Biallelic truncating variants in MAPKAPK5 cause a new developmental disorder involving neurological, cardiac, and facial anomalies combined with synpolydactyly

Denise Horn*, Elisa Fernández-Núñez, Ricardo Gomez-Carmona, Ana Rivera-Barahona, Julian Nevado, Sarina Schwartzmann, Nadja Ehmke, Pablo Lapunzina, Ghada A. Otaify, Samia Temtamy, Mona Aglan, Felix Boschann, Victor L. Ruiz-Perez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aimed to identify the genetic cause of a new multiple congenital anomalies syndrome observed in three individuals from two unrelated families. Methods: Clinical assessment was conducted prenatally and at different postnatal stages. Genetic studies included exome sequencing (ES) combined with single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array based homozygosity mapping and trio ES. Dermal fibroblasts were used for functional assays. Results: A clinically recognizable syndrome characterized by severe developmental delay, variable brain anomalies, congenital heart defects, dysmorphic facial features, and a distinctive type of synpolydactyly with an additional hypoplastic digit between the fourth and fifth digits of hands and/or feet was identified. Additional features included eye abnormalities, hearing impairment, and electroencephalogram anomalies. ES detected different homozygous truncating variants in MAPKAPK5 in both families. Patient-derived cells showed no expression of MAPKAPK5 protein isoforms and reduced levels of the MAPKAPK5-interacting protein ERK3. F-actin recovery after latrunculin B treatment was found to be less efficient in patient-derived fibroblasts than in control cells, supporting a role of MAPKAPK5 in F-actin polymerization. Conclusion: Our data indicate that loss-of-function variants in MAPKAPK5 result in a severe developmental disorder and reveal a major role of this gene in human brain, heart, and limb development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-688
Number of pages10
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)

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