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Journal Articles Human Genomics Year : 2019

Toward a clinical diagnostic pipeline for SPINK1 intronic variants

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David Cooper


Background: The clinical significance of SPINK1 intronic variants in chronic pancreatitis has been previously assessed by various approaches including a cell culture-based full-length gene assay. A close correlation between the results of this assay and in silico splicing prediction was apparent. However, until now, a clinical diagnostic pipeline specifically designed to classify SPINK1 intronic variants accurately and efficiently has been lacking. Herein, we present just such a pipeline and explore its efficacy and potential utility in potentiating the classification of newly described SPINK1 intronic variants. Results: We confirm a close correlation between in silico splicing prediction and results from the cell culture-based full-length gene assay in the context of three recently reported pathogenic SPINK1 intronic variants. We then integrated in silico splicing prediction and the full-length gene assay into a stepwise approach and tested its utility in the classification of two novel datasets of SPINK1 intronic variants. The first dataset comprised 16 deep intronic variants identified in 52 genetically unexplained Chinese chronic pancreatitis patients by sequencing the entire intronic sequence of the SPINK1 gene. The second dataset comprised five novel rare proximal intronic variants identified through the routine analysis of the SPINK1 gene in French pancreatitis patients. Employing a minor allele frequency of > 5% as a population frequency filter, 6 of the 16 deep intronic variants were immediately classified as benign. In silico prediction of the remaining ten deep intronic variants and the five rare proximal intronic variants with respect to their likely impact on splice site selection suggested that only one proximal intronic variant, c.194 + 5G > A, was likely to be of functional significance. Employing the cell culture-based full-length gene assay, we functionally analyzed c.194 + 5G > A, together with seven predicted non-functional variants, thereby validating their predicted effects on splicing in all cases. Conclusions: We demonstrated the accuracy and efficiency of in silico prediction in combination with the cell culture-based full-length gene assay for the classification of SPINK1 intronic variants. Based upon these findings, we propose an operational pipeline for classifying SPINK1 intronic variants in the clinical diagnostic setting.
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Dates and versions

inserm-02862487 , version 1 (09-06-2020)



Xin-Ying Tang, Jin-Huan Lin, Wen-Bin Zou, Emmanuelle Masson, Arnaud Boulling, et al.. Toward a clinical diagnostic pipeline for SPINK1 intronic variants. Human Genomics, 2019, 13 (1), pp.785-786. ⟨10.1186/s40246-019-0193-7⟩. ⟨inserm-02862487⟩
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