task. Even more so in the context of data analysis pipelines for medical applications, where genomic aberrations are associated with phenotypic and clinical features. Here we describe a workflow to identify potential gene targets in aberrated genes or pathways and their corresponding drugs. To this end, we provide the R/Bioconductor package rDGIdb, an R wrapper to query the drug-gene interaction database (DGIdb). DGIdb accumulates drug-gene interaction data from 15 different resources and allows filtering on different levels. The rDGIdb package makes these resources and tools available to R users. Moreover, rDGIdb queries can be automated through incorporation of the rDGIdb package into NGS sequencing pipelines.

Read more