Background Mutations in SOD1, ANG, VAPB, TARDBP and FUS genes have been identified in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Methods The relative contributions of the different mutations to ALS were estimated by systematically screening a cohort of 162 families enrolled in France and 500 controls (1000 chromosomes) using molecular analysis techniques and performing phenotype–genotype correlations.
Results 31 pathogenic missense mutations were found in 36 patients (20 SOD1, 1 ANG, 1 VAPB, 7 TARDBP and 7 FUS). Surprisingly two FUS mutation carriers also harboured ANG variants. One family of Japanese origin with the P56S VAPB mutation was identified. Seven novel mutations (three in SOD1, two in TARDBP, two in FUS) were found. None of them was detected in controls. Segregation of detected mutations with the disease was confirmed in 11 families including five pedigrees carrying the novel mutations. Clinical comparison of SOD1, TARDBP, FUS and other familial ALS patients (with no mutation in the screened genes) revealed differences in site of onset (predominantly lower limbs for SOD1 and upper limbs for TARDBP mutations), age of onset (younger with FUS mutations), and in lifespan (shorter for FUS carriers). One third of SOD1 patients survived more than 7 years: these patients had earlier disease onset than those presenting with a more typical course. Differences were also observed among FUS mutations, with the R521H FUS mutation being associated with longer disease duration.
Conclusions This study identifies new genetic associations with ALS and provides phenotype–genotype correlations with both previously reported and novel mutations.
- family study
- clinical genetics
- molecular genetics
- motor neuron disease
- neuromuscular disease
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