11 August 2013
Epileptic encephalopathies (EE) are a devastating group of severe childhood epilepsy disorders for which the cause is often unknown. Here, we report a screen for de novo mutations in patients with two classical EE: infantile spasms (IS, n=149) and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS, n=115). We sequenced the exomes of 264 probands, and their parents, and confirmed 329 de novo mutations. A likelihood analysis showed a significant excess of de novo mutations in the ~4,000 genes that are the most intolerant to functional genetic variation in the human population (p=2.9 × 10 −3). Among these are GABRB3 with de novo mutations in four patients and ALG13 with the same de novo mutation in two patients; both genes show clear statistical evidence of association. Given the relevant site-specific mutation rates, the probabilities of these outcomes occurring by chance are p=4.1 × 10 −10 and p=7.8 × 10 −12, respectively. Other genes with de novo mutations in this cohort include: CACNA1A, CHD2, FLNA, GABRA1, GRIN1, GRIN2B, HDAC4, HNRNPU, IQSEC2, MTOR, and NEDD4L. Finally, we show that the de novo mutations observed are enriched in specific gene sets including genes regulated by the Fragile X protein (p<10 −8), as was reported for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) 1 .