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Homozygous Missense Variant in the N-Terminal Region of ANK3 Gene Is Associated with Developmental Delay, Seizures, Speech Abnormality, and Aggressive Behavior.

Molecular Syndromology 2023 Februrary
INTRODUCTION: Intellectual disability (ID) is a lifelong disability that affects an individual‧s learning capacity and adaptive behavior. Such individuals depend on their families for day-to-day survival and pose a significant challenge to the healthcare system, especially in developing countries. ID is a heterogeneous condition, and genetic studies are essential to unravel the underlying cellular pathway for brain development and functioning.

METHODS: Here we studied a female index patient, born to a consanguineous Pakistani couple, showing clinical symptoms of ID, ataxia, hypotonia, developmental delay, seizures, speech abnormality, and aggressive behavior. Whole exome sequencing (WES) coupled with Sanger sequencing was performed for molecular diagnosis. Further, 3D protein modeling was performed to see the effect of variant on protein structure.

RESULTS: WES identified a novel homozygous missense variant (c.178T>C; p.Tyr60His) in the ANK3 gene. In silico analysis and 3-dimensional (3D) protein modeling supports the deleterious impact of this variant on the encoding protein, which compromises the protein‧s overall structure and function.

CONCLUSION: Our finding supports the clinical and genetic diversity of the ANK3 gene as a plausible candidate gene for ID syndrome. Intelligence is a complex polygenic human trait, and understanding molecular and biological pathways involved in learning and memory can solve the complex puzzle of how cognition develops. Intellectual disability (ID) is defined as a deficit in an individual‧s learning and adaptive behavior at an early age of onset [American Psychiatric Association, 2013]. It is one of the major medical, and cognitive disorders with a prevalence of 1-3% in the population worldwide [Leonard and Wen, 2002]. ID often exists with other disabling mental conditions such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression. Almost half of the cases appear to have a genetic explanation that ranges from cytogenetically visible abnormalities to monogenic defects [Flint, 2001; Ropers, 2010; Tucker-Drob et al., 2013]. Intellectual disability is a genetically heterogeneous condition, and more than 700 genes have been identified to cause ID alone or as a part of the syndrome. Research in X-linked ID has identified more than 100 disease-causing genes on the X chromosome that play a role in cognition; however, research into autosomal causes of ID is still ongoing [Vissers et al., 2016].

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