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ClinGen variant curation expert panel recommendations for classification of variants in GAMT, GATM and SLC6A8 for cerebral creatine deficiency syndromes.

Cerebral creatine deficiency syndromes (CCDS) are inherited metabolic phenotypes of creatine synthesis and transport. There are two enzyme deficiencies, guanidinoacetate methyltransferase (GAMT), encoded by GAMT and arginine-glycine amidinotransferase (AGAT), encoded by GATM, which are involved in the synthesis of creatine. After synthesis, creatine is taken up by a sodium-dependent membrane bound creatine transporter (CRTR), encoded by SLC6A8, into all organs. Creatine uptake is very important especially in high energy demanding organs such as the brain, and muscle. To classify the pathogenicity of variants in GAMT, GATM, and SLC6A8, we developed the CCDS Variant Curation Expert Panel (VCEP) in 2018, supported by The Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen), a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded resource. We developed disease-specific variant classification guidelines for GAMT-, GATM-, and SLC6A8-related CCDS, adapted from the American College of Medical Genetics/Association of Molecular Pathology (ACMG/AMP) variant interpretation guidelines. We applied specific variant classification guidelines to 30 pilot variants in each of the three genes that have variants associated with CCDS. Our CCDS VCEP was approved by the ClinGen Sequence Variant Interpretation Working Group (SVI WG) and Clinical Domain Oversight Committee in July 2022. We curated 181 variants including 72 variants in GAMT, 45 variants in GATM, and 64 variants in SLC6A8 and submitted these classifications to ClinVar, a public variant database supported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Missense variants were the most common variant type in all three genes. We submitted 32 new variants and reclassified 34 variants with conflicting interpretations. We report specific phenotype (PP4) using a points system based on the urine and plasma guanidinoacetate and creatine levels, brain magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) creatine level, and enzyme activity or creatine uptake in fibroblasts ranging from PP4, PP4_Moderate and PP4_Strong. Our CCDS VCEP is one of the first panels applying disease specific variant classification algorithms for an X-linked disease. The availability of these guidelines and classifications can guide molecular genetics and genomic laboratories and health care providers to assess the molecular diagnosis of individuals with a CCDS phenotype.

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