Purpose: Pathogenic variants in GABRB3 have been associated with a spectrum of phenotypes from severe developmental disorders and epileptic encephalopathies to milder epilepsy syndromes and mild intellectual disability (ID). In this study, we analyzed a large cohort of individuals with GABRB3 variants to deepen the phenotypic understanding and investigate genotype-phenotype correlations.
Methods: Through an international collaboration, we analyzed electro-clinical data of unpublished individuals with variants in GABRB3, and we reviewed previously published cases. All missense variants were mapped onto the 3-dimensional structure of the GABRB3 subunit, and clinical phenotypes associated with the different key structural domains were investigated.
Results: We characterized 71 individuals with GABRB3 variants, including 22 novel subjects, expressing a wide spectrum of phenotypes. Interestingly, phenotypes correlated with structural locations of the variants. Generalized epilepsy, with a median age at onset of 12 months, and mild-to-moderate ID were associated with variants in the extracellular domain. Focal epilepsy with earlier onset (median: age 4 months) and severe ID were associated with variants in both the pore-lining helical transmembrane domain and the extracellular domain.
Conclusion: These genotype-phenotype correlations will aid the genetic counseling and treatment of individuals affected by GABRB3-related disorders. Future studies may reveal whether functional differences underlie the phenotypic differences.
Keywords: Epilepsy; GABA; GABRB3; Genetics; Mapping.
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