5' UTR CGG repeat expansion in GIPC1 is associated with oculopharyngodistal myopathy

Brain. 2021 Mar 3;144(2):601-614. doi: 10.1093/brain/awaa426.


Oculopharyngodistal myopathy is a late-onset degenerative muscle disorder characterized by ptosis and weakness of the facial, pharyngeal, and distal limb muscles. A recent report suggested a non-coding trinucleotide repeat expansion in LRP12 to be associated with the disease. Here we report a genetic study in a Chinese cohort of 41 patients with the clinical diagnosis of oculopharyngodistal myopathy (21 cases from seven families and 20 sporadic cases). In a large family with 12 affected individuals, combined haplotype and linkage analysis revealed a maximum two-point logarithm of the odds (LOD) score of 3.3 in chromosomal region chr19p13.11-p13.2 and narrowed the candidate region to an interval of 4.5 Mb. Using a comprehensive strategy combining whole-exome sequencing, long-read sequencing, repeat-primed polymerase chain reaction and GC-rich polymerase chain reaction, we identified an abnormal CGG repeat expansion in the 5' UTR of the GIPC1 gene that co-segregated with disease. Overall, the repeat expansion in GIPC1 was identified in 51.9% independent pedigrees (4/7 families and 10/20 sporadic cases), while the repeat expansion in LRP12 was only identified in one sporadic case (3.7%) in our cohort. The number of CGG repeats was <30 in controls but >60 in affected individuals. There was a slight correlation between repeat size and the age at onset. Both repeat expansion and retraction were observed during transmission but somatic instability was not evident. These results further support that non-coding CGG repeat expansion plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of oculopharyngodistal myopathy.

Keywords: GIPC1; CGG repeat expansion; long-read sequencing; muscle imaging; oculopharyngodistal myopathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian People / genetics
  • Exome Sequencing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscular Dystrophies / genetics*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / pathology
  • Mutation
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Trinucleotide Repeat Expansion*


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • GIPC1 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Oculopharyngodistal Myopathy