Lamins are the major component of nuclear lamina, maintaining structural integrity of the nucleus. Lamin A/C variants are well established to cause a spectrum of disorders ranging from myopathies to progeria, termed laminopathies. Phenotypes resulting from variants in LMNB1 and LMNB2 have been much less clearly defined.
We investigated exome and genome sequencing from the Deciphering Developmental Disorders Study and the 100,000 Genomes Project to identify novel microcephaly genes.
Starting from a cohort of patients with extreme microcephaly, 13 individuals with heterozygous variants in the two human B-type lamins were identified. Recurrent variants were established to be de novo in nine cases and shown to affect highly conserved residues within the lamin ɑ-helical rod domain, likely disrupting interactions required for higher-order assembly of lamin filaments.
We identify dominant pathogenic variants in LMNB1 and LMNB2 as a genetic cause of primary microcephaly, implicating a major structural component of the nuclear envelope in its etiology and defining a new form of laminopathy. The distinct nature of this lamin B–associated phenotype highlights the strikingly different developmental requirements for lamin paralogs and suggests a novel mechanism for primary microcephaly warranting future investigation.
- primary microcephaly
- neurodevelopmental disorder
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- Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences - Professorial Fellow of Human Genetics
- MRC Human Genetics Unit - Programme Leader
- Edinburgh Neuroscience
Person: Academic: Research Active