Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) is a group of inherited peripheral neuropathies. To date, mutations in >80 genes are reportedly associated with CMT. Protein mitofusin 2 encoded by MFN2 serves an essential role in mitochondrial fusion and regulation of apoptosis, which has previously been reported to be highly associated with an axonal form of neuropathy (CMT2A). In the present study, a large Chinese family with severe CMT was reported and a genetic analysis of the disease was performed. A detailed physical examination for CMT was performed in 13 family members and electrophysiological examinations were performed in 3 affected family members. Whole-exome sequencing was performed on the proband, and the suspected variants were identified by Sanger sequencing. The pathogenicity of mutation was verified by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis in the family followed by a bioinformatics analysis. A novel c.1190G>C; p.(R397P) mutation in the MFN2 gene was identified in the proband, and co-segregated between genotype and phenotype in the family. The substituted amino acid changed the hydrophobicity and charge characteristics of the mitofusin 2 coiled-coiled domain; thus it may affect its biological function. In summary, a novel pathogenic mutation was identified in a Chinese family with CMT, which expands the phenotypic and mutational spectrum of CMT2A, and provides evidence for prenatal interventions and more precise pharmacological treatments to this family.
Keywords: Charcot-Marie-Tooth 2A; MFN2; bioinformatics analysis; exome sequencing; restriction fragment length polymorphism.