We describe first cousin sibling pairs with focal epilepsy, one of each pair having focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) IIa. Linkage analysis and whole-exome sequencing identified a heterozygous germline frameshift mutation in the gene encoding nitrogen permease regulator-like 3 (NPRL3). NPRL3 is a component of GAP Activity Towards Rags 1, a negative regulator of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 signaling pathway. Immunostaining of resected brain tissue demonstrated mammalian target of rapamycin activation. Screening of 52 unrelated individuals with FCD identified 2 additional patients with FCDIIa and germline NPRL3 mutations. Similar to DEPDC5, NPRL3 mutations may be considered as causal variants in patients with FCD or magnetic resonance imaging-negative focal epilepsy.
© 2015 American Neurological Association.