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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56362. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056362. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

Identification of a novel nonsense mutation p.Tyr1957Ter of CACNA1A in a Chinese family with episodic ataxia 2.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.


Type 2 episodic ataxia (EA2) is the most common subtype among a group of rare hereditary syndromes characterized by recurrent attacks of ataxia. More than 60 mutations and several gene rearrangements due to large deletions in CACNA1A gene have been reported so far for the cause of EA2. Because CACNA1A gene is a large gene containing 47 exons and there is no hot spot mutation, direct sequencing will be a challenge in clinical genetic testing. In this study, we used next generation sequencing technology to identify a novel nonsense mutation of CACNA1A (p.Tyr1957Ter, NP_001120693.1) resulting in truncated protein without 305 amino acids in the c-terminus. Sanger sequencing confirmed the heterozygous mutation of CACNA1A in a Chinese family with 11 affected individuals. Affected individuals experienced recurrent attacks with or without nystagmus, dysarthria, seizure, myokymia, dystonia, weakness, blurred vision, visual field defects, diplopia, migraine, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, sweating and abdominal pain. This is the first report of EA2 in a Chinese family that carries a novel mutation in CACNA1A gene and had abdominal pain as a novel phenotype associated with EA2.

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