A novel EPM2A mutation yields a slow progression form of Lafora disease

Maria Adelaida Garcia-Gimeno, Pilar Natalia Rodilla-Ramirez, Rosa Viana, Xavier Salas-Puig, M. Kathryn Brewer, Matthew S. Gentry, Pascual Sanz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Lafora disease (LD, OMIM 254780) is a rare disorder characterized by epilepsy and neurodegeneration leading patients to a vegetative state and death, usually within the first decade from the onset of the first symptoms. In the vast majority of cases LD is related to mutations in either the EPM2A gene (encoding the glucan phosphatase laforin) or the EPM2B gene (encoding the E3-ubiquitin ligase malin). In this work, we characterize the mutations present in the EPM2A gene in a patient displaying a slow progression form of the disease. The patient is compound heterozygous with Y112X and N163D mutations in the corresponding alleles. In primary fibroblasts obtained from the patient, we analyzed the expression of the mutated alleles by quantitative real time PCR and found slightly lower levels of expression of the EPM2A gene respect to control cells. However, by Western blotting we were unable to detect endogenous levels of the protein in crude extracts from patient fibroblasts. The Y112X mutation would render a truncated protein lacking the phosphatase domain and likely degraded. Since minute amounts of laforin-N163D might still play a role in cell physiology, we analyzed the biochemical characteristics of the N163D mutation. We found that recombinant laforin N163D protein was as stable as wild type and exhibited near wild type phosphatase activity towards biologically relevant substrates. On the contrary, it showed a severe impairment in the interaction profile with previously identified laforin binding partners. These results lead us to conclude that the slow progression of the disease present in this patient could be either due to the specific biochemical properties of laforin N163D or to the presence of alternative genetic modifying factors separate from pathogenicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy Research
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Epilepsy
  • Gene expression
  • Genetic modifying factor
  • Lafora disease
  • Laforin
  • Malin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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