The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway is critical for proper embryonic development of the neural tube and heart. Mutations in these genes have previously been implicated in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects (NTDs), but not in congenital heart defects (CHDs) in humans. We systematically identified the mutation patterns of CELSR1-3 , one family of the core PCP genes, in human cohorts composed of 352 NTD cases, 412 CHD cases, and matched controls. A total of 72 disease-specific rare novel coding mutations were identified, of which 37 were identified in CHD cases, and 36 were identified in NTD patients. Most of these mutations differed between the two cohorts, as only one novel missense mutation in CELSR1 (c.2609G>A p.P870L) was identified in both NTD and CHD patients. Both in vivo and in vitro assays revealed that CELSR1 P870L is a gain-of-function mutation. It up-regulates not only the PCP pathway, but also canonical WNT signaling in cells, and also induced both NTDs and CHDs in Zebrafish embryos. As almost equal numbers of mutations were identified in each cohort, our results provided the first evidence that mutations in CELSR genes are as likely to be associated with CHDs as with NTDs, although the specific mutations differ between the two cohorts. Such differences in mutation panels suggested that CELSRs might be regulated differently during the development of these two organ systems.
- PCP pathway
- Congenital heart defects (CHDs)
- Neural tube defects (NTDs)
- ©2016 The Author(s)
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