NCKAP1 Disruptive Variants Lead to a Neurodevelopmental Disorder with Core Features of Autism.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 11;107(5):963-976

Center for Medical Genetics, School of Life Sciences, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410078, China; Hunan Key Laboratory of Animal Models for Human Diseases, Changsha, Hunan 410078, China; CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligences Technology (CEBSIT), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200000, China. Electronic address:

NCKAP1/NAP1 regulates neuronal cytoskeletal dynamics and is essential for neuronal differentiation in the developing brain. Deleterious variants in NCKAP1 have been identified in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability; however, its clinical significance remains unclear. To determine its significance, we assemble genotype and phenotype data for 21 affected individuals from 20 unrelated families with predicted deleterious variants in NCKAP1. This includes 16 individuals with de novo (n = 8), transmitted (n = 6), or inheritance unknown (n = 2) truncating variants, two individuals with structural variants, and three with potentially disruptive de novo missense variants. We report a de novo and ultra-rare deleterious variant burden of NCKAP1 in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders which needs further replication. ASD or autistic features, language and motor delay, and variable expression of intellectual or learning disability are common clinical features. Among inherited cases, there is evidence of deleterious variants segregating with neuropsychiatric disorders. Based on available human brain transcriptomic data, we show that NCKAP1 is broadly and highly expressed in both prenatal and postnatal periods and demostrate enriched expression in excitatory neurons and radial glias but depleted expression in inhibitory neurons. Mouse in utero electroporation experiments reveal that Nckap1 loss of function promotes neuronal migration during early cortical development. Combined, these data support a role for disruptive NCKAP1 variants in neurodevelopmental delay/autism, possibly by interfering with neuronal migration early in cortical development.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.10.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7674997PMC
November 2020

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