A second locus for familial generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus maps to chromosome 2q21-q33.
ABSTRACT: We report a clinical and genetic study of a family with a phenotype resembling generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+), described by Berkovic and colleagues. Patients express a very variable phenotype combining febrile seizures, generalized seizures often precipitated by fever at age >6 years, and partial seizures, with a variable degree of severity. Linkage analysis has excluded both the beta 1 subunit gene (SCN1B) of a voltage-gated sodium (Na+) channel responsible for GEFS+ and the two loci, FEB1 and FEB2, previously implicated in febrile seizures. A genomewide search, under the assumption of incomplete penetrance at 85% and a phenocopy rate of 5%, permitted identification of a new locus on chromosome 2q21-q33. The maximum pairwise LOD score was 3.00 at recombination fraction 0 for marker D2S2330. Haplotype reconstruction defined a large (22-cM) candidate interval flanked by markers D2S156 and D2S2314. Four genes coding for different isoforms of the alpha-subunit voltage-gated sodium channels (SCN1A, SCN2A1, SCN2A2, and SCN3A) located in this region are strong candidates for the disease gene.
Project description:We report the identification of a new locus for generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+). Six family members manifested isolated typical febrile seizures (FS), and five had typical FS associated with generalized epilepsy (FS+, generalized tonic/clonic seizures). Afebrile seizures occurred from childhood until the teenage years. The maximum two-point LOD score was 3.99 for markers D2S294 and D2S2314. Flanking markers place the GEFS+ locus between D2S141 and D2S116, with multipoint analysis favoring the 13-cM interval spanned by D2S294 and D2S364. This locus is the second GEFS+ locus to be reported, which suggests that this syndrome is genetically heterogeneous.
Project description:Voltage-gated sodium channels are required for the initiation and propagation of action potentials. Mutations in the neuronal voltage-gated sodium channel SCN1A are associated with a growing number of disorders including generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+),(7) severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy, and familial hemiplegic migraine. To gain insight into the effect of SCN1A mutations on neuronal excitability, we introduced the human GEFS+ mutation SCN1A-R1648H into the orthologous mouse gene. Scn1a(RH/RH) mice homozygous for the R1648H mutation exhibit spontaneous generalized seizures and premature death between P16 and P26, whereas Scn1a(RH/+) heterozygous mice exhibit infrequent spontaneous generalized seizures, reduced threshold and accelerated propagation of febrile seizures, and decreased threshold to flurothyl-induced seizures. Inhibitory cortical interneurons from P5-P15 Scn1a(RH/+) and Scn1a(RH/RH) mice demonstrated slower recovery from inactivation, greater use-dependent inactivation, and reduced action potential firing compared with wild-type cells. Excitatory cortical pyramidal neurons were mostly unaffected. These results suggest that this SCN1A mutation predominantly impairs sodium channel activity in interneurons, leading to decreased inhibition. Decreased inhibition may be a common mechanism underlying clinically distinct SCN1A-derived disorders.
Project description:Voltage-gated sodium channels (Navs) are mainstays of neuronal function, and mutations in the genes encoding CNS Navs (Nav1.1 [SCN1A], Nav1.2 [SCN2A], Nav1.3 [SCN3A], and Nav1.6 [SCN8A]) are causes of some of the most common and severe genetic epilepsies and epileptic encephalopathies (EE).1 Fibroblast-growth-factor homologous factors (FHFs) compose a family of 4 proteins that interact with the C-terminal tails of Navs to modulate the channels' fast, and long-term, inactivations.2FHF2 mutation is a rare cause of generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+).3 Recently, a de novo FHF1 mutation (p.R52H) was reported in early-onset EE in 2 siblings.4 We report 3 patients from unrelated families with the same FHF1 p.R52H mutation. The 5 cases together frame the FHF1 R52H EE from infancy to adulthood. As discussed below, this gain-of-function disease may be amenable to personalized therapy.
Project description:Severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI) is a rare disorder that occurs in isolated patients. The disease is characterized by generalized tonic, clonic, and tonic-clonic seizures that are initially induced by fever and begin during the first year of life. Later, patients also manifest other seizure types, including absence, myoclonic, and simple and complex partial seizures. Psychomotor development stagnates around the second year of life. Missense mutations in the gene that codes for a neuronal voltage-gated sodium-channel alpha-subunit (SCN1A) were identified in families with generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+). GEFS+ is a mild type of epilepsy associated with febrile and afebrile seizures. Because both GEFS+ and SMEI involve fever-associated seizures, we screened seven unrelated patients with SMEI for mutations in SCN1A. We identified a mutation in each patient: four had frameshift mutations, one had a nonsense mutation, one had a splice-donor mutation, and one had a missense mutation. All mutations are de novo mutations and were not observed in 184 control chromosomes.
Project description:Generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+), a clinical subset of febrile seizures (FS), is characterized by frequent episodes beyond 6 years of age (FS+) and various types of subsequent epilepsy. Mutations in beta1 and alpha(I)-subunit genes of voltage-gated Na(+) channels have been associated with GEFS+1 and 2, respectively. Here, we report a mutation resulting in an amino acid exchange (R188W) [corrected] in the gene encoding the alpha-subunit of neuronal voltage-gated Na(+) channel type II (Na(v)1.2) in a patient with FS associated with afebrile seizures. The mutation R188W [corrected] occurring on Arg(187), a highly conserved residue among voltage-gated Na(+) channels, was not found in 224 alleles of unaffected individuals. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings on human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells expressing a rat wild-type (rNa(v)1.2) and the corresponding mutant channels showed that the mutant channel inactivated more slowly than wild-type whereas the Na(+) channel conductance was not affected. Prolonged residence in the open state of the R188W [corrected] mutant channel may augment Na(+) influx and thereby underlie the neuronal hyperexcitability that induces seizure activity. Even though a small pedigree could not show clear cosegregation with the disease phenotype, these findings strongly suggest the involvement of Na(v)1.2 in a human disease and propose the R188W [corrected] mutation as the genetic defect responsible for febrile seizures associated with afebrile seizures.
Project description:Generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) is a complex familial epilepsy syndrome. It is mainly caused by mutations in SCN1A gene, encoding type 1 voltage-gated sodium channel ?-subunit (NaV1.1), and GABRA1 gene, encoding the ?1 subunit of the ?-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor, while seldom related with SCN9A gene, encoding the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7. In this study, we investigated a Chinese family with an autosomal dominant form of GEFS+. DNA sequencing of the whole coding region revealed a novel heterozygous nucleotide substitution (c.5873A>G) causing a missense mutation (p.Y1958C). This mutation was predicted to be deleterious by three different bioinformatics programs (The polyphen2, SIFT, and MutationTaster). Our finding reports a novel likely pathogenic SCN9A Y1958C heterozygous mutation in a Chinese family with GEFS+ and provides additional supports that SCN9A variants may be associated with human epilepsies.
Project description:Mutations in SCN1A, the gene encoding the brain voltage-gated sodium channel alpha1 subunit (NaV1.1), are associated with at least two forms of epilepsy, generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) and severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI). We examined the functional properties of four GEFS+ alleles and one SMEI allele using whole-cell patch-clamp analysis of heterologously expressed recombinant human SCN1A. One previously reported GEFS+ mutation (I1656M) and an additional novel allele (R1657C), both affecting residues in a voltage-sensing S4 segment, exhibited a similar depolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of activation. Additionally, R1657C showed a 50% reduction in current density and accelerated recovery from slow inactivation. Unlike three other GEFS+ alleles that we recently characterized, neither R1657C nor I1656M gave rise to a persistent, noninactivating current. In contrast, two other GEFS+ mutations (A1685V and V1353L) and L986F, an SMEI-associated allele, exhibited complete loss of function. In conclusion, our data provide evidence for a wide spectrum of sodium channel dysfunction in familial epilepsy and demonstrate that both GEFS+ and SMEI can be associated with nonfunctional SCN1A alleles.
Project description:Mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel SCN1A are responsible for a number of seizure disorders including Generalized Epilepsy with Febrile Seizures Plus (GEFS+) and Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI). To determine the effects of SCN1A mutations on channel function in vivo, we generated a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mouse model that expresses the human SCN1A GEFS+ mutation, R1648H. Mice with the R1648H mutation exhibit a more severe response to the proconvulsant kainic acid compared with mice expressing a control Scn1a transgene. Electrophysiological analysis of dissociated neurons from mice with the R1648H mutation reveal delayed recovery from inactivation and increased use-dependent inactivation only in inhibitory bipolar neurons, as well as a hyperpolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of inactivation only in excitatory pyramidal neurons. These results demonstrate that the effects of SCN1A mutations are cell type-dependent and that the R1648H mutation specifically leads to a reduction in interneuron excitability.
Project description:Mutations in a number of genes encoding voltage-gated sodium channels cause a variety of epilepsy syndromes in humans, including genetic (generalized) epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) and Dravet syndrome (DS, severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy). Most of these mutations are in the SCN1A gene, and all are dominantly inherited. Most of the mutations that cause DS result in loss of function, whereas all of the known mutations that cause GEFS+ are missense, presumably altering channel activity. Family members with the same GEFS+ mutation often display a wide range of seizure types and severities, and at least part of this variability likely results from variation in other genes. Many different biophysical effects of SCN1A-GEFS+ mutations have been observed in heterologous expression systems, consistent with both gain and loss of channel activity. However, results from mouse models suggest that the primary effect of both GEFS+ and DS mutations is to decrease the activity of GABAergic inhibitory neurons. Decreased activity of the inhibitory circuitry is thus likely to be a major factor contributing to seizure generation in patients with GEFS+ and DS, and may be a general consequence of SCN1A mutations.
Project description:The β1, β2, and β4 subunits of voltage-gated sodium channels reportedly function as cell adhesion molecules. The present crystallographic analysis of the β4 extracellular domain revealed an antiparallel arrangement of the β4 molecules in the crystal lattice. The interface between the two antiparallel β4 molecules is asymmetric, and results in a multimeric assembly. Structure-based mutagenesis and site-directed photo-crosslinking analyses of the β4-mediated cell-cell adhesion revealed that the interface between the antiparallel β4 molecules corresponds to that in the trans homophilic interaction for the multimeric assembly of β4 in cell-cell adhesion. This trans interaction mode is also employed in the β1-mediated cell-cell adhesion. Moreover, the β1 gene mutations associated with generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) impaired the β1-mediated cell-cell adhesion, which should underlie the GEFS+ pathogenesis. Thus, the structural basis for the β-subunit-mediated cell-cell adhesion has been established.