DOI: 10.3390/genes14122166 ISSN: 2073-4425

Evaluation of Optical Genome Mapping in Clinical Genetic Testing of Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy

Anja Kovanda, Luca Lovrečić, Gorazd Rudolf, Ivana Babic Bozovic, Helena Jaklič, Lea Leonardis, Borut Peterlin
  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Genetics

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is the third most common hereditary muscular dystrophy, caused by the contraction of the D4Z4 repeats on the permissive 4qA haplotype on chromosome 4, resulting in the faulty expression of the DUX4 gene. Traditional diagnostics are based on Southern blotting, a time- and effort-intensive method that can be affected by single nucleotide variants (SNV) and copy number variants (CNV), as well as by the similarity of the D4Z4 repeats located on chromosome 10. We aimed to evaluate optical genome mapping (OGM) as an alternative molecular diagnostic method for the detection of FSHD. We first performed optical genome mapping with EnFocus™ FSHD analysis using DLE-1 labeling and the Saphyr instrument in patients with inconclusive diagnostic Southern blot results, negative FSHD2 results, and clinically evident FSHD. Second, we performed OGM in parallel with the classical Southern blot analysis for our prospectively collected new FSHD cases. Finally, panel exome sequencing was performed to confirm the presence of FSHD2. In two patients with diagnostically inconclusive Southern blot results, OGM was able to identify shortened D4Z4 repeats on the permissive 4qA alleles, consistent with the clinical presentation. The results of the prospectively collected patients tested in parallel using Southern blotting and OGM showed full concordance, indicating that OGM is a useful alternative to the classical Southern blotting method for detecting FSHD1. In a patient showing clinical FSHD but no shortened D4Z4 repeats in the 4qA allele using OGM or Southern blotting, a likely pathogenic variant in SMCHD1 was detected using exome sequencing, confirming FSHD2. OGM and panel exome sequencing can be used consecutively to detect FSHD2.

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