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Neuroacanthocytosis Syndromes

, 1 , 2 , 3

Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases

BioMed Central

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      Abstract

      Neuroacanthocytosis (NA) syndromes are a group of genetically defined diseases characterized by the association of red blood cell acanthocytosis and progressive degeneration of the basal ganglia. NA syndromes are exceptionally rare with an estimated prevalence of less than 1 to 5 per 1'000'000 inhabitants for each disorder. The core NA syndromes include autosomal recessive chorea-acanthocytosis and X-linked McLeod syndrome which have a Huntington´s disease-like phenotype consisting of a choreatic movement disorder, psychiatric manifestations and cognitive decline, and additional multi-system features including myopathy and axonal neuropathy. In addition, cardiomyopathy may occur in McLeod syndrome. Acanthocytes are also found in a proportion of patients with autosomal dominant Huntington's disease-like 2, autosomal recessive pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration and several inherited disorders of lipoprotein metabolism, namely abetalipoproteinemia (Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome) and hypobetalipoproteinemia leading to vitamin E malabsorption. The latter disorders are characterized by a peripheral neuropathy and sensory ataxia due to dorsal column degeneration, but movement disorders and cognitive impairment are not present. NA syndromes are caused by disease-specific genetic mutations. The mechanism by which these mutations cause neurodegeneration is not known. The association of the acanthocytic membrane abnormality with selective degeneration of the basal ganglia, however, suggests a common pathogenetic pathway. Laboratory tests include blood smears to detect acanthocytosis and determination of serum creatine kinase. Cerebral magnetic resonance imaging may demonstrate striatal atrophy. Kell and Kx blood group antigens are reduced or absent in McLeod syndrome. Western blot for chorein demonstrates absence of this protein in red blood cells of chorea-acanthocytosis patients. Specific genetic testing is possible in all NA syndromes. Differential diagnoses include Huntington disease and other causes of progressive hyperkinetic movement disorders. There are no curative therapies for NA syndromes. Regular cardiologic studies and avoidance of transfusion complications are mandatory in McLeod syndrome. The hyperkinetic movement disorder may be treated as in Huntington disease. Other symptoms including psychiatric manifestations should be managed in a symptom-oriented manner. NA syndromes have a relentlessly progressive course usually over two to three decades.

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      Most cited references 35

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      Genetic, clinical, and radiographic delineation of Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome.

      Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by dystonia, parkinsonism, and iron accumulation in the brain. Many patients with this disease have mutations in the gene encoding pantothenate kinase 2 (PANK2); these patients are said to have pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration. In this study, we compared the clinical and radiographic features of patients with Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome with and without mutations in PANK2. One hundred twenty-three patients from 98 families with a diagnosis of Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome were classified on the basis of clinical assessment as having classic disease (characterized by early onset with rapid progression) or atypical disease (later onset with slow progression). Their genomic DNA was sequenced for PANK2 mutations. All patients with classic Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome and one third of those with atypical disease had PANK2 mutations. Whereas almost all mutations in patients with atypical disease led to amino acid changes, those in patients with classic disease more often resulted in predicted protein truncation. Patients with atypical disease who had PANK2 mutations were more likely to have prominent speech-related and psychiatric symptoms than patients with classic disease or mutation-negative patients with atypical disease. In all patients with pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration, whether classic or atypical, T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain showed a specific pattern of hyperintensity within the hypointense medial globus pallidus. This pattern was not seen in any patients without mutations. PANK2 mutations are associated with all cases of classic Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome and one third of cases of atypical disease. A specific MRI pattern distinguishes patients with PANK2 mutations. Predicted levels of pantothenate kinase 2 protein correlate with the severity of disease. Copyright 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society
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        Huntington's disease--like 2 is associated with CUG repeat-containing RNA foci.

        Huntington's disease-like 2 (HDL2) is caused by a CAG/CTG expansion mutation on chromosome 16q24.3. The repeat falls, in the CTG orientation, within a variably spliced exon of junctophilin-3 (JPH3). The existence of a JPH3 splice variant with the CTG repeat in 3' untranslated region suggested that transcripts containing an expanded CUG repeat could play a role in the pathogenesis of HDL2, similar to the proposed pathogenic role of expanded CUG repeats in myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1). The goal of this study, therefore, was to test the plausibility of an RNA gain-of-function component in the pathogenesis of HDL2. The presence and composition of RNA foci in frontal cortex from HDL2, Huntington's disease, DM1, and control brains were investigated by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. An untranslatable JPH3 transcript containing either a normal or an expanded CUG repeat was engineered and expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 and HT22 cells to further test the toxic RNA hypothesis. The formation of RNA foci and the extent of cell death were quantified. RNA foci resembling DM1 foci were detected in neurons in HDL2 cortex and other brain regions. Similar to DM1, the foci colocalize with muscleblind-like protein 1, and nuclear muscleblind-like protein 1 in HDL2 cortical neurons is decreased relative to controls. In cell experiments, expression of a JPH3 transcript with an expanded CUG repeat resulted in the formation of RNA foci that colocalized with muscleblind-like protein 1 and in cell toxicity. These results imply that RNA toxicity may contribute to the pathogenesis of HDL2.
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          The gene encoding a newly discovered protein, chorein, is mutated in chorea-acanthocytosis.

          Chorea-acanthocytosis is a neurodegenerative disorder with peripheral red cell acanthocytosis. Linkage of chorea-acanthocytosis to chromosome 9q21 has been found. We refined the locus region and identified a previously unknown, full-length cDNA encoding a presumably structural protein, which we called chorein. We found a deletion in the coding region of the cDNA leading to a frame shift resulting in the production of a truncated protein in both alleles of patients and in single alleles of obligate carriers.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Neurology, University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
            [2 ]Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Germany
            [3 ]Department of Neurology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA
            Contributors
            Journal
            Orphanet J Rare Dis
            Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
            BioMed Central
            1750-1172
            2011
            25 October 2011
            : 6
            : 68
            3212896
            1750-1172-6-68
            22027213
            10.1186/1750-1172-6-68
            Copyright ©2011 Jung et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Review

            Infectious disease & Microbiology

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