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Title: Undefined myasthenias : clinical and molecular characterisation and optimised therapy
Author: Cruz, Pedro M. Rodríguez
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 5501
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) are a group of heterogeneous disorders caused by mutations in genes encoding for proteins that are essential for neuromuscular transmission. All CMS share the clinical feature of fatigable muscle weakness. The differential diagnosis of CMS is wide, with a range of diseases going from autoimmune myasthenia gravis to muscle disorders. In this thesis, it was shown that measuring antibodies to clustered acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) by cell-based assay is helpful in the differential diagnosis of CMS. The findings of the current investigations showed that mutations in COL13A1, encoding the Collagen Type XIII α1 chain, were responsible for the symptoms of several patients with previously undefined myasthenias. In addition, this work described the clinical and complementary features of a novel CMS subtype due to mutations in the glycosylation pathway gene GMPPB. Investigations on a novel MUSK missense mutation (p.Ala617Val) uncovered previously unrecognised mechanisms of how levels of MuSK phosphorylation are critical to maintain synaptic structure, and guided suitable treatment for the patient. The study on the clinical and molecular basis of stridor, a novel clinical feature recently identified in patients with DOK7-CMS, prompted the identification of a novel DOK7 isoform, which warrants further investigation to elucidate its role in AChR clustering. Finally, the therapy of patients with severe AChR-deficiency was optimised thanks to a case series study that showed a robust improvement following the addition of β2-adrenergic agonists to their long-term treatment regime that included pyridostigmine.
Supervisor: Rinaldi, Simon ; Lochmuller, Hans ; Beeson, David ; Palace, Jacqueline Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Neuromuscular diseases ; Neurosciences ; congenital myasthenic syndrome ; COL13A1 ; rapsyn ; GMPPB ; neuromuscular junction ; AChR-deficiency ; stridor ; clustered-AChR antibodies ; salbutamol ; MuSK ; Acetylcholine receptor ; congenital myasthenia ; myasthenia gravis ; N-glycosylation pathway ; DOK7