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Molecular genetics and metabolism

Novel missense mutations in PNPLA2 causing late onset and clinical heterogeneity of neutral lipid storage disease with myopathy in three siblings.


PMID 25956450

Abstract

Neutral lipid storage disease with myopathy (NLSD-M) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterised by an abnormal accumulation of triacylglycerol into cytoplasmic lipid droplets (LDs). NLSD-M patients are mainly affected by progressive myopathy, cardiomyopathy and hepatomegaly. Mutations in the PNPLA2 gene cause variable phenotypes of NLSD-M. PNPLA2 codes for adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), an enzyme that hydrolyses fatty acids from triacylglycerol. This report outlines the clinical and genetic findings in a NLSD-M Italian family with three affected members. In our patients, we identified two novel PNPLA2 missense mutations (p.L56R and p.I193F). Functional data analysis demonstrated that these mutations caused the production of ATGL proteins able to bind to LDs, but with decreased lipase activity. The oldest brother, at the age of 38, had weakness and atrophy of the right upper arm and kyphosis. Now he is 61 years old and is unable to raise arms in the horizontal position. The second brother, from the age of 44, had exercise intolerance, cramps and pain in lower limbs. He is currently 50 years old and has an asymmetric distal amyotrophy. One of the two sisters, 58 years old, presents the same PNPLA2 mutations, but she is still oligo-symptomatic on neuromuscular examination with slight triceps muscle involvement. She suffered from diabetes and liver steatosis. This NLSD-M family shows a wide range of intra-familial phenotypic variability in subjects carrying the same mutations, both in terms of target-organs and in terms of rate of disease progression.