Brain Dev 2017 Mar 12;39(3):236-242. Epub 2016 Oct 12.
Department of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan.
Background: Asparagine synthetase (ASNS) deficiency was recently discovered as a metabolic disorder of non-essential amino acids, and presents as severe progressive microcephaly, intellectual disorder, dyskinetic quadriplegia, and intractable seizures.
Methods: Two Japanese children with progressive microcephaly born to unrelated patients were analyzed by whole exome sequencing and novel ASNS mutations were identified. The effects of the ASNS mutations were analyzed by structural evaluation and in silico predictions.
Results: We describe the first known Japanese patients with ASNS deficiency. Their clinical manifestations were very similar to reported cases of ASNS deficiency. Progressive microcephaly was noted during the prenatal period in patient 1 but only after birth in patient 2. Both patients had novel ASNS mutations: patient 1 had p.L145S transmitted from his mother and p.L247W which was absent from his mother, while patient 2 carried p.V489D and p.W541Cfs*5, which were transmitted from his mother and father, respectively. Three of the four mutations were predicted to affect protein folding, and in silico analyses suggested that they would be pathogenic.
Conclusion: We report the first two Japanese patients with ASNS deficiency. Disease severity appears to vary among patients, as is the case for other non-essential amino acid metabolic disorders.