METHODS: We performed trio-based whole-exome sequencing (WES) in 210 families and case-only WES in 489 individuals with epileptic encephalopathies. The functional effect of CYFIP2 variants on WAVE signaling was evaluated by computational structural analysis and in vitro transfection experiments.
RESULTS: We identified three de novo CYFIP2 variants at the Arg87 residue in 4 unrelated individuals with early-onset epileptic encephalopathy. Structural analysis indicated that the Arg87 residue is buried at an interface between CYFIP2 and WAVE1, and the Arg87 variant may disrupt hydrogen bonding, leading to structural instability and aberrant activation of the WAVE regulatory complex. All mutant CYFIP2 showed comparatively weaker interactions to the VCA domain than wild-type CYFIP2. Immunofluorescence revealed that ectopic speckled accumulation of actin and CYFIP2 was significantly increased in cells transfected with mutant CYFIP2.
INTERPRETATION: Our findings suggest that de novo Arg87 variants in CYFIP2 have gain-of-function effects on the WAVE signaling pathway and are associated with severe neurological disorders. Ann Neurol 2018;83:794-806.