Mutational analysis of familial and sporadic hyperekplexia

Ann Neurol. 1995 Jul;38(1):85-91. doi: 10.1002/ana.410380115.


Hyperekplexia is a rare, autosomal dominant neurological disorder characterized by hypertonia, especially in infancy, and by an exaggerated startle response. This disorder is caused by mutations in the alpha 1 subunit of the inhibitory glycine receptor (GLRA1). We previously reported two GLRA1 point mutations detected in 4 unrelated hyperekplexia families; both mutations were at nucleotide 1192 and resulted in the replacement of Arg271 by a glutamine (R271Q) in one case and a leucine (R271L) in the other. Here, 5 additional hyperekplexia families are shown to have the most common G-to-A transition mutation at nucleotide 1192. Haplotype analysis using polymorphisms within and close to the GLRA1 locus suggests that this mutation has arisen at least twice (and possibly four times). In 2 additional families, a third mutation is also presented that changes a tyrosine at amino acid 279 to a cysteine (Y279C). Five patients with atypical clinical features and equivocal or absent family history of hyperekplexia and 1 patient with a classical presentation but not family history are presented in whom a mutation in the GLRA1 gene was not detected. Thus, only clinically typical hyperekplexia appears to be consistently associated with GLRA1 mutations, and these affect a specific extracellular domain of the protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Mutational Analysis*
  • Exons
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle Rigidity / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Reflex, Startle / genetics*