Large Intragenic Deletion in DSTYK Underlies Autosomal-Recessive Complicated Spastic Paraparesis, SPG23

John Y.W. Lee, Chao Kai Hsu, Magdalene Michael, Arti Nanda, Lu Liu, James R. McMillan, Celine Pourreyron, Takuya Takeichi, Jakub Tolar, Evan Reid, Thomas Hayday, Sergiu C. Blumen, Saif Abu-Mouch, Rachel Straussberg, Lina Basel-Vanagaite, Yael Barhum, Yasmin Zouabi, Hejab Al-Ajmi, Hsin Yu Huang, Ting Chien LinMasashi Akiyama, Julia Y.Y. Lee, W. H.Irwin McLean, Michael A. Simpson, Maddy Parsons, John A. McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


SPG23 is an autosomal-recessive neurodegenerative subtype of lower limb spastic paraparesis with additional diffuse skin and hair dyspigmentation at birth followed by further patchy pigment loss during childhood. Previously, genome-wide linkage in an Arab-Israeli pedigree mapped the gene to an approximately 25 cM locus on chromosome 1q24–q32. By using whole-exome sequencing in a further Palestinian-Jordanian SPG23 pedigree, we identified a complex homozygous 4-kb deletion/20-bp insertion in DSTYK (dual serine-threonine and tyrosine protein kinase) in all four affected family members. DSTYK is located within the established linkage region and we also found the same mutation in the previously reported pedigree and another Israeli pedigree (total of ten affected individuals from three different families). The mutation removes the last two exons and part of the 3′ UTR of DSTYK. Skin biopsies revealed reduced DSTYK protein levels along with focal loss of melanocytes. Ultrastructurally, swollen mitochondria and cytoplasmic vacuoles were also noted in remaining melanocytes and some keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Cultured keratinocytes and fibroblasts from an affected individual, as well as knockdown of Dstyk in mouse melanocytes, keratinocytes, and fibroblasts, were associated with increased cell death after ultraviolet irradiation. Keratinocytes from an affected individual showed loss of kinase activity upon stimulation with fibroblast growth factor. Previously, dominant mutations in DSTYK were implicated in congenital urological developmental disorders, but our study identifies different phenotypic consequences for a recurrent autosomal-recessive deletion mutation in revealing the genetic basis of SPG23.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-370
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Centre for Dermatology and Genetic Medicine is supported by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (reference 098439/Z/12/Z). The work was supported by the MRC (MR/M018512/1) and the UK National Institute for?Health Research (NIHR) comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) award to Guy's and St. Thomas? NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with the King's College London and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. This study was also supported by UK Medical Research Council Project Grant (MR/M00046X/1) and Action Research grant SP3706 as well as medical student grants from the Jean Shanks Foundation and the British Association of Dermatologists. We thank Akemi Ishida-Yamamoto (Asahikawa, Japan) for help with transmission electron microscopy analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society of Human Genetics


  • Spastic Paraplegia 23
  • autosomal-recessive
  • deletion
  • gene
  • hereditary spastic paraplegia
  • mutation
  • pigmentation
  • vitiligo
  • whole-exome sequencing


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