In the past decade, mutations in LRSAM1 were identified as the genetic cause of both dominant and recessive forms of axonal CMT type 2P (CMT2P). Despite demonstrating different inheritance patterns, dominant CMT2P is usually characterized by relatively mild, slowly progressive axonal neuropathy, mainly involving lower limbs, with age of onset between the second and fifth decades of life. Asymptomatic individuals were identified in several pedigrees exemplifying the strong phenotypic variability of these patients requiring serial clinical evaluation to establish correct diagnosis; in this respect, magnetic resonance imaging of lower-limb musculature showing fatty atrophy might be helpful in detecting subclinical gene mutation carriers. LRSAM1 is a universally expressed RING-type E3 ubiquitin protein ligase catalysing the final step in the ubiquitination cascade. Strikingly, TSG101 remains the only known ubiquitination target hampering our mechanistic understanding of the role of LRSAM1 in the cell. The recessive CMT mutations lead to complete loss of LRSAM1, contrary to the heterozygous dominant variants. These tightly cluster in the C-terminal RING domain highlighting its importance in governing the CMT disease. The domain is crucial for the ubiquitination function of LRSAM1 and CMT mutations disrupt its function, however it remains unknown how this leads to the peripheral neuropathy. Additionally, recent studies have linked LRSAM1 with other neurodegenerative diseases of peripheral and central nervous systems. In this review we share our experience with the challenging clinical diagnosis of CMT2P and summarize the mechanistic insights about the LRSAM1 dysfunction that might be helpful for the neurodegenerative field at large.
Keywords: CMT; Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease; LRSAM1; Peripheral neuropathy; Ubiquitin ligase.