Case report: Variants in the ERCC4 gene as a rare cause of cerebellar ataxia with chorea

Front Genet. 2023 Feb 2:14:1107460. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2023.1107460. eCollection 2023.


Variants in the ERCC4 gene have been described to be associated with the following autosomal recessive diseases: xeroderma pigmentosum group F (XPF), xeroderma pigmentosum type F/Cockayne syndrome (XPF/CS), Fanconi anemia complementation group Q (FANCQ), and XFE progeroid syndrome (XFEPS). In this paper, we present a case of a 53-year-old Caucasian female patient with rare variants in the ERCC4 gene. When she was 42 years old, falls and loss of balance occurred. At the age of 48, involuntary, uncoordinated movements of the upper limbs and head, tongue stereotypes (licking and extending movements), speech problems (dysarthria), memory deterioration, and hearing loss occurred. Since childhood, she has shown hypersensitivity to UV radiation. The neurological examination revealed chorea syndrome, cerebellar ataxia, dysarthria, and bilateral hearing loss. She has numerous pigmented lesions on the skin. Brain MRI demonstrated massive cortico-subcortical atrophy. The neuropsychological examination revealed dysfunctions in the executive domain in terms of attention, working memory, organizing, and planning activities. The genetic diagnostics was performed which excluded spinocerebellar ataxia types 1, 2, 3, 6, and 17, Huntington's disease, and FMR1 premutation. In the genetic analysis of next-generation sequencing (NGS), two variants: c.2395C > T and c.1349G > A in the ERCC4 gene were identified in a heterozygote configuration. So far, a few cases of ERCC4 gene variants, which are associated with nucleotide excision repair pathways, have been described in connection with symptoms of cerebellar ataxia. In patients with ERCC4 biallelic variants, the adult neurological phenotype can sometimes be the first symptom and reason for access to genetic testing. The aforementioned case highlights the occurrence of rare genetic causes of progressive neurodegenerative diseases in adults, especially with the spectrum of autosomal recessive nucleotide excision repair pathway disorders (NERDs).

Keywords: ERCC4; NER (nucleotide excision repair); ataxia; brain atrophy; chorea; gene variant.

Publication types

  • Case Reports