• exome sequencing;
  • neuroacanthocytosis;
  • chorea;
  • chorea-acanthocytosis


Neuroacanthocytoses are neurodegenerative disorders marked by phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity. There are several associated genetic loci, and many defects, including gene deletions and insertions, and missense, nonsense, and splicing mutations, have been found spread over hundreds of kilobases of genomic DNA. In some cases, specific diagnosis is unclear, particularly in the early stages of disease or when there is an atypical presentation. Determination of the precise genetic defect allows assignment of the diagnosis and permits carrier detection and genetic counseling. The objective of this report was to utilize exome sequencing for genetic diagnosis in the neuroacanthocytosis syndromes. Genomic DNA from 2 patients with clinical features of chorea-acanthocytosis was subjected to targeted exon capture. Captured DNA was subjected to ultrahigh throughput next-generation sequencing. Sequencing data were assembled, filtered against known human variant genetic databases, and results were analyzed. Both patients were compound heterozygotes for mutations in the VPS13A gene, the gene associated with chorea-acanthocytosis. Patient 1 had a 4-bp deletion that removes the 5′ donor splice site of exon 58 and a nucleotide substitution that disrupts the 5′ donor splice site of exon 70. Patient 2 had a dinucleotide deletion in exon 16 and a dinucleotide insertion in exon 33. No mutations were identified in the XK, PANK2, or JPH3 gene loci. Exome sequencing is a valuable diagnostic tool in the neuroacanthocytosis syndromes. These studies may provide a better understanding of the function of the associated proteins and provide insight into the pathogenesis of these disorders. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society