A missense mutation in the CRBN gene that segregates with intellectual disability and self-mutilating behaviour in a consanguineous Saudi family

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Abstract

Background

Autosomal-recessive non-syndromic intellectual disability (ARNS-ID) is an aetiologically heterogeneous disorder. Although little is known about the function of human cereblon (CRBN), its relationship to mild cognitive deficits suggests that it is involved in the basic processes of human memory and learning.

Objectives

We aim to identify the genetic cause of intellectual disability and self-mutilation in a consanguineous Saudi family with five affected members.

Methods

Clinical whole-exome sequencing was performed on the proband patient, and Sanger sequencing was done to validate and confirm segregation in other family members.

Results

A missense variant (c. 1171T>C) in the CRBN gene was identified in five individuals with severe intellectual disability (ID) in a consanguineous Saudi family. The homozygous variant was co-segregating in the family with the phenotype of severe ID, seizures and self-mutilating behaviour. The missense mutation (p.C391R) reported here results in the replacement of a conserved cysteine residue by an arginine in the CULT (cereblon domain of unknown activity, binding cellular ligands and thalidomide) domain of CRBN, which contains a zinc-binding site.

Conclusions

These findings thus contribute to a growing list of ID disorders caused by CRBN mutations, broaden the spectrum of phenotypes attributable to ARNS-ID and provide new insight into genotype–phenotype correlations between CRBN mutations and the aetiology of ARNS-ID.

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