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A homozygous AKNA frameshift variant is associated with microcephaly in a Pakistani family

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Item Type:Article
Title:A homozygous AKNA frameshift variant is associated with microcephaly in a Pakistani family
Creators Name:Waseem, S.S. and Moawia, A. and Budde, B. and Tariq, M. and Khan, A. and Ali, Z. and Khan, S. and Iqbal, M. and Malik, N.A. and Haque, S.U. and Altmüller, J. and Thiele, H. and Hussain, M.S. and Cirak, S. and Baig, S.M. and Nürnberg, P.
Abstract:Primary microcephaly (MCPH) is a prenatal condition of small brain size with a varying degree of intellectual disability. It is a heterogeneous genetic disorder with 28 associated genes reported so far. Most of these genes encode centrosomal proteins. Recently, AKNA was recognized as a novel centrosomal protein that regulates neurogenesis via microtubule organization, making AKNA a likely candidate gene for MCPH. Using linkage analysis and whole-exome sequencing, we found a frameshift variant in exon 12 of AKNA (NM_030767.4: c.2737delG) that cosegregates with microcephaly, mild intellectual disability and speech impairment in a consanguineous family from Pakistan. This variant is predicted to result in a protein with a truncated C-terminus (p.(Glu913Argfs*42)), which has been shown to be indispensable to AKNA’s localization to the centrosome and a normal brain development. Moreover, the amino acid sequence is altered from the beginning of the second of the two PEST domains, which are rich in proline (P), glutamic acid (E), serine (S), and threonine (T) and common to rapidly degraded proteins. An impaired function of the PEST domains may affect the intracellular half-life of the protein. Our genetic findings compellingly substantiate the predicted candidacy, based on its newly ascribed functional features, of the multifaceted protein AKNA for association with MCPH.
Keywords:Autosomal Recessive Primary Microcephaly (MCPH), AKNA, Whole-Exome Sequencing (WES), Linkage/Haplotype Analysis, Cerebral Cortex
Page Range:1494
Date:October 2021
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12101494
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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