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Ultra-rare genetic variation in the epilepsies: a whole-exome sequencing study of 17,606 individuals

By Epi25 Collaborative, Yen-Chen Anne Feng, Daniel P Howrigan, Liam E. Abbott, Katherine Tashman, Felecia Cerrato, Tarjinder Singh, Henrike Heyne, Andrea Byrnes, Claire Churchhouse, Dennis Lal, Erin L. Heinzen, Gianpiero L. Cavalleri, Hakon Hakonarson, Ingo Helbig, Roland Krause, Patrick May, Sarah Weckhuysen, Slavé Petrovski, Sitharthan Kamalakaran, Sanjay M. Sisodiya, Patrick Cossette, Chris Cotsapas, Peter De Jonghe, Tracy Dixon-Salazar, Renzo Guerrini, Patrick Kwan, Anthony G. Marson, Randy Stewart, Chantal Depondt, Dennis J. Dlugos, Ingrid E. Scheffer, Pasquale Striano, Catharine Freyer, Kevin McKenna, Brigid M. Regan, Susannah T. Bellows, Costin Leu, Caitlin A. Bennett, Esther M.C. Johns, Alexandra Macdonald, Hannah Shilling, Rosemary Burgess, Dorien Weckhuysen, Melanie Bahlo, Terence J O'Brien, Marian Todaro, Hannah Stamberger, Danielle M. Andrade, Tara R. Sadoway, Kello Mo, Heinz Krestel, Sabina Gallati, Savvas S Papacostas, Ioanna Kousiappa, George A. Tanteles, Katalin Štěrbová, Markéta Vlčková, Lucie Sedláčková, Petra Laššuthová, Karl Martin Klein, Felix Rosenow, Philipp S. Reif, Susanne Knake, Wolfram S. Kunz, Gábor Zsurka, Christian E. Elger, Jürgen Bauer, Michael Rademacher, Manuela Pendziwiat, Hiltrud Muhle, Annika Rademacher, Andreas van Baalen, Sarah von Spiczak, Ulrich Stephani, Zaid Afawi, Amos D. Korczyn, Moien Kanaan, Christina Canavati, Gerhard Kurlemann, Karen Müller-Schlüter, Gerhard Kluger, Martin Häusler, Ilan Blatt, Johannes R. Lemke, Ilona Krey, Yvonne G. Weber, Stefan Wolking, Felicitas Becker, Christian Hengsbach, Sarah Rau, Ana F. Maisch, Bernhard J. Steinhoff, Andreas Schulze-Bonhage, Susanne Schubert-Bast, Herbert Schreiber, Ingo Borggräfe, Christoph J. Schankin, Thomas Mayer, Rudolf Korinthenberg, Knut Brockmann, Dieter Dennig, Rene Madeleyn, Reetta Kälviäinen, Pia Auvinen, Anni Saarela, Tarja Linnankivi, Anna-Elina Lehesjoki, Mark I. Rees, Seo-Kyung Chung, William O. Pickrell, Robert Powell, Natascha Schneider, Simona Balestrini, Sara Zagaglia, Vera Braatz, Michael R. Johnson, Pauls Auce, Graeme J. Sills, Larry W. Baum, Pak C Sham, Stacey S. Cherny, Colin H.T. Lui, Nina Barišić, Norman Delanty, Colin P. Doherty, Arif Shukralla, Mark McCormack, Hany El-Naggar, Laura Canafoglia, Silvana Franceschetti, Barbara Castellotti, Tiziana Granata, Federico Zara, Michele Iacomino, Francesca Madia, Maria Stella Vari, Maria Margherita Mancardi, Vincenzo Salpietro, Francesca Bisulli, Paolo Tinuper, Laura Licchetta, Tommaso Pippucci, Carlotta Stipa, Raffaella Minardi, Antonio Gambardella, Angelo Labate, Grazia Annesi, Lorella Manna, Monica Gagliardi, Elena Parrini, Davide Mei, Annalisa Vetro, Claudia Bianchini, Martino Montomoli, Viola Doccini, Carla Marini, Toshimitsu Suzuki, Yushi Inoue, Kazuhiro Yamakawa, Birute Tumiene, Lynette G. Sadleir, Chontelle King, Emily Mountier, S. Hande Caglayan, Mutluay Arslan, Zuhal Yapıcı, Uluc Yis, Pınar Topaloglu, Bulent Kara, Dilsad Turkdogan, Aslı Gundogdu-Eken, Nerses Bebek, Sibel Uğur-İşeri, Betül Baykan, Barış Salman, Garen Haryanyan, Emrah Yücesan, Yeşim Kesim, Çğdem Özkara, Annapurna Poduri, Russell J. Buono, Thomas N. Ferraro, Michael R Sperling, Warren Lo, Michael Privitera, Jacqueline A. French, Steven Schachter, Ruben I. Kuzniecky, Orrin Devinsky, Manu Hegde, Pouya Khankhanian, Katherine L. Helbig, Colin A. Ellis, Gianfranco Spalletta, Fabrizio Piras, Federica Piras, Tommaso Gili, Valentina Ciullo, Andreas Reif, Andrew McQuillin, Nick Bass, Andrew McIntosh, Douglas Blackwood, Mandy Johnstone, Aarno Palotie, Michele T Pato, Carlos N Pato, Evelyn J Bromet, Celia Barreto Carvalho, Eric D. Achtyes, Maria Helena Azevedo, Roman Kotov, Douglas S Lehrer, Dolores Malaspina, Stephen R Marder, Helena Medeiros, Christopher P Morley, Diana O Perkins, Janet L Sobell, Peter F Buckley, Fabio Macciardi, Mark H Rapaport, James A. Knowles, Genomic Psychiatry Cohort (GPC) Consortium, Ayman H. Fanous, Steven A McCarroll, Namrata Gupta, Stacey B Gabriel, Mark J. Daly, Eric S Lander, Daniel H. Lowenstein, David B Goldstein, Holger Lerche, Samuel F. Berkovic, Benjamin M Neale

Posted 21 Jan 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/525683 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.05.020)

Sequencing-based studies have identified novel risk genes for rare, severe epilepsies and revealed a role of rare deleterious variation in common epilepsies. To identify the shared and distinct ultra-rare genetic risk factors for rare and common epilepsies, we performed a whole-exome sequencing (WES) analysis of 9,170 epilepsy-affected individuals and 8,364 controls of European ancestry. We focused on three phenotypic groups; the rare but severe developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (DEE), and the commoner phenotypes of genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE) and non-acquired focal epilepsy (NAFE). We observed that compared to controls, individuals with any type of epilepsy carried an excess of ultra-rare, deleterious variants in constrained genes and in genes previously associated with epilepsy, with the strongest enrichment seen in DEE and the least in NAFE. Moreover, we found that inhibitory GABAA receptor genes were enriched for missense variants across all three classes of epilepsy, while no enrichment was seen in excitatory receptor genes. The larger gene groups for the GABAergic pathway or cation channels also showed a significant mutational burden in DEE and GGE. Although no single gene surpassed exome-wide significance among individuals with GGE or NAFE, highly constrained genes and genes encoding ion channels were among the top associations, including CACNA1G, EEF1A2, and GABRG2 for GGE and LGI1, TRIM3, and GABRG2 for NAFE. Our study confirms a convergence in the genetics of common and rare epilepsies associated with ultra-rare coding variation and highlights a ubiquitous role for GABAergic inhibition in epilepsy etiology in the largest epilepsy WES study to date.

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