Departments of Neurology and Pathology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Boston Children’s Hospital Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Program in Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Address correspondence to: Matthew P. Anderson, Center for Life Science, 330 Brookline Ave, E/CLS-645, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA. Phone: 617.735.3202; Email: Matthew_Anderson@bidmc.harvard.edu.
First published April 30, 2018 - More info
Loss-of-function mutations in a single allele of the gene encoding DEP domain–containing 5 protein (DEPDC5) are commonly linked to familial focal epilepsy with variable foci; however, a subset of patients presents with focal cortical dysplasia that is proposed to result from a second-hit somatic mutation. In this issue of the JCI, Ribierre and colleagues provide several lines of evidence to support second-hit DEPDC5 mutations in this disorder. Moreover, the authors use in vivo, in utero electroporation combined with CRISPR-Cas9 technology to generate a murine model of the disease that recapitulates human manifestations, including cortical dysplasia–like changes, focal seizures, and sudden unexpected death. This study provides important insights into familial focal epilepsy and provides a preclinical model for evaluating potential therapies.
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