Clinical features and molecular genetic investigation of infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paralysis (IAHSP) in two Chinese siblings caused by a novel splice site ALS2 variation

BMC Med Genomics. 2024 Jan 31;17(1):44. doi: 10.1186/s12920-024-01805-x.


Objective: ALS2-related disorder involves retrograde degeneration of the upper motor neurons of the pyramidal tracts, among which autosomal recessive Infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paralysis (IAHSP) is a rare phenotype. In this study, we gathered clinical data from two Chinese siblings who were affected by IAHSP. Our aim was to assess the potential pathogenicity of the identified variants and analyze their clinical and genetic characteristics.

Method: Here, Whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed on proband to identify the candidate variants. Subsequently, Sanger sequencing was used to verify identified candidate variants and to assess co-segregation among available family members. Utilizing both silico prediction and 3D protein modeling, an analysis was conducted to evaluate the potential functional implications of the variants on the encoded protein, and minigene assays were performed to unravel the effect of the variants on the cleavage of pre-mRNA.

Results: Both patients were characterized by slurred speech, astasia, inability to walk, scoliosis, lower limb hypertonia, ankle clonus, contracture of joint, foot pronation and no psychomotor retardation was found. Genetic analysis revealed a novel homozygous variant of ALS2, c.1815G > T(p.Lys605Asn) in two Chinese siblings. To our knowledge, it is the first confirmed case of a likely pathogenic variant leading to IAHSP in a Chinese patient.

Conclusion: This study broadens the range of ALS2 variants and has practical implications for prenatal and postnatal screening of IAHSR. Symptom-based diagnosis of IAHSP is frequently difficult for medical practitioners. WES can be a beneficial resource to identify a particular disorder when the diagnosis cannot be determined from the symptoms alone.

Keywords: ALS2; IAHSP; Infantile-onset ascending hereditary spastic paralysis; Minigene; Whole-exome sequencing.

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis*
  • China
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Female
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Molecular Biology
  • Mutation
  • Pedigree
  • Pregnancy
  • Siblings*
  • Spastic Paraplegia, Hereditary*


  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • ALS2 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Hereditary spastic paralysis, infantile onset ascending
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 2, Juvenile