Andersen-Tawil syndrome: a model of clinical variability, pleiotropy, and genetic heterogeneity
ABSTRACT Due to its varied and variable phenotypes, Andersen-Tawil syndrome (ATS) holds a unique place in the field of channelopathies. Patients with ATS typically present with the triad of periodic paralysis, cardiac arrhythmias, and developmental dysmorphisms. Although penetrance of ATS is high, disease expression and severity are remarkably variable. Mutations in KCNJ2 are the primary cause of ATS with 21 mutations discovered in 30 families. These mutations affect channel function through heterogeneous mechanisms, including reduced PIP2-related channel activation and altered pore function. Aside from KCNJ2-based ATS, the genetic basis of this disease in nearly 40% of cases is unknown. Other ATS genes likely share a common pathway or function with Kir2.1 or facilitate the activity of this ion channel. In this review, we explore hypotheses explaining the pathogenesis, expression, and variability of ATS.
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ABSTRACT: Periodic paralyses (PPs) are rare inherited channelopathies that manifest as abnormal, often potassium (K)-sensitive, muscle membrane excitability leading to episodic flaccid paralysis. Hypokalaemic (HypoPP) and hyperkalaemic PP and Andersen-Tawil syndrome are genetically heterogeneous. Over the past decade mutations in genes encoding three ion channels, CACN1AS, SCN4A and KCNJ2, have been identified and account for at least 70% of the identified cases of PP and several allelic disorders. No prospective clinical studies have followed sufficiently large cohorts with characterized molecular lesions to draw precise conclusions. We summarize current knowledge of the clinical diagnosis, molecular genetics, genotype-phenotype correlations, pathophysiology and treatment in the PPs. We focus on unresolved issues including (i) Are there additional ion channel defects in cases without defined mutations? (ii) What is the mechanism for depolarization-induced weakness in Hypo PP? and finally (iii) Will detailed electrophysiological studies be able to correctly identify specific channel mutations? Understanding the pathophysiology of the potassium-sensitive PPs ought to reduce genetic complexity, allow subjects to be stratified during future clinical trials and increase the likelihood of observing true clinical effects. Ideally, therapy for the PPs will prevent attacks, avoid permanent weakness and improve quality of life. Moreover, understanding the skeletal muscle channelopathies will hopefully lead to insights into the more common central nervous system channel diseases such as migraine and epilepsy.Brain 02/2006; 129(Pt 1):8-17. DOI:10.1093/brain/awh639 · 10.23 Impact Factor