Interpretation challenges of novel dual-class missense and splice-impacting variant in POLR3A-related late-onset hereditary spastic ataxia

Joel A. Morales-Rosado, Erica L. Macke, Margot A. Cousin, Gavin R. Oliver, Radhika Dhamija, Eric W. Klee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: RNA polymerase III (Pol III)-related disorders are autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorders caused by variants in POLR3A or POLR3B. Recently, a novel phenotype of adult-onset spastic ataxia was identified in individuals with the c.1909+22G>A POLR3A variant in compound heterozygosity. Methods: Whole-exome sequencing was performed in the proband and parents. Variants were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. RNA sequencing was performed to evaluate splicing implications. Results: A 42-year-old female was evaluated for unexplained neurological findings with a slow progressive decline in gait and walking speed since adolescence. WES revealed a novel missense variant (c.3593A>C, p.Lys1198Arg) in exon 27 of POLR3A in compound heterozygosity with the c.1909+22G>A variant. Summary of previously reported clinical features from individuals with pathogenic biallelic alterations in POLR3A and adult-onset phenotype is consistent with our findings. RNA analysis revealed c.3593A>G drives the production of four RNA transcript products each with different functional impacts. Conclusion: The novel dual-class c.3593A>C variant in POLR3A causes an amino acid substitution and complex disruption of splicing. Our report supports the need to investigate variants near splice junctions for proper interpretation. Current interpretation guidelines need to address best practices for inclusion of predicted or measured transcriptional disruption pending functional activity or reliable transcript abundance estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1341
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomic Medicine
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Keywords

  • bioinformatics
  • missense
  • splicing
  • variant interpretation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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