Sorting Rare ALS Genetic Variants by Targeted Re-Sequencing Panel in Italian Patients: OPTN, VCP, and SQSTM1 Variants Account for 3% of Rare Genetic Forms

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Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset progressive neurodegenerative disease due to motor neuron loss variably associated with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Next generation sequencing technology revealed an increasing number of rare and novel genetic variants and interpretation of their pathogenicity represents a major challange in the diagnosis of ALS. We selected 213 consecutive patients with sporadic or familial (16%) ALS, tested negative for SOD1, FUS, TARDBP, and C9orf72 mutations. To reveal rare forms of genetic ALS, we performed a comprehensive multi-gene panel screening including 46 genes associated with ALS, hereditary motor neuronopathies, spastic paraplegia, and FTD. Our study allowed the identification of pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants in 4.2% of patients. The genes with the highest percentage of pathogenic variants were OPTN (1%), VCP (1%) SQSTM1(1%), SETX (0.4%), FIG4 (0.4%), and GARS1 (0.4%) genes. We also found 49 novel or rare gene variants of unknown significance in 30 patients (14%), 44 unlikely pathogenic variants (39%), and 48 variants in ALS susceptibility genes. The results of our study suggest the screening of OPTN, VCP, and SQSTM1 genes in routine diagnostic investigations for both sporadic and familial cases, and confirm the importance of diagnosis and couselling for patients and their relative family members.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 3 2020

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