Dystonia Linked to EIF4A2 Haploinsufficiency: A Disorder of Protein Translation Dysfunction

Philip Harrer, Matej Škorvánek, Volker Kittke, Ivana Dzinovic, Friederike Borngräber, Mirja Thomsen, Vanessa Mandel, Tatiana Svorenova, Miriam Ostrozovicova, Kristina Kulcsarova, Riccardo Berutti, Hauke Busch, Fabian Ott, Robert Kopajtich, Holger Prokisch, Kishore R Kumar, Niccolo E Mencacci, Manju A Kurian, Alessio Di Fonzo, Sylvia BoeschAndrea A Kühn, Ulrike Blümlein, Katja Lohmann, Bernhard Haslinger, David Weise, Robert Jech, Juliane Winkelmann, Michael Zech

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Protein synthesis is a tightly controlled process, involving a host of translation-initiation factors and microRNA-associated repressors. Variants in the translational regulator EIF2AK2 were first linked to neurodevelopmental-delay phenotypes, followed by their implication in dystonia. Recently, de novo variants in EIF4A2, encoding eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4A isoform 2 (eIF4A2), have been described in pediatric cases with developmental delay and intellectual disability.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to characterize the role of EIF4A2 variants in dystonic conditions.

METHODS: We undertook an unbiased search for likely deleterious variants in mutation-constrained genes among 1100 families studied with dystonia. Independent cohorts were screened for EIF4A2 variants. Western blotting and immunocytochemical studies were performed in patient-derived fibroblasts.

RESULTS: We report the discovery of a novel heterozygous EIF4A2 frameshift deletion (c.896_897del) in seven patients from two unrelated families. The disease was characterized by adolescence- to adulthood-onset dystonia with tremor. In patient-derived fibroblasts, eIF4A2 production amounted to only 50% of the normal quantity. Reduction of eIF4A2 was associated with abnormally increased levels of IMP1, a target of Ccr4-Not, the complex that interacts with eIF4A2 to mediate microRNA-dependent translational repression. By complementing the analyses with fibroblasts bearing EIF4A2 biallelic mutations, we established a correlation between IMP1 expression alterations and eIF4A2 functional dosage. Moreover, eIF4A2 and Ccr4-Not displayed significantly diminished colocalization in dystonia patient cells. Review of international databases identified EIF4A2 deletion variants (c.470_472del, c.1144_1145del) in another two dystonia-affected pedigrees.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that EIF4A2 haploinsufficiency underlies a previously unrecognized dominant dystonia-tremor syndrome. The data imply that translational deregulation is more broadly linked to both early neurodevelopmental phenotypes and later-onset dystonic conditions. © 2023 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMovement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society
Volume38
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1914-1924
Number of pages11
ISSN0885-3185
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10.2023

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