Huntington's disease-like and ataxia syndromes: identification of a family with a de novo SCA17/TBP mutation.
ABSTRACT The autosomal dominant spinocerebellar ataxias, commonly referred to as SCAs, are clinically and genetically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorders. Twenty-eight genetic subtypes have been identified, of which 7 are caused by expansion of a CAG trinucleotide repeat that encodes a polyglutamine tract in the respective proteins. SCA17 is caused by a CAG/CAA repeat expansion in the TATA box-binding protein-gene (TBP). In some cases the clinical phenotype of SCA17 overlaps that of Huntington's disease (HD), hence the use of the term Huntington's disease-like. We screened 89 patients with a Huntington's disease-like phenotype without the HD-gene mutation and 178 patients with genetically unclassified cerebellar ataxia for the mutation in TBP. A 33-year old woman presenting with an HD like phenotype with a de novo 54 CAG/CAA repeat expansion was identified. Her normal allele included 38 repeats. The patient's mother and father both carried normal range repeats, 38/38 and 33/39 respectively. Analysis of the repeat structures revealed that the expansion had occurred upon expansion of the longer paternal allele. We conclude that, however rare, SCA17 must be considered as a cause of Huntington's disease-like phenotypes and ataxia syndromes, also in isolated cases.
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ABSTRACT: Abnormal repeat length has been associated with an earlier age of onset and more severe disease progression in the rare neurodegenerative disorder spinocerebellar ataxia 17 (SCA17). To determine whether specific structural brain degeneration and rate of disease progression in SCA17 might be associated with the CAG repeat size, observer-independent voxel-based morphometry was applied to high-resolution magnetic resonance images of 16 patients with SCA17 and 16 age-matched healthy controls. The main finding contrasting SCA17 patients with healthy controls demonstrated atrophy in the cerebellum bilaterally. Multiple regression analyses with available genetic data and also post-hoc correlations revealed an inverse relationship again with cerebellar atrophy. Moreover, we found an inverse relationship between the CAG repeat length and rate of disease progression. Our results highlight the fundamental role of the cerebellum in this neurodegenerative disease and support the genotype-phenotype relationship in SCA17 patients. Genetic factors may determine individual susceptibility to neurodegeneration and rate of disease progression.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e15125. · 4.09 Impact Factor