AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HUMAN GENETICS, vol.99, no.5, pp.1181-1189, 2016 (SCI-Expanded)
Cobblestone lissencephaly (COB) is a severe brain malformation in which overmigration of neurons and glial cells into the arachnoid space results in the formation of cortical dysplasia. COB occurs in a wide range of genetic disorders known as dystroglycanopathies, which are congenital muscular dystrophies associated with brain and eye anomalies and range from Walker-Warburg syndrome to Fukuyama congenital muscular dystrophy. Each of these conditions has been associated with alpha-dystroglycan defects or with mutations in genes encoding basement membrane components, which are known to interact with alpha-dystroglycan. Our screening of a cohort of 25 families with recessive forms of COB identified six families affected by biallelic mutations in TMTC3 (encoding transmembrane and tetratricopeptide repeat containing 3), a gene without obvious functional connections to alpha-dystroglycan. Most affected individuals showed brainstem and cerebellum hypoplasia, as well as ventriculomegaly. However, the minority of the affected individuals had eye defects or elevated muscle creatine phosphokinase, separating the TMTC3 COB phenotype from typical congenital muscular dystrophies. Our data suggest that loss of TMTC3 causes COB with minimal eye or muscle involvement.