FA2H-related disorders: a novel c.270+3A>T splice-site mutation leads to a complex neurodegenerative phenotype

Caterina Garone, Tommaso Pippucci, Duccio M Cordelli, Roberta Zuntini, Giovanni Castegnaro, Caterina Marconi, Claudio Graziano, Valentina Marchiani, Alberto Verrotti, Marco Seri, Emilio Franzoni
Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 2011, 53 (10): 958-61
Homozygous mutations in the gene for fatty acid 2-hydroxylase (FA2H) have been associated in humans with three neurodegenerative disorders: complicated spastic paraplegia (SPG35), leukodystrophy with spastic paraparesis and dystonia, and neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation. Here, we describe a novel homozygous c.270+3A>T mutation in an Italian consanguineous family. In two affected brothers (age at molecular diagnosis 22y and 15y; age at last follow-up 24y and 17y), altered FA2H function led to a severe phenotype, with clinical features overlapping those of the three FA2H-associated disorders. Both patients showed childhood onset progressive spastic paraparesis, mild pyramidal and cerebellar upper limb signs, severe cognitive impairment, white-matter disease, and cerebellar, brainstem, and spinal cord atrophy. However, absence of dystonia, drowsiness episodes, and a subtle globus pallidus involvement suggested that FA2H mutations result in a clinical spectrum, rather than causing distinct disorders. Although clinical heterogeneity is apparent, larger numbers of patients are needed to establish more accurate genotype-phenotype correlations.

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