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Comprehensive analysis of coding variants highlights genetic complexity in developmental and epileptic encephalopathy

Although there are many known Mendelian genes linked to epileptic or developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (EE/DEE), its genetic architecture is not fully explained. Here, we address this incompleteness by analyzing exomes of 743 EE/DEE cases and 2366 controls. We observe that damaging ultra-rare variants (dURVs) unique to an individual are significantly overrepresented in EE/DEE, both in known EE/DEE genes and the other non-EE/DEE genes.

Date: 10 June 2019



Although there are many known Mendelian genes linked to epileptic or developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (EE/DEE), its genetic architecture is not fully explained. Here, we address this incompleteness by analyzing exomes of 743 EE/DEE cases and 2366 controls. We observe that damaging ultra-rare variants (dURVs) unique to an individual are significantly overrepresented in EE/DEE, both in known EE/DEE genes and the other non-EE/DEE genes. Importantly, enrichment of dURVs in non-EE/DEE genes is significant, even in the subset of cases with diagnostic dURVs (P = 0.000215), suggesting oligogenic contribution of non-EE/DEE gene dURVs. Gene-based analysis identifies exome-wide significant (P = 2.04 × 10−6) enrichment of damaging de novo mutations in NF1, a gene primarily linked to neurofibromatosis, in infantile spasm. Together with accumulating evidence for roles of oligogenic or modifier variants in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, our results highlight genetic complexity in EE/DEE, and indicate that EE/DEE is not an aggregate of simple Mendelian disorders.
 

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Naomichi MATSUMOTO

  • Department of Human Genetics,
    Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine

    Fukuura 3-9, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, 236-0004 JAPAN
  • naomat@yokohama-cu.ac.jp

Atsushi TAKATA

  • Department of Human Genetics,
    Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine

    Fukuura 3-9, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, 236-0004 JAPAN
  • atakata@yokohama-cu.ac.jp