Variants in CAPZA2, a member of an F-actin capping complex, cause intellectual disability and developmental delay

Hum Mol Genet. 2020 Jun 3;29(9):1537-1546. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddaa078.


The actin cytoskeleton is regulated by many proteins including capping proteins that stabilize actin filaments (F-actin) by inhibiting actin polymerization and depolymerization. Here, we report two pediatric probands who carry damaging heterozygous de novo mutations in CAPZA2 (HGNC: 1490) and exhibit neurological symptoms with shared phenotypes including global motor development delay, speech delay, intellectual disability, hypotonia and a history of seizures. CAPZA2 encodes a subunit of an F-actin-capping protein complex (CapZ). CapZ is an obligate heterodimer consisting of α and β heterodimer conserved from yeast to human. Vertebrate genomes contain three α subunits encoded by three different genes and CAPZA2 encodes the α2 subunit. The single orthologue of CAPZA genes in Drosophila is cpa. Loss of cpa leads to lethality in early development and expression of the human reference; CAPZA2 rescues this lethality. However, the two CAPZA2 variants identified in the probands rescue this lethality at lower efficiency than the reference. Moreover, expression of the CAPZA2 variants affects bristle morphogenesis, a process that requires extensive actin polymerization and bundling during development. Taken together, our findings suggest that variants in CAPZA2 lead to a non-syndromic neurodevelopmental disorder in children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / genetics
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • CapZ Actin Capping Protein / genetics*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / genetics*
  • Developmental Disabilities / pathology
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics*
  • Intellectual Disability / pathology
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype


  • CAPZA2 protein, human
  • CapZ Actin Capping Protein