[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a common epilepsy syndrome with a complex etiology. Despite evidence for the participation of genetic factors, the genetic basis of TLE remains largely unknown. A role for the galanin neuropeptide in the regulation of epileptic seizures has been established in animal models more than two decades ago. However, until now there was no report of pathogenic mutations in GAL, the galanin-encoding gene, and therefore its role in human epilepsy was not established.
Here, we studied a family with a pair of monozygotic twins affected by TLE and two unaffected siblings born to healthy parents. Exome sequencing revealed that both twins carried a novel de novo mutation (p.A39E) in the GAL gene. Functional analysis revealed that the p.A39E mutant showed antagonistic activity against galanin receptor 1 (GalR1)-mediated response, and decreased binding affinity and reduced agonist properties for GalR2. These findings suggest that the p.A39E mutant could impair galanin signaling in the hippocampus, leading to increased glutamatergic excitation and ultimately to TLE. In a cohort of 582 cases, we did not observe any pathogenic mutations indicating that mutations in GAL are a rare cause of TLE.
The identification of a novel de novo mutation in a biologically-relevant candidate gene, coupled with functional evidence that the mutant protein disrupts galanin signaling, strongly supports GAL as the causal gene for the temporal lobe epilepsy in this family. Given the availability of galanin agonists which inhibit seizures, our findings could potentially have direct implications for the development of anti-epileptic treatment.
Human Molecular Genetics 02/2015; · 6.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Febrile seizures affect 2–4% of all children and have a strong genetic component. Recurrent mutations in three main genes (SCN1A, SCN1B and GABRG2) have been identified that cause febrile seizures with or without epilepsy. Here we report the identification of mutations in STX1B, encoding syntaxin-1B, that are associated with both febrile seizures and epilepsy. Whole-exome sequencing in independent large pedigrees identified cosegregating STX1B mutations predicted to cause an early truncation or an in-frame insertion or deletion. Three additional nonsense or missense mutations and a de novo microdeletion encompassing STX1B were then identified in 449 familial or sporadic cases. Video and local field potential analyses of zebrafish larvae with antisense knockdown of stx1b showed seizure-like behavior and epileptiform discharges that were highly sensitive to increased temperature. Wild-type human syntaxin-1B but not a mutated protein rescued the effects of stx1b knockdown in zebrafish. Our results thus implicate STX1B and the presynaptic release machinery in fever-associated epilepsy syndromes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: We report a consanguineous family with 2 affected individuals whose clinical symptoms closely resembled MERRF (myoclonus epilepsy with ragged red fibers) syndrome including severe myoclonic epilepsy, progressive spastic tetraparesis, progressive impairment of vision and hearing, as well as progressive cognitive decline. Methods: After excluding the presence of pathogenic mitochondrial DNA mutations, whole-exome sequencing of blood DNA from the index patient was performed. Detected homozygous mutations and their cosegregation were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. CARS2 (cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase 2, mitochondrial) messenger RNA analysis was performed by reverse transcription PCR and sequencing. Results: We identified a homozygous c.655G.A mutation in the CARS2 gene cosegregating in the family. The mutation is localized at the last nucleotide of exon 6 and thus is predicted to cause aberrant splicing. Analysis of the CARS2 messenger RNA showed that the presence of the mutation resulted in removal of exon 6. This leads to an in-frame deletion of 28 amino acids in a conserved sequence motif of the protein involved in stabilization of the acceptor end hairpin of tRNACys. Conclusion: CARS2 is a novel disease gene associated with a severe progressive myoclonic epilepsy most resembling MERRF syndrome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The epilepsies are a clinically heterogeneous group of neurological disorders. Despite strong evidence for heritability, genome-wide association studies have had little success in identification of risk loci associated with epilepsy, probably because of relatively small sample sizes and insufficient power. We aimed to identify risk loci through meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies for all epilepsy and the two largest clinical subtypes (genetic generalised epilepsy and focal epilepsy).
Methods: We combined genome-wide association data from 12 cohorts of individuals with epilepsy and controls from population-based datasets. Controls were ethnically matched with cases. We phenotyped individuals with epilepsy into categories of genetic generalised epilepsy, focal epilepsy, or unclassified epilepsy. After standardised filtering for quality control and imputation to account for different genotyping platforms across sites, investigators at each site conducted a linear mixed-model association analysis for each dataset. Combining summary statistics, we conducted fixed-effects meta-analyses of all epilepsy, focal epilepsy, and genetic generalised epilepsy. We set the genome-wide significance threshold at p<1·66 × 10–8.
Findings: We included 8696 cases and 26 157 controls in our analysis. Meta-analysis of the all-epilepsy cohort identified loci at 2q24.3 (p=8·71 × 10–10), implicating SCN1A, and at 4p15.1 (p=5·44 × 10–9), harbouring PCDH7, which encodes a protocadherin molecule not previously implicated in epilepsy. For the cohort of genetic generalised epilepsy, we noted a single signal at 2p16.1 (p=9·99 × 10–9), implicating VRK2 or FANCL. No single nucleotide polymorphism achieved genome-wide significance for focal epilepsy.
Interpretation: This meta-analysis describes a new locus not previously implicated in epilepsy and provides further evidence about the genetic architecture of these disorders, with the ultimate aim of assisting in disease classification and prognosis. The data suggest that specific loci can act pleiotropically raising risk for epilepsy broadly, or can have effects limited to a specific epilepsy subtype. Future genetic analyses might benefit from both lumping (ie, grouping of epilepsy types together) or splitting (ie, analysis of specific clinical subtypes).
The Lancet Neurology 07/2014; 13(9). DOI:10.1016/S1474-4422(14)70171-1 · 21.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in SLC2A1, encoding the glucose transporter type 1 (Glut1), cause a wide range of neurological disorders: (1) classical Glut1 deficiency syndrome (Glut1-DS) with an early onset epileptic encephalopathy including a severe epilepsy, psychomotor delay, ataxia and microcephaly, (2) paroxysmal exercise-induced dyskinesia (PED) and (3) various forms of idiopathic/genetic generalized epilepsies such as different forms of absence epilepsies. Up to now, focal epilepsy was not associated with SLC2A1 mutations. Here, we describe four cases in which focal seizures present the main or at least initial category of seizures. Two patients suffered from a classical Glut1-DS, whereas two individuals presented with focal epilepsy related to PED. We identified three novel SLC2A1 mutations in these unrelated individuals. Our study underscores that focal epilepsy can be caused by SLC2A1 mutations or that focal seizures may present the main type of seizures. Patients with focal epilepsy and PED should undergo genetic testing and can benefit from a ketogenic diet. But also individuals with pharmaco-resistant focal epilepsy and cognitive impairment might be candidates for genetic testing in SLC2A1.
Journal of Neurology 07/2014; 261(10). DOI:10.1007/s00415-014-7433-5 · 3.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epilepsy comprises several syndromes, amongst the most common being mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis. Seizures in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis are typically drug-resistant, and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is frequently associated with important co-morbidities, mandating the search for better understanding and treatment. The cause of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is unknown, but there is an association with childhood febrile seizures. Several rarer epilepsies featuring febrile seizures are caused by mutations in SCN1A, which encodes a brain-expressed sodium channel subunit targeted by many anti-epileptic drugs. We undertook a genome-wide association study in 1018 people with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and 7552 control subjects, with validation in an independent sample set comprising 959 people with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and 3591 control subjects. To dissect out variants related to a history of febrile seizures, we tested cases with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with (overall n = 757) and without (overall n = 803) a history of febrile seizures. Meta-analysis revealed a genome-wide significant association for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with febrile seizures at the sodium channel gene cluster on chromosome 2q24.3 [rs7587026, within an intron of the SCN1A gene, P = 3.36 x 10-9, odds ratio (A) = 1.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.26-1.59]. In a cohort of 172 individuals with febrile seizures, who did not develop epilepsy during prospective follow-up to age 13 years, and 6456 controls, no association was found for rs7587026 and febrile seizures. These findings suggest SCN1A involvement in a common epilepsy syndrome, give new direction to biological understanding of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with febrile seizures, and open avenues for investigation of prognostic factors and possible prevention of epilepsy in some children with febrile seizures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Idiopathic focal epilepsy (IFE) with rolandic spikes is the most common childhood epilepsy, comprising a phenotypic spectrum from rolandic epilepsy (also benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes, BECTS) to atypical benign partial epilepsy (ABPE), Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) and epileptic encephalopathy with continuous spike and waves during slow-wave sleep (CSWS). The genetic basis is largely unknown. We detected new heterozygous mutations in GRIN2A in 27 of 359 affected individuals from 2 independent cohorts with IFE (7.5%; P = 4.83 × 10(-18), Fisher's exact test). Mutations occurred significantly more frequently in the more severe phenotypes, with mutation detection rates ranging from 12/245 (4.9%) in individuals with BECTS to 9/51 (17.6%) in individuals with CSWS (P = 0.009, Cochran-Armitage test for trend). In addition, exon-disrupting microdeletions were found in 3 of 286 individuals (1.0%; P = 0.004, Fisher's exact test). These results establish alterations of the gene encoding the NMDA receptor NR2A subunit as a major genetic risk factor for IFE.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: The group of the rare progressive myoclonic epilepsies (PME) include a wide spectrum of mitochondrial and metabolic diseases. In juvenile and adult ages, MERRF (myoclonic epilepsy with ragged red fibres) is the most common form. The underlying genetic defect in most patients with the syndrome of MERRF is a mutation in the tRNALys gene, but mutations were also detected in the tRNAPhe gene. METHOD: Here, we describe a 40 year old patient with prominent myoclonic seizures since 39 years of age without a mutation in the known genes who underwent intensive clinical, genetic and functional workup. RESULTS: The patient had a slight mental retardation and a severe progressive hearing loss based on a defect of the inner ear on both sides. Ictal electroencephalography (EEG) showed bilateral occipital and generalized spikes and polyspikes induced and aggravated by photostimulation. A cranial magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) detected a global cortical atrophy of the brain and mild periventricular white matter lesions. The electromyography (EMG) was normal but the muscle biopsy showed abundant ragged red fibres. Sequencing of the mitochondrial DNA from the skeletal muscle biopsy revealed a novel heteroplasmic mutation (m.4279A>G) in the tRNAIle gene which was functionally relevant as tested in single skeletal muscle fibre investigations. CONCLUSION: Mutations in tRNAIle were described in patients with chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO), prominent deafness or cardiomyopathy but, up to now, not in patients with myoclonic epilepsy. The degree of heteroplasmy of this novel mitochondrial DNA mutation was 70% in skeletal muscle but only 15% in blood, pointing to the diagnostic importance of a skeletal muscle biopsy also in patients with myoclonic epilepsy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Structural variations disrupting the gene encoding the neuron-specific splicing regulator RBFOX1 have been reported in three patients exhibiting epilepsy in comorbidity with other neuropsychiatric disorders. Consistently, the Rbfox1 knockout mouse model showed an increased susceptibility of seizures. The present candidate gene study tested whether exon-disrupting deletions of RBFOX1 increase the risk of idiopathic generalized epilepsies (IGEs), representing the largest group of genetically determined epilepsies. METHODS: Screening of microdeletions (size: >40 kb, coverage >20 markers) affecting the genomic sequence of the RBFOX1 gene was carried out by high-resolution single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays in 1,408 European patients with idiopathic generalized epilepsy (IGE) and 2,256 population controls. Validation of RBFOX1 deletions and familial segregation analysis were performed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). KEY FINDINGS: We detected five exon-disrupting RBFOX1 deletions in the IGE patients, whereas none was observed in the controls (p = 0.008, Fisher's exact test). The size of the exonic deletions ranged from 68 to 896 kb and affected the untranslated 5'-terminal RBFOX1 exons. Segregation analysis in four families indicated that the deletions were inherited, display incomplete penetrance, and heterogeneous cosegregation patterns with IGE. SIGNIFICANCE: Rare deletions affecting the untranslated 5'-terminal RBFOX1 exons increase risk of common IGE syndromes. Variable expressivity, incomplete penetrance, and heterogeneous cosegregation patterns suggest that RBFOX1 deletions act as susceptibility factor in a genetically complex etiology, where heterogeneous combinations of genetic factors determine the disease phenotype.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies reported mutations in the gene encoding the proline-rich transmembrane protein 2 (PRRT2) to be causative for paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD), PKD combined with infantile seizures (ICCA), and benign familial infantile seizures (BFIS). PRRT2 is a presynaptic protein which seems to play an important role in exocytosis and neurotransmitter release. PKD is the most common form of paroxysmal movement disorder characterized by recurrent brief involuntary hyperkinesias triggered by sudden movements. Here, we sequenced PRRT2 in 14 sporadic and 8 familial PKD and ICCA cases of Caucasian origin and identified three novel mutations (c.919C>T/p.Gln307*, c.388delG/p.Ala130Profs*46, c.884G>A/p.Arg295Gln) predicting two truncated proteins and one probably damaging point mutation. A review of all published cases is also included. PRRT2 mutations occur more frequently in familial forms of PRRT2-related syndromes (80-100 %) than in sporadic cases (33-46 %) suggesting further heterogeneity in the latter. PRRT2 mutations were rarely described in other forms of paroxysmal dyskinesias deviating from classical PKD, as we report here in one ICCA family without kinesigenic triggers. Mutations are exclusively found in two exons of the PRRT2 gene at a high rate across all syndromes and with one major mutation (c.649dupC) in a mutational hotspot of nine cytosines, which is responsible for 57 % of all cases in all phenotypes. We therefore propose that genetic analysis rapidly performed in early stages of the disease is highly cost-effective and can help to avoid further unnecessary diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
Journal of Neurology 01/2013; 260(5). DOI:10.1007/s00415-012-6777-y · 3.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic generalized epilepsies (GGEs) have a lifetime prevalence of 0.3% and account for 20-30% of all epilepsies. Despite their high heritability of 80%, the genetic factors predisposing to GGEs remain elusive. To identify susceptibility variants shared across common GGE syndromes, we carried out a two-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) including 3020 patients with GGEs and 3954 controls of European ancestry. To dissect out syndrome-related variants, we also explored two distinct GGE subgroups comprising 1434 patients with genetic absence epilepsies (GAEs) and 1134 patients with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME). Joint Stage-1 and 2 analyses revealed genome-wide significant associations for GGEs at 2p16.1 (rs13026414, P(meta) = 2.5 × 10(-9), OR[T] = 0.81) and 17q21.32 (rs72823592, P(meta) = 9.3 × 10(-9), OR[A] = 0.77). The search for syndrome-related susceptibility alleles identified significant associations for GAEs at 2q22.3 (rs10496964, P(meta) = 9.1 × 10(-9), OR[T] = 0.68) and at 1q43 for JME (rs12059546, P(meta) = 4.1 × 10(-8), OR[G] = 1.42). Suggestive evidence for an association with GGEs was found in the region 2q24.3 (rs11890028, P(meta) = 4.0 × 10(-6)) nearby the SCN1A gene, which is currently the gene with the largest number of known epilepsy-related mutations. The associated regions harbor high-ranking candidate genes: CHRM3 at 1q43, VRK2 at 2p16.1, ZEB2 at 2q22.3, SCN1A at 2q24.3 and PNPO at 17q21.32. Further replication efforts are necessary to elucidate whether these positional candidate genes contribute to the heritability of the common GGE syndromes.
Human Molecular Genetics 09/2012; 21(24). DOI:10.1093/hmg/dds373 · 6.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epilepsies have a highly heterogeneous background with a strong genetic contribution. The variety of unspecific and overlapping syndromic and nonsyndromic phenotypes often hampers a clear clinical diagnosis and prevents straightforward genetic testing. Knowing the genetic basis of a patient's epilepsy can be valuable not only for diagnosis but also for guiding treatment and estimating recurrence risks.
To overcome these diagnostic restrictions, we composed a panel of genes for Next Generation Sequencing containing the most relevant epilepsy genes and covering the most relevant epilepsy phenotypes known so far. With this method, 265 genes were analyzed per patient in a single step. We evaluated this panel on a pilot cohort of 33 index patients with concise epilepsy phenotypes or with a severe but unspecific seizure disorder covering both sporadic and familial cases.
We identified presumed disease-causing mutations in 16 of 33 patients comprising sequence alterations in frequently as well as in less commonly affected genes. The detected aberrations encompassed known and unknown point mutations (SCN1A p.R222X, p. E289V, p.379R, p.R393H; SCN2A p.V208E; STXBP1 p.R122X; KCNJ10 p.L68P, p.I129V; KCTD7 p.L108M; KCNQ3 p.P574S; ARHGEF9 p.R290H; SMS p.F58L; TPP1 p.Q278R, p.Q422H; MFSD8 p.T294K), a putative splice site mutation (SCN1A c.693A> p.T/P231P) and small deletions (SCN1A p.F1330Lfs3X [1 bp]; MFSD8 p.A138Dfs10X [7 bp]). All mutations have been confirmed by conventional Sanger sequencing and, where possible, validated by parental testing and segregation analysis. In three patients with either Dravet syndrome or myoclonic epilepsy, we detected SCN1A mutations (p.R222X, p.P231P, p.R393H), even though other laboratories had previously excluded aberrations of this gene by Sanger sequencing or high-resolution melting analysis.
We have developed a fast and cost-efficient diagnostic screening method to analyze the genetic basis of epilepsies. We were able to detect mutations in patients with clear and with unspecific epilepsy phenotypes, to uncover the genetic basis of many so far unresolved cases with epilepsy including mutation detection in cases in which previous conventional methods yielded falsely negative results. Our approach thus proved to be a powerful diagnostic tool that may contribute to collecting information on both common and unknown epileptic disorders and in delineating associated phenotypes of less frequently mutated genes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic generalized epilepsies (GGEs) have a lifetime prevalence of 0.3% with heritability estimates of 80%. A considerable proportion of families with siblings affected by GGEs presumably display an oligogenic inheritance. The present genome-wide linkage meta-analysis aimed to map: (1) susceptibility loci shared by a broad spectrum of GGEs, and (2) seizure type-related genetic factors preferentially predisposing to either typical absence or myoclonic seizures, respectively.
Meta-analysis of three genome-wide linkage datasets was carried out in 379 GGE-multiplex families of European ancestry including 982 relatives with GGEs. To dissect out seizure type-related susceptibility genes, two family subgroups were stratified comprising 235 families with predominantly genetic absence epilepsies (GAEs) and 118 families with an aggregation of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME). To map shared and seizure type-related susceptibility loci, both nonparametric loci (NPL) and parametric linkage analyses were performed for a broad trait model (GGEs) in the entire set of GGE-multiplex families and a narrow trait model (typical absence or myoclonic seizures) in the subgroups of JME and GAE families.
For the entire set of 379 GGE-multiplex families, linkage analysis revealed six loci achieving suggestive evidence for linkage at 1p36.22, 3p14.2, 5q34, 13q12.12, 13q31.3, and 19q13.42. The linkage finding at 5q34 was consistently supported by both NPL and parametric linkage results across all three family groups. A genome-wide significant nonparametric logarithm of odds score of 3.43 was obtained at 2q34 in 118 JME families. Significant parametric linkage to 13q31.3 was found in 235 GAE families assuming recessive inheritance (heterogeneity logarithm of odds = 5.02).
Our linkage results support an oligogenic predisposition of familial GGE syndromes. The genetic risk factor at 5q34 confers risk to a broad spectrum of familial GGE syndromes, whereas susceptibility loci at 2q34 and 13q31.3 preferentially predispose to myoclonic seizures or absence seizures, respectively. Phenotype- genotype strategies applying narrow trait definitions in phenotypic homogeneous subgroups of families improve the prospects of disentangling the genetic basis of common familial GGE syndromes.