Novel GABRG2 mutations cause familial febrile seizures

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Objective:To identify the genetic cause in a large family with febrile seizures (FS) and temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and subsequently search for additional mutations in a cohort of 107 families with FS, with or without epilepsy.Methods:The cohort consisted of 1 large family with FS and TLE, 64 smaller French families recruited through a national French campaign, and 43 Italian families. Molecular analyses consisted of whole-exome sequencing and mutational screening.Results:Exome sequencing revealed a p.Glu402fs*3 mutation in the γ2 subunit of the GABAA receptor gene (GABRG2) in the large family with FS and TLE. Three additional nonsense and frameshift GABRG2 mutations (p.Arg136*, p.Val462fs*33, and p.Pro59fs*12), 1 missense mutation (p.Met199Val), and 1 exonic deletion were subsequently identified in 5 families of the follow-up cohort.Conclusions:We report GABRG2 mutations in 5.6% (6/108) of families with FS, with or without associated epilepsy. This study provides evidence that GABRG2 mutations are linked to the FS phenotype, rather than epilepsy, and that loss-of-function of GABAA receptor γ2 subunit is the probable underlying pathogenic mechanism.

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