To test if the hypocretin (orexin) neuropeptide precursor (HCRT) gene, HCRT, mutations are implicated in the development of narcolepsy with cataplexy deficiency in young children.The entire HCRT gene and ~2000 bp promoter region was first sequenced in 181 patients and 153 controls, and rare polymorphisms including three nonsynonymous amino acid changes were identified. Next the 557 bp region of exon 2 harboring the three nonsynonymous changes was sequenced in an additional 298 early-onset subjects and in 148 control samples.A previously known common polymorphism (rs760282) and nine rare novel polymorphisms were identified in subjects and controls without significant differences. Two nonsynonymous exon 2 substitutions (+977 H54A, +979 G55R) were detected in two subjects with early onset at 7 and 6 years, respectively, but were not found in any controls. These substitutions are not likely to vastly change peptide binding to hypocretin receptors. One additional exon 2 substitution (+1019, K68R) was found in two patients and one control. Additional sequencing that focused on exon 2 showed additional subjects and controls with the +1019 K68R polymorphism and without significant differences between the subjects and the control. Segregation of two of these three nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were observed from unaffected parents to offspring.Sequencing of a large number of early-onset narcolepsy subjects revealed three novel nonsynonymous substitutions within the preprohypocretin protein, two of which were only found in patients with early-onset narcolepsy but are not likely to be functionally significant, especially in heterozygote subjects.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.sleep.2013.01.016
View details for Web of Science ID 000319502300003
View details for PubMedID 23643651