Functional study of a rare L1CAM gene c.1759G>C variant prove its pathogenicity

Cell Biochem Funct. 2024 Jun;42(4):e4034. doi: 10.1002/cbf.4034.


L1 syndrome, a neurological disorder with an X-linked inheritance pattern, mainly results from mutations occurring in the L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM) gene. The L1CAM molecule, belonging to the immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily of neurocyte adhesion molecules, plays a pivotal role in facilitating intercellular signal transmission across membranes and is indispensable for proper neuronal development and function. This study identified a rare missense variant (c.1759G>C; p.G587R) in the L1CAM gene within a male fetus presenting with hydrocephalus. Due to a lack of functional analysis, the significance of the L1CAM mutation c.1759G>C (p.G587R) remains unknown. We aimed to perform further verification for its pathogenicity. Blood samples were obtained from the proband and his parents for trio clinical exome sequencing and mutation analysis. Expression level analysis was conducted using western blot techniques. Immunofluorescence was employed to investigate L1CAM subcellular localization, while cell aggregation and cell scratch assays were utilized to assess protein function. The study showed that the mutation (c.1759G>C; p.G587R) affected posttranslational glycosylation modification and induced alterations in the subcellular localization of L1-G587R in the cells. It resulted in the diminished expression of L1CAM on the cell surface and accumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum. The p.G587R altered the function of L1CAM protein and reduced homophilic adhesion capacity of proteins, leading to impaired adhesion and migration of proteins between cells. Our findings provide first biological evidence for the association between the missense mutation (c.1759G>c; p.G587R) in the L1CAM gene and L1 syndrome, confirming the pathogenicity of this missense mutation.

Keywords: L1 syndrome; L1CAM; X‐linked hydrocephalus; functional analysis; prenatal diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / genetics
  • Hydrocephalus / metabolism
  • Hydrocephalus / pathology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mutation, Missense*
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1* / genetics
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1* / metabolism
  • Pedigree


  • L1CAM protein, human
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1