Long-read sequencing identifies a common transposition haplotype predisposing for CLCNKB deletions


  • N. Tschernoster
  • F. Erger
  • S. Kohl
  • B. Reusch
  • A. Wenzel
  • S. Walsh
  • H. Thiele
  • C. Becker
  • M. Franitza
  • M.P. Bartram
  • M. Kömhoff
  • L. Schumacher
  • C. Kukat
  • T. Borodina
  • C. Quedenau
  • P. Nürnberg
  • M.M. Rinschen
  • J.H. Driller
  • B.P. Pedersen
  • K.P. Schlingmann
  • B. Hüttel
  • D. Bockenhauer
  • B. Beck
  • J. Altmüller


  • Genome Medicine


  • Genome Med 15 (1): 62


  • BACKGROUND: Long-read sequencing is increasingly used to uncover structural variants in the human genome, both functionally neutral and deleterious. Structural variants occur more frequently in regions with a high homology or repetitive segments, and one rearrangement may predispose to additional events. Bartter syndrome type 3 (BS 3) is a monogenic tubulopathy caused by deleterious variants in the chloride channel gene CLCNKB, a high proportion of these being large gene deletions. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, the current diagnostic gold standard for this type of mutation, will indicate a simple homozygous gene deletion in biallelic deletion carriers. However, since the phenotypic spectrum of BS 3 is broad even among biallelic deletion carriers, we undertook a more detailed analysis of precise breakpoint regions and genomic structure. METHODS: Structural variants in 32 BS 3 patients from 29 families and one BS4b patient with CLCNKB deletions were investigated using long-read and synthetic long-read sequencing, as well as targeted long-read sequencing approaches. RESULTS: We report a ~3 kb duplication of 3'-UTR CLCNKB material transposed to the corresponding locus of the neighbouring CLCNKA gene, also found on ~50 % of alleles in healthy control individuals. This previously unknown common haplotype is significantly enriched in our cohort of patients with CLCNKB deletions (45 of 51 alleles with haplotype information, 2.2 kb and 3.0 kb transposition taken together, p=9.16×10(-9)). Breakpoint coordinates for the CLCNKB deletion were identifiable in 28 patients, with three being compound heterozygous. In total, eight different alleles were found, one of them a complex rearrangement with three breakpoint regions. Two patients had different CLCNKA/CLCNKB hybrid genes encoding a predicted CLCNKA/CLCNKB hybrid protein with likely residual function. CONCLUSION: The presence of multiple different deletion alleles in our cohort suggests that large CLCNKB gene deletions originated from many independently recurring genomic events clustered in a few hot spots. The uncovered associated sequence transposition haplotype apparently predisposes to these additional events. The spectrum of CLCNKB deletion alleles is broader than expected and likely still incomplete, but represents an obvious candidate for future genotype/phenotype association studies. We suggest a sensitive and cost-efficient approach, consisting of indirect sequence capture and long-read sequencing, to analyse disease-relevant structural variant hotspots in general.