The catenin beta-1 (CTNNB1) gene, encoding a sub-unit of the cadherin/catenin protein complex that is involved in the Wnt signalling pathway important for proper interneuron development, is considered to be causative for the rare autosomal dominant mental retardation syndrome, formerly called MRD19 but later renamed neurodevelopmental disorder with spastic diplegia and visual defects (NEDSDV). Its main characteristics are moderate to severe intellectual disability (ID), disruptive autistic behaviours, microcephaly, absent or limited speech, facial dysmorphisms, peripheral hypertonia/spasticity, motor delay and visual defects. So far, 35 patients have been reported with a de novo loss-of-function variant in CTNNB1. In two other patients, a deletion comprising the full gene was found. Four out of the 37 patients were of adult age (range: 27-51 years), while the majority was infant or adolescent (range: 0-20 years). Here, a 32-year-old severely intellectually disabled female patient is described in whom exome sequencing disclosed a de novo heterozygous splice site variant in the CTNNB1 gene [Chr3(GRCh37): g.41267064G>T; NM_001904.3: 23. c.734+1G>T; r. spl?]. Somatic investigation disclosed significant microcephaly and minor facial dysmorphisms. Neurological examination demonstrated severe kyphoscoliosis, distal spastic tetraparesis, especially of the legs with increased tendon reflexes and bilateral Babinski sign, resulting in severely impaired walking capability with a broad-based gait. Apart from strabismus, no ophthalmological abnormalities were found. Here, the reported variant in the CTNNB1 gene was not published earlier nor is included in the international databases. This specific variant is considered to be causative for the severe ID, autism and the somato-neurological phenotype of the patient and corresponds with a diagnosis of NEDSDV.
Keywords: CTNNB1; NEDSDV; autism; distal spastic tetraparesis; heterozygous splice site variant; intellectual disability.
© 2020 Verhoeven et al.