Mutations of ARX are associated with striking pleiotropy and consistent genotype-phenotype correlation.
ABSTRACT We recently identified mutations of ARX in nine genotypic males with X-linked lissencephaly with abnormal genitalia (XLAG), and in several female relatives with isolated agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC). We now report 13 novel and two recurrent mutations of ARX, and one nucleotide change of uncertain significance in 20 genotypic males from 16 families. Most had XLAG, but two had hydranencephaly and abnormal genitalia, and three males from one family had Proud syndrome or ACC with abnormal genitalia. We obtained detailed clinical information on all 29 affected males, including the nine previously reported subjects. Premature termination mutations consisting of large deletions, frameshifts, nonsense mutations, and splice site mutations in exons 1 to 4 caused XLAG or hydranencephaly with abnormal genitalia. Nonconservative missense mutations within the homeobox caused less severe XLAG, while conservative substitution in the homeodomain caused Proud syndrome. A nonconservative missense mutation near the C-terminal aristaless domain caused unusually severe XLAG with microcephaly and mild cerebellar hypoplasia. In addition, several less severe phenotypes without malformations have been reported, including mental retardation with cryptogenic infantile spasms (West syndrome), other seizure types, dystonia or autism, and nonsyndromic mental retardation. The ARX mutations associated with these phenotypes have included polyalanine expansions or duplications, missense mutations, and one deletion of exon 5. Together, the group of phenotypes associated with ARX mutations demonstrates remarkable pleiotropy, but also comprises a nearly continuous series of developmental disorders that begins with hydranencephaly, lissencephaly, and agenesis of the corpus callosum, and ends with a series of overlapping syndromes with apparently normal brain structure.
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ABSTRACT: The c.429_452dup24 of the ARX gene is a rare genetic anomaly, leading to X-Linked Intellectual Disability without brain malformation. While in certain cases c.429_452dup24 has been associated with specific clinical patterns such as Partington syndrome, the consequence of this mutation has been also often classified as "non-specific Intellectual Disability". The present work aims at a more precise description of the clinical features linked to the c.429_452dup24 mutation. We clinically reviewed all affected patients identified in France over a five-year period, i.e. 27 patients from 12 different families. Detailed cognitive, behavioural, and motor evaluation, as well as standardized videotaped assessments of oro-lingual and gestural praxis, were performed. In a sub-group of 13 ARX patients, kinematic and MRI studies were further accomplished to better characterize the motor impairment prevalent in the ARX patients group. To ensure that data were specific to the ARX gene mutation and did not result from low-cognitive functioning per se, a group of 27 age- and IQ-matched Down syndrome patients served as control. Neuropsychological and motor assessment indicated that the c.429_452dup24 mutation constitutes a recognizable clinical syndrome: ARX patients exhibiting Intellectual Disability, without primary motor impairment, but with a very specific upper limb distal motor apraxia associated with a pathognomonic hand-grip. Patients affected with the so-called Partington syndrome, which involves major hand dystonia and orolingual apraxia, exhibit the most severe symptoms of the disorder. The particular "reach and grip" impairment which was observed in all ARX patients, but not in Down syndrome patients, was further characterized by the kinematic data: (i) loss of preference for the index finger when gripping an object, (ii) major impairment of fourth finger deftness, and (iii) a lack of pronation movements. This lack of distal movement coordination exhibited by ARX patients is associated with the loss of independent digital dexterity and is similar to the distortion of individual finger movements and posture observed in Limb Kinetic Apraxia. These findings suggest that the ARX c.429_452dup24 mutation may be a developmental model for Limb Kinetic Apraxia.Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 02/2014; 9(1):25. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The corpus callosum is the largest fibre tract in the brain, connecting the two cerebral hemispheres, and thereby facilitating the integration of motor and sensory information from the two sides of the body as well as influencing higher cognition associated with executive function, social interaction and language. Agenesis of the corpus callosum is a common brain malformation that can occur either in isolation or in association with congenital syndromes. Understanding the causes of this condition will help improve our knowledge of the critical brain developmental mechanisms required for wiring the brain and provide potential avenues for therapies for callosal agenesis or related neurodevelopmental disorders. Improved genetic studies combined with mouse models and neuroimaging have rapidly expanded the diverse collection of copy number variations and single gene mutations associated with callosal agenesis. At the same time, advances in our understanding of the developmental mechanisms involved in corpus callosum formation have provided insights into the possible causes of these disorders. This review provides the first comprehensive classification of the clinical and genetic features of syndromes associated with callosal agenesis, and provides a genetic and developmental framework for the interpretation of future research that will guide the next advances in the field.Brain 01/2014; · 9.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Research in genetics of epilepsy represents an area of great interest both for clinical purposes and for understanding the basic mechanisms of epilepsy. Most mutations in epilepsies without structural brain abnormalities have been identified in ion channel genes, but an increasing number of genes involved in a diversity of functional and developmental processes are being recognized through whole exome or genome sequencing. Targeted molecular diagnosis is now available for different forms of epilepsy. The identification of epileptogenic mutations in patients before epilepsy onset and the possibility of developing therapeutic strategies tested in experimental models may facilitate experimental approaches that prevent epilepsy or decrease its severity. Functional analysis is essential for better understanding pathogenic mechanisms and gene interactions. In vitro experimental systems are either cells that usually do not express the protein of interest or neurons in primary cultures. In vivo/ex vivo systems are organisms or preparations obtained from them (e.g., brain slices), which should better model the complexity of brain circuits and actual pathophysiological conditions. Neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells generated from the skin fibroblasts of patients have recently allowed the study of mutations in human neurons having the genetic background of a given patient. However, there is remarkable complexity underlying epileptogenesis in the clinical dimension, as reflected by the fact that experimental models have not provided yet results having clinical translation and that, with a few exceptions concerning rare conditions, no new curative treatment has emerged from any genetic finding in epilepsy.Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics 03/2014; · 5.38 Impact Factor