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1.  A novel syndrome of lethal familial hyperekplexia associated with brain malformation 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:125.
Hyperekplexia (HPX) is a rare non-epileptic disorder manifesting immediately after birth with exaggerated persistent startle reaction to unexpected auditory, somatosensory and visual stimuli, and non-habituating generalized flexor spasm in response to tapping of the nasal bridge (glabellar tap) which forms its clinical hallmark. The course of the disease is usually benign with spontaneous amelioration with age. The disorder results from aberrant glycinergic neurotransmission, and several mutations were reported in the genes encoding glycine receptor (GlyR) α1 and β subunits, glycine transporter GlyT2 as well as two other proteins involved in glycinergic neurotransmission gephyrin and collybistin.
The phenotype of six newborns, belonging to Saudi Arabian kindred with close consanguineous marriages, who presented with hyperekplexia associated with severe brain malformation, is described. DNA samples were available from two patients, and homozygosity scan to determine overlap with known hyperkplexia genes was performed.
The kindred consisted of two brothers married to their cousin sisters, each with three affected children who presented antenatally with excessive fetal movements. Postnatally, they were found to have microcephaly, severe hyperekplexia and gross brain malformation characterized by severe simplified gyral pattern and cerebellar underdevelopment. The EEG was normal and they responded to clonazepam. All of the six patients died within six weeks. Laboratory investigations, including metabolic screen, were unremarkable. None of the known hyperkplexia genes were present within the overlapping regions of homozygosity between the two patients for whom DNA samples were available.
We present these cases as a novel syndrome of lethal familial autosomal recessive hyperekplexia associated with microcephaly and severe brain malformation.
PMCID: PMC3488335  PMID: 23101555
Hyperekplexia; Microcephaly; Simplified gyral pattern; Cerebellar underdevelopment; Autosomal recessive
2.  Evaluation of Cytotoxic Potential of Newly Synthesized Antiviral Aminopyrazoloquinoline Derivatives 
In the present study, we screened newly synthesized antiviral aminopyrazoloquinoline derivatives for cytotoxic potential in human normal and breast cancer cell lines using apoptosis as biomarker. These derivatives and the well known antiviral drug, acyclovir, were incubated with the normal (MCF-10A, MCF-12A) and cancer (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231) cell lines at 10, 50 and 100 μM for 72 h at 37°C. Both the parent compounds and their sugar derivatives were found to be differentially cytotoxic in various cell lines. MCF-7 cells were more or less completely resistant to all these compounds while MDA-MB-231 cells were significantly killed by apoptosis. The methoxy derivative of aminopyrazoloquinoline (compound 3) was found to be the most cytotoxic in the normal breast epithelial cell lines (MCF-10A and MCF-12A) and MDA-MB-231 cell lines at 100 μM killing over 90% of the cells with up to 80% apoptosis. Interestingly MCF-7 cells showed only up to 50% killing at 100 μM dose with less than 20% apoptosis. Acyclovir did not cause any cytotoxicity, apoptosis or cell cycle arrest in any of the cells lines at the doses tested. Our results suggest that the newly synthesized antiviral compounds have an associated risk of being cytotoxic compared to the acyclovir.
PMCID: PMC3614685  PMID: 23675043
aminopyrazoloquinoline; apoptosis; DNA damage; MCF-7; MDA-MB-231; MCF-12; MCF-10A

Results 1-2 (2)