MedGenome Labs Ltd. – Publications | MedGenome


At MedGenome, we are deeply focused on continuous innovation, and publishing our findings for the larger benefit of the genetic testing community. Read through our publications for details of our latest work.

Date: November 28, 2023

Abstract Background Recent studies have advanced our understanding of the genetic drivers of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Rare variants in more than 20 genes are considered causal for PD, and the latest PD genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified 90 independent risk loci. However, there remains a gap in our understanding of PD genetics outside of the European populations in which the vast majority of these studies were focused. Objective The aim was to identify genetic risk factors for PD in a South Asian population. Methods A total of 674 PD subjects predominantly with age of onset (AoO) ≤50 years (encompassing juvenile, young, or early-onset PD) were recruited from 10 specialty movement disorder centers across India over a 2-year period; 1376 control subjects were selected from the reference population GenomeAsia, Phase 2. We performed various case-only and case–control genetic analyses for PD diagnosis and AoO.

Date: November 9, 2023

Abstract Chromosomal microarray is recommended as the first line of investigation in neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). However, advances in next-generation sequencing have unraveled more than 900 genes associated with NDDs, thus improving the genetic diagnosis. Therefore, this study was conducted to explore the utility of clinical exome sequencing (CES) in NDDs from a tertiary care centre in India. A retrospective observational analysis of 78 children with NDDs for whom CES was performed between 2017 and 2021 was conducted. The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) criteria were used to classify the variants. The mean age was 5.8 ± 3.6 y, and 42 (53%) were male. Pathogenic, likely pathogenic, and variants of uncertain significance (VUS) were observed in 22 (28.2%), 10 (12.8%), and 26 (33.3%) patients, respectively, which included five copy number variants. The diagnostic yield for pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants in NDDs by CES was 41%, which was reasonably high.

Date: October 25, 2023

Kindler syndrome with a novel mutation and a rare gynaecologicalcomplication Running head: Kindler syndrome with a novel mutation and gynaecological complication. Pavithren Tanigassalame, Aravind Baskar Murthy, Vijayasankar Palaniappan,¹ Kaliaperumal Karthikeyan¹ and T. Senthil Kumar

Date: September 12, 2023

Abstract Sarcoglycanopathy is the most frequent form of autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophies caused by mutations in SGCB gene encoding beta-sarcoglycan proteins. In this study, we describe a shared, common haplotype co-segregating in 14 sarcoglycanopathy cases from 13 unrelated families from south Indian region with the likely pathogenic homozygous mutation c.544 T > G (p.Thr182Pro) in SGCB. Haplotype was reconstructed based on 10 polymorphic markers surrounding the c.544 T > G mutation in the cases and related family members as well as 150 unrelated controls from Indian populations using PLINK1.9. We identified haplotype H1 = G, A, G, T, G, G, A, C, T, G, T at a significantly higher frequency in cases compared to related controls and unrelated control Indian population.

Date: August 24, 2023


Non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) has become a popular screening test worldwide for screening common trisomies. In addition, the test can also sex chromosomal aneuploidies (SCAs) with similar sensitivity. In recent years, the scope of NIPT has extended to screen pregnancies for clinically significant microdeletions (MDs), rare autosomal aneuploidies, and subchromosomal abnormalities. The clinical utility of NIPT screening beyond trisomies 21,18,13 and SCAs are still being evaluated because of low positive predictive value which in turn leads to an increase in invasive procedures. Here, we present a case where SNP – NIPT correctly identified a microdeletion syndrome, i.e., 22q11.2DS in a pregnant woman with normal ultrasound findings. This NIPT finding was further confirmed in the chromosomal microarray study and FISH.

Date: August 8, 2023


The benefits of large-scale genetic studies for healthcare of the populations studied are well documented, but these genetic studies have traditionally ignored people from some parts of the world, such as South Asia. Here we describe whole genome sequence (WGS) data from 4806 individuals recruited from the healthcare delivery systems of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, combined with WGS from 927 individuals from isolated South Asian populations. We characterize population structure in South Asia and describe a genotyping array (SARGAM) and imputation reference panel that are optimized for South Asian genomes. We find evidence for high rates of reproductive isolation, endogamy and consanguinity that vary across the subcontinent and that lead to levels of rare homozygotes that reach 100 times that seen in outbred populations. Founder effects increase the power to associate functional variants with disease processes and make South Asia a uniquely powerful place for population-scale genetic studies.

Date: August 1, 2023

Monogenic obesity can be caused by a mutation in one of the single genes involved in hunger and satiety. The most common mutations affect melanocortin 4 (MC4) followed by the leptin gene and its receptor. Leptin receptor (LEPR) gene mutation is an extremely rare endocrine disease characterized by early-onset obesity, hyperphagia in addition to pituitary hormone deficiency, and metabolic abnormalities. We report the case of a 12-month-old male infant born of a non-consanguineous marriage. He presented to us with rapid weight gain from 2 months of age along with hyperphagia. Biochemistry revealed a deranged lipid profile, elevated transaminases, and markedly raised serum leptin levels. On genetic analysis, a novel mutation was detected, which was a homozygous variation In exon 12 of the LEPR gene (chr1:g.65608901G>A) that resulted in the synonymous amino acid change of lysine at codon 584 proximal to donor splice site (p.Lys584). The in silico prediction of the variant was ‘damaging’ by MutationTaster2.

Date: April 5, 2023


BACKGROUND Filaggrin (FLG) gene encoding the protein filaggrin plays an important role in barrier function of the skin and its alteration is a predisposing factor for atopic dermatitis. FLG gene variants result in absent or decreased filaggrin protein. Worldwide, the prevalence of FLG variants ranges from 14 to 56%. FLG null variants are distinct in each population.

OBJECTIVES To study the FLG gene polymorphisms in Indian children and attempt a genotype-phenotype correlation in atopic dermatitis.

METHODS This was a cross-sectional, multicentre study conducted on 75 Indian children. Demographic details, clinical features and identified FLG null variants were recorded. We performed a whole gene sequencing of the entire FLG coding region using next-generation sequencing technology.

Date: March 9, 2023

Abstract Background: Fanconi anaemia (FA) is a rare inherited bone marrow failure disease caused by germline pathogenic variants in any of the 22 genes involved in the FA-DNA interstrand crosslink (ICL) repair pathway. Accurate laboratory investigations are required for FA diagnosis for the clinical management of the patients. We performed chromosome breakage analysis (CBA), FANCD2 ubiquitination (FANCD2-Ub) analysis and exome sequencing of 142 Indian patients with FA and evaluated the efficiencies of these methods in FA diagnosis.

Methods: We performed CBA and FANCD2-Ub analysis in the blood cells and fibroblasts of patients with FA. Exome sequencing with improved bioinformatics to detect the single number variants and CNV was carried out for all the patients. Functional validation of the variants with unknown significance was done by lentiviral complementation assay.

Results: Our study showed that FANCD2-Ub analysis and CBA on peripheral blood cells could diagnose 97% and 91.5% of FA cases, respectively. Exome sequencing identified the FA genotypes consisting of 45 novel variants in 95.7% of the patients with FA. FANCA (60.2%), FANCL (19.8%) and FANCG (11.7%) were the most frequently mutated genes in the Indian population. A FANCL founder mutation c.1092G>A; p.K364=was identified at a very high frequency (~19%) in our patients.

Date: March 28, 2023

The sarcoglycanopathies are autosomal recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMDs) caused by the mutations in genes encoding the α, β, γ, and δ proteins which stabilizes the sarcolemma of muscle cells. The clinical phenotype is characterized by progressive proximal muscle weakness with childhood onset. Muscle biopsy findings are diagnostic in confirming dystrophic changes and deficiency of one or more sarcoglycan proteins. In this study, we summarized 1,046 LGMD patients for which a precise diagnosis was identified using targeted sequencing. The most frequent phenotypes identified in the patients are LGMDR1 (19.7%), LGMDR4 (19.0%), LGMDR2 (17.5%), and MMD1 (14.5%). Among the reported genes, each of CAPN3, SGCB, and DYSF variants was reported in more than 10% of our study cohort. The most common variant SGCB p.Thr182Pro was identified in 146 (12.5%) of the LGMD patients, and in 97.9% of these patients, the variant was found to be homozygous. To understand the genetic structure of the patients carrying SGCB p.Thr182Pro, we genotyped 68 LGMD patients using a whole genome microarray. Analysis of the array data identified a large ~1Mb region of homozygosity (ROH) (chr4:51817441-528499552) suggestive of a shared genomic region overlapping the recurrent missense variant and shared across all 68 patients. Haplotype analysis identified 133 marker haplotypes that were present in ~85.3% of the probands as a double allele and absent in all random controls. We also identified 5 markers (rs1910739, rs6852236, rs13122418, rs13353646, and rs6554360) which were present in a significantly higher proportion in the patients compared to random control set (n = 128) and the population database. Of note, admixture analysis was suggestive of greater proportion of West Eurasian/European ancestry as compared to random controls. Haplotype analysis and frequency in the population database indicate a probable event of founder effect.
Further systematic study is needed to identify the communities and regions where the SGCB p.Thr182Pro variant is observed in higher proportions. After identifying these communities and//or region, a screening program is needed to identify carriers and provide them counselling.

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