Neuromuscular and Neuromuscular Junction Manifestations of the PURA-NDD: A Systematic Review of the Reported Symptoms and Potential Treatment Options

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Jan 23;24(3):2260. doi: 10.3390/ijms24032260.


PURA-related neurodevelopmental disorders (PURA-NDDs) are a rare genetic disease caused by pathogenic autosomal dominant variants in the PURA gene or a deletion encompassing the PURA gene. PURA-NDD is clinically characterized by neurodevelopmental delay, learning disability, neonatal hypotonia, feeding difficulties, abnormal movements, and epilepsy. It is generally considered to be central nervous system disorders, with generalized weakness, associated hypotonia, cognitive and development deficits in early development, and seizures in late stages. Although it is classified predominantly as a central nervous syndrome disorder, some phenotypic features, such as myopathic facies, respiratory insufficiency of muscle origin, and myopathic features on muscle biopsy and electrodiagnostic evaluation, point to a peripheral (neuromuscular) source of weakness. Patients with PURA-NDD have been increasingly identified in exome-sequenced cohorts of patients with neuromuscular- and congenital myasthenic syndrome-like phenotypes. Recently, fluctuating weakness noted in a PURA-NDD patient, accompanied by repetitive nerve stimulation abnormalities, suggested the disease to be a channelopathy and, more specifically, a neuromuscular junction disorder. Treatment with pyridostigmine or salbutamol led to clinical improvement of neuromuscular function in two reported cases. The goal of this systematic retrospective review is to highlight the motor symptoms of PURA-NDD, to further describe the neuromuscular phenotype, and to emphasize the role of potential treatment opportunities of the neuromuscular phenotype in the setting of the potential role of PURA protein in the neuromuscular junction and the muscles.

Keywords: 5q31.3 microdeletion syndrome; PURA syndrome; channelopathy; congenital myasthenic syndrome; motor symptoms; weakness.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Epilepsy*
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities*
  • Muscle Hypotonia / genetics
  • Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital* / drug therapy
  • Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital* / genetics
  • Nervous System Malformations*
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders*
  • Neuromuscular Junction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • PURA protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.