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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pheno/genotypic correlations of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses.

The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL) are a large group of autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorders with both enzymatic deficiency and structural protein dysfunction. Previously, diagnosis of NCL was based on age at onset and clinicopathologic (C-P) findings, classified as 1) infantile (INCL), 2) late infantile (LINCL), 3) juvenile (JNCL), and 4) adult (ANCL). Most patients with NCL have progressive ocular and cerebral dysfunction, including cognitive/motor dysfunction and uncontrolled seizures. After reviewing 319 patients with NCL, the authors found that 64 (20%) did not fit into this classification of NCL. With research progress, four additional forms have been recognized: 5) Finnish, 6) Gypsy/Indian, and 7) Turkish variants of LINCL and 8) northern epilepsy, also known as progressive epilepsy with mental retardation. These eight NCL forms resulted from 100 different mutations on genes CLN1to CLN8 causing different phenotypes ( The genes CLN1 and CLN2 encode lysosomal palmitoyl protein thioesterase and tripeptidyl peptidase 1. The function of CLN3, CLN5, and CLN8 gene-encoded products is unknown, although their predicted amino acid sequences suggest they have a transmembrane topology. The diagnosis of NCL is based on C-P findings, enzymatic assay, and molecular genetic testing. Before biochemical and genetic tests are conducted, ultrastructural studies (i.e., blood [buffy coat] or punch biopsies [skin, conjunctiva]) must be performed to confirm the presence and nature of lysosomal storage material (fingerprint or curvilinear profiles or granular osmiophilic deposits). The recognition of variable onset from infancy to middle age supersedes the traditional emphasis on age-related NCL forms.[1]


  1. Pheno/genotypic correlations of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. Wisniewski, K.E., Zhong, N., Philippart, M. Neurology (2001) [Pubmed]
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