Objective: Heterozygous variants in KCNQ2 or, more rarely, KCNQ3 genes are responsible for early-onset developmental/epileptic disorders characterized by heterogeneous clinical presentation and course, genetic transmission, and prognosis. While familial forms mostly include benign epilepsies with seizures starting in the neonatal or early-infantile period, de novo variants in KCNQ2 or KCNQ3 have been described in sporadic cases of early-onset encephalopathy (EOEE) with pharmacoresistant seizures, various age-related pathological EEG patterns, and moderate/severe developmental impairment. All pathogenic variants in KCNQ2 or KCNQ3 occur in heterozygosity. The aim of this work was to report the clinical, molecular, and functional properties of a new KCNQ3 variant found in homozygous configuration in a 9-year-old girl with pharmacodependent neonatal-onset epilepsy and non-syndromic intellectual disability. Methods: Exome sequencing was used for genetic investigation. KCNQ3 transcript and subunit expression in fibroblasts was analyzed with quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting or immunofluorescence, respectively. Whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology was used for functional characterization of mutant subunits. Results: A novel single-base duplication in exon 12 of KCNQ3 (NM_004519.3:c.1599dup) was found in homozygous configuration in the proband born to consanguineous healthy parents; this frameshift variant introduced a premature termination codon (PTC), thus deleting a large part of the C-terminal region. Mutant KCNQ3 transcript and protein abundance was markedly reduced in primary fibroblasts from the proband, consistent with nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. The variant fully abolished the ability of KCNQ3 subunits to assemble into functional homomeric or heteromeric channels with KCNQ2 subunits. Significance: The present results indicate that a homozygous KCNQ3 loss-of-function variant is responsible for a severe phenotype characterized by neonatal-onset pharmacodependent seizures, with developmental delay and intellectual disability. They also reveal difference in genetic and pathogenetic mechanisms between KCNQ2- and KCNQ3-related epilepsies, a crucial observation for patients affected with EOEE and/or developmental disabilities.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/epi4.12353|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-85070676275|
|Titolo:||A novel homozygous KCNQ3 loss-of-function variant causes non-syndromic intellectual disability and neonatal-onset pharmacodependent epilepsy|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|