The spectrum of mutations that underlie the neuromuscular junction synaptopathy in DOK7 congenital myasthenic syndrome

Hum Mol Genet. 2012 Sep 1;21(17):3765-75. doi: 10.1093/hmg/dds198. Epub 2012 Jun 1.


Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) are a group of inherited diseases that affect synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction and result in fatiguable muscle weakness. A subgroup of CMS patients have a recessively inherited limb-girdle pattern of weakness caused by mutations in DOK7. DOK7 encodes DOK7, an adaptor protein that is expressed in the skeletal muscle and heart and that is essential for the development and maintenance of the neuromuscular junction. We have screened the DOK7 gene for mutations by polymerase chain reaction amplification and bi-directional sequencing of exonic and promoter regions and performed acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clustering assays and used exon trapping to determine the pathogenicity of detected variants. Approximately 18% of genetically diagnosed CMSs in the UK have mutations in DOK7, with mutations in this gene identified in more than 60 kinships to date. Thirty-four different pathogenic mutations were identified as well as 27 variants likely to be non-pathogenic. An exon 7 frameshift duplication c.1124_1127dupTGCC is commonly found in at least one allele. We analyse the effect of the common frameshift c.1124_1127dupTGCC and show that 10/11 suspected missense mutations have a deleterious effect on AChR clustering. We identify for the first time homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations that are localized 5' to exon 7. In addition, three silent variants in the N-terminal half of DOK7 are predicted to alter the splicing of the DOK7 RNA transcript. The DOK7 gene is highly polymorphic, and within these many variants, we define a spectrum of mutations that can underlie DOK7 CMS that will inform in managing this disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Exons / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle Proteins / chemistry
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics*
  • Mutant Proteins / chemistry
  • Mutant Proteins / genetics
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Mutation, Missense / genetics
  • Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital / genetics*
  • Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital / pathology
  • Neuromuscular Junction / genetics*
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • Receptors, Cholinergic / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Synapses / genetics*
  • Synapses / pathology*
  • Transfection


  • DOK7 protein, human
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Mutant Proteins
  • Receptors, Cholinergic