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Ann Clin Transl Neurol January 1, 2021; 8 (7): 1480-1494.
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Recurrent seizure-related GRIN1 variant: Molecular mechanism and targeted therapy.

Xu Y , Song R , Chen W , Strong K , Shrey D , Gedela S , Traynelis SF , Zhang G , Yuan H .

OBJECTIVE: Genetic variants in the GRIN genes that encode N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunits have been identified in various neurodevelopmental disorders, including epilepsy. We identified a GRIN1 variant from an individual with early-onset epileptic encephalopathy, evaluated functional changes to NMDAR properties caused by the variant, and screened FDA-approved therapeutic compounds as potential treatments for the patient. METHODS: Whole exome sequencing identified a missense variant in GRIN1. Electrophysiological recordings were made from Xenopus oocytes and transfected HEK cells to determine the NMDAR biophysical properties as well as the sensitivity to agonists and FDA-approved drugs that inhibit NMDARs. A beta-lactamase reporter assay in transfected HEK cells evaluated the effects of the variant on the NMDAR surface expression. RESULTS: A recurrent de novo missense variant in GRIN1 (c.1923G>A, p.Met641Ile), which encodes the GluN1 subunit, was identified in a pediatric patient with drug-resistant seizures and early-onset epileptic encephalopathy. In vitro analysis indicates that GluN1-M641I containing NMDARs showed enhanced agonist potency and reduced Mg2+ block, which may be associated with the patient''s phenotype. Results from screening FDA-approved drugs suggested that GluN1-M641I containing NMDARs are more sensitive to the NMDAR channel blockers memantine, ketamine, and dextromethorphan compared to the wild-type receptors. The addition of memantine to the seizure treatment regimen significantly reduced the patient''s seizure burden. INTERPRETATION: Our finding contributes to the understanding of the phenotype-genotype correlations of patients with GRIN1 gene variants, provides a molecular mechanism underlying the actions of this variant, and explores therapeutic strategies for treating GRIN1-related neurological conditions.

PubMed ID: 34227748
PMC ID: PMC8283169
Article link: Ann Clin Transl Neurol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: grin1

Disease Ontology terms: early infantile epileptic encephalopathy [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions