Pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy in Tunisia is caused by a founder missense mutation of the ALDH7A1 gene.

PMID 23376216


Pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy (PDE) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by seizures and therapeutic response to pharmacological dose of pyridoxine. Mutations in the ALDH7A1 gene, encoding α-aminoadipic semialdehyde (α-AASA) dehydrogenase (antiquitin), have been reported to cause PDE in most patients. In this study molecular analysis of seven PDE Tunisian patients revealed a common missense c.1364T>C mutation in the ALDH7A1 gene. The identification of a cluster of PDE pedigrees carrying the c.1364T>C mutation in a specific area raises the question of the origin of this mutation from a common ancestor. We carried out a genotype-based analysis by way of genotyping a new generated microsatellite marker within the ALDH7A1 gene. Genotype reconstruction of all affected pedigree members indicate that all c.1364T>C mutation carriers harbored the same allele, indicating a common ancestor. The finding of a founder effect in a rare disease is essential for the genetic diagnosis and the genetic counseling of affected PDE pedigrees in Tunisia.