Cathepsin F mutations cause Type B Kufs disease, an adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis

Katherine R. Smith, Hans Henrik M. Dahl, Laura Canafoglia, Eva Andermann, John Damiano, Michela Morbin, Amalia C. Bruni, Giorgio Giaccone, Patrick Cossette, Paul Saftig, Joachim Grötzinger, Michael Schwake, Frederick Andermann, John F. Staropoli, Katherine B. Sims, Sara E. Mole, Silvana Franceschetti, Noreen A. Alexander, Jonathan D. Cooper, Harold A. ChapmanStirling Carpenter, Samuel F. Berkovic, Melanie Bahlo

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97 Scopus citations


Kufs disease, an adult-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, is challenging to diagnose and genetically heterogeneous. Mutations in CLN6 were recently identified in recessive Kufs disease presenting as progressive myoclonus epilepsy (Type A), whereas the molecular basis of cases presenting with dementia and motor features (Type B) is unknown. We performed genome-wide linkage mapping of two families with recessive Type B Kufs disease and identified a single region on chromosome 11 to which both families showed linkage. Exome sequencing of five samples from the two families identified homozygous and compound heterozygous missense mutations in CTSF within this linkage region. We subsequently sequenced CTSF in 22 unrelated individuals with suspected recessive Kufs disease, and identified an additional patient with compound heterozygous mutations. CTSF encodes cathepsin F, a lysosomal cysteine protease, dysfunction of which is a highly plausible candidate mechanism for a storage disorder like ceroid lipofuscinosis. In silico modeling suggested the missense mutations would alter protein structure and function. Moreover, re-examination of a previously published mouse knockout of Ctsf shows that it recapitulates the light and electron-microscopic pathological features of Kufs disease. Although CTSF mutations account for a minority of cases of type B Kufs, CTSF screening should be considered in cases with early-onset dementia and may avoid the need for invasive biopsies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdds558
Pages (from-to)1417-1423
Number of pages7
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2013


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