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Exploring the association between SRPX2 variants and neurodevelopment: How causal is it?

Schirwani, Schaida, McConnell, Vivienne, Willoughby, Josh, Balasubramanian, Meena
Gene 2019 v.685 pp. 50-54
animal models, cerebral cortex, congenital abnormalities, epilepsy, genes, language development, learning, mice, neurodevelopment, neurons, patients, phenotype, protein secretion, speech, synapse, vocalization
The SRPX2 gene (Sushi-repeat-containing protein, X-linked, 2, OMIM*300642), located on Xq22.1, encodes a secreted protein that is highly expressed in neurons of cerebral cortex. SRPX2 was first implicated in neurodevelopment, learning and rolandic seizure when two patients with potentially pathogenic variants, c.980A>G (p.Asn327Ser) and c.215A>C (p.Tyr72Ser), in SRPX2 gene were identified. Subsequent experimental studies demonstrated that SRPX2 is needed for vocalization and synapse formation in mice, and that both silencing SRPX2 and injecting (p.Asn327Ser) in mouse models results in alteration in neuronal migration in cerebral cortex and epilepsy. A number of studies demonstrated that SRPX2 interacts with FOXP2 (Foxhead box protein P2), a gene responsible for speech and language disorder, and that FoxP2 controls timing and level of expression of SRPX2. Despite the supportive evidence for the role of SRPX2 in speech and language development and disorders, there are questions over its definitive association with neurodevelopmental disorders and epilepsy.In this paper, the role of SRPX2 as one in a network of many genes involved in speech and language is discussed. The goal of this paper is to examine the role of SRPX2 variants through describing two patients with potentially pathogenic variants in SRPX2, c.751G>C (p.Ala251Pro) and c.762G>T (p.Lys254Asn) presenting with language and motor delay, intellectual disability as well as congenital anomalies. We explore the contribution of SRPX2 variants to clinical phenotype in our patients and conclude that these variants at least partially explain the phenotype. Further studies are necessary to establish and confirm the association between SRPX2 and neurodevelopment particularly speech and language development.