Combined approaches, including long-read sequencing, address the diagnostic challenge of HYDIN in primary ciliary dyskinesia

Eur J Hum Genet. 2024 Apr 11. doi: 10.1038/s41431-024-01599-7. Online ahead of print.


Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), a disorder of the motile cilia, is now recognised as an underdiagnosed cause of bronchiectasis. Accurate PCD diagnosis comprises clinical assessment, analysis of cilia and the identification of biallelic variants in one of 50 known PCD-related genes, including HYDIN. HYDIN-related PCD is underdiagnosed due to the presence of a pseudogene, HYDIN2, with 98% sequence homology to HYDIN. This presents a significant challenge for Short-Read Next Generation Sequencing (SR-NGS) and analysis, and many diagnostic PCD gene panels do not include HYDIN. We have used a combined approach of SR-NGS with bioinformatic masking of HYDIN2, and state-of-the-art long-read Nanopore sequencing (LR_NGS), together with analysis of respiratory cilia including transmission electron microscopy and immunofluorescence to address the underdiagnosis of HYDIN as a cause of PCD. Bioinformatic masking of HYDIN2 after SR-NGS facilitated the detection of biallelic HYDIN variants in 15 of 437 families, but compromised the detection of copy number variants. Supplementing testing with LR-NGS detected HYDIN deletions in 2 families, where SR-NGS had detected a single heterozygous HYDIN variant. LR-NGS was also able to confirm true homozygosity in 2 families when parental testing was not possible. Utilising a combined genomic diagnostic approach, biallelic HYDIN variants were detected in 17 families from 242 genetically confirmed PCD cases, comprising 7% of our PCD cohort. This represents the largest reported HYDIN cohort to date and highlights previous underdiagnosis of HYDIN-associated PCD. Moreover this provides further evidence for the utility of LR-NGS in diagnostic testing, particularly for regions of high genomic complexity.