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Congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS) are genetic disorders characterised by impaired neuromuscular transmission. This review provides an overview on CMS and highlights recent advances in the field, including novel CMS causative genes and improved therapeutic strategies. CMS due to mutations in SLC5A7 and SLC18A3, impairing the synthesis and recycling of acetylcholine, have recently been described. In addition, a novel group of CMS due to mutations in SNAP25B, SYT2, VAMP1, and UNC13A1 encoding molecules implicated in synaptic vesicles exocytosis has been characterised. The increasing number of presynaptic CMS exhibiting CNS manifestations along with neuromuscular weakness demonstrate that the myasthenia can be only a small part of a much more extensive disease phenotype. Moreover, the spectrum of glycosylation abnormalities has been increased with the report that GMPPB mutations can cause CMS, thus bridging myasthenic disorders with dystroglycanopathies. Finally, the discovery of COL13A1 mutations and laminin α5 deficiency has helped to draw attention to the role of extracellular matrix proteins for the formation and maintenance of muscle endplates. The benefit of β2-adrenergic agonists alone or combined with pyridostigmine or 3,4-Dyaminopiridine is increasingly being reported for different subtypes of CMS including AChR-deficiency and glycosylation abnormalities, thus expanding the therapeutic repertoire available.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Mol Sci

Publication Date





COL13A1, GMPPB, N-glycosylation pathway, SNARE complex, congenital myasthenic syndromes, neuromuscular junction, neuromuscular transmission, presynaptic CMS, β2-adrenergic agonists, Acetylcholine, Genetic Heterogeneity, Humans, Mutation, Myasthenic Syndromes, Congenital, Neuromuscular Junction, Phenotype, Receptors, Cholinergic, Synaptic Transmission