In their studies on the molecular basis of osteopoikilosis, Menten et al have identified three individuals with microdeletions on chromosome 12q14.4, which removed several genes including LEMD3, the osteopoikilosis gene. In addition to osteopoikilosis, affected individuals had growth retardation and developmental delay. We now report a smaller 12q14.4 microdeletion in a boy with severe pre and postnatal growth failure, and mild developmental delay; the patient was small at birth and presented with poor feeding and failure to thrive during the first 2 years of life, similar to the phenotype of primordial dwarfism or severe Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS). The 12q14 deletion did not include LEMD3, and no signs of osteopoikilosis were observed on skeletal radiographs. Among the deleted genes, HMGA2 is of particular interest in relationship to the aberrant somatic growth in our patient, as HMGA2 variants have been linked to stature variations in the general population and loss of function of Hmga2 in the mouse results in the pygmy phenotype that combines pre and postnatal growth failure, with resistance to the adipogenic effect of overfeeding. Sequencing of the remaining HMGA2 allele in our patient showed a normal sequence, suggesting that HMGA2 haploinsufficiency may be sufficient to produce the aberrant growth phenotype. We conclude that the 12q14.4 microdeletion syndrome can occur with or without deletion of LEMD3 gene; in LEMD3-intact cases, the phenotype includes primordial short stature and failure to thrive with moderate developmental delay, but osteopoikilosis is absent. Such cases will likely be diagnosed as Silver-Russell-like or as primordial dwarfism.
HMGA2; silver-russell phenotype; primordial dwarfism; 12q14 microdeletion; array-CGH
Osteopoikilosis is a rare autosomal dominant genetic disorder, characterised by the occurrence of the hyperostotic spots preferentially localized in the epiphyses and metaphyses of the long bones, and in the carpal and tarsal bones . Heterozygous LEMD3 gene mutations were shown to be the primary cause of the disease . Association of the primarily asymptomatic osteopokilosis with connective tissue nevi of the skin is categorized as Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome (BOS) . Additionally, osteopoikilosis can coincide with melorheostosis (MRO), a more severe bone disease characterised by the ectopic bone formation on the periosteal and endosteal surface of the long bones [4-6]. However, not all MRO affected individuals carry germ-line LEMD3 mutations . Thus, the genetic cause of MRO remains unknown. Here we describe a familial case of osteopoikilosis in which a novel heterozygous LEMD3 mutation coincides with a novel mutation in EXT1, a gene involved in aetiology of multiple exostosis syndrome. The patients affected with both LEMD3 and EXT1 gene mutations displayed typical features of the osteopoikilosis. There were no additional skeletal manifestations detected however, various non-skeletal pathologies coincided in this group.
We investigated LEMD3 and EXT1 in the three-generation family from Poland, with 5 patients affected with osteopoikilosis and one child affected with multiple exostoses.
We found a novel c.2203C > T (p.R735X) mutation in exon 9 of LEMD3, resulting in a premature stop codon at amino acid position 735. The mutation co-segregates with the osteopoikilosis phenotype and was not found in 200 ethnically matched controls. Another new substitution G > A was found in EXT1 gene at position 1732 (cDNA) in Exon 9 (p.A578T) in three out of five osteopoikilosis affected family members. Evolutionary conservation of the affected amino acid suggested possible functional relevance, however no additional skeletal manifestations were observed other then those specific for osteopoikilosis. Finally in one member of the family we found a splice site mutation in the EXT1 gene intron 5 (IVS5-2 A > G) resulting in the deletion of 9 bp of cDNA encoding three evolutionarily conserved amino acid residues. This child patient suffered from a severe form of exostoses, thus a causal relationship can be postulated.
We identified a new mutation in LEMD3 gene, accounting for the familial case of osteopoikilosis. In the same family we identified two novel EXT1 gene mutations. One of them A598T co-incided with the LEMD3 mutation. Co-incidence of LEMD3 and EXT1 gene mutations was not associated with a more severe skeletal phenotype in those patients.
Microdeletions including 5q31 have been reported in only few patients to date. Apart from intellectual disability/developmental delay (ID/DD) of varying degrees, which is common to all reported patients, the clinical spectrum is wide and includes short stature, failure to thrive, congenital heart defects, encephalopathies, and dysmorphic features. We report a patient with a 0.9-Mb de novo deletion in 5q31.2, the smallest microdeletion in 5q31 reported thus far. His clinical presentation includes mild DD, borderline short stature, postnatal microcephaly, and mild dysmorphic signs including microretrognathia. Together with data from 7 reported overlapping microdeletions, analysis of our patient enabled the tentative delineation of a phenotype map for 5q31 deletions. In contrast to the mild phenotype of small microdeletions affecting only 5q31.2, carriers of larger microdeletions which also include subbands 5q31.1 and/or 5q31.3 seem to be more severely affected with congenital malformations, growth anomalies, and severe encephalopathies. A 240-kb smallest region of overlap in 5q31.2 is delineated which contains only 2 genes, CTNNA1 and LRRTM2. We propose LRRTM2 as the most promising candidate gene for ID/DD due to its expression pattern, function as a key regulator of excitatory development, and interaction with Neurexin 1. However, sequence analysis of LRRTM2 in 330 patients with ID/DD revealed no relevant alterations, excluding point mutations in LRRTM2 as a frequent cause of ID/DD in patients without microdeletions.
Candidate gene; Developmental delay; Intellectual disability; LRRTM2; Microdeletion; Molecular karyotyping; 5q31.2
We report four new patients with a submicroscopic deletion in 15q24 manifesting developmental delay, short stature, hypotonia, digital abnormalities, joint laxity, genital abnormalities, and characteristic facial features. These clinical features are shared with six recently reported patients with a 15q24 microdeletion, supporting the notion that this is a recognizable syndrome. We describe a case of an ~2.6 Mb microduplication involving a portion of the minimal deletion critical region in a 15-year-old male with short stature, mild mental retardation, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Asperger syndrome, decreased joint mobility, digital abnormalities, and characteristic facial features. Some of these features are shared with a recently reported case with a 15q24 microduplication involving the minimal deletion critical region. We also report two siblings and their mother with duplication adjacent and distal to this region exhibiting mild developmental delay, hypotonia, tapering fingers, characteristic facial features, and prominent ears. The deletion and duplication breakpoints were mapped by array comparative genomic hybridization and the genomic structure in 15q24 was analyzed further. Surprisingly, in addition to the previously recognized three low-copy repeat clusters (BP1, BP2, and BP3), we identified two other paralogous low-copy repeat clusters that likely mediated the formation of alternative sized 15q24 genomic rearrangements via non-allelic homologous recombination.
Except for terminal deletions that lead to Jacobsen syndrome, interstitial deletions involving the long arm of chromosome 11 are not frequently reported. A clinically distinct phenotype is usually observed in these cases, and no clear genotype-phenotype correlation is proposed.
Here we present a case study of a 5-year-old girl with de novo submicroscopic deletion of chromosome 11q22.3 with mild mental retardation and facial dysmorphism. A standard cytogenetic analysis did not reveal any structural aberrations. In contrary, array-CGH analysis indicated a small deletion of 11q22.3.
To our knowledge, this is the smallest 11q22.3 deletion reported in literature, containing nine RefSeq genes. Although none of the deleted genes are obvious candidates for the features observed in our patient, genes CUL5 and SLN could play a key role in the features described.
11q22.3 deletion; mild mental retardation; facial dysmorphism
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS [MIM 176270]) is a neurogenetic disorder characterized by decreased fetal activity, muscular hypotonia, failure to thrive, short stature, obesity, mental retardation, and hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. It is caused by the loss of function of one or more imprinted, paternally expressed genes on the proximal long arm of chromosome 15. Several potential PWS mouse models involving the orthologous region on chromosome 7C exist. Based on the analysis of deletions in the mouse and gene expression in PWS patients with chromosomal translocations, a critical region (PWScr) for neonatal lethality, failure to thrive, and growth retardation was narrowed to the locus containing a cluster of neuronally expressed MBII-85 small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) genes. Here, we report the deletion of PWScr. Mice carrying the maternally inherited allele (PWScrm−/p+) are indistinguishable from wild-type littermates. All those with the paternally inherited allele (PWScrm+/p−) consistently display postnatal growth retardation, with about 15% postnatal lethality in C57BL/6, but not FVB/N crosses. This is the first example in a multicellular organism of genetic deletion of a C/D box snoRNA gene resulting in a pronounced phenotype.
Prader-Willi syndrome, or PWS, is a complex neurogenetic disorder and the most common genetic cause of life-threatening childhood obesity. Newborns have poor muscle tone, making suckling difficult, which leads to poor weight gain. After infancy, they experience extreme hunger, leading to obesity. Other symptoms include short stature, mental retardation, and often infertility. In PWS patients, a complex set of genes on the paternal chromosome 15 (in the PWS region) is missing or unexpressed. In an attempt to understand this disorder, various protein-coding genes in this region have been deleted in mice, but none of the resulting phenotypes consistently correlated with the human disease. This region also contains a cluster of genes that encode functional non-protein-coding RNAs. We deleted specifically the MBII-85 small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA) gene cluster on the parental mouse chromosome, which did not affect expression of any of the other snoRNA or protein-coding genes in the PWS region. These mice consistently displayed postnatal growth retardation starting from day 5 to 6, low postnatal lethality only in certain genetic backgrounds (<15%), and no adolescent obesity. Thus, this mouse model, with the deletion of a small, brain-specific non-protein-coding RNA, should prove useful for teasing out the various molecular pathologies of PWS.
Deletion 18p is a frequent deletion syndrome characterized by dysmorphic features, growth deficiencies, and mental retardation with a poorer verbal performance. Until now, five families have been described with limited clinical description. We report transmission of deletion 18p from a mother to her two daughters and review the previous cases.
The proband is 12 years old and has short stature, dysmorphic features and moderate mental retardation. Her sister is 9 years old and also has short stature and similar dysmorphic features. Her cognitive performance is within the borderline to mild mental retardation range. The mother also presents short stature. Psychological evaluation showed moderate mental retardation. Chromosome analysis from the sisters and their mother revealed the same chromosomal deletion: 46, XX, del(18)(p11.2). Previous familial cases were consistent regarding the transmission of mental retardation. Our family differs in this regard with variable cognitive impairment and does not display poorer verbal than non-verbal abilities. An exclusive maternal transmission is observed throughout those families. Women with del(18p) are fertile and seem to have a normal miscarriage rate.
Genetic counseling for these patients should take into account a greater range of cognitive outcome than previously reported.
The introduction of array CGH in clinical diagnostics has led to the discovery of many new microdeletion/microduplication syndromes. Most of them are rare and often present with a variable range of clinical anomalies. In this study we report three patients with a de novo overlapping microdeletion of chromosome bands 12q15q21.1. The deletions are ∼2.5 Mb in size, with a 1.34-Mb common deleted region containing six RefSeq genes. All three patients present with learning disability or developmental delay, nasal speech and hypothyroidism. In this paper we will further elaborate on the genotype–phenotype correlation associated with this deletion and compare our patients with previously reported cases.
12q15 microdeletion; nasal speech; hypothyroidism; developmental delay
Cytogenetic analysis of a male infant referred for poor neurological development and failure to thrive showed a microdeletion of the X chromosome, his karyotype being 46,Y,del(X)(pter----q21.1:: q21.2----qter). His mother and grandmother were also found to carry the deletion. DNA probes were used to define the deletion molecularly and it was shown to span intervals 2 to 6 of Cremers et al, a portion of Xq that contains the TCD gene and genes whose absence is associated with deafness and mental retardation. RFLP analysis together with X inactivation studies using the probe M27 beta verified the carrier status of the female relatives and showed non-random X inactivation in the heterozygous females.
Six submicroscopic deletions comprising chromosome band 2q23.1 in patients with severe mental retardation (MR), short stature, microcephaly and epilepsy have been reported, suggesting that haploinsufficiency of one or more genes in the 2q23.1 region might be responsible for the common phenotypic features in these patients. In this study, we report the molecular and clinical characterisation of nine new 2q23.1 deletion patients and a clinical update on two previously reported patients. All patients were mentally retarded with pronounced speech delay and additional abnormalities including short stature, seizures, microcephaly and coarse facies. The majority of cases presented with stereotypic repetitive behaviour, a disturbed sleep pattern and a broad-based gait. These features led to the initial clinical impression of Angelman, Rett or Smith–Magenis syndromes in several patients. The overlapping 2q23.1 deletion region in all 15 patients comprises only one gene, namely, MBD5. Interestingly, MBD5 is a member of the methyl CpG-binding domain protein family, which also comprises MECP2, mutated in Rett's syndrome. Another gene in the 2q23.1 region, EPC2, was deleted in 12 patients who had a broader phenotype than those with a deletion of MBD5 only. EPC2 is a member of the polycomb protein family, involved in heterochromatin formation and might be involved in causing MR. Patients with a 2q23.1 microdeletion present with a variable phenotype and the diagnosis should be considered in mentally retarded children with coarse facies, seizures, disturbed sleeping patterns and additional specific behavioural problems.
2q23.1; Angelman; EPC2; MBD5; microdeletion; Rett
Cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome is a sporadic multiple congenital anomalies/mental retardation condition principally caused by mutations in BRAF, MEK1, and MEK2. Mutations in KRAS and SHOC2 lead to a phenotype with overlapping features. In approximately 10–30% of individuals with a clinical diagnosis of cardio-facio-cutaneous, a mutation in one of these causative genes is not found. Cardinal features of cardio-facio-cutaneous include congenital heart defects, a characteristic facial appearance, and ectodermal abnormalities. Additional features include failure to thrive with severe feeding problems, moderate to severe intellectual disability and short stature with relative macrocephaly. First described in 1986, more than 100 affected individuals are reported. Following the discovery of the causative genes, more information has emerged on the breadth of clinical features. Little, however, has been published on genotype-phenotype correlations.
This clinical study of 186 children and young adults with mutation-proven cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome is the largest reported to date. BRAF mutations are documented in 140 individuals (~75%), while 46 (~25%) have a mutation in MEK 1 or MEK 2. The age range is 6 months to 32 years, the oldest individual being a female from the original report [Reynolds et al., 1986]. While some clinical data on 136 are in the literature, fifty are not previously published. We provide new details of the breadth of phenotype and discuss the frequency of particular features in each genotypic group. Pulmonary stenosis is the only anomaly that demonstrates a statistically significant genotype-phenotype correlation, being more common in individuals with a BRAF mutation.
Cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome; CFC; Noonan; Costello; genotype-phenotype
Recurrent deletions of 2q32q33 have recently been reported as a new microdeletion syndrome. Clinical features of this syndrome include severe mental retardation, growth retardation, dysmorphic features, thin and sparse hair, feeding difficulties and cleft or high palate. The commonly deleted region contains at least seven genes. Haploinsufficiency of one of these genes, SATB2, a DNA-binding protein that regulates gene expression, has been implicated as causative in the cleft or high palate of individuals with 2q32q33 microdeletion syndrome. In this study we describe three individuals with smaller microdeletions of this region, within 2q33.1. The deletions ranged in size from 173.1 kb to 185.2 kb and spanned part of SATB2. Review of clinical records showed similar clinical features among these individuals, including severe developmental delay and tooth abnormalities. Two of the individuals had behavioral problems. Only one of the subjects presented here had a cleft palate, suggesting reduced penetrance for this feature. Our results suggest that deletion of SATB2 is responsible for several of the clinical features associated with 2q32q33 microdeletion syndrome.
We report a 4-year-old girl of Mexican origins with a clinical diagnosis of Dubowitz syndrome who carries a de novo terminal deletion at the 14q32.33 locus identified by array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). Dubowitz syndrome is a rare condition characterized by a constellation of features including growth retardation, short stature, microcephaly, micrognathia, eczema, telecanthus, blepharophimosis, ptosis, epicanthal folds, broad nasal bridge, round-tipped nose, mild to moderate developmental delay, and high-pitched hoarse voice. This syndrome is thought to be autosomal recessive; however, the etiology has not been determined. This is the first report of this deletion in association with this phenotype; it is possible that this deletion may be causal for a Dubowitz phenocopy.
Microdeletion of chromosome 2q23.1 results in a novel syndrome previously reported in five individuals. Many of the del(2)(q23.1) cases were thought to have other syndromes such as Angelman, Prader–Willi, or Smith–Magenis because of certain overlapping clinical features. We report two new cases of the 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome, describe the syndrome phenotype, define the minimal critical region, and analyze the expression of critical region genes toward identification of the causative gene(s) for the disorder. Individuals with del(2)(q23.1) have severe developmental and cognitive delays, minimal speech, seizures, microcephaly, mild craniofacial dysmorphism, behavioral disorders, and short stature. The deletions encompassing 2q23.1 range from >4 Mb to <200 kb, as identified by oligonucleotide and BAC whole-genome array comparative hybridization. The minimal critical region includes a single gene, MBD5, deleted in all cases, whereas all but one case also include deletion of EPC2. Quantitative real-time PCR of patient lymphoblasts/lymphocytes showed an ∼50% reduced expression of MBD5 and EPC2 compared with controls. With similar phenotypes among the 2q23.1 deletion patients, the idea of one or more common genes causing the pathological defect seen in these patients becomes evident. As all five previous cases and the two cases in this report share one common gene, MBD5, we strongly suspect that haploinsufficiency of MBD5 causes most of the features observed in this syndrome.
developmental delay; microcephaly; seizures; 2q23.1; microdeletion; MBD5
Microdeletions in 16q24.3 are associated with intellectual disability and a specific phenotype, e.g. short stature and a prominent forehead. The 16q24.3 microdeletion syndrome shows a broad phenotypic overlap with the KBG syndrome, which is caused by mutations within the ANKRD11 gene. Furthermore, both KBG and the 16q24.3 microdeletion syndromes show clinical findings reminiscent of Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS), an imprinting disorder characterized by severe primordial growth retardation. In a cohort of patients referred as SRS, we previously identified a 16q24.3 deletion, but at that time, only patients with larger imbalances in 16q24.3 and intellectual disability had been published. Considering the recent description of the ANKRD11 gene as the causative factor for the 2 16q24.3-associated disorders, we now classified our patient as a 16q24.3 microdeletion syndrome patient exhibiting some characteristic features but normal intelligence. Our case illustrates the broad clinical spectrum associated with microdeletions, and we confirm that the 16q24.3 microdeletion syndrome is a further microdeletion syndrome with very variable expressivity. Indeed, our case is the first 16q24.3 patient of normal intelligence, but we assume that this variant is present in further mentally healthy probands which have not yet been tested. In conclusion, the detection of the 16q24.3 deletion in a proband of unremarkable intellectual capacities once again illustrates the need to perform molecular karyotyping in dysmorphic patients with normal intelligence.
ANKRD11 gene; KBG syndrome; Molecular karyotyping; 16q24.3 microdeletion; Silver-Russell syndrome
Genome-wide screening of patients with mental retardation using Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization (array-CGH) has identified several novel imbalances. With this genotype-first approach, the 2q22.3q23.3 deletion was recently described as a novel microdeletion syndrome. We report two unrelated patients with a de novo interstitial deletion mapping in this genomic region and presenting similar “pseudo-Angelman” phenotypes, including severe psychomotor retardation, speech impairment, epilepsy, microcephaly, ataxia and behavioural disabilities.
The microdeletions were identified by array-CGH using oligonucleotide and BAC-arrays, and further confirmed by Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) and semi-quantitative PCR.
The boundaries and sizes of the deletions in the two patients were different but an overlapping region of about 250 kb was defined, which mapped to 2q23.1 and included two genes: MBD5 and EPC2. The SIP1 gene associated with the Mowat Wilson syndrome was not included in the deleted genomic region.
Haploinsufficiency of one of the deleted genes (MBD5 or EPC2) could be responsible for the common clinical features observed in the 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome and this hypothesis needs further investigation.
Abnormalities, Multiple; genetics; pathology; Child; Chromosome Deletion; Chromosomes, Human, Pair 2; Comparative Genomic Hybridization; DNA; chemistry; genetics; Humans; In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence; Male; Phenotype; Polymerase Chain Reaction
A child with terminal deletion of the long arm of the Y chromosome (Yq--) presented with marked livedo reticularis, snub nose, microcephaly, short stature, and other dysmorphic features. He was profoundly mentally retarded. Most of the patients with Yq- have been reported as having varying dysmorphic features, mental retardation, and short stature. This child, in addition to the above, has livedo reticularis and microcephaly. He was of normal birthweight and, therefore, does not come into the syndrome of microcephaly, snub nose, livedo reticularis, and low birthweight dwarfism. Further information on Yq- should be obtained to ascertain if consistent patterns of abnormalities exist.
Molecular karyotyping is being increasingly applied to delineate novel disease causing microaberrations and related syndromes in patients with mental retardation of unknown aetiology. We report on three unrelated patients with overlapping de novo interstitial microdeletions involving 5q14.3-q15. All three patients presented with severe psychomotor retardation, epilepsy or febrile seizures, muscular hypotonia and variable brain and minor anomalies. Molecular karyotyping revealed three overlapping microdeletions measuring 5.7, 3.9 and 3.6 Mb, respectively. The microdeletions were identified using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays (Affymetrix 100K and Illumina 550K) and array comparative genomic hybridization (1 Mb Sanger array-CGH). Confirmation and segregation studies were performed using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and quantitative PCR. All three aberrations were confirmed and proven to have occurred de novo. The boundaries and sizes of the deletions in the three patients were different, but an overlapping region of around 1.6 Mb in 5q14.3 was defined. It included five genes: CETN3, AC093510.2, POLR3G, LYSMD3 and the proximal part of GPR98/MASS1, a known epilepsy gene. Haploinsufficiency of GPR98/MASS1 is probably responsible for the seizure phenotype in our patients. At least one other gene contained in the commonly deleted region, LYSMD3, shows a high level of central nervous expression during embryogenesis and is also, therefore, a good candidate gene for other central nervous system (CNS) symptoms, such as psychomotor retardation, brain anomalies and muscular hypotonia of the 5q14.3 microdeletion syndrome.
microdeletion 5q14.3; mental retardation; seizures; brain anomalies; molecular karyotyping
Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome (RTS) is a well delineated multiple congenital anomaly syndrome characterised by mental retardation, broad thumbs and toes, short stature, and specific facial features. The recent localisation of the disorder to 16p13.3 and subsequent identification of a submicroscopic deletion of this region in RTS patients led us to screen a large cohort of affected subjects using the RT1 probe. Among 64 patients with clinical evidence of RTS, seven (11%) had a deletion. Another patient had a translocation of the region without evidence of a deletion. The features of coloboma, growth retardation, naevus flammeus, and hypotonia have a positive predictive value for the presence of an RT1 deletion. Because of the relatively low frequency of deletions in RTS, the RT1 probe is useful in diagnostic confirmation, but has limited use as a screening tool.
Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) is a highly variable genetic disorder affecting multiple body systems whose most consistent major manifestations include hypotonia with poor suck and poor weight gain in infancy; mild mental retardation, hypogonadism, growth hormone insufficiency causing short stature for the family, early childhood-onset hyperphagia and obesity, characteristic appearance, and behavioral and sometimes psychiatric disturbance. Many more minor characteristics can be helpful in diagnosis and important in management. PWS is an example of a genetic condition involving genomic imprinting. It can occur by three main mechanisms, which lead to absence of expression of paternally inherited genes in the 15q11.2–q13 region: paternal microdeletion, maternal uniparental disomy, and imprinting defect.
Prader–Willi syndrome; imprinting; DNA methylation; mental retardation; genetic obesity; growth hormone
Mutations and deletions of the homeobox transcription factor gene SHOX are known to cause short stature. The authors have analysed SHOX enhancer regions in a large cohort of short stature patients to study the importance of regulatory regions in developmentally relevant genes like SHOX.
The authors tested for the presence of copy number variations in the pseudoautosomal region of the sex chromosomes in 735 individuals with idiopathic short stature and compared the results to 58 cases with Leri–Weill syndrome and 100 normal height controls, using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), microsatellites, and multiplex ligand dependent probe amplification (MLPA) analysis.
A total of 31/735 (4.2%) microdeletions were identified in the pseudoautosomal region in patients with idiopathic short stature; eight of these microdeletions (8/31; 26%) involved only enhancer sequences residing a considerable distance away from the gene. In 58 Leri–Weill syndrome patients, a total of 29 microdeletions were identified; almost half of these (13/29; 45%) involve enhancer sequences and leave the SHOX gene intact. These deletions were absent in 100 control persons.
The authors conclude that enhancer deletions in the SHOX gene region are a relatively frequent cause of growth failure in patients with idiopathic short stature and Leri–Weill syndrome. The data highlights the growing recognition that regulatory sequences are of crucial importance in the genome when diagnosing and understanding the aetiology of disease.
We have identified six children with a distinctive facial phenotype in association with mental retardation (MR), microcephaly, and short stature, four of whom presented with Hirschsprung (HSCR) disease in the neonatal period. HSCR was diagnosed in a further child at the age of 3 years after investigation for severe chronic constipation and another child, identified as sharing the same facial phenotype, had chronic constipation, but did not have HSCR. One of our patients has an interstitial deletion of chromosome 2, del(2)(q21q23). These children strongly resemble the patient reported by Lurie et al with HSCR and dysmorphic features associated with del(2)(q22q23). All patients have been isolated cases, suggesting a contiguous gene syndrome or a dominant single gene disorder involving a locus for HSCR located at 2q22-q23. Review of published reports suggests that there is significant phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity within the group of patients with HSCR, MR, and microcephaly. In particular, our patients appear to have a separate disorder from Goldberg-Shprintzen syndrome, for which autosomal recessive inheritance has been proposed because of sib recurrence and consanguinity in some families.
A 7-year-old boy presented with umbilical hernia and short stature. Growth retardation, recurrent upper respiratory tract infections and delayed developmental milestones were present from infancy. Umbilical hernia was diagnosed at the age of 5 years. On examination, he had short-trunk dwarfism, large head circumference, coarse facial features, joint stiffness, hepatosplenomegaly, and mild mental retardation. He had normal biochemical parameters, thyroid function tests and arterial blood gas analysis. Radiological evaluation showed that the child had Hunter syndrome with findings of J-shaped sellaturcica, proximal bulleting of metacarpals, spatulated ribs and anterior beaking of lumbar vertebrae. The second case was a 6-year-old girl with umbilical hernia, short stature, normal biochemistry and radiological findings of mucopolysaccharidosis. However, she also had corneal opacity; confirmed by slit-lamp examination, which led to the diagnosis of Hurler–Scheie syndrome. Enzymatic studies could not be done in both the cases, as they are not available at most centers.
Mucopolysaccharidosis; short stature; umbilical hernia
A 28 year old man with mental retardation and therapeutically controlled schizophrenia was found to have a de novo interstitial deletion in the long arm of a chromosome 9 (46,XY,del(9)(q32q34.1). Additional phenotypic abnormalities included short stature, a short webbed neck with a low posterior hairline, dysmorphic facies, a narrow palate with an inverted V soft palate, and tapered fingers with bilateral short fifth metacarpals. Interstitial deletion of chromosome 9 is a rare finding and we are aware of only one other case involving the q32q34.1 region.
Interstitial deletion of the short arm of chromosome 17 was detected in three patients. They all had a similar phenotype with mental retardation, behavioural problems, facial dysmorphism, brachycephaly, a broad face with a flat midface, and short and broad hands. All three cases were ascertained over a six month period by two neuropaediatricians aware of this specific anomaly, which suggests that this microdeletion is not particularly rare. Comparison of the clinical and cytogenetic findings in a total of 24 patients allows a new contiguous gene syndrome to be defined that only high resolution analysis can detect. In two cases, molecular analysis confirmed the cytogenetic results. The Charcot-Marie-Tooth type Ia gene has recently been localised to the 17p11.2 sub-band.