Clinical and molecular analysis of a novel COLQ missense mutation causing congenital myasthenic syndrome in a Syrian family

Hussein N. Matlik, Reham M. Milhem, Imad Y. Saadeldin, Hayat S. Al-Jaibeji, Lihadh Al-Gazali, Bassam R. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Congenital myasthenic syndromes with end-plate acetylcholinesterase deficiency are rare autosomal recessive disorders characterized by onset of the disease in early childhood, general weakness exacerbated by exertion, ophthalmoplegia, and refractoriness to anticholinesterase drugs. To date, all reported cases have been attributed to mutations in 18 genes including the COLQ gene that encodes a specific collagen that anchors acetylcholinesterase at the basal lamina of the neuromuscular junction. We identified a Syrian family with two children of consanguineous parents from two branches affected with congenital myasthenic syndrome with end-plate acetylcholinesterase deficiency. METHOD: The absence of acetylcholinesterase antibodies was demonstrated biochemically. Consequently, all the coding regions, exon-intron boundaries, and the 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions of the COLQ gene were amplified and sequenced using the Sanger sequencing method. RESULTS: We observed that the severity of the phenotype in the two affected children differed. One child had mild symptoms that included difficulties in gait and feeding with mild respiratory insufficiency. Her sibling died in the first months of life because of severe respiratory failure. The second patient had severe symptoms from birth and has been mechanically ventilated. DNA sequencing revealed a novel homozygous single nucleotide substitution mutation (c.1010T>C) in the COLQ gene in both patients. This substitution leads to a missense amino acid substitution at position 337 of the protein (p.Ile337Thr). This mutation is likely to impair ColQ's trimeric organization and therefore its anchoring within the synaptic basal lamina. CONCLUSION: We identified the molecular cause underlying congenital myasthenic syndrome in two patients. The marked phenotypic variation suggests that other factors including modifier genes may affect the severity of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-169
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • CMS
  • COLQ
  • congenital myasthenic syndromes
  • end-plate acetylcholinesterase deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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