Expanding the spectrum of TUBA1A-related cortical dysgenesis to Polymicrogyria

Eur J Hum Genet. 2013 Apr;21(4):381-5. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2012.195. Epub 2012 Sep 5.


De novo mutations in the TUBA1A gene are responsible for a wide spectrum of neuronal migration disorders, ranging from lissencephaly to perisylvian pachygyria. Recently, one family with polymicrogyria (PMG) and mutation in TUBA1A was reported. Hence, the purpose of our study was to determine the frequency of TUBA1A mutations in patients with PMG and better define clinical and imaging characteristics for TUBA1A-related PMG. We collected 95 sporadic patients with non-syndromic bilateral PMG, including 54 with perisylvian PMG and 30 PMG with additional brain abnormalities. Mutation analysis of the TUBA1A gene was performed by sequencing of PCR fragments corresponding to TUBA1A-coding sequences. Three de novo missense TUBA1A mutations were identified in three unrelated patients with PMG representing 3.1% of PMG and 10% of PMGs with complex cerebral malformations. These patients had bilateral perisylvian asymmetrical PMG with dysmorphic basal ganglia cerebellar vermian dysplasia and pontine hypoplasia. These mutations (p.Tyr161His; p.Val235Leu; p.Arg390Cys) appear distributed throughout the primary structure of the alpha-tubulin polypeptide, but their localization within the tertiary structure suggests that PMG-related mutations are likely to impact microtubule dynamics, stability and/or local interactions with partner proteins. These findings broaden the phenotypic spectrum associated with TUBA1A mutations to PMG and further emphasize that additional brain abnormalities, that is, dysmorphic basal ganglia, hypoplastic pons and cerebellar dysplasia are key features for the diagnosis of TUBA1A-related PMG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Malformations of Cortical Development / diagnosis
  • Malformations of Cortical Development / genetics*
  • Malformations of Cortical Development, Group II / diagnosis
  • Malformations of Cortical Development, Group II / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Pedigree
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Tubulin / chemistry
  • Tubulin / genetics*
  • Tubulin / metabolism


  • TUBA1A protein, human
  • Tubulin