Recent progress in genetic analysis reveals that a significant proportion of cryptogenic epileptic encephalopathies are single-gene disorders. Mutations in numerous genes for early-onset epileptic encephalopathies have been rapidly identified, including in SPTAN1, which encodes α-II spectrin. The aim of this review is to delineate SPTAN1 encephalopathy as a distinct clinical syndrome. To date, a total of seven epileptic patients with four different in-frame SPTAN1 mutations have been identified. The major clinical features of SPTAN1 mutations include epileptic encephalopathy with hypsarrhythmia, no visual attention, acquired microcephaly, spastic quadriplegia and severe intellectual disability. Brainstem and cerebellar atrophy and cerebral hypomyelination, as observed by magnetic resonance imaging, are specific hallmarks of this condition. A milder variant is characterized by generalized epilepsy with pontocerebellar atrophy. Only in-frame SPTAN1 mutations in the last two spectrin repeats in the C-terminal region lead to dominant negative effects and these specific phenotypes. The last two spectrin repeats are required for α/β spectrin heterodimer associations and the mutations can alter heterodimer formation between the two spectrins. From these data we suggest that SPTAN1 encephalopathy is a distinct clinical syndrome owing to specific SPTAN1 mutations. It is important that this syndrome is recognized by pediatric neurologists to enable proper diagnostic work-up for patients.
Ezrin, radixin and moesin, which are strongly expressed in the Schwann cell microvilli, are putative targets for autoantibodies in acute or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP or CIDP). An association between anti-moesin IgG antibodies and cytomegalovirus-related AIDP has been postulated. None of 41 AIDP patients, including 8 cytomegalovirus-related AIDP patients, and 23 CIDP had IgG or IgM antibodies to ezrin, radixin and moesin; whereas, one patient with cytomegalovirus-related AIDP had anti-ezrin IgM antibodies. Ezrin, radixin and moesin are unlikely targets for autoantibodies in AIDP and CIDP, and the association of anti-moesin antibodies with cytomegalovirus-related AIDP was not confirmed.
We have recently shown that Latent transforming growth factor-beta-1 binding protein-2 (LTBP-2) has a single high-affinity binding site for fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and that LTBP-2 blocks FGF-2 induced cell proliferation. Both proteins showed strong co-localisation within keloid skin from a single patient. In the current study, using confocal microscopy, we have investigated the distribution of the two proteins in normal and fibrotic skin samples including normal scar tissue, hypertrophic scars and keloids from multiple patients. Consistently, little staining for either protein was detected in normal adult skin and normal scar samples but extensive co-localisation of the two proteins was observed in multiple examples of hypertrophic scars and keloids. LTBP-2 and FGF-2 were co-localised to fine fibrous elements within the extracellular matrix identified as elastic fibres by immunostaining with anti-fibrillin-1 and anti-elastin antibodies. Furthermore, qPCR analysis of RNA samples from multiple patients confirmed dramatically increased expression of LTBP-2 and FGF-2, similar TGF-beta 1, in hypertrophic scar compared to normal skin and scar tissue. Overall the results suggest that elevated LTBP-2 may bind and sequester FGF-2 on elastic fibres in fibrotic tissues and modulate FGF-2's influence on the repair and healing processes.