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Sequence variations of ACVRL1 play a critical role in hepatic vascular malformations in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia

Abstract : Background: Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by multiple telangiectases and caused by germline disease-causing variants in the ENG (HHT1), ACVRL1 (HHT2) and, to a lesser extent MADH4 and GDF2, which encode proteins involved in the TGF-β/BMP9 signaling pathway. Common visceral complications of HHT are caused by pulmonary, cerebral, or hepatic arteriovenous malformations (HAVMs). There is large intrafamilial variability in the severity of visceral involvement, suggesting a role for modifier genes. The objective of the present study was to investigate the potential role of ENG, ACVRL1, and of other candidate genes belonging to the same biological pathway in the development of HAVMs. Methods: We selected 354 patients from the French HHT patient database who had one disease causing variant in either ENG or ACVRL1 and who underwent hepatic exploration. We first compared the distribution of the different types of variants with the occurrence of HAVMs. Then, we genotyped 51 Tag-SNPs from the Hap Map database located in 8 genes that encode proteins belonging to the TGF-β/BMP9 pathway (ACVRL1, ENG, GDF2, MADH4, SMAD1, SMAD5, TGFB1, TGFBR1), as well as in two additional candidate genes (PTPN14 and ADAM17). We addressed the question of a possible genetic association with the occurrence of HAVMs. Results: The proportion of patients with germline ACVRL1 variants and the proportion of women were significantly higher in HHT patients with HAVMs. In the HHT2 group, HAVMs were more frequent in patients with truncating variants. Six SNPs (3 in ACVRL1, 1 in ENG, 1 in SMAD5, and 1 in ADAM17) were significantly associated with HAVMs. After correction for multiple testing, only one remained significantly associated (rs2277383). Conclusions: In this large association study, we confirmed the strong relationship between ACVRL1 and the development of HAVMs. Common polymorphisms of ACVRL1 may also play a role in the development of HAVMs, as a modifying factor, independently of the disease-causing variants.
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Sophie Giraud, Claire Bardel, Sophie Dupuis-Girod, Marie-France Carette, Brigitte Gilbert-Dussardier, et al.. Sequence variations of ACVRL1 play a critical role in hepatic vascular malformations in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, BioMed Central, 2020, 15 (1), pp.254. ⟨10.1186/s13023-020-01533-2⟩. ⟨hal-03104655⟩

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