Homozygous exonic and intragenic NRXN1 deletion presenting as either West syndrome or autism spectrum disorder in two siblings

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2022 Mar:214:107141. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2022.107141. Epub 2022 Jan 24.


Neurexins (NRXNs) are cell-adhesion molecules that play critical roles in establishing and maintaining synaptic connections. Humans have three NRXN genes (NRXN1, NRXN2, NRXN3) and heterozygous intragenic microdeletions involving NRXN1 have been associated with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disability, seizures, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Bi-allelic loss in NRXN1 produces a recessive and severe phenotype. We would like to describe the clinical, electroencephalographic, and genetic findings of two siblings, one with a neurodevelopmental disorder with infantile spasms and the other with autism spectrum disorder, having homozygous exonic NRXN1 deletion. A suspicious variant was not detected in the whole exome-sequencing but copy number variation analysis revealed NRXN1 exon 2-5 homozygous deletion (chr2:51149007-51255411; 106.404 kb) in both siblings. Neurodevelopmental disorder with infantile spasms and autism spectrum disorder in two siblings with homozygous NRXN1 deletion display intrafamilial phenotypic variation. Bi-allelic/homozygous NRXN1 exonic deletions are responsible for a spectrum from significant intellectual disability to epileptic encephalopathy, even within the same family. Array comparative genomic hybridization should be the first genetic testing in epileptic encephalopathy although we reached the diagnosis with next-generation sequencing and later copy number variation analysis.

Keywords: Array comparative genomic hybridization; Epilepsy; Neurexin 1; Pitt-Hopkins-like syndrome 2; Seizures.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder* / genetics
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal / genetics
  • Comparative Genomic Hybridization
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Exons / genetics
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intellectual Disability* / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Siblings
  • Spasms, Infantile* / diagnosis
  • Spasms, Infantile* / genetics


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal
  • NRXN1 protein, human
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules