Compound heterozygous mutations in SNAP29 is associated with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disorder (PMLD)
Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disease (PMLD) is an autosomal recessive hypomyelinating leukodystrophy, which is clinically and radiologically similar to X-linked Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD). PMLD is characterized by early-onset nystagmus, delayed development (motor delay, speech delay and dysarthria), dystonia, hypotonia typically evolving into spasticity, ataxia, seizures, optic atrophy, and diffuse leukodystrophy on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We identified a 12-year-old Caucasian/Hispanic male with the classical clinical characteristics of PMLD with lack of myelination of the subcortical white matter, and absence of the splenium of corpus callosum. Exome sequencing in the trio revealed novel compound heterozygous pathogenic mutations in SNAP29 (p.Leu119AlafsX15, c.354DupG and p.0?, c.2T > C). Quantitative analysis of the patient’s blood cells through RNA sequencing identified a significant decrease in SNAP29 mRNA expression, while western blot analysis on fibroblast cells revealed a lack of protein expression compared to parental and control cells. Mutations in SNAP29 have previously been associated with cerebral dysgenesis, neuropathy, ichthyosis, and keratoderma (CEDNIK) syndrome. Typical skin features described in CEDNIK syndrome, such as generalized ichthyosis and keratoderma, were absent in our patient. Moreover, the early onset nystagmus and leukodystrophy were consistent with a PMLD diagnosis. These findings suggest that loss of SNAP29 function, which was previously associated with CEDNIK syndrome, is also associated with PMLD. Overall, our study expands the genetic spectrum of PMLD.
The authors thank the family for participating in this study and all the previous members of the C4RCD research group not included in the author list.
This work was supported by the TGen Foundation funding to Center for Rare Childhood Disorders (C4RCD).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no competing interests to disclose.
Written informed consent for publication of clinical details and clinical images was obtained from the legally authorized representative and the patient’s family. The study protocol and consent procedure was approved by the Western Institutional Review Board (WIRB; study number 20120789).
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