Mutations in the mitochondrial arginyl tRNA synthetase (RARS2) gene are associated with Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia type 6 (PCH6). Here we report two patients, compound heterozygous for RARS2 mutations, presenting with early onset epileptic encephalopathy and (progressive) atrophy of both supra- and infratentorial structures. Early pontocerebellar hypoplasia was virtually absent and respiratory chain (RC) defects could not be detected in muscle biopsies. Both patients carried a novel missense mutation c.1544A>G (p.(Asp515Gly)) in combination with either a splice site (c.297+2T>G) or a frameshift (c.452_454insC) mutation. The splice site mutation induced skipping of exon 4. These two patients expand the phenotypical spectrum associated with RARS2 mutations beyond the first report of PCH6 by Edvardson and colleagues. We propose to classify RARS2-associated phenotypes as an early onset mitochondrial encephalopathy, since this is more in agreement with both clinical presentation and underlying genetic cause.
van Dijk, T., van Ruissen, F., Jaeger, B., Rodenburg, R. J., Tamminga, S., van Maarle, M., ... Poll-The, B. T. (2017). RARS2 mutations: Is pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 6 a mitochondrial encephalopathy? In JIMD Reports (Vol. 33, pp. 87-92). (JIMD Reports). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/8904_2016_584