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Genes Brain Behav. 2012 Mar;11(2):170-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-183X.2011.00756.x. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Mosaic SCN1A mutations in familial partial epilepsy with antecedent febrile seizures.

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Institute of Neuroscience, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Key Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Channelopathies of Guangdong Province and the Ministry of Education of China, Guangdong, China.


SCN1A is the most relevant epilepsy gene. Mutations of SCN1A generate phenotypes ranging from the extremely severe form of Dravet syndrome (DS) to a mild form of generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+). Mosaic SCN1A mutations have been identified in rare familial DS. It is suspected that mosaic mutations of SCN1A may cause other types of familial epilepsies with febrile seizures (FS), which are more common clinically. Thus, we screened SCN1A mutations in 13 families with partial epilepsy with antecedent febrile seizures (PEFS+) using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography and sequencing. The level of mosaicism was further quantified by pyrosequencing. Two missense SCN1A mutations with mosaic origin were identified in two unrelated families, accounting for 15.4% (2/13) of the PEFS+ families tested. One of the mosaic carriers with ~25.0% mutation of c.5768A>G/p.Q1923R had experienced simple FS; another with ~12.5% mutation of c.4847T>C/p.I1616T was asymptomatic. Their heterozygous children had PEFS+. Recurrent transmission occurred in both families, as noted in most of the families with germline mosaicism reported previously. The two mosaic mutations identified in this study are less destructive missense, compared with the more destructive truncating and splice-site mutations identified in the majority of previous studies. This is the first report of mosaic SCN1A mutations in families with probands that do not exhibit DS, but manifest only a milder phenotype. Therefore, such families with mild cases should be approached with caution in genetic counseling and the possibility of mosaicism origin associated with high recurrence risk should be excluded.

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