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Am J Hum Genet. 2012 Aug 10;91(2):320-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.07.014.

The TRK-fused gene is mutated in hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy with proximal dominant involvement.

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Department of Neurology, The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Medicine, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.


Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy with proximal dominant involvement (HMSN-P) is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder characterized by widespread fasciculations, proximal-predominant muscle weakness, and atrophy followed by distal sensory involvement. To date, large families affected by HMSN-P have been reported from two different regions in Japan. Linkage and haplotype analyses of two previously reported families and two new families with the use of high-density SNP arrays further defined the minimum candidate region of 3.3 Mb in chromosomal region 3q12. Exome sequencing showed an identical c.854C>T (p.Pro285Leu) mutation in the TRK-fused gene (TFG) in the four families. Detailed haplotype analysis suggested two independent origins of the mutation. Pathological studies of an autopsied patient revealed TFG- and ubiquitin-immunopositive cytoplasmic inclusions in the spinal and cortical motor neurons. Fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus, a frequent finding in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was also observed in the motor neurons with inclusion bodies. Moreover, TAR DNA-binding protein 43 kDa (TDP-43)-positive cytoplasmic inclusions were also demonstrated. In cultured cells expressing mutant TFG, cytoplasmic aggregation of TDP-43 was demonstrated. These findings indicate that formation of TFG-containing cytoplasmic inclusions and concomitant mislocalization of TDP-43 underlie motor neuron degeneration in HMSN-P. Pathological overlap of proteinopathies involving TFG and TDP-43 highlights a new pathway leading to motor neuron degeneration.

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