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Epilepsia. 2007 Sep;48(9):1686-90. Epub 2007 Jul 18.

Mutational analysis of EFHC1 gene in Italian families with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

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  • 1Institute of Neurological Sciences, National Research Council, Mangone-Cosenza, Italy.



Mutations in the EFHC1 gene have been reported in six juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) families from Mexico and Belize. In this study, we screened 27 unrelated JME Italian families for mutations in the EFHC1 gene.


Twenty-seven families (86 affected individuals, 52 women) with at least two affected members with JME were selected. DNA was isolated from peripheral blood lymphocytes by standard methods and each exon of the EFHC1 gene was amplified and sequenced using intronic primers.


Two heterozygous mutations were identified in three unrelated families. One (R353 W) was a novel missense mutation, while the F229 L mutation was previously described (say which on of the two occurred in two families). Both mutations cosegregated with the disease. In a fourth family, the variant 545G-->A (resulting in the amino acid substitution R182 H) cosegregated with JME.


The results of our study extend the distribution of EFHC1 mutations to the white population and confirm the high level of genetic heterogeneity associated with JME.

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