Date Panel Item Activity
2 actions
Intellectual disability v3.0 RARS Konstantinos Varvagiannis gene: RARS was added
gene: RARS was added to Intellectual disability. 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 Cerebral hypomyelination; Global developmental delay; Intellectual disability; Seizures; Cerebral atrophy; Nystagmus; Ataxia; Feeding difficulties
Penetrance for gene: RARS were set to Complete
Review for gene: RARS was set to GREEN
Added comment: 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
Intellectual disability v2.584 AIMP2 Konstantinos Varvagiannis gene: AIMP2 was added
gene: AIMP2 was added to Intellectual disability. Sources: Literature,Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen
Mode of inheritance for gene: AIMP2 was set to BIALLELIC, autosomal or pseudoautosomal
Publications for gene: AIMP2 were set to 29215095
Phenotypes for gene: AIMP2 were set to Leukodystrophy, hypomyelinating, 17 (MIM 618006)
Penetrance for gene: AIMP2 were set to Complete
Review for gene: AIMP2 was set to AMBER
gene: AIMP2 was marked as current diagnostic
Added comment: Biallelic pathogenic variants in AIMP2 cause Leukodystrophy, hypomyelinating, 17 (MIM 618006).

3 individuals from 2 unrelated consanguineous families, of Indian origin have been reported (all in PMID: 29215095).

The phenotype consisted of feeding difficulties, lack of development with intellectual disability and seizures as well as brain MRI abnormalities (cerebral and cerebellar atrophy, hypo-intensities of the basal ganglia on T2w sequences). Severe microcephaly was observed in 2 patients for whom this information was available (birth measurements not specified).

All patients described to date were homozygous for a nonsense variant [NM_006303.3:c.105C>A or p.(Tyr35Ter)] which appears to be a founder mutation in this population.

Quantitative reverse transcription PCR demonstrated reduced mRNA levels in peripheral lymphocytes, but this decrease was not significant compared to controls (the authors presume low level of NMD).

Previous mouse models provide some - but not substantial - support.

The authors note marked similarity with the phenotype associated with AIMP1 (Leukodystrophy, hypomyelinating, 3 - MIM 260600), another auxiliary protein of the macromolecular multienzyme multi-tRNA synthetase complex. AIMP1 is listed in the current panel as green.

AIMP2 is not associated with any phenotype in G2P.

This gene is included in gene panels for ID offered by some diagnostic laboratories (incl. Radboudumc).

As a result, AIMP2 can be considered for inclusion in this panel probably as amber.
Sources: Literature, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen