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ADAM22 ethnic-specific variant reducing binding of membrane-associated guanylate kinases causes focal epilepsy and behavioural disorder

Publication at First Faculty of Medicine |


Pathogenic variants of ADAM22 affecting either its biosynthesis and/or its interactions with either LGI1 and/or PSD-95 have been recently identified in individuals with developmental and epileptic encephalopathy. Here, we describe a girl with seizures, delayed psychomotor development, and behavioural disorder, carrying a homozygous variant in ADAM22 (NM_021723.5:c.2714C > T).

The variant has a surprisingly high frequency in the Roma population of the Czech and Slovak Republic, with 11 of 213 (similar to 5.2%) healthy Roma individuals identified as heterozygous carriers. Structural in silico characterization revealed that the genetic variant encodes the missense variant p.S905F, which localizes to the PDZ-binding motif of ADAM22.

Studies in transiently transfected mammalian cells revealed that the variant has no effect on biosynthesis and stability of ADAM22. Rather, protein-protein interaction studies showed that the p.S905F variant specifically impairs ADAM22 binding to PSD-95 and other proteins from a family of membrane-associated guanylate kinases, while it has only minor effect on ADAM22-LGI1 interaction.

Our study indicates that a significant proportion of epilepsy in patients of Roma ancestry may be caused by homozygous c.2714C > T variants in ADAM22. The study of this ADAM22 variant highlights a novel pathogenic mechanism of ADAM22 dysfunction and reconfirms an essential role of interaction of ADAM22 with membrane-associated guanylate kinases in seizure protection in humans.