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1.  Targeted genomic sequencing identifies PRRT2 mutations as a cause of paroxysmal kinesigenic choreoathetosis 
Journal of Medical Genetics  2011;49(2):76-78.
Paroxysmal kinesigenic choreoathetosis (PKC) is characterised by recurrent and brief attacks of involuntary movement, inherited as an autosomal dominant trait with incomplete penetrance. A PKC locus has been previously mapped to the pericentromeric region of chromosome 16 (16p11.2-q12.1), but the causative gene remains unidentified.
Deep sequencing of this 30 Mb region enriched with array capture in five affected individuals from four Chinese PKC families detected two heterozygous PRRT2 insertions (c.369dupG and c.649dupC), producing frameshifts and premature stop codons (p.S124VfsX10 and p.R217PfsX8, respectively) in two different families. Sanger sequencing confirmed these two mutations and revealed a missense PRRT2 mutation (c.859G→A, p.A287T) in one of the two remaining families. This study also sequenced PRRT2 in 29 sporadic cases affected with PKC and identified mutations in 10 cases, including six with the c.649dupC mutation. Most variants were truncating mutations, consistent with loss-of-function and haploinsufficiency.
The present study identifies PRRT2 as the gene mutated in a subset of PKC, and suggests that PKC is genetically heterogeneous.
PMCID: PMC3261727  PMID: 22131361
Paroxysmal kinesigenic choreoathetosis; targeted genomic sequencing; PRRT2 mutations; mutations; complex traits; epilepsy and seizures; clinical genetics; molecular genetics; movement disorders (other than parkinsons); neurosciences; nutrition and metabolism; genetics; oncology; liver disease; cancer: gastric; linkage
2.  Clinical Manifestations in Paroxysmal Kinesigenic Dyskinesia Patients with Proline-Rich Transmembrane Protein 2 Gene Mutation 
Background and Purpose
Given the diverse phenotypes including combined non-dyskinetic symptoms in patients harboring mutations of the gene encoding proline-rich transmembrane protein 2 (PRRT2), the clinical significance of these mutations in paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD) is questionable. In this study, we investigated the clinical characteristics of PKD patients with PRRT2 mutations.
Familial and sporadic PKD patients were enrolled and PRRT2 gene sequencing was performed. Demographic and clinical data were compared between PKD patients with and without a PRRT2 mutation.
Among the enrolled PKD patients (8 patients from 5 PKD families and 19 sporadic patients), PRRT2 mutations were detected in 3 PKD families (60%) and 2 sporadic cases (10.5%). All familial patients with a PRRT2 gene mutation had the c.649dupC mutation, which is the most commonly reported mutation. Two uncommon mutations (c.649delC and c.629dupC) were detected only in the sporadic cases. PKD patients with PRRT2 mutation were younger at symptom onset and had more non-dyskinetic symptoms than those without PRRT2 mutation. However, the characteristics of dyskinetic movement did not differ between the two groups.
This is the first study of PRRT2 mutations in Korea. The presence of a PRRT2 mutation was more strongly related to familial PKD, and was clinically related with earlier age of onset and common non-dyskinetic symptoms in PKD patients.
PMCID: PMC3896649  PMID: 24465263
paroxysmal dyskinesia; paroxysmal; dyskinesia; chorea; dystonia; PRRT2
3.  Identification of PRRT2 as the causative gene of paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias 
Brain  2011;134(12):3490-3498.
Paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias is a paroxysmal movement disorder characterized by recurrent, brief attacks of abnormal involuntary movements induced by sudden voluntary movements. Although several loci, including the pericentromeric region of chromosome 16, have been linked to paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias, the causative gene has not yet been identified. Here, we identified proline-rich transmembrane protein 2 (PRRT2) as a causative gene of paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias by using a combination of exome sequencing and linkage analysis. Genetic linkage mapping with 11 markers that encompassed the pericentromeric of chromosome 16 was performed in 27 members of two families with autosomal dominant paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias. Then, the whole-exome sequencing was performed in three patients from these two families. By combining the defined linkage region (16p12.1–q12.1) and the results of exome sequencing, we identified an insertion mutation c.649_650InsC (p.P217fsX7) in one family and a nonsense mutation c.487C>T (p.Q163X) in another family. To confirm our findings, we sequenced the exons and flanking introns of PRRT2 in another three families with paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias. The c.649_650InsC (p.P217fsX7) mutation was identified in two of these families, whereas a missense mutation, c.796C>T (R266W), was identified in another family with paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias. All of these mutations completely co-segregated with the phenotype in each family. None of these mutations was identified in 500 normal unaffected individuals of matched geographical ancestry. Thus, we have identified PRRT2 as the first causative gene of paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias, warranting further investigations to understand the pathogenesis of this disorder.
PMCID: PMC3235563  PMID: 22120146
proline-rich transmembrane protein 2; paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias; whole-exome sequencing; linkage analysis
4.  Phenotypes and PRRT2 mutations in Chinese families with benign familial infantile epilepsy and infantile convulsions with paroxysmal choreoathetosis 
BMC Neurology  2013;13:209.
Mutations in the PRRT2 gene have been identified as the major cause of benign familial infantile epilepsy (BFIE), paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD) and infantile convulsions with paroxysmal choreoathetosis/dyskinesias (ICCA). Here, we analyzed the phenotypes and PRRT2 mutations in Chinese families with BFIE and ICCA.
Clinical data were collected from 22 families with BFIE and eight families with ICCA. PRRT2 mutations were screened using PCR and direct sequencing.
Ninety-five family members were clinically affected in the 22 BFIE families. During follow-up, two probands had one seizure induced by diarrhea at the age of two years. Thirty-one family members were affected in the eight ICCA families, including 11 individuals with benign infantile epilepsy, nine with PKD, and 11 with benign infantile epilepsy followed by PKD. Two individuals in one ICCA family had PKD or ICCA co-existing with migraine. One affected member in another ICCA family had experienced a fever-induced seizure at 7 years old. PRRT2 mutations were detected in 13 of the 22 BFIE families. The mutation c.649_650insC (p.R217PfsX8) was found in nine families. The mutations c.649delC (p.R217EfsX12) and c.904_905insG (p.D302GfsX39) were identified in three families and one family, respectively. PRRT2 mutations were identified in all eight ICCA families, including c.649_650insC (p.R217PfsX8), c.649delC (p.R217EfsX12), c.514_517delTCTG (p.S172RfsX3) and c.1023A > T (X341C). c.1023A > T is a novel mutation predicted to elongate the C-terminus of the protein by 28 residues.
Our data demonstrated that PRRT2 is the major causative gene of BFIE and ICCA in Chinese families. Site c.649 is a mutation hotspot: c.649_650insC is the most common mutation, and c.649delC is the second most common mutation in Chinese families with BFIE and ICCA. As far as we know, c.1023A > T is the first reported mutation in exon 4 of PRRT2. c.649delC was previously reported in PKD, ICCA and hemiplegic migraine families, but we further detected it in BFIE-only families. c.904_905insG was reported in an ICCA family, but we identified it in a BFIE family. c.514_517delTCTG was previously reported in a PKD family, but we identified it in an ICCA family. Migraine and febrile seizures plus could co-exist in ICCA families.
PMCID: PMC3897939  PMID: 24370076
Benign familial infantile epilepsy; Infantile convulsions with paroxysmal choreoathetosis; Phenotype; PRRT2; Mutation
5.  PRRT2 phenotypic spectrum includes sporadic and fever-related infantile seizures 
Neurology  2012;79(21):2104-2108.
Benign familial infantile epilepsy (BFIE) is an autosomal dominant epilepsy syndrome characterized by afebrile seizures beginning at about 6 months of age. Mutations in PRRT2, encoding the proline-rich transmembrane protein 2 gene, have recently been identified in the majority of families with BFIE and the associated syndrome of infantile convulsions and choreoathetosis (ICCA). We asked whether the phenotypic spectrum of PRRT2 was broader than initially recognized by studying patients with sporadic benign infantile seizures and non-BFIE familial infantile seizures for PRRT2 mutations.
Forty-four probands with infantile-onset seizures, infantile convulsions with mild gastroenteritis, and benign neonatal seizures underwent detailed phenotyping and PRRT2 sequencing. The familial segregation of mutations identified in probands was studied.
The PRRT2 mutation c.649-650insC (p.R217fsX224) was identified in 11 probands. Nine probands had a family history of BFIE or ICCA. Two probands had no family history of infantile seizures or paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia and had de novo PRRT2 mutations. Febrile seizures with or without afebrile seizures were observed in 2 families with PRRT2 mutations.
PRRT2 mutations are present in >80% of BFIE and >90% ICCA families, but are not a common cause of other forms of infantile epilepsy. De novo mutations of PRRT2 can cause sporadic benign infantile seizures. Seizures with fever may occur in BFIE such that it may be difficult to distinguish BFIE from febrile seizures and febrile seizures plus in small families.
PMCID: PMC3511925  PMID: 23077018
6.  PRRT2 links infantile convulsions and paroxysmal dyskinesia with migraine 
Neurology  2012;79(21):2097-2103.
Whole genome sequencing and the screening of 103 families recently led us to identify PRRT2 (proline-rich-transmembrane protein) as the gene causing infantile convulsions (IC) with paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD) (PKD/IC syndrome, formerly ICCA). There is interfamilial and intrafamilial variability and the patients may have IC or PKD. Association of IC with hemiplegic migraine (HM) has also been reported. In order to explore the mutational and clinical spectra, we analyzed 34 additional families with either typical PKD/IC or PKD/IC with migraine.
We performed Sanger sequencing of all PRRT2 coding exons and of exon-intron boundaries in the probands and in their relatives whenever appropriate.
Two known and 2 novel PRRT2 mutations were detected in 18 families. The p.R217Pfs*8 recurrent mutation was found in ≈50% of typical PKD/IC, and the unreported p.R145Gfs*31 in one more typical family. PRRT2 mutations were also found in PKD/IC with migraine: p.R217Pfs*8 cosegregated with PKD associated with HM in one family, and was also detected in one IC patient having migraine with aura, in related PKD/IC familial patients having migraine without aura, and in one sporadic migraineur with abnormal MRI. Previously reported p.R240X was found in one patient with PKD with migraine without aura. The novel frameshift p.S248Afs*65 was identified in a PKD/IC family member with IC and migraine with aura.
We extend the spectrum of PRRT2 mutations and phenotypes to HM and to other types of migraine in the context of PKD/IC, and emphasize the phenotypic pleiotropy seen in patients with PRRT2 mutations.
PMCID: PMC3511924  PMID: 23077017
7.  PRRT2 mutations in familial infantile seizures, paroxysmal dyskinesia, and hemiplegic migraine 
Neurology  2012;79(21):2109-2114.
To perform a clinical and genetic study of a family with benign familial infantile seizures (BFIS) and, upon finding a PRRT2 gene mutation, to study a cohort of probands with a similar phenotype. We extended the study to all available family members to find out whether PRRT2 mutations cosegregated with additional symptoms.
We carried out a clinical and genealogic study of a 3-generation family and of 32 additional probands with BFIS (11 families), infantile convulsions and paroxysmal choreoathetosis (ICCA) (9 families), BFIS/generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (5 families), and sporadic benign neonatal or infantile seizures (7 probands/families). We performed a genetic study consisting of linkage analysis and PRRT2 screening of the 33 probands/families.
We obtained a positive linkage in the 16p11.3-q23.1 chromosomal region in the large BFIS family. Mutation analysis of PRRT2 gene revealed a c.649dupC (p.Arg217Profs*8) in all affected individuals. PRRT2 analysis of the 32 additional probands showed mutations in 10, 8 familial and 2 sporadic, probands. Overall we found PRRT2 mutations in 11 probands with a mutation rate of 11 out of 33 (33%). BFIS co-occurred with migraine and febrile seizures in 2 families, with childhood absence epilepsy in one family and with hemiplegic migraine in one family.
Our results confirm the predominant role of PRRT2 mutations in BFIS and expand the spectrum of PRRT2-associated phenotypes to include febrile seizures, childhood absence seizures, migraine, and hemiplegic migraine.
PMCID: PMC3511926  PMID: 23077026
8.  PRRT2 gene mutations 
Neurology  2012;79(21):2115-2121.
The proline-rich transmembrane protein (PRRT2) gene was recently identified using exome sequencing as the cause of autosomal dominant paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD) with or without infantile convulsions (IC) (PKD/IC syndrome). Episodic neurologic disorders, such as epilepsy, migraine, and paroxysmal movement disorders, often coexist and are thought to have a shared channel-related etiology. To investigate further the frequency, spectrum, and phenotype of PRRT2 mutations, we analyzed this gene in 3 large series of episodic neurologic disorders with PKD/IC, episodic ataxia (EA), and hemiplegic migraine (HM).
The PRRT2 gene was sequenced in 58 family probands/sporadic individuals with PKD/IC, 182 with EA, 128 with HM, and 475 UK and 96 Asian controls.
PRRT2 genetic mutations were identified in 28 out of 58 individuals with PKD/IC (48%), 1/182 individuals with EA, and 1/128 individuals with HM. A number of loss-of-function and coding missense mutations were identified; the most common mutation found was the p.R217Pfs*8 insertion. Males were more frequently affected than females (ratio 52:32). There was a high proportion of PRRT2 mutations found in families and sporadic cases with PKD associated with migraine or HM (10 out of 28). One family had EA with HM and another large family had typical HM alone.
This work expands the phenotype of mutations in the PRRT2 gene to include the frequent occurrence of migraine and HM with PKD/IC, and the association of mutations with EA and HM and with familial HM alone. We have also extended the PRRT2 mutation type and frequency in PKD and other episodic neurologic disorders.
PMCID: PMC3511930  PMID: 23077024
9.  PRRT2 Mutations in Paroxysmal Kinesigenic Dyskinesia with Infantile Convulsions in a Taiwanese Cohort 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e38543.
Mutations in the PRRT2 gene have recently been identified in patients with familial paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia with infantile convulsions (PKD/IC) and patients with sporadic PKD/IC from several ethnic groups. To extend these recent genetic reports, we investigated the frequency and identities of PRRT2 mutations in a cohort of Taiwanese patients with PKD/IC.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We screened all 3 coding exons of PRRT2 for mutations in 28 Taiwanese patients with PKD/IC. Among them, 13 had familial PKD/IC and 15 were apparently sporadic cases. In total, 7 disparate mutations were identified in 13 patients, including 8 familial cases and 5 apparently sporadic cases. The mutations were not present in 500 healthy controls. Four mutations were novel. One patient had a missense mutation and all other patients carried PRRT2 mutations putatively resulting in a protein truncation. Haplotype analysis revealed that 5 of the 7 patients with the PRRT2 p.R217Pfs*8 mutation shared the same haplotype linked to the mutation.
Conclusions and Significance
PRRT2 mutations account for 61.5% (8 out of 13) of familial PKD/IC and 33.3% (5 out of 15) of apparently sporadic PKD/IC in the Taiwanese cohort. Most patients with the PRRT2 p.R217Pfs*8 mutation in Taiwan likely descend from a single common ancestor. This study expands the spectrum of PKD/IC-associated PRRT2 mutations, highlights the pathogenic role of PRRT2 mutations in PKD/IC, and suggests genetic heterogeneity within idiopathic PKD.
PMCID: PMC3409860  PMID: 22870186
10.  Heterogeneous Pattern of Selective Pressure for PRRT2 in Human Populations, but No Association with Autism Spectrum Disorders 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e88600.
Inherited and de novo genomic imbalances at chromosome 16p11.2 are associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but the causative genes remain unknown. Among the genes located in this region, PRRT2 codes for a member of the synaptic SNARE complex that allows the release of synaptic vesicles. PRRT2 is a candidate gene for ASD since homozygote mutations are associated with intellectual disability and heterozygote mutations cause benign infantile seizures, paroxysmal dyskinesia, or hemiplegic migraine. Here, we explored the contribution of PRRT2 mutations in ASD by screening its coding part in a large sample of 1578 individuals including 431 individuals with ASD, 186 controls and 961 individuals from the human genome Diversity Panel. We detected 24 nonsynonymous variants, 1 frameshift (A217PfsX8) and 1 in-frame deletion of 6 bp (p.A361_P362del). The frameshift mutation was observed in a control with no history of neurological or psychiatric disorders. The p.A361_P362del was observed in two individuals with autism from sub-Saharan African origin. Overall, the frequency of PRRT2 deleterious variants was not different between individuals with ASD and controls. Remarkably, PRRT2 displays a highly significant excess of nonsynonymous (pN) vs synonymous (pS) mutations in Asia (pN/pS = 4.85) and Europe (pN/pS = 1.62) compared with Africa (pN/pS = 0.26; Asia vs Africa: P = 0.000087; Europe vs Africa P = 0.00035; Europe vs Asia P = P = 0.084). We also showed that whole genome amplification performed through rolling cycle amplification could artificially introduce the A217PfsX8 mutation indicating that this technology should not be performed prior to PRRT2 mutation screening. In summary, our results do not support a role for PRRT2 coding sequence variants in ASD, but provide an ascertainment of its genetic variability in worldwide populations that should help researchers and clinicians to better investigate the role of PRRT2 in human diseases.
PMCID: PMC3940422  PMID: 24594579
11.  Genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity in sporadic and familial forms of paroxysmal dyskinesia 
Journal of Neurology  2012;260(1):93-99.
Paroxysmal dyskinesia (PxD) is a group of movement disorders characterized by recurrent episodes of involuntary movements. Familial paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia (PKD) is caused by PRRT2 mutations, but a distinct etiology has been suggested for sporadic PKD. Here we describe a cohort of patients collected from our movement disorders outpatient clinic in the period 1996–2011. Fifteen patients with sporadic PxD and 23 subjects from three pedigrees with familial PKD were screened for mutations in candidate genes. PRRT2 mutations co-segregated with PKD in two families and occurred in two sporadic cases of PKD. No mutations were detected in patients with non-kinesigenic or exertion-induced dyskinesia, and none in other candidate genes including PNKD1 (MR-1) and SLC2A1 (GLUT1). Thus, PRRT2 mutations also cause sporadic PKD as might be expected given the variable expressivity and reduced penetrance observed in familial PKD. Further genetic heterogeneity is suggested by the absence of candidate gene mutations in both sporadic and familial PKD suggesting a contribution of other genes or non-coding regions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00415-012-6592-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3535363  PMID: 22752065
Paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia; Infantile convulsions and paroxysmal choreoathetosis; Benign familial neonatal convulsions; Migraine
12.  Mutations in the novel protein PRRT2 cause paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia with infantile convulsions 
Cell reports  2011;1(1):2-12.
Paroxysmal Kinesigenic Dyskinesia with Infantile Convulsions (PKD/IC) is an episodic movement disorder with autosomal dominant inheritance and high penetrance, but the causative gene is unknown. We have now identified four truncating mutations involving the PRRT2 gene in the vast majority (24/25) of well characterized families with PKD/IC. PRRT2 truncating mutations were also detected in 28 of 78 additional families. The PRRT2 gene encodes a proline-rich transmembrane protein of unknown function that has been reported to interact with the t-SNARE, SNAP25. PRRT2 localizes to axons but not to dendritic processes in primary neuronal culture and mutants associated with PKD/IC lead to dramatically reduced PRRT2 protein levels leading ultimately to neuronal hyperexcitability that manifests in vivo as PKD/IC.
PMCID: PMC3334308  PMID: 22543779
13.  Non-Parkinson movement disorders 
Neurology. Clinical Practice  2013;3(1):22-29.
Solutions to the major riddles in movement disorders are appearing at a breathtaking pace: 1) loss-of-function mutations in PRRT2, which encodes a cell surface protein expressed in neurons, have been found in many patients with paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias; 2) mutations in CIZ1, which encodes a protein involved in cell-cycle control at the G1-S checkpoint, have been identified in a small percentage of patients with cervical dystonia; and 3) finally, after many years of genetics and identification of more than 25 disease-associated genes, cellular studies related to the pathobiology of hereditary spastic paraplegia are converging on defects in modeling the endoplasmic reticulum and membrane trafficking. On the treatment front, the distinctive syndromes of faciobrachial dystonic seizures with anti-LRI1 antibodies and anti-N-methyl-d-aspartic acid encephalitis with orobuccolingual dyskinesias are becoming increasingly recognized by clinicians as imminently treatable conditions. Also on the treatment front, the first phase I trial of MRI-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound for essential tremor has been completed and intraoperative MRI is currently being used to place electrodes in the brains of patients with medically intractable dystonia. Definitive etiologies and efficacious treatments for non–Parkinson disease movement disorders are no longer wishful thinking.
PMCID: PMC3613216  PMID: 23634381
14.  A new family with paroxysmal exercise induced dystonia and migraine: a clinical and genetic study 
OBJECTIVE—To characterise the phenotype of a family with paroxysmal exercise induced dystonia (PED) and migraine and establish whether it is linked to the paroxysmal non-kinesigenic dyskinesia (PNKD) locus on chromosome 2q33-35, the familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) locus on chromosome 19p, or the familial infantile convulsions and paroxysmal choreoathetosis (ICCA syndrome) locus on chromosome 16.
METHODS—A family, comprising 30 members, was investigated. Fourteen family members in two generations including three spouses were examined. Haplotypes were reconstructed for all the available family members by typing several microsatellite markers spanning the PNKD, FHM, and ICCA loci. Additionally, the four exons containing the known FHM mutations were sequenced.
RESULTS—Of 14 members examined four were definitely affected and one member was affected by history. The transmission pattern in this family was autosomal dominant with reduced penetrance. Mean age of onset in affected members was 12 (range 9-15 years). Male to female ratio was 3:1. Attacks of PED in affected members were predominantly dystonic and lasted between 15 and 30 minutes. They were consistently precipitated by walking but could also occur after other exercise. Generalisation did not occur. Three of the affected members in the family also had migraine without aura. Linkage of the disease to the PNKD, FHM, or ICCA loci was excluded as no common haplotype was shared by all the affected members for each locus. In addition, direct DNA sequential analysis of the FHM gene (CACNL1A4) ruled out all known FHM point mutations.
CONCLUSIONS—This family presented with the classic phenotype of PED and is not linked to the PNKD, FHM, or ICCA loci. A new gene, possibly coding for an ion channel, is likely to be the underlying cause of the disease.

PMCID: PMC1736900  PMID: 10766892
15.  Increased ictal perfusion of the thalamus in paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia 
The ictal and interictal cerebral blood flow (CBF) were evaluated in a patient with right unilateral short lasting paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia, by means of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). The patient was a 6 year old boy with no family history. During an attack, increased CBF was seen in the left thalamus. Subtraction of interictal CBF from ictal CBF disclosed a prominent increase in CBF in the left posterolateral part of the thalamus. This finding suggests that abnormal hyperactivity of thalamic neurons could be responsible for the pathophysiology of paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia in this patient.

PMCID: PMC1737540  PMID: 11511723
16.  Clinical variants of idiopathic torsion dystonia. 
Some patients with dystonic movements and postures not known to be caused by environmental or degenerative disorders can be segregated from classical-appearing idiopathic torsion dystonia on the basis of distinctive clinical and pharmacologic features. Many of them should be considered within the family of dystonia, as clinical variants of idiopathic torsion dystonia, while others are better classified as being part of other families of dyskinesias. In the former group are paradoxical dystonia, myoclonic dystonia, diurnal dystonia, and dopa-responsive dystonia. The latter group consists of dystonic tics and the various entities comprising paroxysmal dystonia, namely kinesigenic, nonkinesigenic and hypnogenic dystonia.
PMCID: PMC1033313  PMID: 2666583
17.  Diagnosis and Treatment of Paroxysmal Dyskinesias Revisited 
Paroxysmal dyskinesias (PDs) are a rare group of hyperkinetic movement disorders mainly characterized by their episodic nature. Neurological examination may be entirely normal between the attacks. Three main types of PDs can be distinguished based on their precipitating events - (i) paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesias (PKD), (ii) paroxysmal non-kinesigenic dyskinesias (PNKD) and (iii) paroxysmal exercise-induced (exertion-induced) dyskinesias (PED). The diagnosis of PDs is based on their clinical presentation and precipitating events. Substantial progress has been made in the field of genetics and PDs. Treatment options mainly include anticonvulsants and benefit of treatment is depending on the type of PD. Most important differential diagnosis are non-epileptic psychogenic, non-epileptic organic and epileptic attack disorders, especially nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy.
PMCID: PMC3002546  PMID: 21180566
paroxysmal dyskinesia; paroxysmal kinesigenic dyskinesia; paroxysmal non-kinesigenic dyskinesia; paroxysmal exercise-induced (exertion-induced) dyskinesia; epilepsy
18.  Hereditary myokymia and paroxysmal ataxia linked to chromosome 12 is responsive to acetazolamide. 
A sixth family with autosomal dominantly inherited myokymia and paroxysmal ataxia is described. The syndrome in this family is linked to the recently discovered locus for inherited myokymia and paroxysmal ataxia on the human chromosome 12p, and a missense mutation is shown in the KCNA1 gene. The attacks of ataxia in this family compare well with those of previously described families and similarly are precipitated by kinesigenic stimuli, exertion, and startle. Responsiveness of these attacks to low dose acetazolamide is confirmed, but some loss of efficacy occurs with prolonged treatment, and side effects are notable. Although not all affected family members showed myokymia on clinical examination, electromyography invariably showed myokymic discharges, in one patient only after a short provocation with regional ischaemia. One affected family member also had attacks of paroxysmal kinesigenic choreoathetosis, responsive to carbamazepine.
PMCID: PMC486077  PMID: 7561920
19.  Role of Gα(olf) in familial and sporadic adult-onset primary dystonia 
Human Molecular Genetics  2013;22(12):2510-2519.
The vast majority of patients with primary dystonia are adults with focal or segmental distribution of involuntary movements. Although ∼10% of probands have at least one first- or second-degree relative to dystonia, large families suited for linkage analysis are exceptional. After excluding mutations in known primary dystonia genes (TOR1A, THAP1 and CIZ1), whole-exome sequencing identified a GNAL missense mutation (c.682G>T, p.V228F) in an African-American pedigree with clinical phenotypes that include cervical, laryngeal and hand-forearm dystonia. Screening of 760 subjects with familial and sporadic primary dystonia identified three Caucasian pedigrees with GNAL mutations [c.591dupA (p.R198Tfs*13); c.733C>T (p.R245*); and c.3G>A (p.M1?)]. These mutations show incomplete penetrance. Our findings corroborate those of a recent study which used whole-exome sequencing to identify missense and nonsense GNAL mutations in Caucasian pedigrees of mixed European ancestry with mainly adult-onset cervical and segmental dystonia. GNAL encodes guanine nucleotide-binding protein G(olf), subunit alpha [Gα(olf)]. Gα(olf) plays a role in olfaction, coupling D1 and A2a receptors to adenylyl cyclase, and histone H3 phosphorylation. African-American subjects harboring the p.V228F mutation exhibited microsmia. Lymphoblastoid cell lines from subjects with the p.V228F mutation showed upregulation of genes involved in cell cycle control and development. Consistent with known sites of network pathology in dystonia, immunohistochemical studies indicated that Gα(olf) is highly expressed in the striatum and cerebellar Purkinje cells, and co-localized with corticotropin-releasing hormone receptors in the latter.
PMCID: PMC3658169  PMID: 23449625
20.  Comparison of mutation findings in ZIC2 between microform and classical holoprosencephaly in a Brazilian cohort 
Holoprosencephaly is the most frequent congenital malformation of the forebrain in humans. It is anatomically classified by the relative degree of abnormal formation and separation of the developing midline central nervous system. Mutations of ZIC2 are the second most common heterozygous variations detected in holoprosencephaly (HPE) patients. Mutations in most known HPE genes typically result in variable phenotypes that range from classical alobar HPE to microforms represented by hypotelorism, solitary central maxillary incisor (SCMI), cleft lip/palate, among others. Here we explore the molecular diagnostic yield of ZIC2 testing in subjects seen at a Brazilian craniofacial center (subjects with or without brain findings) and compare our results with other centers.
We used Sanger bidirectional DNA sequencing in a cohort of 105 Brazilian patients within the clinical spectrum of HPE, including classical and microform groups. We also illustrate the use of capillary array genotyping of a common histidine tract expansion c.716_718dup (p.His239dup) on our cases and over 500 control individuals to document a wide extent of population variation.
We detected a total of five variants in the ZIC2 gene: an unusually common histidine tract expansion c.716_718dup (p.His239dup), a rare c.1377_1391del_homozygous (p.Ala466_470del, or Ala 15 to 10 contraction), a novel intronic c.1239+18G>A variant, a novel frameshift c.1215dupC (p.Ser406Glnfs*11), and a c.1401_1406dup (p.Ala469_470dup, or alanine tract expansion to 17 residues).
From these patients, we concluded that only the latter two mutations found in classical HPE are likely medically significant. In contrast, variants detected in the microform group are not likely pathogenic. In particular, we confirm that the extremely common histidine tract expansion is indeed a polymorphic alteration which demonstrates considerable differences in allele frequencies across different ethnic groups. Therefore, careful population studies of rare variants can improve genotype-phenotype correlations when used in conjunction with ethnically matched controls.
PMCID: PMC3501551  PMID: 22847929
ZIC2; mutation; alanine tract expansion or contraction; poly-histidine tract expansion; holoprosencephaly; polymorphism
21.  A Novel Mutation in LEPRE1 That Eliminates Only the KDEL ER- Retrieval Sequence Causes Non-Lethal Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36809.
Prolyl 3-hydroxylase 1 (P3H1), encoded by the LEPRE1 gene, forms a molecular complex with cartilage-associated protein (CRTAP) and cyclophilin B (encoded by PPIB) in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This complex is responsible for one step in collagen post-translational modification, the prolyl 3-hydroxylation of specific proline residues, specifically α1(I) Pro986. P3H1 provides the enzymatic activity of the complex and has a Lys-Asp-Glu-Leu (KDEL) ER-retrieval sequence at the carboxyl terminus. Loss of function mutations in LEPRE1 lead to the Pro986 residue remaining unmodified and lead to slow folding and excessive helical post-translational modification of type I collagen, which is seen in both dominant and recessive osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). Here, we present the case of siblings with non-lethal OI due to novel compound heterozygous mutations in LEPRE1 (c.484delG and c.2155dupC). The results of RNA analysis and real-time PCR suggest that mRNA with c.2155dupC escapes from nonsense-mediated RNA decay. Without the KDEL ER- retrieval sequence, the product of the c.2155dupC variant cannot be retained in the ER. This is the first report of a mutation in LEPRE1 that eliminates only the KDEL ER-retrieval sequence, whereas other functional domains remain intact. Our study shows, for the first time, that the KDEL ER- retrieval sequence is essential for P3H1 functionality and that a defect in KDEL is sufficient for disease onset.
PMCID: PMC3352923  PMID: 22615817
22.  Myasthenic syndrome caused by plectinopathy 
Neurology  2011;76(4):327-336.
Plectin crosslinks intermediate filaments to their targets in different tissues. Defects in plectin cause epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), muscular dystrophy (MD), and sometimes pyloric atresia. Association of EBS with a myasthenic syndrome (MyS) was documented in a single patient in 1999.
To analyze the clinical, structural, and genetic aspects of a second and fatal case of EBS associated with a MyS and search for the genetic basis of the disease in a previously reported patient with EBS-MD-MyS.
Clinical observations; histochemical, immunocytochemical, and electron microscopy studies of skeletal muscle and neuromuscular junction; and mutation analysis.
An African American man had EBS since early infancy, and progressive muscle weakness, hyperCKemia, and myasthenic symptoms refractory to therapy since age 3 years. Eventually he became motionless and died at age 42 years. At age 15 years, he had a marked EMG decrement, and a reduced miniature endplate potential amplitude. The myopathy was associated with dislocated muscle fiber organelles, structurally abnormal nuclei, focal plasmalemmal defects, and focal calcium ingress into muscle fibers. The neuromuscular junctions showed destruction of the junctional folds, and remodeling. Mutation analysis demonstrated a known p.Arg2319X and a novel c.12043dupG mutation in PLEC1. The EBS-MD-MyS patient reported in 1999 also carried c.12043dupG and a novel p.Gln2057X mutation. The novel mutations were absent in 200 Caucasian and 100 African American subjects.
The MyS in plectinopathy is attributed to destruction of the junctional folds and the myopathy to defective anchoring of muscle fiber organelles and defects in sarcolemmal integrity.
PMCID: PMC3034415  PMID: 21263134
23.  FOXL2 mutations in Chinese patients with blepharophimosis-ptosis-epicanthus inversus syndrome 
Molecular Vision  2007;13:108-113.
Blepharophimosis-ptosis-epicanthus inversus syndrome (BPES) is an autosomal dominant disorder where eyelid malformation associated with (type I) or without (type II) premature ovarian failure (POF). It is ascribed to mutations in the forkhead transcriptional factor2 (FOXL2) gene. The purpose of this study is to identify mutations in FOXL2 of Chinese patients with BPES.
Genomic DNA was prepared from leucocytes of peripheral venous blood. The coding regions and nearby intron sequences of FOXL2 were analyzed by cycle and cloning sequencing.
Four mutations in FOXL2 were identified in six families, including c.241T>C, c.650C>G, c.804dupC, and c.672_701dup. Of the four, the c.241T>C and c.650C>G were novel and would result in missense changes of the encoded proteins, i.e., p.Tyr81His and p.Ser217Cys, respectively. The c.672_701dup (p.Ala224_Ala234dup) was detected in three families, indicating a mutation hotspot. The c.804dupC (p.Gly269ArgfsX265) mutation was found in one family.
Our results expand the spectrum of FOXL2 mutations and confirm the mutation hotspot in FOXL2.
PMCID: PMC2533039  PMID: 17277738
24.  Mutations in PNKD causing paroxysmal dyskinesia alters protein cleavage and stability 
Human Molecular Genetics  2011;20(12):2322-2332.
Paroxysmal non-kinesigenic dyskinesia (PNKD) is a rare autosomal dominant movement disorder triggered by stress, fatigue or consumption of either alcohol or caffeine. Attacks last 1–4 h and consist of dramatic dystonia and choreoathetosis in the limbs, trunk and face. The disease is associated with single amino acid changes (A7V or A9V) in PNKD, a protein of unknown function. Here we studied the stability, cellular localization and enzymatic activity of the PNKD protein in cultured cells and transgenic animals. The N-terminus of the wild-type (WT) long PNKD isoform (PNKD-L) undergoes a cleavage event in vitro, resistance to which is conferred by disease-associated mutations. Mutant PNKD-L protein is degraded faster than the WT protein. These results suggest that the disease mutations underlying PNKD may disrupt protein processing in vivo, a hypothesis supported by our observation of decreased cortical Pnkd-L levels in mutant transgenic mice. Pnkd is homologous to a superfamily of enzymes with conserved β-lactamase domains. It shares highest homology with glyoxalase II but does not catalyze the same reaction. Lower glutathione levels were found in cortex lysates from Pnkd knockout mice versus WT littermates. Taken together, our results suggest an important role for the Pnkd protein in maintaining cellular redox status.
PMCID: PMC3098736  PMID: 21487022
25.  Mutational analysis of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer families from Asturias (Northern Spain) 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:243.
The prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in Spain is heterogeneous and varies according to geographical origin of studied families. The contribution of these mutations to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer has not been previously investigated in Asturian populations (Northern Spain).
In the present work, 256 unrelated high-risk probands with breast and/or ovarian cancer from families living in Asturias were analyzed for the presence of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation from October 2007 to May 2012. The entire coding sequences and each intron/exon boundaries of BRCA1/2 genes were screened both by direct sequencing and Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA).
A total of 59 families (23%) were found to carry a pathogenic germ line mutation, 39 in BRCA1 and 20 in BRCA2. Twenty nine additional families (12%) carried an unknown significance variant. We detected 28 distinct pathogenic mutations (16 in BRCA1 and 12 in BRCA2), of which 3 mutations in BRCA1 (c.1674delA, c.1965C>A and c.2900_2901dupCT) and 5 in BRCA2 (c.262_263delCT, c.2095C>T, c.3263dupC, c.4030_4035delinsC, c.8042_8043delCA) had not been previously described.
The novel mutations c.2900_2901dupCT in BRCA1 and c.4030_4035delinsC in BRCA2 occurred in 8 and 6 families respectively and clustered in two separated small geographically isolated areas suggesting a founder effect. These 2 mutations, together with the Galician BRCA1 mutation c.211A>G (9 families), and the common BRCA1 mutation c.3331_3334delCAAG (6 families), account for approximately 50% of all affected families. By contrast, very frequent mutations in other Spanish series such as the BRCA1 Ashkenazi founder mutation c.68_69delAG, was found in only one family.
In this study we report the BRCA1 and BRCA2 spectrum of mutations and their geographical distribution in Asturias, which largely differ from other areas of Spain. Our findings may help design a first step recurrent mutation panel for screening high-risk breast and/or ovarian cancer families from this specific area.
PMCID: PMC3662577  PMID: 23683081
Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer; BRCA1; BRCA2; Recurrent mutations; Asturian population

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