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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2023, Volume 17, Issue 6 doi: 10.1007/s11684-023-0997-7

Lack of CFAP54 causes primary ciliary dyskinesia in a mouse model and human patients

Received: 2022-09-23 Accepted: 2023-09-19 Available online: 2023-09-19

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Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a highly heterogeneous recessive inherited disorder. FAP54, the homolog of CFAP54 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, was previously demonstrated as the C1d projection of the central microtubule apparatus of flagella. A Cfap54 knockout mouse model was then reported to have PCD-relevant phenotypes. Through whole-exome sequencing, compound heterozygous variants c.2649_2657delinC (p. E883Dfs*47) and c.7312_7313insCGCAGGCTGAATTCTTGG (p. T2438delinsTQAEFLA) in a new suspected PCD-relevant gene, CFAP54, were identified in an individual with PCD. Two missense variants, c.4112A>C (p. E1371A) and c.6559C>T (p. P2187S), in CFAP54 were detected in another unrelated patient. In this study, a minigene assay was conducted on the frameshift mutation showing a reduction in mRNA expression. In addition, a CFAP54 in-frame variant knock-in mouse model was established, which recapitulated the typical symptoms of PCD, including hydrocephalus, infertility, and mucus accumulation in nasal sinuses. Correspondingly, two missense variants were deleterious, with a dramatic reduction in mRNA abundance from bronchial tissue and sperm. The identification of PCD-causing variants of CFAP54 in two unrelated patients with PCD for the first time provides strong supportive evidence that CFAP54 is a new PCD-causing gene. This study further helps expand the disease-associated gene spectrum and improve genetic testing for PCD diagnosis in the future.

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