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Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions     A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®

Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome

Reviewed February 2015

What is 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.

How common is Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome?

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

What genes are related to Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome?

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.

Related Gene(s)

Changes in this gene are associated with Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome.

  • SIL1

How do people inherit Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome?

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.

Where can I find information about diagnosis or management of Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome?

These resources address the diagnosis or management of Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome and may include treatment providers.

  • Gene Review: Marinesco-Sjogren Syndrome (
  • Genetic Testing Registry: Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome (
  • MedlinePlus Encyclopedia: Congenital Cataract (
  • MedlinePlus Encyclopedia: Hypogonadism (
  • MedlinePlus Encyclopedia: Muscle Atrophy (

You might also find information on the diagnosis or management of Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome in Educational resources and Patient support.

General information about the diagnosis ( and management ( of genetic conditions is available in the Handbook. Read more about genetic testing (, particularly the difference between clinical tests and research tests (

To locate a healthcare provider, see How can I find a genetics professional in my area? ( in the Handbook.

Where can I find additional information about Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome?

You may find the following resources about Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome helpful. These materials are written for the general public.

You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for healthcare professionals and researchers.

What other names do people use for Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome?

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

For more information about naming genetic conditions, see the Genetics Home Reference Condition Naming Guidelines ( and How are genetic conditions and genes named? ( in the Handbook.

What if I still have specific questions about Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome?

Ask the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (

What glossary definitions help with understanding Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome?

ataxia ; autosomal ; autosomal recessive ; cell ; disability ; dysarthria ; endoplasmic reticulum ; gene ; hereditary ; hypogonadism ; inherited ; involuntary ; nystagmus ; protein ; puberty ; recessive ; scoliosis ; short stature ; stature ; strabismus ; syndrome

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.


  • Anttonen AK, Mahjneh I, Hämäläinen 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-Sjögren syndrome encodes SIL1, an HSPA5 cochaperone. Nat Genet. 2005 Dec;37(12):1309-11. Epub 2005 Nov 13. (
  • 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-Sjögren syndrome. J Neurol Sci. 2008 Jul 15;270(1-2):197-200. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2008.02.012. Epub 2008 Apr 18. (
  • 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-Sjögren syndrome. Clin Genet. 2014 Jul;86(1):74-84. doi: 10.1111/cge.12230. Epub 2013 Jul 30. (
  • Goto M, Okada M, Komaki H, Sugai K, Sasaki M, Noguchi S, Nonaka I, Nishino I, Hayashi YK. A nationwide survey on Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome in Japan. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2014 Apr 23;9:58. doi: 10.1186/1750-1172-9-58. (
  • 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, Häussler M, Kingston H, Kirschner J, Medne L, Muschke P, Rivier F, Rudnik-Schöneborn 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. (
  • Senderek J, Krieger M, Stendel C, Bergmann C, Moser M, Breitbach-Faller N, Rudnik-Schöneborn S, Blaschek A, Wolf NI, Harting I, North K, Smith J, Muntoni F, Brockington M, Quijano-Roy S, Renault F, Herrmann R, Hendershot LM, Schröder JM, Lochmüller H, Topaloglu H, Voit T, Weis J, Ebinger F, Zerres K. Mutations in SIL1 cause Marinesco-Sjögren syndrome, a cerebellar ataxia with cataract and myopathy. Nat Genet. 2005 Dec;37(12):1312-4. Epub 2005 Nov 13. (


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? ( in the Handbook.

Reviewed: February 2015
Published: February 1, 2016