Background: Paramyotonia congenita (PMC) of von Eulenburg is an autosomal dominant muscular disease characterized by exercise- and cold-induced myotonia and weakness. To date, 18 missense mutations in the adult skeletal muscle sodium channel alpha-subunit (SCN4A) gene have been identified to cause a spectrum of muscular diseases, including PMC of von Eulenburg, PMC without cold paralysis, potassium-aggravating myotonia, and hyperkalemic periodic paralysis. However, no obvious correlations can be made between the location or nature of amino acid substitutions in SCN4A and its clinical phenotypes.
Objective: To describe clinical and genetic features of a family with PMC of von Eulenburg.
Results: A Japanese family with cold-induced myotonia and weakness was diagnosed as having PMC of von Eulenburg. This phenotype was identified to be caused by a novel mutation that substituted a glutamic acid residue for a highly conserved glycine residue in the fourth transmembrane segment (S4) of domain IV. This predicted a decrease in positive charge specific for the S4.
Conclusion: In addition to the G1456E identified in this study, 4 mutations that cause a decrease in positive charge in the S4/D4 are associated with the phenotype of PMC of von Eulenburg. This provides an important genotype-phenotype correlation in sodium channelopathies.