Intellectual disabilityGene: BUB1
A recent study provides evidence that this gene (biallelic variants) is relevant for inclusion in the DD/ID panel likely with amber / green rating (2 unrelated individuals with similar phenotype, 3 variants, role of this gene, extensive variant studies and demonstrated effects on cohesion and chromosome segregation, similarities with other disorders caused by mutations in mitosis-associated genes at the clinical and cellular level || number of affected subjects/families, different protein levels/kinase activity likely underlying few differences observed, role of monoallelic variants unclear).
This gene could probably be included in other panels e.g. for microcephaly (not added).
There is no BUB1-related phenotype in OMIM, G2P, SysID, PanelApp Australia.
Carvalhal, Bader et al (2022 - PMID: 35044816) describe the phenotype of 2 unrelated individuals with biallelic BUB1 pathogenic variants and provide evidence for the underlying mechanism for this condition.
Common features comprised congenital microcephaly (2/2 | -2,8 and -2.9 SDs respectively / -7 and -4,9 SDs on last evaluation), DD/ID (2/2 - in one case with formal evaluation mild), some degree of growth retardation (2/2) and cardiovascular findings (2/2 - small ASD type II). Other findings limited to one subject included Pierre-Robin sequence, Axenfeld-Rieger anomaly, choanal stenosis, hypospadias, tracheal stenosis, etc.
Initial genetic testing was normal (incl. CMA in both, metabolic testing and individual genes incl. PITX2, GREM1, FOXD3, FOXC1 for one proband).
Exome sequencing revealed homozygosity for a start-lost variant (NM_004336.4:c.2T>G / p.?) in the first subject (P1). The variant lied within a 14-Mb region of homozygosity (no reported consanguinity). The second individual (P2) was compound htz for a splice-site and a frameshift variant (c.2625+1G>A and c.2197dupG) with Sanger sequencing used for confirmation and segregation studies.
BUB1 encodes BUB1 Mitotic checkpoint serine/threonine kinase (/Budding uninhibited by benzimidazoles 1, s. cerevisiae, homolog of) a multifunctional component of the segregation machinery contributing to multiple mitotic processes. The protein has a kinetochore localization domain, multiple binding motifs and a C-terminal kinase domain (aa 784-1085) this structure allowing both kinase dependent/independent activities.
cDNA sequencing revealed that the splice variant leads to skipping of ex21 and in-frame deletion of 54 residues in the kinase domain (c.2625+1G>A / p.Val822_Leu875del).
Both individuals exhibited normal BUB1 mRNA levels (fibroblasts in both, tracheal tissue in one) but severely reduced protein levels (fibroblasts). A shorter protein product corresponding to the in-frame deletion variant was also detected.
The authors performed additional experiments to confirm small amounts of full-length protein produced by the start-lost variant. This was shown in SV40-transformed fibroblasts from the corresponding individual (treatment with a proteasome inhibitor resulted also in higher levels). Upon generation RPE1 cells using CRISPR for the start-lost variant, again, small amounts of full length protein were detected, which was not the case for complete knockout HAP1 cells. No shorter versions could be detected in the patient cells or RPE1 cells, arguing against utilization of an alternative start codon. (Use of non-AUG start codons discussed based on literature).
In line with small amounts of full-length protein the authors provided evidence for residual kinase activity for the start-loss variant (through proxy of phosphorylation of its substrate and use of a BUB1 kinase inhibitor). Cells from the individual with the frameshift variant and the splice variant had no residual kinase activity.
The authors provide evidence for mitotic defects in cells from both individuals with prolonged mitosis duration and chromosome segregation defects. Some patient-specific findings were thought to be related with BUB1 protein levels (affecting BUB1-mediated kinetochore recruitment of BUBR1, important for chromosome alignment) and others due to residual kinase activity [->phosphorylation of H2A at Threonine 120-> affecting centromeric recruitment of Aurora B, SGO1 (role in protection of centromeric cohesion), TOP2A (a protein preventing DNA breakage during sister chromatid separation), these correlated with high anaphase bridges (in P2), aneuploidy observed in lymphoblasts and primary fibroblasts from P2 but not P2's lymphocytes or lymphocytes from P1) and defective sister chromatid cohesion defects (in primary fibroblasts from P2, milder effect for P1).
Overall the authors provide evidence for overlapping clinical and cellular phenotype for this condition with primary microcephalies (MCPH - mutations in genes for mitotic regulators incl. kinetochore proteins or regulators of chromosome organization), mosaic variegated aneuploidy (biallelic variants in genes for kinetochore proteins, with random aneuploidies occurring in >5% cells of different tissues) and cohesinopathies (mostly Roberts or Warsaw breakage syndromes - characterized by cohesion loss and/or spontaneous railroad chromosomes).
Mouse model: Hmz disruption in mice is lethal shortly after E3.5 (cited PMID: 19772675), while a hypomorphic mutant mouse (lacking exons 2-3, expressing <5% of wt protein levels) is viable but exhibits increased tumorigenesis with aging and aneuploidy (cited PMID: 19117986). Mutant mice that lack kinase activity though with preserved Bub1 protein abundance, did not display increased susceptibility, despite substantial segregation errors and aneuploidies (cited PMID: 23209306).
The authors note that monoallelic germline BUB1 variants have been described in small number of individuals with CRC, exhibiting reduced expression levels and variegated aneuploidy in multiple tissues (cited PMID: 23747338) although the role of BUB1 is debated (cited PMIDs: 27713038, 29448935).
Based on the discussion, complete loss of BUB1 activity is presumed to be embryonically lethal based on the mouse study (PMID: 19772675) and reduced BUB1 expression associated with spontaneous miscarriages (cited PMID: 20643875, to my understanding in this study mRNA levels remained relatively constant despite reduced Bub1 protein levels, mRNA RT-PCR followed by sequencing revealed only 2 synonymous BUB1 variants).
Created: 8 May 2022, 1:07 p.m.
Mode of inheritance
BIALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal
Congenital microcephaly; Global developmental delay; Intellectual disability; Abnormal heart morphology; Growth delay
gene: BUB1 was added gene: BUB1 was added to Intellectual disability. Sources: Literature Mode of inheritance for gene: BUB1 was set to BIALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal Publications for gene: BUB1 were set to 35044816 Phenotypes for gene: BUB1 were set to Congenital microcephaly; Global developmental delay; Intellectual disability; Abnormal heart morphology; Growth delay Penetrance for gene: BUB1 were set to Complete Review for gene: BUB1 was set to AMBER