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Intellectual disability

Gene: CAMK4

Green List (high evidence)

CAMK4 (calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase IV)
EnsemblGeneIds (GRCh38): ENSG00000152495
EnsemblGeneIds (GRCh37): ENSG00000152495
OMIM: 114080, Gene2Phenotype
CAMK4 is in 3 panels

3 reviews

Sarah Leigh (Genomics England Curator)

The rating of this gene has been updated following NHS Genomic Medicine Service approval.
Created: 14 Mar 2022, 2:22 p.m. | Last Modified: 14 Mar 2022, 2:22 p.m.
Panel Version: 3.1519

Arina Puzriakova (Genomics England Curator)

Comment on list classification: New gene added by Konstantinos Varvagiannis. There are sufficient unrelated cases (3) presenting with a relevant phenotype in association with different variants in the CAMK4 gene.
Created: 21 Sep 2021, 10:49 a.m. | Last Modified: 21 Sep 2021, 10:49 a.m.
Panel Version: 3.1289

Konstantinos Varvagiannis (Other)

Green List (high evidence)

3 publications by Zech et al (2018, 2020 - PMIDs : 30262571, 33098801, 33211350) provide clinical details on 3 individuals, each harboring a private de novo CAMK4 variant.

Overlapping features included DD, ID, behavoral issues, autism and abnormal hyperkinetic movements. Dystonia and chorea in all 3 appeared 3-20 years after initial symptoms.

CAMK4 encodes Calcium/Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV, an important mediator of calcium-mediated activity and dynamics, particularly in the brain. It is involved in neuronal transmission, synaptic plasticity, and neuronal gene expression required for brain development and neuronal homeostasis (summary by OMIM based on Zech et al, 2018).

The 473 aa enzyme has a protein kinase domain (aa 46-300) and a C-terminal autoregulatory domain (aa 305-341) the latter comprising an autoinhibitory domain (AID / aa 305-321) and a calmodulin-binding domain (CBD / aa 322-341) [NP_001735.1 / NM_001744.4 - also used below].

Variants in all 3 subjects were identified following trio-WES and were in all cases protein-truncating, mapping to exon 10 or exon 10-intron 10 junction, expected to escape NMD and cause selective abrogation of the autoinhibitory domain (aa 305-321) leading overall to gain-of-function.

Variation databases include pLoF CAMK4 variants albeit in all cases usptream or downstream of this region (pLI of this gene in gnomAD: 0.51). Variants leading to selective abrogation of the autoregulatory domain have not been reported.

Extensive evidence for the GoF effect of the variant has been provided in the first publication. Several previous studies have demonstrated that abrogation of the AID domain leads to consitutive activation (details below).

Mouse models - though corresponding to homozygous loss of function - support a role for CAMKIV in cognitive and motor symptoms. Null mice display tremulous and ataxic movements, deficiencies in balance and sensorimotor performance associated with reduced number of Purkinje neurons (Ribar et al 2000, PMID: 11069976 - not reviewed). Wei et al (2002, PMID: 12006982 - not reviewed) provided evidence for alteration in hippocampal physiology and memory function.

Heterozygous mutations in other genes for calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinases (CAMKs) e.g. CAMK2A/CAMK2B (encoding subunits of CAMKII) have been reported in individuals with ID.


The proband in the first publication (PMID: 30262571) was a male with DD, ID, behavioral difficulties (ASD, autoaggression, stereotypies) and hyperkinetic movement disorder (myoclonus, chorea, ataxia) with severe generalized dystonia (onset at the age of 13y). Brain MRI demonstrated cerebellar atrophy.

Extensive work-up incl. karyotyping, CMA, DYT-TOR1A, THAP1, GCH1, SCA1/2/3/6/7/8/12/17, Friedreich's ataxia and FMR1 analysis was negative.F

Trio WES identified a dn splice site variant (c.981+1G>A) in the last exon-intron junction. RT-PCR followed by gel electrophoresis and Sanger in fibroblasts from an affected and control subject revealed that the proband had - as predicted by the type/location of the variant - in equal amount 2 cDNA products, a normal as well as a truncated one.

Sequencing of the shortest revealed utilization of a cryptic donor splice site upstream of the mutated donor leading to a 77bp out-of-frame deletion and introduction of a premature stop codon in the last codon (p.Lys303Serfs*28). Western blot in fibroblast cell lines revealed 2 bands corresponding to the normal protein product as well as to the p.Lys303Serfs*28 although expression of the latter was lower than that of the full length protein.

Several previous studies have shown that mutant CAMKIV species that lack the autoinhibitory domain are consitutively active (several Refs provided). Among others Chatila et al (1996, PMID: 8702940) studied an in vitro-engineered truncation mutant (Δ1-317 - truncation at position 317 of the protein) with functionally validated gain-of-function effect.

To prove enhanced activity of the splicing variant, Zech et al assessed phosphorylation of CREB (cyclic AMP-responsive element binding protein), a downstream substrate of CAMKIV. Immunobloting revealed significant increase of CREB phosphorylation in patient fibroblasts compared to controls. Overactivation of CAMKIV signaling was reversed when cells were treated with STO-609 an inhibitor of CAMKK, the ustream activator of CAMKIV.

Overall the authors demonstrated that loss of CAMKIV autoregulatory domain due to this splice variant had a gain-of-function effect.


Following trio-WES, Zech et al (2020 - PMID: 33098801) identified another relevant subject within cohort of 764 individuals with dystonia. This 12-y.o. male, harboring a different variant affecting the same donor site (c.981+1G>T), presented DD, ID, dystonia (onset at 3y) and additional movement disorders (myoclonus, ataxia) as well as similar behavior (ASD, autoaggression, stereotypies). [Details in suppl. p20].


Finally Zech et al (2020 - PMID: 33211350) reported on a 24-y.o. woman with adolescence onset choreodystonia. Other features included DD, moderate ID, absence seizures in infancy, OCD with anxiety and later diagnosis of ASD. Trio WES revealed a dn stopgain variant (c.940C>T; p.Gln314*).


There is no associated phenotype in OMIM, G2P, PanelApp AUS.

In SysID CAMK4 is listed among the current primary ID genes.


Please consider inclusion in other relevant panels.
Sources: Literature, Other
Created: 25 Jul 2021, 11:59 a.m.

Mode of inheritance
MONOALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal, imprinted status unknown

Global developmental delay; Intellectual disability; Autism; Behavioral abnormality; Abnormality of movement; Dystonia; Ataxia; Chorea; Myoclonus



Mode of Inheritance
MONOALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal, imprinted status unknown
  • Expert Review Green
  • Global developmental delay
  • Intellectual disability
  • Autism
  • Behavioral abnormality
  • Abnormality of movement
  • Dystonia
  • Ataxia
  • Chorea
  • Myoclonus
Clinvar variants
Variants in CAMK4
Mode of Pathogenicity
Loss-of-function variants (as defined in pop up message) DO NOT cause this phenotype - please provide details in the comments
Panels with this gene

History Filter Activity

8 May 2022, Gel status: 3

Added Tag

Eleanor Williams (Genomics England Curator)

Tag gene-checked tag was added to gene: CAMK4.

14 Mar 2022, Gel status: 3

Removed Tag

Ivone Leong (Genomics England Curator)

Tag Q3_21_rating was removed from gene: CAMK4.

14 Mar 2022, Gel status: 3

Added New Source, Status Update

Ivone Leong (Genomics England Curator)

Source Expert Review Green was added to CAMK4. Rating Changed from Amber List (moderate evidence) to Green List (high evidence)

21 Sep 2021, Gel status: 2

Entity classified by Genomics England curator

Arina Puzriakova (Genomics England Curator)

Gene: camk4 has been classified as Amber List (Moderate Evidence).

21 Sep 2021, Gel status: 0

Added Tag

Arina Puzriakova (Genomics England Curator)

Tag Q3_21_rating tag was added to gene: CAMK4.

21 Sep 2021, Gel status: 0

Set mode of pathogenicity

Arina Puzriakova (Genomics England Curator)

Mode of pathogenicity for gene: CAMK4 was changed from None to Loss-of-function variants (as defined in pop up message) DO NOT cause this phenotype - please provide details in the comments

25 Jul 2021, Gel status: 0

Created, Added New Source, Set mode of inheritance, Set publications, Set Phenotypes, Set penetrance

Konstantinos Varvagiannis (Other)

gene: CAMK4 was added gene: CAMK4 was added to Intellectual disability. Sources: Literature,Other Mode of inheritance for gene: CAMK4 was set to MONOALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal, imprinted status unknown Publications for gene: CAMK4 were set to 30262571; 33098801; 33211350 Phenotypes for gene: CAMK4 were set to Global developmental delay; Intellectual disability; Autism; Behavioral abnormality; Abnormality of movement; Dystonia; Ataxia; Chorea; Myoclonus Penetrance for gene: CAMK4 were set to Complete Review for gene: CAMK4 was set to GREEN