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West Jerusalem, Israel

Damseh N.,Al Makassed Islamic Hospital | Simonin A.,University of Bern | Jalas C.,Center for Rare Jewish Genetic Disorders | Picoraro J.A.,Columbia University | And 18 more authors.
Journal of Medical Genetics | Year: 2015

Background L-serine plays an essential role in neuronal development and function. Although a non-essential amino acid, L-serine must be synthesised within the brain because of its poor permeability by the blood-brain barrier. Within the brain, its synthesis is confined to astrocytes, and its shuttle to neuronal cells is performed by a dedicated neutral amino acid transporter, ASCT1. Methods and results Using exome analysis we identified the recessive mutations, p.E256K, p.L315fs, and p.R457W, in SLC1A4, the gene encoding ASCT1, in patients with developmental delay, microcephaly and hypomyelination; seizure disorder was variably present. When expressed in a heterologous system, the mutations did not affect the protein level at the plasma membrane but abolished or markedly reduced L-serine transport for p.R457W and p.E256K mutations, respectively. Interestingly, p.E256K mutation displayed a lower L-serine and alanine affinity but the same substrate selectivity as wild-type ASCT1. Conclusions The clinical phenotype of ASCT1 deficiency is reminiscent of defects in L-serine biosynthesis. The data underscore that ASCT1 is essential in brain serine transport. The SLC1A4 p.E256K mutation has a carrier frequency of 0.7% in the Ashkenazi-Jewish population and should be added to the carrier screening panel in this community. © 2015 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Source


Damseh N.,Al Makassed Islamic Hospital | Simonin A.,University of Bern | Jalas C.,Center for Rare Jewish Genetic Disorders | Picoraro J.A.,Columbia University | And 18 more authors.
Journal of Medical Genetics | Year: 2015

Background: L-serine plays an essential role in neuronal development and function. Although a nonessential amino acid, L-serine must be synthesised within the brain because of its poor permeability by the blood- brain barrier. Within the brain, its synthesis is confined to astrocytes, and its shuttle to neuronal cells is performed by a dedicated neutral amino acid transporter, ASCT1. Methods and results: Using exome analysis we identified the recessive mutations, p.E256K, p.L315fs, and p.R457W, in SLC1A4, the gene encoding ASCT1, in patients with developmental delay, microcephaly and hypomyelination; seizure disorder was variably present. When expressed in a heterologous system, the mutations did not affect the protein level at the plasma membrane but abolished or markedly reduced L-serine transport for p.R457W and p.E256K mutations, respectively. Interestingly, p.E256K mutation displayed a lower L-serine and alanine affinity but the same substrate selectivity as wild-type ASCT1. Conclusions: The clinical phenotype of ASCT1 deficiency is reminiscent of defects in L-serine biosynthesis. The data underscore that ASCT1 is essential in brain serine transport. The SLC1A4 p.E256K mutation has a carrier frequency of 0.7% in the Ashkenazi-Jewish population and should be added to the carrier screening panel in this community. Source


Damseh N.,Al Makassed Islamic Hospital | Danson C.M.,University of Bristol | Al-Ashhab M.,Al Makassed Islamic Hospital | Abu-Libdeh B.,Al Makassed Islamic Hospital | And 8 more authors.
Neurogenetics | Year: 2015

The composition of the neuronal cell surface dictates synaptic plasticity and thereby cognitive development. This remodeling of the synapses is governed by the endocytic network which internalize transmembrane proteins, then sort them back to the cell surface or carry them to the lysosome for degradation. The multi-protein retromer complex is central to this selection, capturing specific transmembrane proteins and remodeling the cell membrane to form isolated cargo-enriched transport carriers. We investigated a consanguineous family with four patients who presented in infancy with intractable myoclonic epilepsy and lack of psychomotor development. Using exome analysis, we identified a homozygous deleterious mutation in SNX27, which encodes sorting nexin 27, a retromer cargo adaptor. In western analysis of patient fibroblasts, the encoded mutant protein was expressed at an undetectable level when compared with a control sample. The patients’ presentation and clinical course recapitulate that reported for the SNX27 knock-out mouse. Since the cargo proteins for SNX27-mediated sorting include subunits of ionotropic glutamate receptors and endosome-to-cell surface synaptic insertion of AMPA receptors is severely perturbed in SNX27−/− neurons, it is proposed that at least part of the neurological aberrations observed in the patients is attributed to defective sorting of ionotropic glutamate receptors. SNX27 deficiency is now added to the growing list of neurodegenerative disorders associated with retromer dysfunction. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

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