Towards a Better Understanding of Genotype-Phenotype Correlations and Therapeutic Targets for Cardiocutaneous Genes: The Importance of Functional Studies above Prediction

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Abstract

Genetic variants in gene-encoding proteins involved in cell-cell connecting structures, such as desmosomes and gap junctions, may cause a skin and/or cardiac phenotype, of which the combination is called cardiocutaneous syndrome. The cardiac phenotype is characterized by cardiomyopathy and/or arrhythmias, while the skin particularly displays phenotypes such as keratoderma, hair abnormalities and skin fragility. The reported variants associated with cardiocutaneous syndrome, in genes DSP, JUP, DSC2, KLHL24, GJA1, are classified by interpretation guidelines from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. The genotype-phenotype correlation, however, remains poorly understood. By providing an overview of variants that are assessed for a functional protein pathology, we show that this number (n = 115) is low compared to the number of variants that are assessed by in silico algorithms (>5000). As expected, there is a mismatch between the prediction of variant pathogenicity and the prediction of the functional effect compared to the real functional evidence. Aiding to improve genotype-phenotype correlations, we separate variants into 'protein reducing' or 'altered protein' variants and provide general conclusions about the skin and heart phenotype involved. We conclude by stipulating that adequate prognoses can only be given, and targeted therapies can only be designed, upon full knowledge of the protein pathology through functional investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10765
Number of pages53
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume23
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15-Sept-2022

Keywords

  • cardiocutaneous syndromes
  • functional analysis of genetic variants
  • genotype–phenotype correlation

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