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Papers of the Week

2019 Nov 01




A novel lethal recognizable polymicrogyric syndrome caused by ATP1A2 homozygous truncating variants.


Chatron N, Cabet S, Alix E, Buenerd A, Cox P, Guibaud L, Labalme A, Marks P, Osio D, Putoux A, Sanlaville D, Lesca G, Vasiljevic A
Brain. 2019 Nov 01; 142(11):3367-3374.
PMID: 31608932.


Polymicrogyria is a heterogeneous malformation of cortical development microscopically defined by an excessive folding of the cortical mantle resulting in small gyri with a fused surface. Polymicrogyria is responsible for a wide range of neurological symptoms (e.g. epilepsy, intellectual disability, motor dysfunction). Most cases have a supposed environmental clastic vascular or infectious origin but progress in genomics has revealed new monogenic entities. We report four cases from two independent families sharing a common recognizable lethal syndromic polymicrogyria of autosomal recessive inheritance. Beyond diffuse polymicrogyria detected prenatally, pathological examination revealed a common pattern associating meningeal arterial calcifications, necrotic and calcified areas in basal ganglia, dentato-olivary dysplasia and severe hypoplasia/agenesis of the pyramidal tracts. In all affected cases, exome sequencing showed a pathogenic homozygous nonsense ATP1A2 variant. This resulted in absence of immunodetectable ATP1A2 protein in two brains analysed. ATP1A2 encodes the alpha-2 isoform of the Na+/K+-ATPase, which is highly expressed in brain tissues and has previously been related to familial hemiplegic migraine (MIM#602481) and alternating hemiplegia of childhood (MIM#104290). Through the description of this genetic entity, we emphasize the possibility of dual mode of transmission for disease-causing genes and provide the key neuropathological features that should prompt geneticists to test for mutations in the ATP1A2 gene.