Further evidence for POMK as candidate gene for WWS with meningoencephalocele

Luisa Paul, Katrin Rupprich, Adela Della Marina, Anja Stein, Magdeldin Elgizouli, Frank J. Kaiser, Bernd Schweiger, Angela Köninger, Antonella Iannaccone, Ute Hehr, Heike Kölbel, Andreas Roos, Ulrike Schara-Schmidt, Alma Kuechler*

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: Walker-Warburg syndrome (WWS) is a rare form of alpha-dystroglycanopathy characterized by muscular dystrophy and severe malformations of the CNS and eyes. Bi-allelic pathogenic variants in POMK are the cause of a broad spectrum of alpha-dystroglycanopathies. POMK encodes protein-O-mannose kinase, which is required for proper glycosylation and function of the dystroglycan complex and is crucial for extracellular matrix composition. Results: Here, we report on male monozygotic twins with severe CNS malformations (hydrocephalus, cortical malformation, hypoplastic cerebellum, and most prominently occipital meningocele), eye malformations and highly elevated creatine kinase, indicating the clinical diagnosis of a congenital muscular dystrophy (alpha-dystroglycanopathy). Both twins were found to harbor a homozygous nonsense mutation c.640C>T, p.214*in POMK, confirming the clinical diagnosis and supporting the concept that POMK mutations can be causative of WWS. Conclusion: Our combined data suggest a more important role for POMK in the pathogenesis of meningoencephalocele. Only eight different pathogenic POMK variants have been published so far, detected in eight families; only five showed the severe WWS phenotype, suggesting that POMK-associated WWS is an extremely rare disease. We expand the phenotypic and mutational spectrum of POMK-associated WWS and provide evidence of the broad phenotypic variability of POMK-associated disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number242
JournalOrphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 09.09.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Medical Genetics


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