Congenital myasthenic syndromes: A diverse array of molecular targets

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20 Scopus citations


The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) has served as a prototype for understanding mechanisms underlying synaptic transmission over the past 50 years. More recently, analysis of congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) revealed a diverse array of molecular targets and delineated their contributions to synaptic function. Clinical, electrophysiologic and morphologic studies have paved the way for detecting CMS-related mutations in proteins such as choline acetyltransferase acetylcholinesterase, the acetylcholine receptor, rapsyn, and the voltage-gated sodium channel of the Nav1.4 type. Further studies of the mutant proteins have allowed us to correlate the effects of the mutations with predicted alterations in protein structure. In this review, we focus on the symptomatology of the CMS, consider the factors that impair neuromuscular transmission, survey the mutations that have been uncovered in the different synaptic proteins, and consider the functional implications of the identified mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1037
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Neurocytology
Issue number5-8
StatePublished - Jun 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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