Autoimmunity to gephyrin in Stiff-Man syndrome.
Stiff-Man syndrome (SMS) is a rare disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by chronic rigidity, spasms, and autoimmunity directed against synaptic antigens, most often the GABA-synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). In a subset of cases, SMS has an autoimmune paraneoplastic origin. We report here the identification of high-titer autoantibodies directed against gephyrin in a patient with clinical features of SMS and mediastinal cancer. Gephyrin is a cytosolic protein selectively concentrated at the postsynaptic membrane of inhibitory synapses, where it is associated with GABA(A) and glycine receptors. Our findings provide new evidence for a close link between autoimmunity directed against components of inhibitory synapses and neurological conditions characterized by chronic rigidity and spasms.
Butler, MH; Hayashi, A; Ohkoshi, N; Villmann, C; Becker, CM; Feng, G; De Camilli, P; Solimena, M
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