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PEBAT, an intriguing neurodegenerative tubulinopathy caused by a novel homozygous variant in TBCD; A case series and literature review

      Abstract

      Progressive Encephalopathy with Brain Atrophy and Thin corpus callosum (PEBAT) is a severe and rare progressive neurodegenerative disease [OMIM 617913]. This condition has been described in individuals with pathogenic variants affecting tubulin-specific chaperone protein D (TBCD) which is responsible for proper folding and assembly of tubulin subunits. Here we describe two unrelated infants from Central America presenting with worsening neuromuscular weakness, respiratory failure, polyneuropathy, and neuroimaging findings of severe cerebral volume loss with thin corpus callosum. These individuals harbored the same homozygous variant of uncertain significance in the TBCD gene on whole exome sequencing (WES). Predicted protein modeling of this variant confirmed disruption of the protein helix at the surface of TBCD. The goal of this report is to emphasize the importance of rapid WES, careful interpretation of uncertain variants, prognostication, and family counseling especially when faced with a neurodegenerative clinical course.

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