Intragenic CAMTA1 rearrangements cause non-progressive congenital ataxia with or without intellectual disability

J Med Genet. 2012 Jun;49(6):400-8. doi: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2012-100856.


Background: Non-progressive congenital ataxias (NPCA) with or without intellectual disability (ID) are clinically and genetically heterogeneous conditions. As a consequence, the identification of the genes responsible for these phenotypes remained limited.

Objective: Identification of a new gene responsible for NPCA and ID. Methods Following the discovery of three familial or sporadic cases with an intragenic calmodulin-binding transcription activator 1 (CAMTA1) rearrangement identified by an array-CGH and recruited from a national collaboration, the authors defined the clinical and molecular characteristics of such rearrangements, and searched for patients with point mutations by direct sequencing.

Results: Intragenic copy number variations of CAMTA1 were all located in the CG-1 domain of the gene. It segregated with autosomal dominant ID with non-progressive congenital cerebellar ataxia (NPCA) in two unrelated families, and was de novo deletion located in the same domain in a child presenting with NPCA. In the patients with ID, the deletion led to a frameshift, producing a truncated protein, while this was not the case for the patient with isolated childhood ataxia. Brain MRI of the patients revealed a pattern of progressive atrophy of cerebellum medium lobes and superior vermis, parietal lobes and hippocampi. DNA sequencing of the CG-1 domain in 197 patients with sporadic or familial non-syndromic intellectual deficiency, extended to full DNA sequencing in 50 patients with ID and 47 additional patients with childhood ataxia, identified no pathogenic mutation.

Conclusion: The authors have evidence that loss-of-function of CAMTA1, a brain-specific calcium responsive transcription factor, is responsible for NPCA with or without ID. Accession numbers CAMTA1 reference sequence used was ENST00000303635. Protein sequence was ENSP00000306522.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ataxia / genetics*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pedigree
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*


  • CAMTA1 protein, human
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Trans-Activators