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Am J Hum Genet. 2002 Feb;70(2):530-6. Epub 2001 Dec 17.

Truncation of the GABA(A)-receptor gamma2 subunit in a family with generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus.

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  • 1Centre for Medical Genetics, Department of Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics, Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. lharkin@wch.bionomics.com.au


Recent findings from studies of two families have shown that mutations in the GABA(A)-receptor gamma2 subunit are associated with generalized epilepsies and febrile seizures. Here we describe a family that has generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS(+)), including an individual with severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy, in whom a third GABA(A)-receptor gamma2-subunit mutation was found. This mutation lies in the intracellular loop between the third and fourth transmembrane domains of the GABA(A)-receptor gamma2 subunit and introduces a premature stop codon at Q351 in the mature protein. GABA sensitivity in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing the mutant gamma2(Q351X) subunit is completely abolished, and fluorescent-microscopy studies have shown that receptors containing GFP-labeled gamma2(Q351X) protein are retained in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum. This finding reinforces the involvement of GABA(A) receptors in epilepsy.

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