Hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder that can be an autosomal-dominant, autosomal-recessive, or X-linked disease. The most common autosomal-dominant form of the disease derives from mutations in the SPAST gene.
The aim of this study was to analyze 49 patients diagnosed with HSP from the Estonian population for sequence variants of the SPAST gene and to describe the associated phenotypes. Healthy control individuals (n = 100) with no family history of HSP were also analyzed. All patient samples were screened using denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay. Samples with abnormal DHPLC and MLPA profiles were sequenced, with the same regions sequenced in control samples.
Sequence variants of SPAST were identified in 19/49 HSP patients (38.8%), twelve among them had pathogenic mutations. Within the latter group there was one sporadic case. Eight patients had pure, and four - complex HSP. The twelve variants were identified: seven pathogenic (c.1174-1G>C, c.1185delA, c.1276C>T, c.1352_1356delGAGAA, c.1378C>A, c.1518_1519insTC, c.1841_1842insA) and five non-pathogenic (c.131C>T, c.484G>A, c.685A>G, c.1245+202delG, c.1245+215G>C). Only 2 of these mutations had previously been described (c.131C>T, c.1245+202delG). Three mutations, c.1174-1G>C, c.1276 C>T, c.1378C>A, showed intrafamilial segregation.
This study identified new variants of the SPAST gene which included benign missense variants and short insertions/deletions. No large rearrangements were found. Based on these data, 7 new pathogenic variants of HSP are associated with clinical phenotypes.