Thursday, February 13, 2020

PIGP mutations

Vetro A, Pisano T, Chiaro S, Procopio E, Guerra A, Parrini E, Mei D, Virdò S, Mangone G, Azzari C, Guerrini R. Early infantile epileptic-dyskinetic encephalopathy due to biallelic PIGP mutations. Neurol Genet. 2020 Jan 2;6(1):e387.


To describe clinical, biochemical, and molecular genetic findings in a large inbred family in which 4 children with a severe early-onset epileptic-dyskinetic encephalopathy, with suppression burst EEG, harbored homozygous mutations of phosphatidylinositol glycan anchor biosynthesis, class P (PIGP), a member of the large glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor biosynthesis gene family.

We studied clinical features, EEG, brain MRI scans, whole-exome sequencing (WES), and measured the expression of a subset of GPI-anchored proteins (GPI-APs) in circulating granulocytes using flow cytometry.

The 4 affected children exhibited a severe neurodevelopmental disorder featuring severe hypotonia with early dyskinesia progressing to quadriplegia, associated with infantile spasms, focal, tonic, and tonic-clonic seizures and a burst suppression EEG pattern. Two of the children died prematurely between age 2 and 12 years; the remaining 2 children are aged 2 years 7 months and 7 years 4 months. The homozygous c.384del variant of PIGP, present in the 4 patients, introduces a frame shift 6 codons before the expected stop signal and is predicted to result in the synthesis of a protein longer than the wild type, with impaired functionality. We demonstrated a reduced expression of the GPI-AP CD16 in the granulocytic membrane in affected individuals.

PIGP mutations are consistently associated with an epileptic-dyskinetic encephalopathy with the features of early infantile epileptic encephalopathy with profound disability and premature death. CD16 is a valuable marker to support a genetic diagnosis of inherited GPI deficiencies.

Krenn M, Knaus A, Westphal DS, Wortmann SB, Polster T, Woermann FG, Karenfort M, Mayatepek E, Meitinger T, Wagner M, Distelmaier F. Biallelic mutations in PIGP cause developmental and epileptic encephalopathy. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2019 Apr 11;6(5):968-973.


Developmental and epileptic encephalopathies are characterized by infantile seizures and psychomotor delay. Glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthesis defects, resulting in impaired tethering of various proteins to the cell surface, represent the underlying pathology in some patients. One of the genes involved, PIGP, has recently been associated with infantile seizures and developmental delay in two siblings. Here, we report the second family with a markedly overlapping phenotype due to a homozygous frameshift mutation (c.456delA;p.Glu153Asnfs*34) in PIGP. Flow cytometry of patient granulocytes confirmed reduced expression of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins as functional consequence. Our findings corroborate PIGP as a monogenic disease gene for developmental and epileptic encephalopathy.

Johnstone DL, Nguyen TT, Murakami Y, Kernohan KD, Tétreault M, Goldsmith C, Doja A, Wagner JD, Huang L, Hartley T, St-Denis A, le Deist F, Majewski J, Bulman DE; Care4Rare Canada Consortium, Kinoshita T, Dyment DA, Boycott KM, Campeau PM. Compound heterozygous mutations in the gene PIGP are associated with early infantile epileptic encephalopathy. Hum Mol Genet. 2017 May 1;26(9):1706-1715.


There are over 150 known human proteins which are tethered to the cell surface via glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors. These proteins play a variety of important roles in development, and particularly in neurogenesis. Not surprisingly, mutations in the GPI anchor biosynthesis and remodeling pathway cause a number of developmental disorders. This group of conditions has been termed inherited GPI deficiencies (IGDs), a subgroup of congenital disorders of glycosylation; they present with variable phenotypes, often including seizures, hypotonia and intellectual disability. Here, we report two siblings with compound heterozygous variants in the gene phosphatidylinositol glycan anchor biosynthesis, class P (PIGP) (NM_153681.2: c.74T > C;p.Met25Thr and c.456delA;p.Glu153AsnFs*34). PIGP encodes a subunit of the enzyme that catalyzes the first step of GPI anchor biosynthesis. Both children presented with early-onset refractory seizures, hypotonia, and profound global developmental delay, reminiscent of other IGD phenotypes. Functional studies with patient cells showed reduced PIGP mRNA levels, and an associated reduction of GPI-anchored cell surface proteins, which was rescued by exogenous expression of wild-type PIGP. This work associates mutations in the PIGP gene with a novel autosomal recessive IGD, and expands our knowledge of the role of PIG genes in human development.

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