Podosome-type adhesions are actin based membrane protrusions involved in cell-matrix adhesion and extracellular matrix degradation. Despite growing knowledge of many proteins associated with podosome-type adhesions, much remains unknown concerning the function of podosomal proteins at the level of the whole animal. In this study, the spontaneous mouse mutant nee was used to identify a component of podosome-type adhesions that is essential for normal postnatal growth and development. Mice homozygous for the nee allele exhibited runted growth, craniofacial and skeletal abnormalities, ocular anterior segment dysgenesis, and hearing impairment. Adults also exhibited infertility and a form of lipodystrophy. Using genetic mapping and DNA sequencing, the cause of nee phenotypes was identified as a 1 bp deletion within the Sh3pxd2b gene on mouse Chromosome 11. Whereas the wild-type Sh3pxd2b gene is predicted to encode a protein with 1 PX domain and 4 SH3 domains, the nee mutation is predicted to cause a frameshift and a protein truncation altering a portion of the third SH3 domain and deleting all of the fourth SH3 domain. The SH3PXD2B protein is believed to be an important component of podosomes likely to mediate protein-protein interactions with membrane spanning metalloproteinases. Testing this directly, SH3PXD2B localized to podosomes in constitutively active Src transfected fibroblasts and through its last SH3 domain associated with a transmembrane member of a disintegrin and metalloproteinase family of proteins, ADAM15. These results identify SH3PXD2B as a podosomal-adaptor protein required for postnatal growth and development, particularly within physiologic contexts involving extracellular matrix regulation.
BMP4 loss-of-function mutations and deletions have been shown to be associated with ocular, digital, and brain anomalies, but due to the paucity of these reports, the full phenotypic spectrum of human BMP4 mutations is not clear. We screened 133 patients with a variety of ocular disorders for BMP4 coding region mutations or genomic deletions. BMP4 deletions were detected in two patients: a patient affected with SHORT syndrome and a patient with anterior segment anomalies along with craniofacial dysmorphism and cognitive impairment. In addition to this, three intragenic BMP4 mutations were identified. A patient with anophthalmia, microphthalmia with sclerocornea, right-sided diaphragmatic hernia, and hydrocephalus was found to have a c.592C>T (p.R198X) nonsense mutation in BMP4. A frameshift mutation, c.171dupC (p.E58RfsX17), was identified in two half-siblings with anophthalmia/microphthalmia, discordant developmental delay/postaxial polydactyly, and poor growth as well as their unaffected mother; one affected sibling carried an additional BMP4 mutation in the second allele, c.362A>G (p.H121R). This is the first report indicating a role for BMP4 in SHORT syndrome, Axenfeld–Rieger malformation, growth delay, macrocephaly, and diaphragmatic hernia. These results significantly expand the number of reported loss-of-function mutations, further support the critical role of BMP4 in ocular development, and provide additional evidence of variable expression/non-penetrance of BMP4 mutations.
The distal region on the short arm of chromosome 9 is of special interest for scientists interested in sex development as well as in the clinical phenotype of patients with the 9p deletion syndrome, characterized by mental retardation, trigonocephaly and other dysmorphic features. Specific genes responsible for different aspects of the phenotype have not been identified. Distal 9p deletions have also been reported in patients with 46,XY sex reversal, with or without 9p deletion syndrome. Within this region the strongest candidates for the gonadal dysgenesis phenotype are the DMRT genes; however, the genetic mechanism is not clear yet. Multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification represents a useful technique to evaluate submicroscopic interstitial or distal deletions that would help the definition of the minimal sex reversal region on 9p and could lead to the identification of gene(s) responsible of the 46,XY gonadal disorders of sex development (DSD). We designed a synthetic probe set that targets genes within the 9p23-9p24.3 region and analyzed a group of XY patients with impaired gonadal development. We characterized a deletion distal to the DMRT genes in a patient with isolated 46,XY gonadal DSD and narrowed down the breakpoint in a patient with a 46,XY del(9)(p23) karyotype with gonadal DSD and mild symptoms of 9p deletion syndrome. The results are compared with other patients described in the literature, and new aspects of sex reversal and the 9p deletion syndrome candidate regions are discussed.
disorders of sex development (DSD); gonadal dysgenesis; sex reversal; multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA); DMRT
Deletions of chromosome 1p36 are one of the most frequently encountered subtelomeric alterations. Clinical features of monosomy 1p36 include neurocognitive impairment, hearing loss, seizures, cardiac defects, and characteristic facial features. The majority of cases have occurred sporadically, implying that genomic instability plays a role in the prevalence of the syndrome. Here we report two siblings with mild phenotypic features of the deletion syndrome, including developmental delay, hearing loss and left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC). Microarray analysis using bacterial artificial chromosome and oligonucleotide microarrays indicated the deletions were identical, suggesting germline mosaicism. Parental phenotypes were normal, and analysis by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) did not show mosaicism. These small interstitial deletions were not detectable by conventional subtelomeric FISH analysis. To investigate the mechanism of deletion further, the breakpoints were cloned and sequenced, demonstrating the presence of a complex rearrangement. Sequence analysis of genes in the deletion interval did not reveal any mutations on the intact homologue that may have contributed to the LVNC seen in both children. This is the first report of apparent germline mosaicism for this disorder. Thus, our findings have important implications for diagnostic approaches and for recurrence risk counseling in families with a child with monosomy 1p36. In addition, our results further refine the minimal critical region for LVNC and hearing loss.
1p36; deletion; germline mosaicism; LVNC; hearing loss
We have reviewed published reports on patients with segmental aneusomy for chromosome 1p36 to help geneticists and other health professionals in the recognition of this emerging chromosomal syndrome. Terminal deletions of the short arm of chromosome 1 are associated with hypotonia and developmental delay (usually severe), growth abnormalities (growth retardation, microcephaly, obesity), and craniofacial dysmorphism with a large anterior fontanelle, prominent forehead, deep set eyes, flat nasal bridge and midface hypoplasia, ear asymmetry, a pointed chin, and orofacial clefting. Minor cardiac malformations, cardiomyopathy, seizures, and ventricular dilatation are the more common additional findings. Sensorineural hearing loss and variable ophthalmological anomalies have also been frequently observed.
Although the deletions can be detected by high resolution cytogenetic studies, confirmation by fluorescence in situ hybridisation is required in most cases. The majority of deletions are maternally derived. Molecular characterisation of 1p36 deletions has been undertaken in several cases, and it is likely that this condition is a contiguous gene deletion syndrome.
Keywords: monosomy 1p36; contiguous gene deletion syndrome
Deletions in chromosome 17q12 encompassing the HNF1β gene cause cystic renal disease and maturity onset diabetes of the young, and have been recently described as the first recurrent genomic deletion leading to diabetes. Earlier reports of patients with this microdeletion syndrome have suggested an absence of cognitive impairment, differentiating it from most other contiguous gene deletion syndromes. The reciprocal duplication of 17q12 is rare and has been hypothesized to be associated with an increased risk of epilepsy and mental retardation. We conducted a detailed clinical and molecular characterization of four patients with a deletion and five patients with a reciprocal duplication of this region. Our patients with deletion of 17q12 presented with cognitive impairment, cystic renal disease, seizures, and structural abnormalities of the brain. Patients with reciprocal duplications manifest with cognitive impairment and behavioral abnormalities, but not with seizures. Our findings expand the phenotypic spectrum associated with rearrangements of 17q12 and show that cognitive impairment is a part of the phenotype of individuals with deletions of 17q12.
17q12; genomic rearrangements; cystic renal disease; cognitive impairment; LHX1; HNF1β
Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH) consists of congenital aplasia of the uterus and the upper part of vagina due to anomalous development of Müllerian ducts, either isolated or associated with other congenital malformations, including renal, skeletal, hearing and heart defects. This disorder has an incidence of approximately 1 in 4500 newborn girls and the aetiology is poorly understood.
Methods and Results
we report on two patients affected by MRKH syndrome in which array-CGH analysis disclosed an identical deletion spanning 1.5 Mb of genomic DNA at chromosome 17q12. One patient was affected by complete absence of uterus and vagina, with bilaterally normal ovaries, while the other displayed agenesis of the upper part of vagina, right unicornuate uterus, non cavitating rudimentary left horn and bilaterally multicystic kidneys. The deletion encompassed two candidate genes, TCF2 and LHX1. Mutational screening of these genes in a selected group of 20 MRKH females without 17q12 deletion was negative.
Deletion 17q12 is a rare albeit recurrent anomaly mediated by segmental duplications, previously reported in subjects with developmental kidney abnormalities and diabetes. The present two patients expand the clinical spectrum associated with this imbalance and suggest that this region is a candidate locus for a subset of MRKH syndrome individuals, with or without renal defects.
Mutations in the transcription factor encoding TFAP2A gene underlie branchio-oculo-facial syndrome (BOFS), a rare dominant disorder characterized by distinctive craniofacial, ocular, ectodermal and renal anomalies. To elucidate the range of ocular phenotypes caused by mutations in TFAP2A, we took three approaches. First, we screened a cohort of 37 highly selected individuals with severe ocular anomalies plus variable defects associated with BOFS for mutations or deletions in TFAP2A. We identified one individual with a de novo TFAP2A four amino acid deletion, a second individual with two non-synonymous variations in an alternative splice isoform TFAP2A2, and a sibling-pair with a paternally inherited whole gene deletion with variable phenotypic expression. Second, we determined that TFAP2A is expressed in the lens, neural retina, nasal process, and epithelial lining of the oral cavity and palatal shelves of human and mouse embryos—sites consistent with the phenotype observed in patients with BOFS. Third, we used zebrafish to examine how partial abrogation of the fish ortholog of TFAP2A affects the penetrance and expressivity of ocular phenotypes due to mutations in genes encoding bmp4 or tcf7l1a. In both cases, we observed synthetic, enhanced ocular phenotypes including coloboma and anophthalmia when tfap2a is knocked down in embryos with bmp4 or tcf7l1a mutations. These results reveal that mutations in TFAP2A are associated with a wide range of eye phenotypes and that hypomorphic tfap2a mutations can increase the risk of developmental defects arising from mutations at other loci.
Velo-cardio-facial syndrome/DiGeorge syndrome (VCFS/DGS), the most common micro-deletion disorder in humans, is characterized by craniofacial, parathyroid and thymic defects as well as cardiac outflow tract malformations. Most patients have a similar hemizygous 3 million base pair deletion on 22q11.2. Studies in mouse have shown that Tbx1, a T- box containing transcription factor present on the deleted region, is likely responsible for the etiology of the syndrome. Furthermore, mutations in TBX1 have been found in rare non-deleted patients. Despite having the same sized deletion, most VCFS/DGS patients exhibit significant clinical variability. Stochastic, environmental and genetic factors likely modify the phenotype of patients with the disorder. Here, we review mouse genetics studies which may help identify genetic modifiers for VCFS/DGS.
DiGeorge syndrome; Velo- cardio- facial syndrome; genetic modifiers; Tbx1
The widespread clinical utilization of array comparative genome hybridization, has led to the unraveling of many new copy number variations (CNVs). Although some of these CNVs are clearly pathogenic, the phenotypic consequences of others, such as those in 16p13.11 remain unclear. Whereas deletions of 16p13.11 have been associated with multiple congenital anomalies, the relevance of duplications of the region is still being debated. We report detailed clinical and molecular characterization of 10 patients with duplication and 4 patients with deletion of 16p13.11. We found that patients with duplication of the region have varied clinical features including behavioral abnormalities, cognitive impairment, congenital heart defects and skeletal manifestations, such as hypermobility, craniosynostosis and polydactyly. These features were incompletely penetrant. Patients with deletion of the region presented with microcephaly, developmental delay and behavioral abnormalities as previously described. The CNVs were of varying sizes and were likely mediated by non-allelic homologous recombination between low copy repeats. Our findings expand the repertoire of clinical features observed in patients with CNV in 16p13.11 and strengthen the hypothesis that this is a dosage sensitive region with clinical relevance.
CNV; 16p13.11; cognitive impairment; behavioral abnormality
Stickler syndrome is a connective tissue disorder characterized by ocular, skeletal, orofacial and auditory defects. It is caused by mutations in different collagen genes, namely COL2A1, COL11A1 and COL11A2 (autosomal dominant inheritance), and COL9A1 and COL9A2 (autosomal recessive inheritance). The auditory phenotype in Stickler syndrome is inconsistently reported. Therefore we performed a systematic review of the literature to give an up-to-date overview of hearing loss in Stickler syndrome, and correlated it with the genotype.
English-language literature was reviewed through searches of PubMed and Web of Science, in order to find relevant articles describing auditory features in Stickler patients, along with genotype. Prevalences of hearing loss are calculated and correlated with the different affected genes and type of mutation.
313 patients (102 families) individually described in 46 articles were included. Hearing loss was found in 62.9%, mostly mild to moderate when reported. Hearing impairment was predominantly sensorineural (67.8%). Conductive (14.1%) and mixed (18.1%) hearing loss was primarily found in young patients or patients with a palatal defect. Overall, mutations in COL11A1 (82.5%) and COL11A2 (94.1%) seem to be more frequently associated with hearing impairment than mutations in COL2A1 (52.2%).
Hearing impairment in patients with Stickler syndrome is common. Sensorineural hearing loss predominates, but also conductive hearing loss, especially in children and patients with a palatal defect, may occur. The distinct disease-causing collagen genes are associated with a different prevalence of hearing impairment, but still large phenotypic variation exists. Regular auditory follow-up is strongly advised, particularly because many Stickler patients are visually impaired.
Stickler syndrome; Arthro-ophthalmopathy; Collagen; COL2A1; Hearing loss; Cleft palate
Interstitial deletions of 6q are rare. We report a detailed clinical and molecular characterization of four patients with interstitial deletion involving 6q25. All of our patients presented with microcephaly, developmental delay, dysmorphic features and hearing loss, whereas two of them had agenesis of the corpus callosum. We determined the size, extent and genomic content of the deletions using high-density array-comparative genomic hybridization (a-CGH), and found that a common segment spanning 3.52 Mb within the 6q25.2–q25.3 region was deleted in all four cases. We hypothesize that a subset of genes in the commonly deleted region are dosage sensitive and that haploinsufficieny of these genes impairs normal development of the brain and hearing.
6q deletion; hearing loss; microcephaly, developmental delay; agenesis of the corpus callosum; array-CGH
Variable clinical presentations of patients with chromosomally detected deletions in the distal long arm (q) of chromosome 4 have been reported. The lack of molecular characterization of the deletion sizes and deleted genes hinders further genotype-phenotype correlation. Using a validated oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization (oaCGH) analysis, we examined two patient with apparent chromosomal deletions in the distal 4q region. In the first, oaCGH identified a 2.441 megabase (Mb) duplication and a 12.651 Mb deletion at 4q34.1 in a pregnant female who transmitted this aberration to her son. This mother has only learning disabilities while her son had both renal and cardiac anomalies in the newborn period. Unrecognized paternal genetic factors may contribute to the variable expression. The second patient is a 17-year-old female with a history of Pierre Robin sequence, cardiac abnormalities and learning disabilities. She was diagnosed prenatally with a de novo 4q deletion, and oaCGH defined a 16.435 Mb deletion of 4q34.1 to 4q35.2. Phenotypic comparison and subtractive genomic mapping between these two cases suggested a 4 Mb region possibly harboring a candidate gene for Pierre Robin sequence. Our cases and review of reported cases with genomic findings indicated the presence of familial variants with variable expressivity as well as de novo or inherited pathogenic simple deletion, duplication and complex deletion and duplication in the distal 4q region.
array comparative genomic hybridization; 4q distal duplications and deletions; Pierre Robin Sequence
The molecular characterisation of chromosomal aberrations in Xp22.3 has established the map position of several genes with mutations resulting in diverse phenotypes such as short stature (SS), chondrodysplasia punctata (CDPX), mental retardation (MRX), ichthyosis (XLI), and Kallmann syndrome (KAL). We describe the clinical symptoms of a patient with a complex syndrome compatible with all these conditions plus ocular albinism (OA1). He has a terminal Xp deletion of at least 10 Mb of DNA. Both the mother and sister of the patient are carriers of the deletion and show a number of traits seen in Turner's syndrome. The diagnosis of ocular albinism was confirmed in the patient and his mother, who shows iris translucency, patches and streaks of hypopigmentation in the fundus, and macromelanosomes in epidermal melanocytes. By comparative deletion mapping we can define a deletion interval, which locates the OA1 gene proximal to DXS143 and distal to DXS85, with the breakpoints providing valuable starting points for cloning strategies.
Terminal deletion of the long arm of chromosome 4, (4q) is a rare event. It is characterized by spectral phenotypic manifestations, depending upon the site and quantity of chromatin lost. The chromosomal loss which span 4 (q31-q35) segment often manifests as craniofacial anomalies, mental retardation with ocular, cardiac, genitourinary defects and pelvic/limb dysmorphism. These abnormalities are usually unilateral. We report a female child (46, XX), aged 11 months, born to nonconsanguineous parents, bearing chromosomal deletion of 4 (q31.2-35.2) segment, which has manifested as craniofacial hypoplasia of left side of face, ipsilateral ptosis, erythroderma and bilateral thumb anomalies.
Erythroderma; genetic defects; developmental defects
Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) is a complex syndrome involving intellectual disabilities, sleep disturbance, behavioural problems, and a variety of craniofacial, skeletal, and visceral anomalies. While the majority of SMS cases harbor an ~3.5 Mb common deletion on 17p11.2 that encompasses the retinoic acid induced-1 (RAI1) gene, some patients carry small intragenic deletions or point mutations in RAI1. We present data on two cases of Smith-Magenis syndrome with mutation of RAI1. Both cases are phenotypically consistent with SMS and RAI1 mutation but also have other anomalies not previously reported in SMS, including spontaneous pneumothoraces. These cases also illustrate variability in the SMS phenotype not previously shown for RAI1 mutation cases, including hearing loss, absence of self-abusive behaviours, and mild global delays. Sequencing of RAI1 revealed mutation of the same heptameric C-tract (CCCCCCC) in exon 3 in both cases (c.3103delC one case and and c.3103insC in the other), resulting in frameshift mutations. Of the seven reported frameshift mutations occurring in poly C-tracts in RAI1, four cases (~57%) occur at this heptameric C-tract. Collectively, these results indicate that this heptameric C-tract is a preferential hotspot for single nucleotide insertion/deletions (SNindels) and therefore, should be considered a primary target for analysis in patients suspected for mutations in RAI1. We expect that as more patients are sequenced for mutations in RAI1, the incidence of frameshift mutations in this hotspot will become more evident.
Branchio-oto-renal syndrome (Melnick-Fraser Syndrome) is a rare Autosomal Dominant disorder characterized by the syndromic association of branchial cysts or fistulae along with external, middle & inner malformations and renal anomalies. Incomplete penetrance and variable expressivity are common with the phenotypic variation ranging from mild to severe forms & consisting of various eye, ear, oral and craniofacial abnormalities. Mutations in the EYA1 gene on chromosomal site 8q13.3 are identified as the primary cause of BOR syndrome. We present a 3year old child with BOR syndrome, who came to us with bilateral low set, malformed ears & profound cochlear hearing loss along with bilateral branchial fistulae & unilateral renal agenesis. This child underwent successful cochlear implantation recently. The clinical presentation, pre-operative investigations, intra-operative findings & post-op habilitation status are presented with special highlights on the unique facial nerve course along with middle and inner ear anomalies which posed a surgical challenge during cochlear implantation.
Branchio-oto-renal syndrome; Renal EYA1 gene; facial nerve anomaly
Anterior segment dysgenesis (ASD) is a spectrum of disorders that affect the anterior ocular chamber. Clinical studies on a Newfoundland family over the past 30 years show that 11 relatives have a variable ocular phenotype ranging from microcornea to Peters anomaly, segregating as an autosomal dominant trait. To determine the molecular etiology of the variable ASD in this family, we sequenced nine functional candidate genes and identified 44 variants. A point mutation in FOXE3, which codes for a transcription factor involved in the formation of the lens and surrounding structures, co-segregated with the variable ocular phenotype. This novel mutation (c.959G>T) substitutes the stop codon for a leucine residue, predicting the addition of 72 amino acids to the C-terminus of FOXE3. Two recent reports have also identified non-stop mutations in FOXE3 in patients with variable ocular phenotypes and predict an extended protein. Although FOXE3 is a lens-specific gene, we successfully isolated complementary DNA from lymphoblasts of an affected family member, and our sequencing results show that the c.959T allele is absent, suggesting that it may be degraded at the RNA level. Though preliminary, our results challenge the notion that an extended FOXE3 protein causes ASD, and instead suggests a mechanism of haploinsufficiency in the case of non-stop mutations. This study adds to several reports that suggest that autosomal-dominant mutations within FOXE3 cause ASD and has important clinical utility, especially for the diagnosis of mildly affected patients.
Peters anomaly; cataracts; microcornea; FOXE3; non-stop mutation; anterior segment dysgenesis
The co-occurrence of ring chromosome 13 syndrome and 47, XYY syndrome in the same individual is rare. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the co-existence of this kind of chromosome aberrations. At present, the deletion 13q syndrome is divided into three groups based on the deletion's location relative to chromosomal band 13q32. Group 1 (proximal to q32) and group 2 (including q32) have shown distinctive phenotypes including mental retardation and growth deficiency. Group 3 (q33-34 deletion) is defined by the presence of mental retardation but there is usually an absence of major malformations.
We describe a 10-month-old Chinese Han boy presenting with severe mental retardation, profound congenital bilateral hearing loss with a terminal 13q33.2 deletion and multiple malformations. Routine chromosome analysis disclosed a de novo complex karyotype 47, XYY, r(13)(p11q34). Further investigation by high resolution array-based comparative genomic hybridization delineated an 8.5 Mb terminal deletion on the long arm of chromosome 13(13q33.2→q34).
The co-occurrence of double syndromes in the same individual is rare and its clinical presentation is variable depending on the predominating abnormality or a combination of the effect of both. Hearing impairment is suggested as another new clinical feature to 13qter deletion. This case report will contribute to more accurate genetic counselling and provide further insight to the syndrome.
Jacobsen syndrome is a MCA/MR contiguous gene syndrome caused by partial deletion of the long arm of chromosome 11. To date, over 200 cases have been reported. The prevalence has been estimated at 1/100,000 births, with a female/male ratio 2:1. The most common clinical features include pre- and postnatal physical growth retardation, psychomotor retardation, and characteristic facial dysmorphism (skull deformities, hypertelorism, ptosis, coloboma, downslanting palpebral fissures, epicanthal folds, broad nasal bridge, short nose, v-shaped mouth, small ears, low set posteriorly rotated ears). Abnormal platelet function, thrombocytopenia or pancytopenia are usually present at birth. Patients commonly have malformations of the heart, kidney, gastrointestinal tract, genitalia, central nervous system and skeleton. Ocular, hearing, immunological and hormonal problems may be also present. The deletion size ranges from ~7 to 20 Mb, with the proximal breakpoint within or telomeric to subband 11q23.3 and the deletion extending usually to the telomere. The deletion is de novo in 85% of reported cases, and in 15% of cases it results from an unbalanced segregation of a familial balanced translocation or from other chromosome rearrangements. In a minority of cases the breakpoint is at the FRA11B fragile site. Diagnosis is based on clinical findings (intellectual deficit, facial dysmorphic features and thrombocytopenia) and confirmed by cytogenetics analysis. Differential diagnoses include Turner and Noonan syndromes, and acquired thrombocytopenia due to sepsis. Prenatal diagnosis of 11q deletion is possible by amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling and cytogenetic analysis. Management is multi-disciplinary and requires evaluation by general pediatrician, pediatric cardiologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist. Auditory tests, blood tests, endocrine and immunological assessment and follow-up should be offered to all patients. Cardiac malformations can be very severe and require heart surgery in the neonatal period. Newborns with Jacobsen syndrome may have difficulties in feeding and tube feeding may be necessary. Special attention should be devoted due to hematological problems. About 20% of children die during the first two years of life, most commonly related to complications from congenital heart disease, and less commonly from bleeding. For patients who survive the neonatal period and infancy, the life expectancy remains unknown.
Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is an autosomal recessive kidney disease characterized by tubular basement membrane disruption, interstitial infiltration, and tubular cysts. NPHP leads to end-stage renal failure in the first two decades of life and is the most frequent genetic cause of chronic renal failure in children and young adults. Mutations in eleven genes (NPHP1-11) have been identified. Extrarenal manifestations are known, such as retinitis pigmentosa (Senior-Løken syndrome, SLS), brainstem and cerebellar anomalies (Joubert syndrome), liver fibrosis, and ocular motor apraxia type Cogan.
We report on a Turkish family with clinical signs of nephronophthisis. The phenotype occurred in two generations and therefore seemed to be inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. Nevertheless, a deletion analysis of the NPHP1 gene on chromosome 2 was performed and showed a homozygous deletion. Analysis of the family pedigree indicated no obvious consanguinity in the last three generations. However, haplotype analysis demonstrated homozygosity on chromosome 2 indicating a common ancestor to the parents of all affected individuals. NPHP1 deletion analysis should always be considered in patients with apparently dominant nephronophthisis, especially from likely consanguineous families.
Nephronophthisis; NPHP1; cystic kidney disease
Submicroscopic deletions involving chromosome 1q43–q44 result in cognitive impairment, microcephaly, growth restriction, dysmorphic features, and variable involvement of other organ systems. A consistently observed feature in patients with this deletion are the corpus callosal abnormalities (CCAs), ranging from thinning and hypoplasia to complete agenesis. Previous studies attempting to delineate the critical region for CCAs have yielded inconsistent results. We conducted a detailed clinical and molecular characterization of seven patients with deletions of chromosome 1q43–q44. Using array comparative genomic hybridization, we mapped the size, extent, and genomic content of these deletions. Four patients had CCAs, and shared the smallest region of overlap that contains only three protein coding genes, CEP170, SDCCAG8, and ZNF238. One patient with a small deletion involving SDCCAG8 and AKT3, and another patient with an intragenic deletion of AKT3 did not have any CCA, implying that the loss of these two genes is unlikely to be the cause of CCA. CEP170 is expressed extensively in the brain, and encodes for a protein that is a component of the centrosomal complex. ZNF238 is involved in control of neuronal progenitor cells and survival of cortical neurons. Our results rule out the involvement of AKT3, and implicate CEP170 and/or ZNF238 as novel genes causative for CCA in patients with a terminal 1q deletion.
corpus callosal abnormalities; agenesis of corpus callosum; 1q43–44 deletion; CEP170; AKT3; ZNF238
Williams–Beuren syndrome (WBS; OMIM no. 194050) is a multisystemic neurodevelopmental disorder caused by a hemizygous deletion of 1.55 Mb on chromosome 7q11.23 spanning 28 genes. Haploinsufficiency of the ELN gene was shown to be responsible for supravalvular aortic stenosis and generalized arteriopathy, whereas LIMK1, CLIP2, GTF2IRD1 and GTF2I genes were suggested to be linked to the specific cognitive profile and craniofacial features. These insights for genotype–phenotype correlations came from the molecular and clinical analysis of patients with atypical deletions and mice models. Here we report a patient showing mild WBS physical phenotype and normal IQ, who carries a shorter 1 Mb atypical deletion. This rearrangement does not include the GTF2IRD1 and GTF2I genes and only partially the BAZ1B gene. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that hemizygosity of the GTF2IRD1 and GTF2I genes might be involved in the facial dysmorphisms and in the specific motor and cognitive deficits observed in WBS patients.
7q11.23; microdeletion; Williams–Beuren syndrome; mental retardation; haploinsufficiency
Oculofaciocardiodental (OFCD) and Lenz microphthalmia syndromes form part of a spectrum of X-linked microphthalmia disorders characterized by ocular, dental, cardiac and skeletal anomalies and mental retardation. The two syndromes are allelic, caused by mutations in the BCL-6 corepressor gene (BCOR). To extend the series of phenotypes associated with pathogenic mutations in BCOR, we sequenced the BCOR gene in patients with (1) OFCD syndrome, (2) putative X-linked (‘Lenz') microphthalmia syndrome, (3) isolated ocular defects and (4) laterality phenotypes. We present a new cohort of females with OFCD syndrome and null mutations in BCOR, supporting the hypothesis that BCOR is the sole molecular cause of this syndrome. We identify for the first time mosaic BCOR mutations in two females with OFCD syndrome and one apparently asymptomatic female. We present a female diagnosed with isolated ocular defects and identify minor features of OFCD syndrome, suggesting that OFCD syndrome may be mild and underdiagnosed. We have sequenced a cohort of males diagnosed with putative X-linked microphthalmia and found a mutation, p.P85L, in a single case, suggesting that BCOR mutations are not a major cause of X-linked microphthalmia in males. The absence of BCOR mutations in a panel of patients with non-specific laterality defects suggests that mutations in BCOR are not a major cause of isolated heart and laterality defects. Phenotypic analysis of OFCD and Lenz microphthalmia syndromes shows that in addition to the standard diagnostic criteria of congenital cataract, microphthalmia and radiculomegaly, patients should be examined for skeletal defects, particularly radioulnar synostosis, and cardiac/laterality defects.
BCL-6 corepressor; oculofaciocardiodental syndrome; Lenz microphthalmia syndrome; mental retardation; ocular defects
Purpose of the review
This article provides an update on the current progress in identification of KCNQ4 mutations responsible for progressive hearing loss in DFNA2.
The KCNQ4 gene has been identified at DFNA2 locus on the human chromosome 1p34. DFNA2 is a subtype of autosomal dominant nonsyndromic progressive hearing loss, characterized by hearing loss starting at high frequencies in the twenties and thirties, and then progressing to more than 60 dB with middle and low frequencies often affected as well, in less than 10 years. To date, eight missense mutations and two deletions of the KCNQ4 gene have been identified in DFNA2 patients with various clinical phenotypes. In general, missense mutations are associated with younger-onset and all-frequency hearing loss, while deletion mutations are underlying later-onset and pure high-frequency hearing loss. The etiology of DFNA2 remains largely unknown at this point, even though the degeneration of cochlear outer hair cells, caused by dysfunction of KCNQ4 channels, might be one of the underlying mechanisms.
During the last decade, significant progress has been made in identifying KCNQ4 mutations in DFNA2 patients. Elucidation of the pathogenic effect of these mutations will help to gain insights to the molecular mechanisms of hearing and hearing loss, which, in turn, will facilitate informative genetic counseling, early diagnosis, and even treatment of hearing loss.
Autosomal dominant; nonsyndromic; progressive hearing loss; voltage-gated potassium channels; mutations