Background Mutations in the protein gelsolin result in hereditary systemic amyloidosis, characterised by onset of corneal lattice dystrophy in the third decade, a slowly progressive cranial neuropathy and cutis laxa. To date four dominantly inherited gelsolin mutations have been identified, two mutations resulting in the classical syndrome and two mutations resulting in renal-predominant amyloidosis.
Methods We identified a family in which four individuals in three generations presented with corneal lattice dystrophy and neurological symptoms. Detailed clinical neurological and ophthalmological assessment and investigations including neurophysiology and imaging were performed. Whole exome sequencing was undertaken in three family members.
Results Whole exome sequencing revealed a novel variant in the gelsolin gene (c. G1738A; p. E580K), dominantly inherited and predicted to be pathogenic. Examination, neurophysiological testing and imaging revealed the presence of distal upper limb weakness and wasting, corneal lattice dystrophy and cervical myelopathy in all affected family members.
Conclusion The E580K mutation described in this family is in a conserved calcium-sensitive actin-binding domain that displays sequence homology with other actin-depolymerising proteins. Mutations in this domain may result in abnormal gelsolin-actin interactions and changes in calcium sensitivity may render the protein susceptible to the same aberrant proteolytic cascade as with other known mutations.
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