ABSTRACT: The SPG4 gene is frequently mutated in autosomal dominant form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). We report that the compound heterozygous sequence variants S44L, a known polymorphism, and c.1687G>A, a novel mutation in SPG4 cause a severe form of HSP in a patient. The family members carrying solely c.1687G>A mutation are asymptomatic for HSP. The reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis revealed that the c.1687G>A mutation is a splice site mutation and causes skipping of the exon 15 of spastin. Furthermore, quantification of RT-PCR products by sequencing and quantification of allele-specific expression by pyrosequencing assay revealed that c.1687G>A is a leaky or hypomorphic splice site mutation. At the protein level, c.1687G>A mutation in SPG4 leads to E563K substitution. In ex vivo study, about 10% of cells expressing E563K mutant spastin showed filamentous expression pattern, suggesting a hypomorphic effect at the protein level. Collectively, our results suggest that S44L in association with c.1687G>A (E563K) drops the functional level of spastin below a threshold limit sufficient to manifest HSP.
Clinical Genetics 03/2008; 73(3):268-72. · 3.13 Impact Factor