Family-based whole-exome sequencing identifies novel loss-of-function mutations of FBN1 for Marfan syndrome

PeerJ. 2018 Nov 13;6:e5927. doi: 10.7717/peerj.5927. eCollection 2018.


Background: Marfan syndrome (MFS) is an inherited connective tissue disorder affecting the ocular, skeletal and cardiovascular systems. Previous studies of MFS have demonstrated the association between genetic defects and clinical manifestations. Our purpose was to investigate the role of novel genetic variants in determining MFS clinical phenotypes.

Methods: We sequenced the whole exome of 19 individuals derived from three Han Chinese families. The sequencing data were analyzed by a standard pipeline. Variants were further filtered against the public database and an in-house database. Then, we performed pedigree analysis under different inheritance patterns according to American College of Medical Genetics guidelines. Results were confirmed by Sanger sequencing.

Results: Two novel loss-of-function indels (c.5027_5028insTGTCCTCC, p.D1677Vfs*8; c.5856delG, p.S1953Lfs*27) and one nonsense variant (c.8034C>A, p.Y2678*) of FBN1 were identified in Family 1, Family 2 and Family 3, respectively. All affected members carried pathogenic mutations, whereas other unaffected family members or control individuals did not. These different kinds of loss of function (LOF) variants of FBN1 were located in the cbEGF region and a conserved domain across species and were not reported previously.

Conclusions: Our study extended and strengthened the vital role of FBN1 LOF mutations in the pathogenesis of MFS with an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. We confirm that genetic testing by next-generation sequencing of blood DNA can be fundamental in helping clinicians conduct mutation-based pre- and postnatal screening, genetic diagnosis and clinical management for MFS.

Keywords: FBN1; Marfan syndrome; Rare genetic variant; Whole-exome sequencing.

Grant support

This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20151590), the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (Public Health and Preventive Medicine) and Top-notch Academic Programs Project of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PPZY2015A067). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.