TSEN54 mutations cause pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 5

Eur J Hum Genet. 2011 Jun;19(6):724-6. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2011.8. Epub 2011 Feb 2.


Pontocerebellar hypoplasia (PCH) is a group of autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorders characterized by prenatal onset of stunted brain growth and progressive atrophy predominantly affecting cerebellum, pons and olivary nuclei, and to a lesser extent also the cerebral cortex. Six subtypes (PCH1-6) were described and genes for four types (PCH1, 2, 4 and 6) were identified. Mutations in the tRNA splicing endonuclease subunit (TSEN) genes 54, 2 and 34 are found in PCH2 and PCH4. One family with severe prenatal onset of PCH has been the only representative of PCH5 published so far, and the molecular genetic status of PCH5 has not been ascertained until now. We screened the previously reported PCH5 family for mutations in the TSEN54 gene. The PCH5 patient was found to be the result of compound heterozygosity for the common TSEN54 mutation (p.A307S) plus a novel splice site mutation. The mutations associated with PCH5 are similar to what has been reported in PCH4. Thus, PCH5, PCH4 and PCH2 represent a spectrum of clinical manifestations caused by different mutations in the TSEN genes. We, therefore, propose to classify PCH2, PCH4 and PCH5 as TSEN mutation spectrum disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebellum / abnormalities
  • Endoribonucleases / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Olivary Nucleus / abnormalities
  • Olivopontocerebellar Atrophies / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Pons / abnormalities
  • Pregnancy


  • Endoribonucleases
  • TSEN54 protein, human