DEPDC5-related epilepsy: A comprehensive review

Epilepsy Behav. 2022 May:130:108678. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2022.108678. Epub 2022 Apr 14.


DEPDC5-related epilepsy, caused by pathogenic germline variants(with or without additional somatic variants in the brain) of DEPDC5 (Dishevelled, Egl-10 and Pleckstrin domain-containing protein 5) gene, is a newly discovered predominantly focal epilepsy linked to enhanced mTORC1 pathway. DEPDC5-related epilepsy includes several familial epilepsy syndromes, including familial focal epilepsy with variable foci (FFEVF) and rare sporadic nonlesional focal epilepsy. DEPDC5 has been identified as one of the more common epilepsy genes linked to infantile spasms and sudden unexpected death (SUDEP). Although intelligence usually is unaffected in DEPDC5-related epilepsy, some people have been diagnosed with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and other psychiatric problems. DEPDC5 variants have also been found in 20% of individuals with various brain abnormalities, challenging the traditional distinction between lesional and nonlesional epilepsies. The most exciting development of DEPDC5 variants is the possibility of precision therapeutics using mTOR inhibitors, as evidenced with phenotypic rescue in many animal models. However, more research is needed to better understand the functional impact of diverse (particularly missense or splice-region) variants, the specific involvement of DEPDC5 in epileptogenesis, and the creation and utilization of precision therapies in humans. Precision treatments for DEPDC5-related epilepsy will benefit not only a small number of people with the condition, but they will also pave the way for new therapeutic approaches in epilepsy (including acquired epilepsies in which mTORC1 activation occurs, for example, post-traumatic epilepsy) and other neurological disorders involving a dysfunctional mTOR pathway.

Keywords: Children; Everolimus; Gene; Genomic; Mechanistic target of rapamycin; Seizure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder*
  • Death, Sudden
  • Epilepsies, Partial* / diagnosis
  • Epilepsies, Partial* / genetics
  • Epilepsy* / complications
  • Epilepsy* / genetics
  • Epileptic Syndromes*
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Humans
  • Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy*


  • DEPDC5 protein, human
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins