A candidate gene for autoimmune myasthenia gravis.
Landouré G., Knight MA., Stanescu H., Taye AA., Shi Y., Diallo O., Johnson JO., Hernandez D., Traynor BJ., Biesecker LG., NIH Intramural Sequencing Center None., Elkahloun A., Rinaldi C., Vincent A., Willcox N., Kleta R., Fischbeck KH., Burnett BG.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to identify a causative mutation in a previously reported kindred with parental consanguinity and 5 of 10 siblings with adult-onset autoimmune myasthenia gravis. METHODS: We performed genome-wide homozygosity mapping, and sequenced all known genes in the one region of extended homozygosity. Quantitative and allele-specific reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) were performed on a candidate gene to determine the RNA expression level in affected siblings and controls and the relative abundance of the wild-type and mutant alleles in a heterozygote. RESULTS: A region of shared homozygosity at chromosome 13q13.3-13q14.11 was found in 4 affected siblings and 1 unaffected sibling. A homozygous single nucleotide variant was found in the 3'-untranslated region of the ecto-NADH oxidase 1 gene (ENOX1). No other variants likely to be pathogenic were found in genes in this region or elsewhere. The ENOX1 sequence variant was not found in 764 controls. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that expression of ENOX1 decreased to about 20% of normal levels in lymphoblastoid cells from individuals homozygous for the variant and to about 50% in 2 unaffected heterozygotes. Allele-specific RT-PCR showed a 55%-60% reduction in the level of the variant transcript in heterozygous cells due to reduced mRNA stability. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that this sequence variant in ENOX1 may contribute to the familial autoimmune myasthenia in these patients.