Pathogenic deep intronic MTM1 variant activates a pseudo-exon encoding a nonsense codon resulting in severe X-linked myotubular myopathy

Eur J Hum Genet. 2021 Jan;29(1):61-66. doi: 10.1038/s41431-020-00715-7. Epub 2020 Aug 29.


X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM) is a severe congenital myopathy characterised by generalised weakness and respiratory insufficiency. XLMTM is associated with pathogenic variants in MTM1; a gene encoding the lipid phosphatase myotubularin. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of an exome-negative male proband with severe hypotonia, respiratory insufficiency and centralised nuclei on muscle biopsy identified a deep intronic MTM1 variant NG_008199.1(NM_000252.2):c.1468-577A>G, which strengthened a cryptic 5' splice site (A>G substitution at the +5 position). Muscle RNA sequencing was non-diagnostic due to low read depth. Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) of muscle RNA confirmed the c.1468-577A>G variant activates inclusion of a pseudo-exon encoding a premature stop codon into all detected MTM1 transcripts. Western blot analysis establishes deficiency of myotubularin protein, consistent with the severe XLMTM phenotype. We expand the genotypic spectrum of XLMTM and highlight benefits of screening non-coding regions of MTM1 in male probands with phenotypically concordant XLMTM who remain undiagnosed following exome sequencing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Codon, Nonsense*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Myopathies, Structural, Congenital / genetics*
  • Myopathies, Structural, Congenital / pathology
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Non-Receptor / genetics*
  • RNA Splice Sites
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • Codon, Nonsense
  • RNA Splice Sites
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases, Non-Receptor
  • myotubularin