Whole Exome Sequencing in Two Southeast Asian Families With Atypical Femur Fractures
Zhou W., Nguyen HH., van de Laarschot DM., Howe TS., Koh JSB., Milat F., van Rooij JGJ., Verlouw JAM., van der Eerden BCJ., Stevenson M., Thakker RV., Zillikens MC., Ebeling PR.
Atypical femur fractures (AFFs) are rare complications of anti-resorptive therapy. Devastating to the affected individual, they pose a public health concern because of reduced uptake of an effective treatment for osteoporosis due to patient concern. The risk of AFF is increased sixfold to sevenfold in patients of Asian ethnicity compared with Europeans. Genetic factors may underlie the AFF phenotype. Given the rarity of AFFs, studying familial AFF cases is valuable in providing insights into any genetic predisposition. We present two Singaporean families, one comprising a mother (1-a) and a daughter (1-b), and the other comprising two sisters (2-a and 2-b). All four cases presented with bisphosphonate-associated AFF. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed on 1-b, 2-a, and 2-b. DNA for 1-a was not available. Variants were examined using a candidate gene approach comprising a list of genes previously associated with AFF in the literature, as well as using unbiased filtering based on dominant and/or recessive inheritance patterns. Using a candidate gene approach, rare variants shared between all three cases were not identified. A rare variant in TMEM25, shared by the two sisters (2-a and 2-b), was identified. A rare heterozygous PLOD2 variant was present in the daughter case with AFF (1-b), but not in the sisters. A list of potential genetic variants for AFF was identified after variant filtering and annotation analysis of the two sisters (2-a and 2-b), including a Gly35Arg variant in TRAF4, a gene required for normal skeletal development. Although the findings from this genetic analysis are inconclusive, a familial aggregation of AFFs is suggestive of a genetic component in AFF pathogenesis. We provide a comprehensive list of rare variants identified in these AFF familial cases to aid future genetic studies. © 2022 The Authors. JBMR Plus published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.