Introduction: Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a heterozygous group of neurodegenerative disorders. Spinocerebellar ataxia type 5 (SCA5) is a rare autosomal-dominant ataxia with pure cerebellum involvement. The clinical characteristics are limb and gait ataxia, trunk ataxia, sensory deficits, abnormal eye movement, dysarthria, and hyperactive tendon reflexes. Spectrin beta nonerythrocytic 2 gene (SPTBN2), coding β-III spectrin protein, was identified to be associated with SCA5. To date, more than 19 variants of SPTBN2 have been reported.
Methods: A family and an apparently sporadic patient with ataxia and cerebellar atrophy were recruited from Shandong Province (China). To discover the disease-causing variants, capillary electrophoresis and targeted next-generation sequencing were performed in the proband of the family and the sporadic patient. The candidate variants were verified by Sanger sequencing and analyzed by bioinformatics software.
Results: In our study, we verified two novel heterozygous variants in SPTBN2 in a SCA pedigree and a sporadic patient. The proband of the pedigree and her mother presented with walking instability and progressively getting worse. The sporadic patient suffered from slurred speech, walking instability, and drinking water choking cough. MRI examination of the proband and sporadic patient both displayed moderate cerebellar atrophy. The variants identified were traditionally conserved and predicted probably damaging and disease-causing by bioinformatics analysis.
Conclusion: We identified two novel heterozygous variants of SPTBN2 resulting in severe ataxia which further delineated the correlation between the genotype and phenotype of SCA5, and pathogenesis of variants in SPTBN2 should be further researched.
Keywords: Cerebellar ataxia; Spectrin beta nonerythrocytic 2; Spinocerebellar ataxia type 5; Targeted next-generation sequencing.
© 2021. The Author(s).