SPTAN1 variants as a potential cause for autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia

J Hum Genet. 2019 Nov;64(11):1145-1151. doi: 10.1038/s10038-019-0669-2. Epub 2019 Sep 12.


More than 80 known or suspected genes/loci have been reported to be involved in hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). Genetic and clinical overlap have been reported between HSP and other neurological condition, yet about 50% of HSP patients remain genetically undiagnosed. To identify novel genes involved in HSP, we performed a genetic analysis of 383 HSP patients from 289 families with HSP. Two patients with biallelic SPTAN1 variants were identified; one carried the c.2572G>T p.(Ala858Ser) and c.4283C>G p.(Ala1428Gly) variants, and the second also carried the c.2572G>T p.(Ala858Ser) variant, and an additional variant, c.6990G>C p.(Met2330Ile). In silico predictive and structural analyses suggested that these variants are likely to be deleterious. SPTAN1 was highly intolerant for functional variants (in the top 0.31% of intolerant genes) with much lower observed vs. expected number of loss-of-function variants (8 vs. 142.7, p < 5 × 10-15). Using public databases of animal models and previously published data, we have found previously described zebrafish, mouse, and rat animal models of SPTAN1 deficiency, all consistently showing axonal degeneration, fitting the pathological features of HSP in humans. This study expands the phenotype of SPTAN1 mutations, which at the heterozygous state, when occurred de novo, may cause early infantile epileptic encephalopathy-5 (EIEE5). Our results further suggest that SPTAN1 may cause autosomal recessive HSP, and that it should be included in genetic screening panels for genetically undiagnosed HSP patients.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / pathology
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Female
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microfilament Proteins / chemistry
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics*
  • Models, Animal
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Nerve Degeneration / genetics*
  • Nerve Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Conformation
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary / epidemiology
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary / genetics*
  • Zebrafish / genetics


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • fodrin