Variants in PRKAR1B cause a neurodevelopmental disorder with autism spectrum disorder, apraxia, and insensitivity to pain

Genet Med. 2021 Aug;23(8):1465-1473. doi: 10.1038/s41436-021-01152-7. Epub 2021 Apr 8.


Purpose: We characterize the clinical and molecular phenotypes of six unrelated individuals with intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder who carry heterozygous missense variants of the PRKAR1B gene, which encodes the R1β subunit of the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA).

Methods: Variants of PRKAR1B were identified by single- or trio-exome analysis. We contacted the families and physicians of the six individuals to collect phenotypic information, performed in vitro analyses of the identified PRKAR1B-variants, and investigated PRKAR1B expression during embryonic development.

Results: Recent studies of large patient cohorts with neurodevelopmental disorders found significant enrichment of de novo missense variants in PRKAR1B. In our cohort, de novo origin of the PRKAR1B variants could be confirmed in five of six individuals, and four carried the same heterozygous de novo variant c.1003C>T (p.Arg335Trp; NM_001164760). Global developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, and apraxia/dyspraxia have been reported in all six, and reduced pain sensitivity was found in three individuals carrying the c.1003C>T variant. PRKAR1B expression in the brain was demonstrated during human embryonal development. Additionally, in vitro analyses revealed altered basal PKA activity in cells transfected with variant-harboring PRKAR1B expression constructs.

Conclusion: Our study provides strong evidence for a PRKAR1B-related neurodevelopmental disorder.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Apraxias*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinase RIbeta Subunit
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability* / genetics
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders* / genetics
  • Pain
  • Pregnancy


  • Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinase RIbeta Subunit
  • PRKAR1B protein, human