Integrative analysis of epilepsy-associated genes reveals expression-phenotype correlations

Sci Rep. 2024 Feb 13;14(1):3587. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-53494-2.


Epilepsy is a highly prevalent neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. Patients exhibit broad genetic, molecular, and clinical diversity involving mild to severe comorbidities. The factors that contribute to this phenotypic diversity remain unclear. Here we used publicly available datasets to systematically interrogate the expression pattern of 230 epilepsy-associated genes across human tissues, developmental stages, and central nervous system (CNS) cellular subtypes. We grouped genes based on their curated phenotypes into 3 broad classes: core epilepsy genes (CEG), where seizures are the dominant phenotype, developmental and epileptic encephalopathy genes (DEEG) that are associated with developmental and epileptic encephalopathy, and seizure-related genes (SRG), which are characterized by the presence of seizures and gross brain malformations. We find that compared to the other two groups of genes, DEEGs are highly expressed within the adult CNS, exhibit the highest and most dynamic expression in various brain regions across development, and are significantly enriched in GABAergic neurons. Our analysis provides an overview of the expression pattern of epilepsy-associated genes with spatiotemporal resolution and establishes a broad expression-phenotype correlation in epilepsy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain
  • Epilepsy* / genetics
  • Epilepsy, Generalized*
  • Humans
  • Phenotype
  • Seizures / genetics