Mutations in the alpha 1 subunit of the inhibitory glycine receptor cause the dominant neurologic disorder, hyperekplexia

Nat Genet. 1993 Dec;5(4):351-8. doi: 10.1038/ng1293-351.


Hereditary hyperekplexia, or familial startle disease (STHE), is an autosomal dominant neurologic disorder characterized by marked muscle rigidity of central nervous system origin and an exaggerated startle response to unexpected acoustic or tactile stimuli. Linkage analyses in several large families provided evidence for locus homogeneity and showed the disease gene was linked to DNA markers on the long arm of chromosome 5. Here we describe the identification of point mutations in the gene encoding the alpha 1 subunit of the glycine receptor (GLRA1) in STHE patients from four different families. All mutations occur in the same base pair of exon 6 and result in the substitution of an uncharged amino acid (leucine or glutamine) for Arg271 in the mature protein.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 5*
  • Cricetinae
  • Exons / genetics*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics*
  • Point Mutation / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Receptors, Glycine / genetics*
  • Reflex, Startle / genetics*


  • Receptors, Glycine