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  1. Klionsky DJ, Abdelmohsen K, Abe A, Abedin MJ, Abeliovich H, Acevedo Arozena A, et al.
    Autophagy, 2016;12(1):1-222.
    PMID: 26799652 DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1100356
  2. Ishiura H, Shibata S, Yoshimura J, Suzuki Y, Qu W, Doi K, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2019 08;51(8):1222-1232.
    PMID: 31332380 DOI: 10.1038/s41588-019-0458-z
    Noncoding repeat expansions cause various neuromuscular diseases, including myotonic dystrophies, fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome, some spinocerebellar ataxias, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and benign adult familial myoclonic epilepsies. Inspired by the striking similarities in the clinical and neuroimaging findings between neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease (NIID) and fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome caused by noncoding CGG repeat expansions in FMR1, we directly searched for repeat expansion mutations and identified noncoding CGG repeat expansions in NBPF19 (NOTCH2NLC) as the causative mutations for NIID. Further prompted by the similarities in the clinical and neuroimaging findings with NIID, we identified similar noncoding CGG repeat expansions in two other diseases: oculopharyngeal myopathy with leukoencephalopathy and oculopharyngodistal myopathy, in LOC642361/NUTM2B-AS1 and LRP12, respectively. These findings expand our knowledge of the clinical spectra of diseases caused by expansions of the same repeat motif, and further highlight how directly searching for expanded repeats can help identify mutations underlying diseases.
  3. Miyake N, Fukai R, Ohba C, Chihara T, Miura M, Shimizu H, et al.
    Am. J. Hum. Genet., 2016 Oct 06;99(4):950-961.
    PMID: 27666374 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.08.005
    We describe four families with affected siblings showing unique clinical features: early-onset (before 1 year of age) progressive diffuse brain atrophy with regression, postnatal microcephaly, postnatal growth retardation, muscle weakness/atrophy, and respiratory failure. By whole-exome sequencing, we identified biallelic TBCD mutations in eight affected individuals from the four families. TBCD encodes TBCD (tubulin folding co-factor D), which is one of five tubulin-specific chaperones playing a pivotal role in microtubule assembly in all cells. A total of seven mutations were found: five missense mutations, one nonsense, and one splice site mutation resulting in a frameshift. In vitro cell experiments revealed the impaired binding between most mutant TBCD proteins and ARL2, TBCE, and β-tubulin. The in vivo experiments using olfactory projection neurons in Drosophila melanogaster indicated that the TBCD mutations caused loss of function. The wide range of clinical severity seen in this neurodegenerative encephalopathy may result from the residual function of mutant TBCD proteins. Furthermore, the autopsied brain from one deceased individual showed characteristic neurodegenerative findings: cactus and somatic sprout formations in the residual Purkinje cells in the cerebellum, which are also seen in some diseases associated with mitochondrial impairment. Defects of microtubule formation caused by TBCD mutations may underlie the pathomechanism of this neurodegenerative encephalopathy.
  4. Takeuchi F, Nakamura H, Yonemoto N, Komaki H, Rosales RL, Kornberg AJ, et al.
    Brain Dev., 2020 Mar;42(3):277-288.
    PMID: 31980267 DOI: 10.1016/j.braindev.2019.12.005
    BACKGROUND: Several studies on clinical practice for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) have been conducted in Western countries. However, there have been only a few similar studies in Asia and Oceania. Here, we investigate the steroid therapy-related clinical practice for DMD among the local experts. In 2015, we conducted a DMD expert survey in Asia and Oceania to acquire information regarding patients with DMD and to assess current clinical practice with the cooperation of Asian and Oceanian Myology Centre, a neuromuscular disease research network.

    RESULTS: We obtained survey responses from 87 out of 148 clinicians (62%) from 13 countries and regions. In China, 1385 DMD patients were followed-up by 5 respondent neurologists, and 84% were between 0 and 9 years of age (15% were 10-19 years, 1% > 19 years). While in Japan, 1032 patients were followed-up by 20 clinicians, and the age distribution was similar between the 3 groups (27% were 0-9 years, 35% were 10-19 years, 38% were >19 years). Most respondent clinicians (91%) were aware of DMD standard of care recommendations. Daily prednisolone/prednisone administration was used most frequently at initiation (N = 45, 64%). Inconsistent opinion on steroid therapy after loss of ambulation and medication for bone protection was observed.

    CONCLUSIONS: Rare disease research infrastructures have been underdeveloped in many of Asian and Oceanian countries. In this situation, our results show the snapshots of current medical situation and clinical practice in DMD. For further epidemiological studies, expansion of DMD registries is necessary.

  5. Goh KJ, Wong KT, Nishino I, Minami N, Nonaka I
    Neuromuscul. Disord., 2005 Mar;15(3):262-4.
    PMID: 15725589
    Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is an autosomal dominant disorder of middle age presenting as progressive dysphagia and eyelid ptosis, due to short expansions of the GCG trinucleotide repeat (from GCG6 to GCG8-13) in the polyadenylate binding-protein nuclear 1 (PABPN1) gene. OPMD is rarely seen in Asians and morphologically and/or genetically confirmed cases have been reported in Japanese kindreds only. We report a 64 year old Chinese-Malaysian woman who presented with progressive dysphagia and bilateral ptosis for about 6 years. Her mother and elder brother (both deceased) were believed to be affected. Muscle histopathology revealed angulated fibres with rimmed vacuoles. Genetic analysis showed repeat expansion in one allele to (GCG)9 while normal in the other (GCG)6. This is the first non-Japanese Asian family with genetically confirmed OPMD.
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