Phenotypic and mutational spectrum of thirty-five patients with Sjögren–Larsson syndrome: identification of eleven novel ALDH3A2 mutations and founder effects


Sjögren–Larsson syndrome (SLS) is a rare neurocutaneous disorder characterized by congenital ichthyosis, spastic diplegia and intellectual disability. It is an inborn error of lipid metabolism caused by biallelic mutations in the ALDH3A2 gene encoding the fatty aldehyde dehydrogenase that plays a pivotal role in metabolism of long-chain aliphatic aldehydes and alcohols. In this report, we describe the clinical, neuro-radiological and molecular findings of 35 patients with SLS. All patients shared the typical clinical manifestations of SLS including spasticity, ichthyosis and intellectual disability. Brain MRI demonstrated deep while matter affection in all patients that varied in severity. Mutational analysis of the ALDH3A2 gene revealed 16 distinct mutations including 11 previously unreported ones. Three mutations (p.S365L, p.R9* and p.G400R) were recurrent in our patients with frequencies ranging from 12 to 24%. Interestingly, patients carrying the two new mutations p.R9* and p.G400R shared similar haplotypes suggesting possible founder effects in our population. In conclusion, we present a large cohort of patients from the same ethnicity with the characteristic clinical and brain imaging findings of SLS but with variable inter and intra familial severity and expressivity. We also identified many novel and founder ALDH3A2 mutations thus expanding the mutational spectrum of the disorder.

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We thank the patients and their families for participation in this work.

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Correspondence to Mohamed S. Abdel-Hamid or Maha S. Zaki.

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Abdel-Hamid, M.S., Issa, M.Y., Elbendary, H.M. et al. Phenotypic and mutational spectrum of thirty-five patients with Sjögren–Larsson syndrome: identification of eleven novel ALDH3A2 mutations and founder effects. J Hum Genet 64, 859–865 (2019).

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