Homozygous/compound heterozygote RYR1 gene variants: Expanding the clinical spectrum

Am J Med Genet A. 2019 Mar;179(3):386-396. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.61025. Epub 2019 Jan 16.


The ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) is a calcium release channel essential for excitation-contraction coupling in the sarcoplasmic reticulum of skeletal muscles. Dominant variants in the RYR1 have been well associated with the known pharmacogenetic ryanodinopathy and malignant hyperthermia. With the era of next-generation gene sequencing and growing number of causative variants, the spectrum of ryanodinopathies has been evolving with dominant and recessive variants presenting with RYR1-related congenital myopathies such as central core disease, minicore myopathy with external ophthalmoplegia, core-rod myopathy, and congenital neuromuscular disease. Lately, the spectrum was broadened to include fetal manifestations, causing a rare recessive and lethal form of fetal akinesia deformation sequence syndrome (FADS)/arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC) and lethal multiple pterygium syndrome. Here we broaden the spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with homozygous/compound heterozygous RYR1 gene variants to include a wide range of manifestations from FADS through neonatal hypotonia to a 35-year-old male with AMC and PhD degree. We report five unrelated families in which three presented with FADS. One of these families was consanguineous and had three affected fetuses with FADS, one patient with neonatal hypotonia who is alive, and one individual with AMC who is 35 years old with normal intellectual development and uses a wheelchair. Muscle biopsies on these cases demonstrated a variety of histopathological abnormalities, which did not assist with the diagnostic process. Neither the affected living individuals nor the parents who are obligate heterozygotes had history of malignant hyperthermia.

Keywords: RYR1; arthrogryposis multiplex congenita; fetal akinesia deformation sequence syndrome; lethal multiple pterygium syndrome; malignant hyperthermia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Exome Sequencing
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Heterozygote*
  • Homozygote*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel / genetics*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult


  • RYR1 protein, human
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel