Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 273–278 | Cite as

A Novel SYNJ1 Mutation in a Tunisian Family with Juvenile Parkinson’s Disease Associated with Epilepsy

  • Sawssan Ben RomdhanEmail author
  • Salma Sakka
  • Nouha Farhat
  • Siwar Triki
  • Mariem Dammak
  • Chokri Mhiri


Mutations in SYNJ1 gene have been described in few families with juvenile atypical Parkinson disease (PD). This gene encodes for “Synaptojanin 1,” an enzyme playing a major role in the phosphorylation and the recycling of synaptic vesicles. In this study, we report two siblings, from a consanguineous Tunisian family, presenting juvenile PD. Both siblings developed mild Parkinsonism at 16 and 21 years old respectively. One patient had generalized tonic-clonic seizures since the age of 7 years. There was no evidence of sleep or autonomic dysfunctions and psychiatric disorders in both cases, but they developed a moderate cognitive impairment. They kept a good respond to low doses of levodopa treatment with no dyskinesia or motor fluctuations. We designed an NGS-based screening of 22 currently most prevalent parkinsonism-associated genes. Genetic study revealed a novel compound heterozygous mutation (p.Leu1406Phefs*42 and p.Lys1321Glu) in SYNJ1 gene. The p.Lys1321Glu mutation is located in the proline-rich domain and leads to a significant change in the 3D structure of the protein (RMS = 12.58 Å). The p.Leu1406Phefs*42 mutation disrupt the AP2 binding sites and subsequently disable synaptic and vesicle endocytic recycling in neurons. This is the first report of mutation in the C-terminal domain of Synaptojanin 1 protein causing mild juvenile PD with generalized seizures, cognitive impairment, and good respond to levodopa treatment.


Juvenile Parkinson’s disease Autosomal recessive Epilepsy Tonic-clonic SYNJ1 gene 



The authors are grateful to the family for their cooperation and commitment to the study. The authors would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of all the staff of the Department of Neurology of the University Hospital Habib Bourguiba, Sfax.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Recherche en Neurogénétique, Maladie de Parkinson et Maladies Cérébro-Vasculaires (LR-12-SP-19)Habib Bourguiba University HospitalSfaxTunisia
  2. 2.Clinical Investigation Center (CIC), CHU Habib BourguibaSfaxTunisie
  3. 3.Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinièreINSERM U1127, Sorbonne Université, UPMC Paris VI univ. UMR_S1127, CNRS UMR 7225ParisFrance
  4. 4.École Pratique des Hautes Études EPHEPSL Research UniversityParisFrance

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