Background: Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is the most common inherited neuromuscular disorder characterized by wide clinical, genetic and pathomechanistic heterogeneity. Recently, the gene encoding peripheral myelin protein 2 (PMP2) was identified as a novel cause for CMT neuropathy with three mutations that structurally cluster together (p.Ile43Asn, p.Thr51Pro, p.Ile52Thr) reported in five families.
Results: Using whole exome sequencing and cohort screening we identified two novel missense substitutions in PMP2 in Bulgarian (p.Met114Thr, c.341C > T) and German (p.Val115Ala, c.344 T > C) families. The mutations affect adjacent and highly conserved amino acid residues outside of the known mutation-rich region in the protein. Crystal structure analysis positions the affected residues within a cluster of highly conserved fatty acid coordinating residues implying their functional significance. The clinical, electrophysiological and imaging features in both families were consistent with a childhood onset polyneuropathy with variable patterns of demyelination, slow to very slow progression, and most severe involvement of the peroneal muscles.
Conclusions: We expand the genetic and phenotypic spectrum of PMP2-related peripheral neuropathy. Our findings reveal a second mutational cluster in the protein.
Keywords: CMT; Cluster; Demyelinating; Novel; PMP2.