Current Understanding of Congenital Myasthenic Syndromes

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2005 Jun;5(3):308-21. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2004.12.007.


Investigation of congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMSs) disclosed a diverse array of molecular targets at the motor endplate. Clinical, electrophysiologic and morphologic studies paved the way for detecting CMS-related mutations in proteins such as the acetylcholine receptor, acetylcholinesterase, choline acetyltransferase, rapsyn, MuSK and Na(v)1.4. Analysis of electrophysiologic and biochemical properties of mutant proteins expressed in heterologous systems contributed crucially to defining the molecular consequences of the observed mutations and resulted in improved therapy of different CMSs. Recent crystallography studies of choline acetyltransferase and homology structural models of the acetylcholine receptor are providing further clues to how point mutations alter protein function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / deficiency*
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase* / deficiency
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase* / genetics
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Muscle Proteins / deficiency*
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital* / classification
  • Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital* / etiology
  • Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital* / physiopathology
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / deficiency*
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / genetics
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / physiology


  • Muscle Proteins
  • Receptors, Cholinergic
  • peripheral membrane protein 43K
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase
  • Acetylcholinesterase