The gene encoding gigaxonin, a new member of the cytoskeletal BTB/kelch repeat family, is mutated in giant axonal neuropathy

Bomont P., Cavalier L., Blondeau F., Hamida C., Belal S., Tazir M., ...More

NATURE GENETICS, vol.26, no.3, pp.370-374, 2000 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Journal Name: NATURE GENETICS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.370-374


Disorganization of the neurofilament network is a prominent feature of several neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), infantile spinal muscular atrophy and axonal Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease(1-4). Giant axonal neuropathy (GAN, MIM 256850), a severe, autosomal recessive sensorimotor neuropathy affecting both the peripheral nerves and the central nervous system, is characterized by neurofilament accumulation, leading to segmental distension of the axons(5,6) GAN corresponds to a generalized disorganization of the cytoskeletal intermediate filaments (IFs), to which neurofilaments belong, as abnormal aggregation of multiple tissue-specific IFs has been reported: vimentin in endothelial cells, Schwann cells and cultured skin fibroblasts, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in astrocytes(7-11) Keratin Ifs also seem to be alterated, as most patients present characteristic curly or kinky hairs(12). We report here identification of the gene GAN, which encodes a novel, ubiquitously expressed protein we have named gigaxonin. We found one frameshift, four nonsense and nine missense mutations in GAN of GAN patients. Gigaxonin is composed of an amino-terminal BTB (for Broad-Complex, Tramtrack and Bric a brac) domain followed by a six kelch repeats, which are predicted to adopt a beta -propeller shape(13). Distantly related proteins sharing a similar domain organization have various functions associated with the cytoskeleton. predicting that gigaxonin is a novel and distinct cytoskeletal protein that may represent a general pathological target for other neurodegenerative disorders with alterations in the neurofilament network.