Biallelic mutations in ELFN1 gene associated with developmental and epileptic encephalopathy and joint laxity

DURSUN A. , YALNIZOĞLU D. , Yilmaz D. Y. , Oguz K. K. , GÜLBAKAN B. , KOŞUKCU C., ...More

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS, vol.64, no.11, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 64 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2021.104340
  • Keywords: LRR proteins, mGluRs, Synaptogenesis, Developmental and epileptic encephalopathy, Autistic features, Joint laxity


ELFN1, a transmembrane leucine rich repeat protein, is involved in signal transduction in both neural cells and ROD ON-bipolar synaptogenesis. We present three siblings with developmental and epileptic encephalopathy and co-morbidities due to ELFN1 gene mutation; this is the first report in literature defining the human phenotype of ELFN1 gene mutation. Clinical, electrophysiological, and radiological findings along with comprehensive genetic studies of the patients and their family members are presented. Developmental and epileptic encephalopathy, autistic features, pyramidal signs, joint laxity, and dysmorphic features are the characteristic findings of this new clinical entity, involving mainly nervous system and possibly connective tissue. Whole exome sequence analysis followed by Sanger sequencing in all family members revealed disease causing 8 bp frameshift mutation depicted as NM_001128636.2: c.42_49delGGCCGCCA; p. (Ala15Profs*241) in ELFN1. The variant, located in the signal peptide domain in the ELFN1 gene, was found to be homozygous in three patients, and heterozygous in the parents and three healthy siblings. Segregation analysis in family members together with pathogenicity assessment tools strongly supported the damaging effect of the frameshift variant on the function of the ELFN1 protein. Mutations in ELFN1 gene may be considered in patients with neonatal and infantile-onset epileptic encephalopathy before the full clinical picture is apparent.