Forms

α-Actin (Skeletal Muscle Form)-Related Myopathy via the ACTA1 Gene

  • Summary and Pricing
  • Clinical Features and Genetics
  • Citations
  • Methods
  • Ordering/Specimens
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TEST METHODS

Sequencing

Test Code Test Copy GenesIndividual Gene PriceCPT Code Copy CPT Codes
358 ACTA1$610.00 81479 Add to Order
Targeted Testing

For ordering targeted known variants, please proceed to our Targeted Variants landing page.

Turnaround Time

The great majority of tests are completed within 18 days.

Clinical Sensitivity

ACTA1 mutations account for 15%-25% of all cases of nemaline myoapthy (eg. Nowak et al. 1999; Ryan et al. 2001), and possibly for up to 50% of the severe, congenital-onset form (Agrawal et al. Ann Neurol 56:86-96, 2004).   Five other genes (NEB, TPM3, TNNT1, TPM2, CFL2) are associated with NEM, however, the fraction of cases attributed by them is small.  Laing et al. (2004) found heterozygous ACTA1 mutations in 6% (three unrelated individuals) of a CFTD cohort from Japan and Australia.

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Deletion/Duplication Testing via aCGH

Test Code Test Copy GenesIndividual Gene PriceCPT Code Copy CPT Codes
600 ACTA1$690.00 81479 Add to Order
Pricing Comment

# of Genes Ordered

Total Price

1

$690

2

$730

3

$770

4-10

$840

11-30

$1,290

31-100

$1,670

Over 100

Call for quote

Turnaround Time

The great majority of tests are completed within 28 days.

Clinical Features

Nemaline myopathy (NEM) is a genetically and clinically heterogeneous disorder characterized by muscle weakness, hypotonia and the presence of nemaline bodies in skeletal muscle fibers. Muscle weakness is typically observed in affected neonates or infants, although later onset cases are reported (Ryan et al. Ann Neurol 50:312-320, 2001). The most severely affected muscle groups are proximal limb, facial, bulbar, and respiratory muscles. Deep tendon reflexes are absent or depressed. Histologically, NEM is characterized by type 1 fiber predominance and the presence of rodlike structures called nemaline bodies with Gomori trichrome staining of skeletal muscle (Ryan et al. Neurol 60:665-673, 2003). Six clinical types of NEM have been delineated based on age of onset, severity and distribution of weakness, and respiratory function (Ryan et al. 2001; North and Ryan. GeneReviews. 2010). Overlap among the six groups is significant, and adults are sometimes diagnosed only after a family member has presented with typical signs. Congenital fiber-type disproportion (CFTD) usually presents with hypotonia and varying degrees of skeletal muscle weakness affecting the limbs. Symptoms appear at birth or within the first year of life and, in the majority of cases, remain stable over time or improve with age. The diagnosis relies on histological observation of type 1 fibers that are at least 12% smaller than the mean diameter of type 2A and/or type 2B fibers in the absence of other significant pathologic findings, most notably nemaline bodies. Actinopathies are reviewed by Goebel and Laing (Brain Pathology 19:516-522, 2009).

Genetics

Mutations in the skeletal muscle form of α-actin (ACTA1; OMIM #102610) are one cause of nemaline myopathy (NEM3; OMIM #161800) and congenital fiber-type disproportion (CFTD1; OMIM #255310). Nearly 200 unique mutations are known (Laing et al. Hum Mutat 30:1267-1277, 2009). NEM3 is most often inherited as an autosomal dominant condition, and most patients have de novo mutations (Laing et al. 2009). Parental mosaicism for ACTA1 mutations is documented (eg. Nowak et al. Nat Genet 23:208-212, 1999). Recessive inheritance of NEM3 is rare and all such mutations manifest as null alleles. Although CFTD is a genetically heterogeneous condition that can be inherited in an autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, or X-linked manner, the three reported cases of ACTA1-related CFTD have been caused by autosomal dominant mutations (Laing et al. Ann Neurol 56:689-694, 2004).

Testing Strategy

Skeletal muscle α-actin is coded by exons 2 – 7 of the ACTA1 gene. Testing is accomplished by amplifying the coding exons and ~20 bp of adjacent noncoding sequence, then determining the nucleotide sequence using standard dideoxy sequencing methods and a capillary electrophoresis instrument. We will also sequence any single exon (Test #100) or pair of exons (Test #200) in family members of patients with known mutations or to confirm research results.

Indications for Test

Individuals with clinical symptoms consistent with NEM and muscle biopsy studies showing nemaline bodies, and individuals with clinical symptoms consistent with CFTD and muscle biopsy studies showing type 1 fibers that are smaller than type 2 fibers.

Gene

Official Gene Symbol OMIM ID
ACTA1 102610
Inheritance Abbreviation
Autosomal Dominant AD
Autosomal Recessive AR
X-Linked XL
Mitochondrial MT

CONTACTS

Genetic Counselors
Geneticist
Citations
  • Agrawal PB, Strickland CD, Midgett C, Morales A, Newburger DE, Poulos MA, Tomczak KK, Ryan MM, Iannaccone ST, Crawford TO, Laing NG, Beggs AH. 2004. Heterogeneity of nemaline myopathy cases with skeletal muscle alpha-actin gene mutations. Ann Neurol 56: 86-96. PubMed ID: 15236405
  • Goebel, H. H., Laing, N. G. (2009). "Actinopathies and myosinopathies." Brain Pathol 19(3): 516-22. PubMed ID: 19563543
  • Kathryn North, Monique M Ryan (2010). "Nemaline Myopathy."
  • Laing NG, Clarke NF, Dye DE, Liyanage K, Walker KR, Kobayashi Y, Shimakawa S, Hagiwara T, Ouvrier R, Sparrow JC, Nishino I, North KN, et al. 2004. Actin mutations are one cause of congenital fibre type disproportion. Annals of Neurology 56: 689–694. PubMed ID: 15468086
  • Laing NG, Dye DE, Wallgren-Pettersson C, Richard G, Monnier N, Lillis S, Winder TL, Lochmüller H, Graziano C, Mitrani-Rosenbaum S, Twomey D, Sparrow JC, Beggs AH, Nowak KJ. 2009. Mutations and polymorphisms of the skeletal muscle alpha-actin gene (ACTA1). Hum Mutat 30: 1267-1277. PubMed ID: 19562689
  • Nowak, K. J., et.al. (1999). "Mutations in the skeletal muscle alpha-actin gene in patients with actin myopathy and nemaline myopathy." Nat Genet 23(2): 208-12. PubMed ID: 10508519
  • Ryan MM, Ilkovski B, Strickland CD, Schnell C, Sanoudou D, Midgett C, Houston R, Muirhead D, Dennett X, Shield LK, Girolami U De, Iannaccone ST, Laing NG, North KN, Beggs AH. 2003. Clinical course correlates poorly with muscle pathology in nemaline myopathy. Neurology 60: 665–673. PubMed ID: 12601110
  • Ryan MM, Schnell C, Strickland CD, Shield LK, Morgan G, Iannaccone ST, Laing NG, Beggs AH, North KN. 2001. Nemaline myopathy: a clinical study of 143 cases. Ann. Neurol. 50: 312–320. PubMed ID: 11558787
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TEST METHODS

Bi-Directional Sanger Sequencing

Test Procedure

Nomenclature for sequence variants was from the Human Genome Variation Society (http://www.hgvs.org).  As required, DNA is extracted from the patient specimen.  PCR is used to amplify the indicated exons plus additional flanking non-coding sequence.  After cleaning of the PCR products, cycle sequencing is carried out using the ABI Big Dye Terminator v.3.0 kit.  Products are resolved by electrophoresis on an ABI 3730xl capillary sequencer.  In most cases, sequencing is performed in both forward and reverse directions; in some cases, sequencing is performed twice in either the forward or reverse directions.  In nearly all cases, the full coding region of each exon as well as 20 bases of non-coding DNA flanking the exon are sequenced.

Analytical Validity

As of March 2016, we compared 17.37 Mb of Sanger DNA sequence generated at PreventionGenetics to NextGen sequence generated in other labs. We detected only 4 errors in our Sanger sequences, and these were all due to allele dropout during PCR. For Proficiency Testing, both external and internal, in the 12 years of our lab operation we have Sanger sequenced roughly 8,800 PCR amplicons. Only one error has been identified, and this was due to sequence analysis error.

Our Sanger sequencing is capable of detecting virtually all nucleotide substitutions within the PCR amplicons. Similarly, we detect essentially all heterozygous or homozygous deletions within the amplicons. Homozygous deletions which overlap one or more PCR primer annealing sites are detectable as PCR failure. Heterozygous deletions which overlap one or more PCR primer annealing sites are usually not detected (see Analytical Limitations). All heterozygous insertions within the amplicons up to about 100 nucleotides in length appear to be detectable. Larger heterozygous insertions may not be detected. All homozygous insertions within the amplicons up to about 300 nucleotides in length appear to be detectable. Larger homozygous insertions may masquerade as homozygous deletions (PCR failure).

Analytical Limitations

In exons where our sequencing did not reveal any variation between the two alleles, we cannot be certain that we were able to PCR amplify both of the patient’s alleles. Occasionally, a patient may carry an allele which does not amplify, due for example to a deletion or a large insertion. In these cases, the report contains no information about the second allele.

Similarly, our sequencing tests have almost no power to detect duplications, triplications, etc. of the gene sequences.

In most cases, only the indicated exons and roughly 20 bp of flanking non-coding sequence on each side are analyzed. Test reports contain little or no information about other portions of the gene, including many regulatory regions.

In nearly all cases, we are unable to determine the phase of sequence variants. In particular, when we find two likely causative mutations for recessive disorders, we cannot be certain that the mutations are on different alleles.

Our ability to detect minor sequence variants, due for example to somatic mosaicism is limited. Sequence variants that are present in less than 50% of the patient’s nucleated cells may not be detected.

Runs of mononucleotide repeats (eg (A)n or (T)n) with n >8 in the reference sequence are generally not analyzed because of strand slippage during PCR and cycle sequencing.

Unless otherwise indicated, the sequence data that we report are based on DNA isolated from a specific tissue (usually leukocytes). Test reports contain no information about gene sequences in other tissues.

Deletion/Duplication Testing Via Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization

Test Procedure

Equal amounts of genomic DNA from the patient and a gender matched reference sample are amplified and labeled with Cy3 and Cy5 dyes, respectively. To prevent any sample cross contamination, a unique sample tracking control is added into each patient sample. Each labeled patient product is then purified, quantified, and combined with the same amount of reference product. The combined sample is loaded onto the designed array and hybridized for at least 22-42 hours at 65°C. Arrays are then washed and scanned immediately with 2.5 µM resolution. Only data for the gene(s) of interest for each patient are extracted and analyzed.

Analytical Validity

PreventionGenetics' high density gene-centric custom designed aCGH enables the detection of relatively small deletions and duplications within a single exon of a given gene or deletions and duplications encompassing the entire gene. PreventionGenetics has established and verified this test's accuracy and precision.

Analytical Limitations

Our dense probe coverage may allow detection of deletions/duplications down to 100 bp; however due to limitations and probe spacing this cannot be guaranteed across all exons of all genes. Therefore, some copy number changes smaller than 100-300 bp within a targeted large exon may not be detected by our array.

This array may not detect deletions and duplications present at low levels of mosaicism or those present in genes that have pseudogene copies or repeats elsewhere in the genome.

aCGH will not detect balanced translocations, inversions, or point mutations that may be responsible for the clinical phenotype.

Breakpoints, if occurring outside the targeted gene, may be hard to define.

The sensitivity of this assay may be reduced when DNA is extracted by an outside laboratory.

Order Kits

Ordering Options


myPrevent - Online Ordering
  • The test can be added to your online orders in the Summary and Pricing section.
  • Once the test has been added log in to myPrevent to fill out an online requisition form.
REQUISITION FORM
  • A completed requisition form must accompany all specimens.
  • Billing information along with specimen and shipping instructions are within the requisition form.
  • All testing must be ordered by a qualified healthcare provider.

SPECIMEN TYPES
WHOLE BLOOD

(Delivery accepted Monday - Saturday)

  • Collect 3 ml -5 ml (5 ml preferred) of whole blood in EDTA (purple top tube) or ACD (yellow top tube). For Test #500-DNA Banking only, collect 10 ml -20 ml of whole blood.
  • For small babies, we require a minimum of 1 ml of blood.
  • Only one blood tube is required for multiple tests.
  • Ship blood tubes at room temperature in an insulated container. Do not freeze blood.
  • During hot weather, include a frozen ice pack in the shipping container. Place a paper towel or other thin material between the ice pack and the blood tube.
  • In cold weather, include an unfrozen ice pack in the shipping container as insulation.
  • At room temperature, blood specimen is stable for up to 48 hours.
  • If refrigerated, blood specimen is stable for up to one week.
  • Label the tube with the patient name, date of birth and/or ID number.

DNA

(Delivery accepted Monday - Saturday)

  • Send in screw cap tube at least 5 µg -10 µg of purified DNA at a concentration of at least 20 µg/ml for NGS and Sanger tests and at least 5 µg of purified DNA at a concentration of at least 100 µg/ml for gene-centric aCGH, MLPA, and CMA tests, minimum 2 µg for limited specimens.
  • For requests requiring more than one test, send an additional 5 µg DNA per test ordered when possible.
  • DNA may be shipped at room temperature.
  • Label the tube with the composition of the solute, DNA concentration as well as the patient’s name, date of birth, and/or ID number.
  • We only accept genomic DNA for testing. We do NOT accept products of whole genome amplification reactions or other amplification reactions.

CELL CULTURE

(Delivery preferred Monday - Thursday)

  • PreventionGenetics should be notified in advance of arrival of a cell culture.
  • Culture and send at least two T25 flasks of confluent cells.
  • Some panels may require additional flasks (dependent on size of genes, amount of Sanger sequencing required, etc.). Multiple test requests may also require additional flasks. Please contact us for details.
  • Send specimens in insulated, shatterproof container overnight.
  • Cell cultures may be shipped at room temperature or refrigerated.
  • Label the flasks with the patient name, date of birth, and/or ID number.
  • We strongly recommend maintaining a local back-up culture. We do not culture cells.
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