Novel mutations in cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene in Indian cases of Rett syndrome

Neuromolecular Med. 2013 Mar;15(1):218-25. doi: 10.1007/s12017-012-8212-z. Epub 2012 Dec 15.


Rett syndrome is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder, almost exclusively affecting females and characterized by a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. Both the classic and atypical forms of Rett syndrome are primarily due to mutations in the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene. Mutations in the X-linked cyclin-dependent kinase-like 5 (CDKL5) gene have been identified in patients with atypical Rett syndrome, X-linked infantile spasms sharing common features of generally early-onset seizures and mental retardation. CDKL5 is known as serine/threonine protein kinase 9 (STK9) and is mapped to the Xp22 region. It has a conserved serine/threonine kinase domain within its amino terminus and a large C-terminal region. Disease-causing mutations are distributed in both the amino terminal domain and in the large C-terminal domain. We have screened the CDKL5 gene in 44 patients with atypical Rett syndrome who had tested negative for MECP2 gene mutations and have identified 6 sequence variants, out of which three were novel and three known mutations. Two of these novel mutations p.V966I and p.A1011V were missense and p.H589H a silent mutation. Other known mutations identified were p.V999M, p.Q791P and p.T734A. Sequence homology for all the mutations revealed that the two mutations (p.Q791P and p.T734A) were conserved across species. This indicated the importance of these residues in structure and function of the protein. The damaging effects of these mutations were analysed in silico using PolyPhen-2 online software. The PolyPhen-2 scores of p.Q791P and p.T734A were 0.998 and 0.48, revealing that these mutations could be deleterious and might have potential functional effect. All other mutations had a low score suggesting that they might not alter the activity of CDKL5. We have also analysed the position of the mutations in the CDKL5 protein and found that all the mutations were present in the C-terminal domain of the protein. The C-terminal domain is required for cellular localization through protein-protein interaction; any mutations in this domain might alter this function of the protein. This is the first report from India showing the mutation in CDKL5 gene in Indian cases of Rett syndrome. Our study emphasizes the role of CDKL5 mutation screening in cases of atypical Rett syndrome with congenital seizure variant.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Animals
  • Chromosomes, Human, X / genetics*
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2 / genetics
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation, Missense*
  • Phenotype
  • Point Mutation*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / chemistry
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Rett Syndrome / enzymology
  • Rett Syndrome / ethnology
  • Rett Syndrome / genetics*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Species Specificity
  • Vertebrates / genetics
  • X Chromosome Inactivation


  • MECP2 protein, human
  • Methyl-CpG-Binding Protein 2
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • CDKL5 protein, human