Background Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are vascular malformations mostly located within the central nervous system. Most deleterious variants are loss of function mutations in one of the three CCM genes. These genes code for proteins that form a ternary cytosolic complex with CCM2 as a hub. Very few CCM2 missense variants have been shown to be deleterious by modifying the ternary CCM complex stability.
Objectives To investigate the causality of novel missense CCM2 variants detected in patients with CCM.
Methods The three CCM genes were screened in 984 patients referred for CCM molecular screening. Interaction between CCM1 and CCM2 proteins was tested using co-immunoprecipitation experiments for the CCM2 missense variants located in the phosphotyrosine binding (PTB) domain.
Results 11 distinct CCM2 rare missense variants were found. Six variants predicted to be damaging were located in the PTB domain, four of them were novel. When co-transfected with CCM1 in HEK293T cells, a loss of interaction between CCM1 and CCM2 was observed for all six variants.
Conclusion We showed, using co-immunoprecipitation experiments, that CCM2 missense variants located in the PTB domain were actually damaging by preventing the normal interaction between CCM1 and CCM2. These data are important for diagnosis and genetic counselling, which are challenging in patients harbouring such variants.
- cerebral cavernous malformation
- PTB domain
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Contributors FR and ETL designed the study, FR performed the genetic analyses, FB performed the co-immunoprecipitation experiments, FR and FB wrote the manuscript, GV, CV, MPB, CD, PL, PP, AN, FV, AC and DH provided clinical and neuroimaging data, ETL revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content, FR submitted the study and is responsible for the overall content as guarantor.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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