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Hum Genet. 2001 Sep;109(3):267-70.

Compound heterozygosity and nonsense mutations in the alpha(1)-subunit of the inhibitory glycine receptor in hyperekplexia.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Auckland Medical School, Postbag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.


The alpha(1)-inhibitory glycine receptor is a ligand-gated chloride channel composed of three ligand-binding alpha1-subunits and two structural beta-subunits that are clustered on the postsynaptic membrane of inhibitory glycinergic neurons. Dominant and recessive mutations in GLRA1 subunits have been associated with a proportion of individuals and families with startle disease or hyperekplexia (MIM: 149400). Following SSCP and bi-directional di-deoxy fingerprinting mutational analysis of 22 unrelated individuals with hyperekplexia and hyperekplexia-related conditions, we report further novel missense mutations and the first nonsense point mutations in GLRA1, the majority of which localise outside the regions previously associated with dominant, disease-segregating mutations. Population studies reveal the unique association of each mutation with disease, and reveals that a proportion of sporadic hyperekplexia is accounted for by the homozygous inheritance of recessive GLRA1 mutations or as part of a compound heterozygote.

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