Spine deformities in Charcot-Marie-Tooth 4C caused by SH3TC2 gene mutations

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Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a heterogeneous group of inherited peripheral motor and sensory neuropathies with several modes of inheritance: autosomal dominant, X-linked, and autosomal recessive (AR) CMT. A locus responsible for the demyelinating form of ARCMT was assigned to the 5q23-q33 region (CMT4C) by homozygosity mapping. Recently, 11 mutations were identified in the SH3TC2 (KIAA1985) gene in 12 families with demyelinating ARCMT from Turkish, Iranian, Greek, Italian, or German origin.


To identify mutations in the SH3TC2 gene.


The authors searched for SH3TC2 gene mutations in 10 consanguineous CMT families putatively linked to the CMT4C locus on the basis of haplotype segregation and linkage analysis.


Ten families had mutations, eight of which were new and one, R954X, recurrent. Six of the 10 mutations were in exon 11. Onset occurred between ages 2 and 10. Scoliosis or kyphoscoliosis and foot deformities were found in almost all patients and were often inaugural. The median motor nerve conduction velocity values (≤34 m/s) were not correlated with disease duration. The functional disability score was ≤3, indicating that the patients could walk without help. Unexpectedly, typical giant axons were observed on biopsies from a large Algerian family.


Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 4C (CMT4C) is less severe than other autosomal recessive (AR) CMT. Intrafamilial variability is important, making phenotype-genotype correlations difficult, but spine deformities are clearly a hallmark of CMT4C. In the presence of scoliosis, a neurologic examination is recommended. Giant axons on biopsies are also suggestive of CMT4C. For genetic analysis, the R954X mutation should be looked for before systematic sequencing of exon 11.

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