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.
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.
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.
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.