Amplicon Resequencing Identified Parental Mosaicism for Approximately 10% of "de novo" SCN1A Mutations in Children with Dravet Syndrome

Hum Mutat. 2015 Sep;36(9):861-72. doi: 10.1002/humu.22819. Epub 2015 Jul 24.


The majority of children with Dravet syndrome (DS) are caused by de novo SCN1A mutations. To investigate the origin of the mutations, we developed and applied a new method that combined deep amplicon resequencing with a Bayesian model to detect and quantify allelic fractions with improved sensitivity. Of 174 SCN1A mutations in DS probands which were considered "de novo" by Sanger sequencing, we identified 15 cases (8.6%) of parental mosaicism. We identified another five cases of parental mosaicism that were also detectable by Sanger sequencing. Fraction of mutant alleles in the 20 cases of parental mosaicism ranged from 1.1% to 32.6%. Thirteen (65% of 20) mutations originated paternally and seven (35% of 20) maternally. Twelve (60% of 20) mosaic parents did not have any epileptic symptoms. Their mutant allelic fractions were significantly lower than those in mosaic parents with epileptic symptoms (P = 0.016). We identified mosaicism with varied allelic fractions in blood, saliva, urine, hair follicle, oral epithelium, and semen, demonstrating that postzygotic mutations could affect multiple somatic cells as well as germ cells. Our results suggest that more sensitive tools for detecting low-level mosaicism in parents of families with seemingly "de novo" mutations will allow for better informed genetic counseling.

Keywords: Dravet syndrome; SCN1A; de novo; mosaic; next-generation sequencing; somatic mutation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Child
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Epilepsies, Myoclonic / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mosaicism*
  • Mutation*
  • NAV1.1 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • NAV1.1 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel
  • SCN1A protein, human