TRPV4 mutations causing mixed neuropathy and skeletal phenotypes result in severe gain of function

Arens Taga, Margo A. Peyton, Benedikt Goretzki, Thomas Q. Gallagher, Ann Ritter, Amy Harper, Thomas O. Crawford, Ute A. Hellmich, Charlotte J. Sumner, Brett A. McCray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Distinct dominant mutations in the calcium-permeable ion channel TRPV4 (transient receptor potential vanilloid 4) typically cause nonoverlapping diseases of either the neuromuscular or skeletal systems. However, accumulating evidence suggests that some patients develop mixed phenotypes that include elements of both neuromuscular and skeletal disease. We sought to define the genetic and clinical features of these patients. Methods: We report a 2-year-old with a novel R616G mutation in TRPV4 with a severe neuropathy phenotype and bilateral vocal cord paralysis. Interestingly, a different substitution at the same residue, R616Q, has been reported in families with isolated skeletal dysplasia. To gain insight into clinical features and potential genetic determinants of mixed phenotypes, we perform in-depth analysis of previously reported patients along with functional and structural assessment of selected mutations. Results: We describe a wide range of neuromuscular and skeletal manifestations and highlight specific mutations that are more frequently associated with overlap syndromes. We find that mutations causing severe, mixed phenotypes have an earlier age of onset and result in more marked elevations of intracellular calcium, increased cytotoxicity, and reduced sensitivity to TRPV4 antagonism. Structural analysis of the two mutations with the most dramatic gain of ion channel function suggests that these mutants likely cause constitutive channel opening through disruption of the TRPV4 S5 transmembrane domain. Interpretation: These findings demonstrate that the degree of baseline calcium elevation correlates with development of mixed phenotypes and sensitivity to pharmacologic channel inhibition, observations that will be critical for the design of future clinical trials for TRPV4 channelopathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-391
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of Clinical and Translational Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • General Neuroscience


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