The kinesin heavy chain isoform 5A (KIF5A) gene, which encodes a microtubule-based motor protein, plays an important role in the transport of organelles in the nerve cells. Mutations in the KIF5A showed a wide phenotypic spectrum from hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) to axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth peripheral neuropathy type 2 (CMT2). This study identified three pathogenic KIF5A mutations in Korean CMT2 patients by whole exome sequencing. Two mutations (p.Arg204Trp and p.Arg280His) were previously reported, but p.Leu558Pro was determined to be a novel de novo mutation. All the mutations were not observed in the healthy controls and were located in highly conserved domains among vertebrate species. The p.Arg204Trp mutation was identified from a CMT2 patient with additional complex phenotypes of HSP, ataxia, fatigability and pyramidal sign, but the p.Arg280His and p.Leu588Pro mutations were identified in each axonal CMT2 patient. The p.Arg204Trp mutation was previously reported in a HSP patient with no CMT symptom. The p.Arg280His mutation was reported in a CMT2 patient, which was similarly with our case. However, it was also once reported in a HSP patient with pes cavus. As the first report in Korea, this study identified three KIF5A mutations as the underlying cause of axonal peripheral neuropathy with or without the HSP phenotype. We confirmed a wide inter- and intra-allelic phenotypic spectrum by the mutations in the KIF5A.
Keywords: Axonal neuropathy; CMT2; Exome; Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP); KIF5A; Korean.