bioRxiv. 2024 Feb 10:2024.02.05.579012. doi: 10.1101/2024.02.05.579012. Preprint.


Since the first novel gene discovery for a Mendelian condition was made via exome sequencing (ES), the rapid increase in the number of genes known to underlie Mendelian conditions coupled with the adoption of exome (and more recently, genome) sequencing by diagnostic testing labs has changed the landscape of genomic testing for rare disease. Specifically, many individuals suspected to have a Mendelian condition are now routinely offered clinical ES. This commonly results in a precise genetic diagnosis but frequently overlooks the identification of novel candidate genes. Such candidates are also less likely to be identified in the absence of large-scale gene discovery research programs. Accordingly, clinical laboratories have both the opportunity, and some might argue a responsibility, to contribute to novel gene discovery which should in turn increase the diagnostic yield for many conditions. However, clinical diagnostic laboratories must necessarily balance priorities for throughput, turnaround time, cost efficiency, clinician preferences, and regulatory constraints, and often do not have the infrastructure or resources to effectively participate in either clinical translational or basic genome science research efforts. For these and other reasons, many laboratories have historically refrained from broadly sharing potentially pathogenic variants in novel genes via networks like Matchmaker Exchange, much less reporting such results to ordering providers. Efforts to report such results are further complicated by a lack of guidelines for clinical reporting and interpretation of variants in novel candidate genes. Nevertheless, there are myriad benefits for many stakeholders, including patients/families, clinicians, researchers, if clinical laboratories systematically and routinely identify, share, and report novel candidate genes. To facilitate this change in practice, we developed criteria for triaging, sharing, and reporting novel candidate genes that are most likely to be promptly validated as underlying a Mendelian condition and translated to use in clinical settings.

PMID:38370830 | PMC:PMC10871197 | DOI:10.1101/2024.02.05.579012