Mutation in ZDHHC15 Leads to Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Epilepsy, and Intellectual Disability

Objective

To determine whether mutations reported for ZDHHC15 can cause mixed neurodevelopmental disorders, we performed both functional studies on variant pathogenicity and ZDHHC15 function in animal models.

Methods

We examined protein function of 4 identified variants in ZDHHC15 in a yeast complementation assay and locomotor defects of loss-of-function genotypes in a Drosophila model.

Results

Although we assessed multiple patient variants, only 1 (p.H158R) affected protein function. We report a patient with a diagnosis of hypotonic cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, and intellectual disability associated with this bona fide damaging X-linked variant. Features include tall forehead with mild brachycephaly, down-slanting palpebral fissures, large ears, long face, facial muscle hypotonia, high-arched palate with dental crowding, and arachnodactyly. The patient had mild diminished cerebral volume, with left-sided T2/FLAIR hyperintense periatrial ovoid lesion. We found that loss-of-function mutations in orthologs of this gene cause flight and coordinated movement defects in Drosophila.

Conclusions

Our findings support a functional expansion of this gene to a role in motor dysfunction. Although ZDHHC15 mutations represent a rare cause of neurodevelopmental disability, candidate variants need to be carefully assessed before pathogenicity can be determined.

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