Phenotypic variability in 446 CADASIL patients: Impact of NOTCH3 gene mutation location in addition to the effects of age, sex and vascular risk factors

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab . 2023 Jan;43(1):153-166. doi: 10.1177/0271678X221126280

PMID: 36254369

Charlotte Dupé, Stéphanie Guey, Lucie Biard, Sokhna Dieng, Jessica Lebenberg, Lina Grosset, Nassira Alili, Dominique Hervé, Elisabeth Tournier-Lasserve, Eric Jouvent, Sylvie Chevret, Hugues Chabriat

The recent discovery that the prevalence of cysteine mutations in the NOTCH3 gene responsible for CADASIL was more than 100 times higher in the general population than that estimated in patients highlighted that the mutation location in EGFr-like-domains of the NOTCH3 receptor could have a major effect on the phenotype of the disease. The exact impact of such mutations locations on the multiple facets of the disease has not been fully evaluated. We aimed to describe the phenotypic spectrum of a large population of CADASIL patients and to investigate how this mutation location influenced various clinical and imaging features of the disease. Both a supervised and a non-supervised approach were used for analysis. The results confirmed that the mutation location is strongly related to clinical severity and showed that this effect is mainly driven by a different development of the most damaging ischemic tissue lesions at cerebral level. These effects were detected in addition to those of aging, male sex, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. The exact mechanisms relating the location of mutations along the NOTCH3 receptor, the amount or properties of the resulting NOTCH3 products accumulating in the vessel wall, and their final consequences at cerebral level remain to be determined.

Keywords: CADASIL; NOTCH3; mutation; phenotype; variability.