Intellectual disabilityGene: DEGS1 Green List (high evidence)
Comment on list classification: DEGS1 was added to the panel and rated Green by Konstantinos Varvagiannis. Developmental delay and/or ID is a common phenotype (and initial presentation) of the Leukodystrophy. Sufficient cases from multiple papers (PMIDs:30620338,30620337,31186544) to support inclusion on the panel.
Created: 23 Jul 2019, 11:14 a.m. | Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019, 11:14 a.m.
Panel Version: 2.966
PMID:30620338: Karsai et al., 2019 identified a homozygous p.Ala280Val variant in DEGS1 in a Turkish patient of consanguineous parents. Both parents and healthy siblings were heterozygous carriers of the variant. Leading symptoms were early-onset developmental delay, movement disorder, progressive spasticity, and epilepsy.
Created: 23 Jul 2019, 11:07 a.m. | Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019, 11:07 a.m.
Panel Version: 2.965
PMID:31186544: Dolgin et al., 2019 describe four individuals from a consanguineous family. All four had mild to severe ID, spastic quadriplegia, scoliosis and epilepsy in most. WES identified a homozygous missense variant in DEGS1 (in isoforms N219S, N255S).
Created: 23 Jul 2019, 11:05 a.m. | Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019, 11:05 a.m.
Panel Version: 2.965
PMID:30620337: Pant et al., 2019 report DEGS1 variants as the cause of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy in 19 patients from 13 unrelated families. General developmental delay was reported amongst the phenotypes including language and motor delay (as summarised in the article tables).
Created: 23 Jul 2019, 11:04 a.m. | Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019, 11:04 a.m.
Panel Version: 2.965
Green List (high evidence)
Several individuals with biallelic pathogenic DEGS1 variants have been reported to date, in the following studies :
 Pant et al. 2019 (PMID: 30620337) : 19 patients from 13 unrelated families
 Karsai et al. 2019 (PMID: 30620338) : 1 individual
 Dolgin et al. 2019 (PMID: 31186544) : 4 individuals belonging to a large consanguineous kindred
As summarized in the first article and OMIM, affected individuals may have very poor psychomotor development, dystonia, spasticity, seizures with hypomyelinating leukodystrophy upon brain imaging and/or progressive atrophy of corpus callosum, thalami and cerebellum. Although a severe form overall was reported for many individuals in the first study, variable severity (eg. mild to severe ID) was reported among individuals belonging to the same kindred in the report by Dolgin et al.
DEGS1 encodes Δ4-dehydroceramide desaturase which catalyzes conversion of dihydroceramide (DhCer) to ceramide (Cer) in the de novo ceramide biosynthetic pathway. Ceramide is the central unit of all sphingolipids, which are components of cellular membranes and play key roles in several processes incl. cell differentiation, neuronal signaling and myelin sheath formation.
Sphingolipid balance is important for the CNS as demonstrated in the case of lysosomal disorders (eg. Gaucher, Niemann Pick, Farber) one enzymatic step away from DEGS1.
Variants of all types (missense, stopgain, frameshift) have been reported with the majority/almost all located in the fatty acid desaturase (FAD) domain.
Extensive studies have been carried out and demonstrated:
- impaired DEGS1 activity in patients' fibroblasts and muscle suggested by increased DhCer/Cer ratio and compatible broader biochemical effects (higher levels of dihydrosphingosine, dihydrosphingomyelins, etc. and lower levels of sphingosine, monohexosylceramides, etc).
- increased ROS production in patient fibroblasts (similar to a Drosophila model of excess DhCer),
- high expression of the gene in child and adult CNS tissues from control individuals (evaluated by RT-qPCR in Ref. 1). A previous study has suggested that DEGS1 expression is upregulated during the 4-9th week of human embryogenesis (PMID cited: 20430792) which may suggest an important role for neural system development.
- decreased expression for some variants either evaluated at the mRNA (RT-qPCR) / protein level (by Western Blot)
- In zebrafish loss of Degs1 resulted in increased DhCer/Cer ratio, locomotor disability and impaired myelination similar to the patients' phenotype. Fingolimod, a sphingosine analog inhibiting Cer synthase (one step prior to DEGS1 in the de novo ceramide biosynthesis pathway, and converting sphingosine to ceramide in the salvage pathway) reduced the DhCer/Cer imbalance, ameliorated the locomotor phenotype and increased the number of myelinating oligodendrocytes in zebrafish, while it reduced the ROS levels in patient fibroblasts.
Previous animal models:
Apart from the zebrafish model (Pant et al.), higher DhCer/Cer ratios have been shown in homozygous Degs1 -/- mice similar to what is also observed in D. melanogaster. As summarized in MGI (and the previous studies as well) "mice homozygous for a knock-out allele exhibit premature death, decreased to absent ceramide levels, decreased body weight, scaly skin, sparse hair, tremors, hematological and blood chemistry abnormalities, decreased bone mineral content and density and decreased liver function." (PMIDs cited: 17339025, 28507162).
The respective OMIM entry is Leukodystrophy, hypomyelinating, 18 (#618404). DEGS1 is not associated with any phenotype in G2P.
As a result, DEGS1 can be considered for inclusion in the ID and epilepsy panels probably as green (relevant phenotype, sufficient number of individuals, supportive expression and biochemical studies, animal models, etc).
Created: 16 Jul 2019, 8:56 p.m.
Mode of inheritance
BIALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal
Leukodystrophy hypomyelinating 18, MIM 618404)
Phenotypes for gene: DEGS1 were changed from Leukodystrophy hypomyelinating 18, MIM 618404) to Leukodystrophy hypomyelinating 18, MIM 618404); developmental delay
Gene: degs1 has been classified as Green List (High Evidence).
gene: DEGS1 was added gene: DEGS1 was added to Intellectual disability. Sources: Literature Mode of inheritance for gene: DEGS1 was set to BIALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal Publications for gene: DEGS1 were set to 30620337; 30620338; 31186544 Phenotypes for gene: DEGS1 were set to Leukodystrophy hypomyelinating 18, MIM 618404) Penetrance for gene: DEGS1 were set to Complete Review for gene: DEGS1 was set to GREEN
If promoting or demoting a gene, please provide comments to justify a decision to move it.
Genes included in a Genomics England gene panel for a rare disease category (green list) should fit the criteria A-E outlined below.
These guidelines were developed as a combination of the ClinGen DEFINITIVE evidence for a causal role of the gene in the disease(a), and the Developmental Disorder Genotype-Phenotype (DDG2P) CONFIRMED DD Gene evidence level(b) (please see the original references provided below for full details). These help provide a guideline for expert reviewers when assessing whether a gene should be on the green or the red list of a panel.
A. There are plausible disease-causing mutations(i) within, affecting or encompassing an interpretable functional region(ii) of this gene identified in multiple (>3) unrelated cases/families with the phenotype(iii).
B. There are plausible disease-causing mutations(i) within, affecting or encompassing cis-regulatory elements convincingly affecting the expression of a single gene identified in multiple (>3) unrelated cases/families with the phenotype(iii).
C. As definitions A or B but in 2 or 3 unrelated cases/families with the phenotype, with the addition of convincing bioinformatic or functional evidence of causation e.g. known inborn error of metabolism with mutation in orthologous gene which is known to have the relevant deficient enzymatic activity in other species; existence of an animal model which recapitulates the human phenotype.
D. Evidence indicates that disease-causing mutations follow a Mendelian pattern of causation appropriate for reporting in a diagnostic setting(iv).
E. No convincing evidence exists or has emerged that contradicts the role of the gene in the specified phenotype.
(i)Plausible disease-causing mutations: Recurrent de novo mutations convincingly affecting gene function. Rare, fully-penetrant mutations - relevant genotype never, or very rarely, seen in controls. (ii) Interpretable functional region: ORF in protein coding genes miRNA stem or loop. (iii) Phenotype: the rare disease category, as described in the eligibility statement. (iv) Intermediate penetrance genes should not be included.
It’s assumed that loss-of-function variants in this gene can cause the disease/phenotype unless an exception to this rule is known. We would like to collect information regarding exceptions. An example exception is the PCSK9 gene, where loss-of-function variants are not relevant for a hypercholesterolemia phenotype as they are associated with increased LDL-cholesterol uptake via LDLR (PMID: 25911073).
If a curated set of known-pathogenic variants is available for this gene-phenotype, please contact us at [email protected]
We classify loss-of-function variants as those with the following Sequence Ontology (SO) terms:
Term descriptions can be found on the PanelApp homepage and Ensembl.
If you are submitting this evaluation on behalf of a clinical laboratory please indicate whether you report variants in this gene as part of your current diagnostic practice by checking the box
Standardised terms were used to represent the gene-disease mode of inheritance, and were mapped to commonly used terms from the different sources. Below each of the terms is described, along with the equivalent commonly-used terms.
A variant on one allele of this gene can cause the disease, and imprinting has not been implicated.
A variant on the paternally-inherited allele of this gene can cause the disease, if the alternate allele is imprinted (function muted).
A variant on the maternally-inherited allele of this gene can cause the disease, if the alternate allele is imprinted (function muted).
A variant on one allele of this gene can cause the disease. This is the default used for autosomal dominant mode of inheritance where no knowledge of the imprinting status of the gene required to cause the disease is known. Mapped to the following commonly used terms from different sources: autosomal dominant, dominant, AD, DOMINANT.
A variant on both alleles of this gene is required to cause the disease. Mapped to the following commonly used terms from different sources: autosomal recessive, recessive, AR, RECESSIVE.
The disease can be caused by a variant on one or both alleles of this gene. Mapped to the following commonly used terms from different sources: autosomal recessive or autosomal dominant, recessive or dominant, AR/AD, AD/AR, DOMINANT/RECESSIVE, RECESSIVE/DOMINANT.
A variant on one allele of this gene can cause the disease, however a variant on both alleles of this gene can result in a more severe form of the disease/phenotype.
A variant in this gene can cause the disease in males as they have one X-chromosome allele, whereas a variant on both X-chromosome alleles is required to cause the disease in females. Mapped to the following commonly used term from different sources: X-linked recessive.
A variant in this gene can cause the disease in males as they have one X-chromosome allele. A variant on one allele of this gene may also cause the disease in females, though the disease/phenotype may be less severe and may have a later-onset than is seen in males. X-linked inactivation and mosaicism in different tissues complicate whether a female presents with the disease, and can change over their lifetime. This term is the default setting used for X-linked genes, where it is not known definitately whether females require a variant on each allele of this gene in order to be affected. Mapped to the following commonly used terms from different sources: X-linked dominant, x-linked, X-LINKED, X-linked.
The gene is in the mitochondrial genome and variants within this can cause this disease, maternally inherited. Mapped to the following commonly used term from different sources: Mitochondrial.
Mapped to the following commonly used terms from different sources: Unknown, NA, information not provided.
For example, if the mode of inheritance is digenic, please indicate this in the comments and which other gene is involved.