FUS-P525L Juvenile Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Intellectual Disability: Evidence for Association and Oligogenic Inheritance

Orly Goldstein, Talya Inbar, Merav Kedmi, Mali Gana-Weisz, Beatrice Abramovich, Avi Orr-Urtreger, Vivian E. Drory*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and ObjectivesAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by upper and lower motor neuron degeneration, with juvenile ALS (jALS) defined as disease with age at onset (AAO) before 25 years. We aimed to identify the genetic basis of 2 unrelated patients with jALS with very rapid deterioration and early age intellectual disability (ID) and to assess association of genetic findings with both phenotypes in a large cohort of patients with ALS and controls, and in the literature.MethodsExome sequencing was performed in 2 unrelated probands and their parents. Trio analyses included de novo, rare homozygosity, and compound heterozygosity analyses. A TaqMan genotyping assay was used to genotype ALS cohorts. A systematic literature review was conducted and additional information from authors obtained to assess prevalence of fused in sarcoma (FUS)-ALS associated with ID.ResultsA de novo mutation FUS-P525L was identified in both patients. Additional variations were identified in other genes related to intellectual disabilities. Among 8 additional unrelated juvenile patients, one carried the same FUS mutation and had a similar medical history of mild ID and fulminant ALS, whereas the others did not carry any FUS coding mutations and had no reported learning or intellectual disabilities (p = 0.0083). In addition, 486 patients with ALS with AAO ≥25 years were negative for this mutation. An extensive literature review showed that among all patients with FUS-related ALS with full phenotype reports, 10.3% exhibited additional learning/intellectual disabilities.DiscussionFUS-P525L mutation was identified in 3 among 10 patients with jALS (30%) in our clinical cohort, all with a very aggressive disease course and ID. Together with literature reports, these results support a novel association between mutations in FUS and early life ID. Additional variations identified in genes related to ID and brain development in our patients (GPT2, DNAH10, and SCUBE2) may suggest a complex oligogenic inheritance for this phenotype. We propose that this mutation should be screened in patients with ALS with very early AAO, aggressive disease course, and sporadic occurrence, especially when ALS is accompanied by ID.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere200009
JournalNeurology: Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 6 Aug 2022


FundersFunder number
Kahn Foundation
Medical Research Fund
ALS Association47717
Achelis Foundation
Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center


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