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Genetic epilepsy syndromes

Gene: RARS

Amber List (moderate evidence)

RARS (arginyl-tRNA synthetase)
EnsemblGeneIds (GRCh38): ENSG00000113643
EnsemblGeneIds (GRCh37): ENSG00000113643
OMIM: 107820, Gene2Phenotype
RARS is in 5 panels

3 reviews

Arina Puzriakova (Genomics England Curator)

Comment on list classification: Changed rating from Green to Amber so that Green genes on this panel reflect the NHS signed-off version. This will be reviewed at the next GMS panel update (added 'for-review' tag).
Created: 20 Oct 2020, 4:04 p.m. | Last Modified: 20 Oct 2020, 4:04 p.m.
Panel Version: 2.198

Sarah Leigh (Genomics England Curator)

Comment on list classification: Associated with relevant phenotype in OMIM and as confirmed Gen2Phen gene. At least 13 variants reported in at least 9 cases of Hypomyelinating Leukodystrophy exhibinting epilepsy. Supportive functional studies were also reported.
Created: 23 Mar 2020, 3:20 p.m. | Last Modified: 23 Mar 2020, 3:20 p.m.
Panel Version: 2.12
New gene tag: new approved HGNC gene symbol for RARS is RARS1
Created: 23 Mar 2020, 2:48 p.m. | Last Modified: 23 Mar 2020, 2:48 p.m.
Panel Version: 2.11

Konstantinos Varvagiannis (Other)

Green List (high evidence)

Biallelic pathogenic RARS1 variants cause Leukodystrophy, hypomyelinating, 9 (# 616140).

The current review was based primarily on PMID: 31814314 (Mendes et al, 2019) providing details on 20 affected individuals from 15 families. 5 of these patients were included in a previous publication (Wolf et al, 2014 - PMID: 24777941) sharing authors with this study.

Clinical presentation and severity can be highly variable. However, among the 15 patients of relevant age (5/20 deceased at an early age), ID was observed in 13 (in 6/13 mild-moderate, in 7/13 severe/profound). Epilepsy was reported in half (10/20) with seizures being refractory to treatment in most and the phenotype corresponding to an infantile epileptic encephalopathy. DD and seizures were the presenting feature in 7 and 5 patients respectively, while in other cases presenting features were less specific (eg. failure to thrive in 1/20, irritabilty in 2/20). As a result the gene appears to be relevant to both DD/ID and epilepsy panels.

RARS1 encodes the cytoplasmic arginyl-tRNA synthetase 1, which is a component of the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase complex (OMIM and Wolf et al, 2014 - PMID: 24777941). Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases catalyze the aminoacylation ('charging') of tRNA by (with) their cognate amino acid.

Utilisation of alternative initiation codons, from a single mRNA transcript, results in translation of a long and a short protein isoform (Zheng et al 2006 - PMID: 16430231). The long isoform is needed for the formation of the multi-synthetase complex (MSC), while the short is free in the cytoplasm and does not have any interaction with the MSC. The long isoform appears to be essential for protein synthesis (discussed with several refs provided in PMID: 28905880 - Nafisinia et al, 2017).

The role of variants has been supported in several patients by additional studies - among others :
[PMID 31814314] Impaired Arginyl-tRNA synthetase activity was demonstrated in fibroblasts from 3 patients. Activity was normal in one additional individual compound heterozygous for a variant affecting initiation codon and a missense one. Western blot however demonstrated presence mainly of the short protein isoform. The authors suggest that this isoform possibly contributed to enzymatic activity. The long isoform which is needed for the MSC complex was only represented by a faint band in the Western Blot of the same individual.
[PMID: 28905880] Using fibroblasts from an affected subject homozygous for a missense variant (NM_002887.3:c.5A>G / p.Asp2Gly) and controls, a 75% reduction of the long isoform was shown upon WB. The short isoform was present at similar levels. As the N-terminus (of the long isoform) mediates interaction with the MSC (and AIMP1), assembly of the latter was 99% reduced in patient fibroblasts. Proliferation of patient fibroblasts was significantly reduced when cultured in a medium with limited arginine, a finding which was thought to reflect inefficient protein synthesis.

Mutations in other genes encoding for aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (eg. AARS1, VARS1) or scaffolding proteins of the multisynthetase complex (eg. AIMP1 and AIMP2) lead to neurodevelopmental disorders with overlapping phenotype [most genes rated green in both the ID and epilepsy panel].
Sources: Literature
Created: 15 Dec 2019, 9:18 p.m.

Mode of inheritance
BIALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal

Leukodystrophy, hypomyelinating, 9 616140



Mode of Inheritance
BIALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal
  • Expert Review Amber
  • Leukodystrophy, hypomyelinating, 9 616140
new-gene-name for-review
Clinvar variants
Variants in RARS
Panels with this gene

History Filter Activity

20 Oct 2020, Gel status: 2

Entity classified by Genomics England curator

Arina Puzriakova (Genomics England Curator)

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

20 Oct 2020, Gel status: 3

Added Tag

Arina Puzriakova (Genomics England Curator)

Tag for-review tag was added to gene: RARS.

23 Mar 2020, Gel status: 3

Entity classified by Genomics England curator

Sarah Leigh (Genomics England Curator)

Gene: rars has been classified as Green List (High Evidence).

23 Mar 2020, Gel status: 0

Added Tag

Sarah Leigh (Genomics England Curator)

Tag new-gene-name tag was added to gene: RARS.

15 Dec 2019, Gel status: 0

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

Konstantinos Varvagiannis (Other)

gene: RARS was added gene: RARS was added to Genetic epilepsy syndromes. Sources: Literature Mode of inheritance for gene: RARS was set to BIALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal Publications for gene: RARS were set to 31814314; 28905880; 24777941 Phenotypes for gene: RARS were set to Leukodystrophy, hypomyelinating, 9 616140 Penetrance for gene: RARS were set to Complete Review for gene: RARS was set to GREEN