Expansion of Human-Specific GGC Repeat in Neuronal Intranuclear Inclusion Disease-Related Disorders

Am J Hum Genet. 2019 Jul 3;105(1):166-176. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.05.013. Epub 2019 Jun 6.


Neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease (NIID) is a slowly progressing neurodegenerative disease characterized by eosinophilic intranuclear inclusions in the nervous system and multiple visceral organs. The clinical manifestation of NIID varies widely, and both familial and sporadic cases have been reported. Here we have performed genetic linkage analysis and mapped the disease locus to 1p13.3-q23.1; however, whole-exome sequencing revealed no potential disease-causing mutations. We then performed long-read genome sequencing and identified a large GGC repeat expansion within human-specific NOTCH2NLC. Expanded GGC repeats as the cause of NIID was further confirmed in an additional three NIID-affected families as well as five sporadic NIID-affected case subjects. Moreover, given the clinical heterogeneity of NIID, we examined the size of the GGC repeat among 456 families with a variety of neurological conditions with the known pathogenic genes excluded. Surprisingly, GGC repeat expansion was observed in two Alzheimer disease (AD)-affected families and three parkinsonism-affected families, implicating that the GGC repeat expansions in NOTCH2NLC could also contribute to the pathogenesis of both AD and PD. Therefore, we suggest defining a term NIID-related disorders (NIIDRD), which will include NIID and other related neurodegenerative diseases caused by the expanded GGC repeat within human-specific NOTCH2NLC.

Keywords: GGC repeat expansions; NOTCH2NLC; linkage analysis; long-read genome sequencing; neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease; whole-exome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intranuclear Inclusion Bodies / genetics
  • Intranuclear Inclusion Bodies / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / genetics
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology*
  • Pedigree
  • Receptors, Notch / genetics*
  • Trinucleotide Repeat Expansion / genetics*
  • Whole Exome Sequencing


  • Receptors, Notch

Supplementary concepts

  • Neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease