Genotype-phenotype correlations in RHOBTB2-associated neurodevelopmental disorders

Genet Med. 2023 Aug;25(8):100885. doi: 10.1016/j.gim.2023.100885. Epub 2023 May 8.


Purpose: Missense variants clustering in the BTB domain region of RHOBTB2 cause a developmental and epileptic encephalopathy with early-onset seizures and severe intellectual disability.

Methods: By international collaboration, we assembled individuals with pathogenic RHOBTB2 variants and a variable spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders. By western blotting, we investigated the consequences of missense variants in vitro.

Results: In accordance with previous observations, de novo heterozygous missense variants in the BTB domain region led to a severe developmental and epileptic encephalopathy in 16 individuals. Now, we also identified de novo missense variants in the GTPase domain in 6 individuals with apparently more variable neurodevelopmental phenotypes with or without epilepsy. In contrast to variants in the BTB domain region, variants in the GTPase domain do not impair proteasomal degradation of RHOBTB2 in vitro, indicating different functional consequences. Furthermore, we observed biallelic splice-site and truncating variants in 9 families with variable neurodevelopmental phenotypes, indicating that complete loss of RHOBTB2 is pathogenic as well.

Conclusion: By identifying genotype-phenotype correlations regarding location and consequences of de novo missense variants in RHOBTB2 and by identifying biallelic truncating variants, we further delineate and expand the molecular and clinical spectrum of RHOBTB2-related phenotypes, including both autosomal dominant and recessive neurodevelopmental disorders.

Keywords: Developmental and epileptic encephalopathy; Intellectual disability; Neurodevelopmental disorder; RHOBTB2; Seizures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Epilepsy* / genetics
  • Epilepsy* / pathology
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / genetics
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability* / genetics
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders* / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics


  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • RHOBTB2 protein, human
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins