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Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome


Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome is a condition that has a variety of signs and symptoms affecting many tissues. People with Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome have clouding of the lens of the eyes (cataracts) that usually develops soon after birth or in early childhood. Affected individuals also have muscle weakness (myopathy) and difficulty coordinating movements (ataxia), which may impair their ability to walk. People with Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome may experience further decline in muscle function later in life.

Most people with Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome have mild to moderate intellectual disability. They also have skeletal abnormalities including short stature and a spine that curves to the side (scoliosis). Other features of Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome include eyes that do not look in the same direction (strabismus), involuntary eye movements (nystagmus), and impaired speech (dysarthria).

Affected individuals may have hypergonadotropic hypogonadism, which affects the production of hormones that direct sexual development. As a result, puberty is either delayed or absent.


Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome appears to be a rare condition. More than 100 cases have been reported worldwide.


Mutations in the SIL1 gene cause Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome. The SIL1 gene provides instructions for producing a protein located in a cell structure called the endoplasmic reticulum. Among its many functions, the endoplasmic reticulum folds and modifies newly formed proteins so they have the correct 3-dimensional shape. The SIL1 protein plays a role in the process of protein folding.

SIL1 gene mutations result in the production of a protein that has little or no activity. A lack of SIL1 protein is thought to impair protein folding, which could disrupt protein transport and cause proteins to accumulate in the endoplasmic reticulum. This accumulation likely damages and destroys cells in many different tissues, leading to ataxia, myopathy, and the other features of Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome.

Approximately one-third of people with Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome do not have identified mutations in the SIL1 gene. In these cases, the cause of the condition is unknown.


This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene in each cell have mutations. The parents of an individual with an autosomal recessive condition each carry one copy of the mutated gene, but they typically do not show signs and symptoms of the condition.

Other Names for This Condition

  • Garland-Moorhouse syndrome
  • Hereditary oligophrenic cerebello-lental degeneration
  • Marinesco-Garland syndrome
  • MSS

Additional Information & Resources

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

Patient Support and Advocacy Resources

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Scientific Articles on PubMed


  • Anttonen AK, Mahjneh I, Hamalainen RH, Lagier-Tourenne C, Kopra O, Waris L, Anttonen M, Joensuu T, Kalimo H, Paetau A, Tranebjaerg L, Chaigne D, Koenig M, Eeg-Olofsson O, Udd B, Somer M, Somer H, Lehesjoki AE. The gene disrupted in Marinesco-Sjogren syndrome encodes SIL1, an HSPA5 cochaperone. Nat Genet. 2005 Dec;37(12):1309-11. doi: 10.1038/ng1677. Epub 2005 Nov 13. Citation on PubMed
  • Eriguchi M, Mizuta H, Kurohara K, Fujitake J, Kuroda Y. Identification of a new homozygous frameshift insertion mutation in the SIL1 gene in 3 Japanese patients with Marinesco-Sjogren syndrome. J Neurol Sci. 2008 Jul 15;270(1-2):197-200. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2008.02.012. Epub 2008 Apr 18. Citation on PubMed
  • Ezgu F, Krejci P, Li S, de Sousa C, Graham JM Jr, Hansmann I, He W, Porpora K, Wand D, Wertelecki W, Schneider A, Wilcox WR. Phenotype-genotype correlations in patients with Marinesco-Sjogren syndrome. Clin Genet. 2014 Jul;86(1):74-84. doi: 10.1111/cge.12230. Epub 2013 Jul 30. Citation on PubMed
  • Goto M, Okada M, Komaki H, Sugai K, Sasaki M, Noguchi S, Nonaka I, Nishino I, Hayashi YK. A nationwide survey on Marinesco-Sjogren syndrome in Japan. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2014 Apr 23;9:58. doi: 10.1186/1750-1172-9-58. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Krieger M, Roos A, Stendel C, Claeys KG, Sonmez FM, Baudis M, Bauer P, Bornemann A, de Goede C, Dufke A, Finkel RS, Goebel HH, Haussler M, Kingston H, Kirschner J, Medne L, Muschke P, Rivier F, Rudnik-Schoneborn S, Spengler S, Inzana F, Stanzial F, Benedicenti F, Synofzik M, Lia Taratuto A, Pirra L, Tay SK, Topaloglu H, Uyanik G, Wand D, Williams D, Zerres K, Weis J, Senderek J. SIL1 mutations and clinical spectrum in patients with Marinesco-Sjogren syndrome. Brain. 2013 Dec;136(Pt 12):3634-44. doi: 10.1093/brain/awt283. Epub 2013 Oct 30. Citation on PubMed
  • Senderek J, Krieger M, Stendel C, Bergmann C, Moser M, Breitbach-Faller N, Rudnik-Schoneborn S, Blaschek A, Wolf NI, Harting I, North K, Smith J, Muntoni F, Brockington M, Quijano-Roy S, Renault F, Herrmann R, Hendershot LM, Schroder JM, Lochmuller H, Topaloglu H, Voit T, Weis J, Ebinger F, Zerres K. Mutations in SIL1 cause Marinesco-Sjogren syndrome, a cerebellar ataxia with cataract and myopathy. Nat Genet. 2005 Dec;37(12):1312-4. doi: 10.1038/ng1678. Epub 2005 Nov 13. Citation on PubMed

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.