NUP214 deficiency causes severe encephalopathy and microcephaly in humans

  • Hanan E. Shamseldin
  • Nawal Makhseed
  • Niema Ibrahim
  • Tarfa Al-Sheddi
  • Eman Alobeid
  • Firdous Abdulwahab
  • Fowzan S. AlkurayaEmail author
Original Investigation


Nuclear pore complex (NPC) is a fundamental component of the nuclear envelope and is key to the nucleocytoplasmic transport. Mutations in several NUP genes that encode individual components of NPC known as nucleoporins have been identified in recent years among patients with static encephalopathies characterized by developmental delay and microcephaly. We describe a multiplex consanguineous family in which four affected members presented with severe neonatal hypotonia, profound global developmental delay, progressive microcephaly and early death. Autozygome and linkage analysis revealed that this phenotype is linked to a founder disease haplotype (chr9:127,113,732-135,288,807) in which whole exome sequencing revealed the presence of a novel homozygous missense variant in NUP214. Functional analysis of patient-derived fibroblasts recapitulated the dysmorphic phenotype of nuclei that was previously described in NUP214 knockdown cells. In addition, the typical rim staining of NUP214 is largely displaced, further supporting the deleterious effect of the variant. Our data expand the list of NUP genes that are mutated in encephalopathy disorders in humans.



We thank the study family for their enthusiastic participation. We also thank Mais Hashem for her help as a research coordinator, and the Genotyping and Sequencing Core Facilities at KFSHRC for their technical help. This work was supported in part by King Salman Center for Disability Research (FSA), and the Saudi Human Genome Program (FSA).

Supplementary material

439_2019_1979_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (966 kb)
Figure S1. Displacement of the rim staining of NUP214 to the nucleoplasm of the patient cells compared to control cells (PPTX 966 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeneticsKing Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research CenterRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsAl-Jahra HospitalKuwait CityKuwait
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of MedicineAlfaisal UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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