Background: The role of HNRNPA1 in neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and heredity inclusion body myopathy (hIBM), has been well established. Recent reports have expanded the phenotypic spectrum of HNRNPA1 variants to include myopathies without inclusion bodies. The inheritance patterns are typically dominant.
Objectives: To identify the genetic cause of disease in a family with juvenile onset myopathy.
Results: We enrolled a patient with juvenile onset of progressive muscle weakness in proximal and distal upper limbs and distal lower limbs. The proband exhibited mild facial weakness, elbow contractures, generalized muscle hypotrophy, mild respiratory dysfunction, and scapular winging. The proband was still ambulatory at age 22. A muscle biopsy showed no inclusion bodies. Whole exome sequencing identified a heterozygous stop loss variant in HNRNPA1 (NM_002136): c.963A>C; p.*321Tyrext*6. A likely de novo origin of the c.963 variant was confirmed by Sanger sequencing.
Conclusions: The HNRNPA1 variant in this family is in the same codon as that reported by Beijer et al (2021) (c.961T>G; p.*321Gluext*6). The two affected individuals with the heterozygous c.961T>G variant presented with symptoms very similar to those seen in our family; although the proband lost ambulation in her early 30’s her affected son was still ambulatory at age 13. The two variants affecting p.321* are predicted to result in a slightly longer protein. Beijer et al suggested that this extended protein is translated in their patient, potentially leading to abnormal stress granule dynamics, slowing stress granule disassembly, and enabling stress granule stabilizing interactions. Our findings provide further support for the potential pathogenicity of these dominant stop-loss variants.