Bi-allelic variants in SPATA5L1 lead to intellectual disability, spastic-dystonic cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and hearing loss

Elodie M. Richard, Somayeh Bakhtiari, Ashley P.L. Marsh, Rauan Kaiyrzhanov, Matias Wagner, Sheetal Shetty, Alex Pagnozzi, Sandra M. Nordlie, Brandon S. Guida, Patricia Cornejo, Helen Magee, James Liu, Bethany Y. Norton, Richard I. Webster, Lisa Worgan, Hakon Hakonarson, Jiankang Li, Yiran Guo, Mahim Jain, Alyssa BlessonLance H. Rodan, Mary Alice Abbott, Anne Comi, Julie S. Cohen, Bader Alhaddad, Thomas Meitinger, Dominic Lenz, Andreas Ziegler, Urania Kotzaeridou, Theresa Brunet, Anna Chassevent, Constance Smith-Hicks, Joseph Ekstein, Tzvi Weiden, Andreas Hahn, Nazira Zharkinbekova, Peter Turnpenny, Arianna Tucci, Melissa Yelton, Rita Horvath, Serdal Gungor, Semra Hiz, Yavuz Oktay, Hanns Lochmuller, Marcella Zollino, Manuela Morleo, Giuseppe Marangi, Vincenzo Nigro, Annalaura Torella, Michele Pinelli, Simona Amenta, Ralf A. Husain, Benita Grossmann, Marion Rapp, Claudia Steen, Iris Marquardt, Mona Grimmel, Ute Grasshoff, G. Christoph Korenke, Marta Owczarek-Lipska, John Neidhardt, Francesca Clementina Radio, Cecilia Mancini, Dianela Judith Claps Sepulveda, Kirsty McWalter, Amber Begtrup, Amy Crunk, Maria J. Guillen Sacoto, Richard Person, Rhonda E. Schnur, Maria Margherita Mancardi, Florian Kreuder, Pasquale Striano, Federico Zara, Wendy K. Chung, Warren A. Marks, Clare L. van Eyk, Dani L. Webber, Mark A. Corbett, Kelly Harper, Jesia G. Berry, Alastair H. MacLennan, Jozef Gecz, Marco Tartaglia, Vincenzo Salpietro, John Christodoulou, Jan Kaslin, Sergio Padilla-Lopez, Kaya Bilguvar, Alexander Munchau, Zubair M. Ahmed, Robert B. Hufnagel, Michael C. Fahey, Reza Maroofian, Henry Houlden, Heinrich Sticht, Shrikant M. Mane, Aboulfazl Rad, Barbara Vona, Sheng Chih Jin, Tobias B. Haack, Christine Makowski, Yoel Hirsch, Saima Riazuddin, Michael C. Kruer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Spermatogenesis-associated 5 like 1 (SPATA5L1) represents an orphan gene encoding a protein of unknown function. We report 28 bi-allelic variants in SPATA5L1 associated with sensorineural hearing loss in 47 individuals from 28 (26 unrelated) families. In addition, 25/47 affected individuals (53%) presented with microcephaly, developmental delay/intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, and/or epilepsy. Modeling indicated damaging effect of variants on the protein, largely via destabilizing effects on protein domains. Brain imaging revealed diminished cerebral volume, thin corpus callosum, and periventricular leukomalacia, and quantitative volumetry demonstrated significantly diminished white matter volumes in several individuals. Immunofluorescent imaging in rat hippocampal neurons revealed localization of Spata5l1 in neuronal and glial cell nuclei and more prominent expression in neurons. In the rodent inner ear, Spata5l1 is expressed in the neurosensory hair cells and inner ear supporting cells. Transcriptomic analysis performed with fibroblasts from affected individuals was able to distinguish affected from controls by principal components. Analysis of differentially expressed genes and networks suggested a role for SPATA5L1 in cell surface adhesion receptor function, intracellular focal adhesions, and DNA replication and mitosis. Collectively, our results indicate that bi-allelic SPATA5L1 variants lead to a human disease characterized by sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) with or without a nonprogressive mixed neurodevelopmental phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2006-2016
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 7 2021


  • AAA+ superfamily
  • ATPase
  • SPATA5L1
  • cerebral palsy
  • epilepsy
  • intellectual disability
  • movement disorder
  • neurodevelopmental disorder
  • sensorineural hearing loss


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