Sunday, April 8, 2018

RARS2 (and PARS2) mutations

Inspired by a patient

Zhang J, Zhang Z, Zhang Y, Wu Y. Distinct magnetic resonance imaging features in a patient with novel RARS2 mutations: A case report and review of the literature. Exp Ther Med. 2018 Jan;15(1):1099-1104.

Pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 6 (PCH6) is a rare autosomal recessive disease that occurs due to mutations in the mitochondrial arginyl-tRNA synthetase 2 (RARS2) gene. To the best of our knowledge, 23 cases with relatively complete clinical data have been reported thus far. In the present study, a case with PCH6 caused by novel RARS2 mutations is described, in which distinct magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features were identified. In addition, 23 PCH6 cases found in the literature were reviewed. Early onset hypotonia (43.48%), epileptic seizures (34.78%), encephalopathy (26.08%) and feeding difficulties (17.39%) were common initial symptoms of PCH6. During disease progression, the patients presented refractory epileptic seizures (94.12%), feeding problems (60.87%), severe developmental delay (100%), microcephaly (88.89%) and hyperlactacidemia (76.47%). The clinical features of the present patient were suggestive of PCH6, with early onset epilepsy, feeding difficulties, severe developmental delay, microcephaly, hearing loss and hyperlactacidemia. According to available MRI data from 20 reported cases with PCH6, the characteristic finding in MRI was pontocerebellar dysplasia or progressive cerebral/pontocerebellar atrophy in 16 cases, while 4 cases did not present pontocerebellar hypoplasia, and no basal ganglia involvement was observed in any of the cases. Distinctive MRI features were also identified in the present case, including pontocerebellar preservation after 1 year of age, as well as a high diffusion-weighted imaging signal suggesting intracellular edema in the cerebellar hemispheres, basal ganglia, thalamus and corpus callosum. Progressive loss of cerebral white matter and cortical volume were common features shared by all patients. In conclusion, in the present study, two novel heterozygous mutations were identified in RARS2, namely c.1718C>T(p.Thr573Ile) and c.991A>G (p.Ile331Val). Thus, the present case enriched the phenotypic and genotypic spectrum of the RARS2 mutations.

Lühl S, Bode H, Schlötzer W, Bartsakoulia M, Horvath R, Abicht A, Stenzel M, Kirschner J, Grünert SC. Novel homozygous RARS2 mutation in two siblings without pontocerebellar hypoplasia - further expansion of the phenotypic spectrum. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2016 Oct 21;11(1):140.

Pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 6 (PCH6) is a mitochondrial disease caused by mutations in the RARS2 gene. RARS2 encodes mitochondrial arginyl transfer RNA synthetase, an enzyme involved in mitochondrial protein translation. A total of 27 patients from 14 families have been reported so far. Characteristic clinical features comprise neonatal lactic acidosis, severe encephalopathy, intractable seizures, feeding problems and profound developmental delay. Most patients show typical neuroradiologic abnormalities including cerebellar hypoplasia and progressive pontocerebellar atrophy.

We describe the clinical, biochemical and molecular features of 2 siblings with a novel homozygous mutation in RARS2. Both patients presented neonatally with lactic acidosis. While the older sibling had severe neurological symptoms with microcephaly, seizures and developmental delay, the younger patient was still neurologically asymptomatic at the age of 2 months.

MRI studies in both children lacked pontocerebellar involvement. The expression of the OXPHOS complex proteins was decreased in both patients, whereas oxygen consumption was increased.

Characteristic neuroradiological abnormalities of PCH6 such as vermis and cerebellar hypoplasia and progressive pontocerebellar atrophy may be missing in patients with RARS2 mutations. RARS2 testing should therefore also be performed in patients without pontocerebellar hypoplasia but otherwise typical clinical symptoms.

Ngoh A, Bras J, Guerreiro R, Meyer E, McTague A, Dawson E, Mankad K, Gunny R, Clayton P, Mills PB, Thornton R, Lai M, Forsyth R, Kurian MA. RARS2 mutations in a sibship with infantile spasms. Epilepsia. 2016 May;57(5):e97-e102.

Pontocerebellar hypoplasia is a group of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by reduced volume of the brainstem and cerebellum. We report two male siblings who presented with early infantile clonic seizures, and then developed infantile spasms associated with prominent isolated cerebellar hypoplasia/atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using whole exome sequencing techniques, both were found to be compound heterozygotes for one previously reported and one novel mutation in the gene encoding mitochondrial arginyl-tRNA synthetase 2 (RARS2). Mutations in this gene have been classically described in pontocerebellar hypoplasia type six (PCH6), a phenotype characterized by early (often intractable) seizures, profound developmental delay, and progressive pontocerebellar atrophy. The electroclinical spectrum of PCH6 is broad and includes a number of seizure types: myoclonic, generalized tonic-clonic, and focal clonic seizures. Our report expands the characterization of the PCH6 disease spectrum and presents infantile spasms as an associated electroclinical phenotype. 

Ciara E, Rokicki D, Lazniewski M, Mierzewska H, Jurkiewicz E, Bekiesińska-Figatowska M, Piekutowska-Abramczuk D, Iwanicka-Pronicka K, Szymańska E, Stawiński P, Kosińska J, Pollak A, Pronicki M, Plewczyński D, Płoski R, Pronicka E. Clinical and molecular characteristics of newly reported mitochondrial disease entity caused by biallelic PARS2 mutations. J Hum Genet.
2018 Apr;63(4):473-485.

Most of the 19 mitochondrial aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (mt-aaRSs) involved in mitochondrial protein synthesis are already linked to specific entities, one of the exceptions being PARS2 mutations for which pathogenic significance is not finally validated. The aim of the study was to characterize the PARS2- related phenotype.Three siblings with biallelic PARS2 mutations presented from birth with infantile spasms, secondary microcephaly, and similar facial dysmorphy. Mental development was deeply impaired with speech absence and no eye contact. A dilated cardiomyopathy and multiorgan failure developed in childhood at the terminal stage, together with mitochondrial dysfunction triggered by valproate administration.Brain MRI showed progressive volume loss of the frontal lobes, both cortical and subcortical, with widening of the cortical sulci and frontal horns of the lateral ventricles. Hypoplasia of the corpus callosum and progressive demyelination were additional findings. Similar brain features were seen in three already reported PARS2 patients and seemed specific for this defect when compared with other mt-aaRSs defects (DARS2, EARS2, IARS2, and RARS2).Striking resemblance of the phenotype and Alpers-like brain MRI changes with predominance of frontal cerebral volume loss (FCVL-AS) in six patients from three families of different ethnicity with PARS2 mutations, justifies to distinguish the condition as a new disease entity.

1 comment:

  1. Our patient was found to have a likely pathogenic variant, c. 419T>G, and a variant of unclear significance, c.5C>T. Parental testing confirmed that these variants are in trans. The c. 419T>G variant was paternally inherited and the c.5C>T variant was maternally inherited.