Cytogenetic and molecular cytogenetic studies demonstrate association between congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and chromosome 1q41q42 deletions. In this study, we screened a large CDH cohort (N=179) for microdeletions in this interval by the multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) technique, and also sequenced two candidate genes located therein, dispatched 1 (DISP1) and homo sapiens H2.0-like homeobox (HLX). MLPA analysis verified deletions of this region in two cases, an unreported patient with a 46,XY,del(1)(q41q42.13) karyotype and a previously reported patient with a Fryns syndrome phenotype [Kantarci et al., 2006]. HLX sequencing showed a novel but maternally inherited single nucleotide variant (c.27C>G) in a patient with isolated CDH, while DISP1 sequencing revealed a mosaic de novo heterozygous substitution (c.4412C>G; p.Ala1471Gly) in a male with a left-sided Bochdalek hernia plus multiple other anomalies. Pyrosequencing demonstrated the mutant allele was present in 43%, 12%, and 4.5% of the patient’s lymphoblastoid, peripheral blood lymphocytes, and saliva cells, respectively. We examined Disp1 expression at day E11.5 of mouse diaphragm formation and confirmed its presence in the pleuroperitoneal fold, as well as the nearby lung which also expresses Sonic hedgehog (Shh).
Our report describes the first de novo DISP1 point mutation in a patient with complex CDH. Combining this finding with Disp1 embryonic mouse diaphragm and lung tissue expression, as well as previously reported human chromosome 1q41q42 aberrations in patients with CDH, suggests that DISP1 may warrant further consideration as a CDH candidate gene.
congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH); chromosome 1q41q42 deletion; microdeletion; MLPA; pyrosequencing; Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) pathway; pleuroperitoneal fold (PPF)
Cleft palate is a frequent and recognizable birth defect attributed to a variety of etiologies including genetic abnormalities and environmental exposures. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are involved in embryonic signaling important for a number of developmental processes including bone formation and palate morphogenesis. Recently, haploinsufficency of BMP2 was associated with syndromic forms of cleft palate (CP). Here, we report on a multigenerational family with a history of cleft palate as a result of a 2.3 Megabase (Mb) deletion of chromosome 20p12.3, including the BMP2 gene. In addition to a submucous cleft palate, the proband’s clinical phenotype included failure to thrive (FTT), global developmental delays (DD), and dysmorphic features. The affected father exhibited an overt cleft palate, with a facial gestalt and minor dysmorphic features similar to the proband. The father was otherwise healthy with no history of FTT or DD, suggesting high penetrance, yet variable expressivity for haploinsufficiency of BMP2. The findings presented here provide further evidence for the role of BMP2 in syndromic forms of cleft palate.
Cleft palate; microarray analysis; BMP2; 20p12.3; microdeletion
Rhombencephalosynapsis (RES) is an uncommon cerebellar malformation characterized by fusion of the hemispheres without an intervening vermis. Frequently described in association with Gómez-López-Hernández syndrome, RES also occurs in conjunction with VACTERL features and with holoprosencephaly (HPE). We sought to determine the full phenotypic spectrum of RES in a large cohort of patients. Information was obtained through database review, patient questionnaire, radiographic and morphologic assessment, and statistical analysis. We assessed 53 patients. 33 had alopecia, 3 had trigeminal anesthesia, 14 had VACTERL features and 2 had HPE with aventriculy. Specific craniofacial features were seen throughout the cohort, but were more common in patients with alopecia. We noted substantial overlap between groups. We conclude that although some distinct subgroups can be delineated, the overlapping features seen in our cohort suggest an underlying spectrum of RES-associated malformations rather than a collection of discrete syndromes.
Rhombencephalosynapsis; Gómez-López-Hernández syndrome; Congenital Triangular Alopecia; Holoprosencephaly; Aventriculy; VACTERL; Developmental Field Defect
Disturbances in the form of microduplications and microdeletions have been found throughout the genome and have been associated with autism, intellectual disability, and recognizable malformation syndromes. In our study of 187 probands with autism, we have identified a duplication in Xq25 including full gene duplication of OCRL and six flanking genes. Activity of the enzyme gene product in fibroblasts was elevated to over twice the level in control fibroblasts. The boy had no somatic or neurological findings reminiscent of Lowe syndrome.
X chromosome; autism; microduplication; OCRL; Lowe syndrome
We conducted a population-based case-control study of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in selected genes to find common variants that play a role in the etiology of limb deficiencies (LD)s. Included in the study were 389 infants with LDs of unknown cause and 980 unaffected controls selected from all births in New York State (NYS) for the years 1998 to 2005. We used cases identified from the NYS Department of Health (DOH) Congenital Malformations Registry. Genotypes were obtained for 132 SNPs in genes involved in limb development (SHH, WNT7A, FGF4, FGF8, FGF10, TBX3, TBX5, SALL4, GREM1, GDF5, CTNNB1, EN1, CYP26A1, CYP26B1), angiogenesis (VEGFA, HIF1A, NOS3), and coagulation (F2, F5, MTHFR). Genotype call rates were >97% and SNPs were tested for departure from Hardy-Weinberg expectations by race/ethnic subgroups. For each SNP, odds ratios (OR)s and confidence intervals (CI)s were estimated and corrected for multiple comparisons for all LDs combined and for LD subtypes. Among non-Hispanic white infants, associations between FGF10 SNPs rs10805683 and rs13170645 and all LDs combined were statistically significant following correction for multiple testing (OR=1.99; 95% CI=1.43-2.77; uncorrected p=0.000043 for rs10805683 heterozygous genotype, and OR=2.37; 95% CI=1.48-3.78; uncorrected p=0.00032 for rs13170645 homozygous minor genotype). We also observed suggestive evidence for associations with SNPs in other genes including CYP26B1 and WNT7A. Animal studies have shown that FGF10 induces formation of the apical ectodermal ridge and is necessary for limb development. Our data suggest that common variants in FGF10 increase the risk for a wide range of non-syndromic limb deficiencies.
limb deficiencies; polymorphisms; FGF10
Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common, serious malformations with a complex etiology that suggests involvement of both genetic and environmental factors. The authors evaluated maternal or offspring folate-related gene variants and interactions between the gene variants and maternal intake of folates on the risk of NTDs in their offspring. A case-control study was conducted on mothers and/or their fetuses and infants who were born in California from 1999–2003 with an NTD (cases n = 222, including 24 mother-infant pairs) or without a major malformation (controls n = 454, including 186 mother-infant pairs). Maternal intake of folates was assessed by food frequency questionnaire and genotyping was performed on samples from mothers and infants. For mothers in the lowest folate-intake group, risk of NTDs in offspring was significantly decreased for maternal MTHFR SNPs rs1476413, rs1801131 and rs1801133 (odds ratio (OR) = 0.55, 80% confidence interval (CI): 0.20, 1.48; OR = 0.58, 80% CI: 0.24, 1.43; OR = 0.69, 80% CI: 0.41, 1.17, respectively), and TYMS SNPs rs502396 and rs699517 (OR= 0.91, 80% CI: 0.53, 1.56; OR = 0.70, 80% CI: 0.38, 1.29). A gene-only effect was observed for maternal SHMT1 SNP rs669340 (OR = 0.69, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.96). When there was low maternal folate intake, risk of NTDs was significantly increased for infant MTHFD1 SNPs rs2236224, rs2236225 and rs11627387 (OR = 1.58, 80% CI: 0.99, 2.51; OR = 1.53, 80% CI: 0.95, 2.47; OR = 4.25, 80% CI: 2.33, 7.75, respectively) and SHMT1 SNP rs12939757 (OR = 2.01, 80% CI: 1.20, 3.37), but decreased for TYMS SNP rs2847153 (OR = 0.73, 80% CI: 0.37, 1.45). Although power to detect interaction effects was low for this birth defects association study, the gene-folate interactions observed in this study represent preliminary findings that will be useful for informing future studies on the complex etiology of NTDs.
Congenital Abnormalities; Folic Acid; Genetic Association Studies; Molecular Epidemiology; Neural Tube Defects; Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena; Nervous System Malformations; Nutrigenomics
Chromosome 8p23.1 is a common hotspot associated with major congenital malformations, including congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and cardiac defects. We present findings from high-resolution arrays in patients who carry a loss (n =18) or a gain (n =1) of sub-band 8p23.1. We confirm a region involved in both diaphragmatic and heart malformations. Results from a novel CNVConnect algorithm, prioritizing protein–protein interactions between products of genes in the 8p23.1 hotspot and products of previously known CDH causing genes, implicated GATA4, NEIL2, and SOX7 in diaphragmatic defects. Sequence analysis of these genes in 226 chromosomally normal CDH patients, as well as in a small number of deletion 8p23.1 patients, showed rare unreported variants in the coding region; these may be contributing to the diaphragmatic phenotype. We also demonstrated that two of these three genes were expressed in the E11.5–12.5 primordial mouse diaphragm, the developmental stage at which CDH is thought to occur. This combination of bioinformatics and expression studies can be applied to other chromosomal hotspots, as well as private microdeletions or microduplications, to identify causative genes and their interaction networks.
congenital diaphragmatic hernia; congenital heart defect; DNA copy number variants; deletion 8p23 1; duplication 8p23 1; CNVConnect; GATA4; SOX7; NEIL2
Marfan syndrome (MFS) is an autosomal dominant connective tissue disorder with skeletal involvement. It is caused by mutations in fibrillin1 (FBN1) gene resulting in activation of TGF-β, which developmentally regulates bone mass and matrix properties. There is no consensus regarding bone mineralization in children with MFS. Using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) we evaluated bone mineralization in 20 children with MFS unselected for bone problems. Z-scores were calculated based on age, gender, height, and ethnicity matched controls. Mean whole body bone mineral content (BMC) z-score was 0.26 ± 1.42 (p=0.41). Mean bone mineral density (BMD) z-score for whole body was −0.34 ± 1.4 (p=0.29) and lumbar spine was reduced at −0.55 ± 1.34 (p=0.017). On further adjusting for stature, which is usually higher in MFS, mean BMC z-score was reduced at −0.677 ± 1.37 (p=0.04), mean BMD z-score for whole body was −0.82 ± 1.55 (p=0.002) and for lumbar spine was −0.83 ± 1.32 (p=0.001). An increased risk of osteoporosis in MFS is controversial. DXA has limitations in large skeletons because it tends to overestimate BMD and BMC. By adjusting results for height, age, gender, and ethnicity, we found that MFS patients have significantly lower BMC and BMD in whole body and lumbar spine. Evaluation of diet, exercise, vitamin D status, and bone turnover markers will help gain insight into pathogenesis of the reduced bone mass. Further, larger longitudinal studies are required to evaluate the natural history, incidence of fractures and effects of pharmacological therapy.
Marfan syndrome; Bone mineral density; TGF-β
Schimke immuno-osseous dysplasia (SIOD) is a multisystemic disorder with prominent skeletal, renal, immunological, and ectodermal abnormalities. It is caused by mutations of SMARCAL1 (SWI/SNF-related, matrix-associated, actin-dependent regulator of chromatin, subfamily a-like 1), which encodes a DNA stress response protein. To determine the relationship of this function to the SIOD phenotype, we profiled the cancer prevalence in SIOD and assessed if defects of nucleotide excision repair (NER) and of nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), respectively, explained the ectodermal and immunological features of SIOD. Finally, we determined if Smarcal1del/del mice had hypersensitivity to irinotecan (CPT-11), etoposide and hydroxyurea (HU) and whether exposure to these agents induced features of SIOD. Among 71 SIOD patients, three had non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and one had osteosarcoma. We did not find evidence of defective NER or NHEJ; however, Smarcal1-deficient mice were hypersensitive to several genotoxic agents. Also, CPT-11, etoposide and HU caused decreased growth and loss of growth plate chondrocytes. These data, which identify an increased prevalence of NHL in SIOD and confirm hypersensitivity to DNA damaging agents in vivo, provide guidance for the management of SIOD patients.
Schimke immuno-osseous dysplasia; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; T-cell immunodeficiency; genotoxic agents
We describe 19 unrelated individuals with submicroscopic deletions involving 10p15.3 characterized by chromosomal microarray (CMA). Interestingly, to our knowledge, only two individuals with isolated, submicroscopic 10p15.3 deletion have been reported to date; however, only limited clinical information is available for these probands and the deleted region has not been molecularly mapped. Comprehensive clinical history was obtained for 12 of the 19 individuals described in this study. Common features among these 12 individuals include: cognitive/behavioral/developmental differences (11/11), speech delay/language disorder (10/10), motor delay (10/10), craniofacial dysmorphism (9/12), hypotonia (7/11,), brain anomalies (4/6) and seizures (3/7). Parental studies were performed for nine of the 19 individuals; the 10p15.3 deletion was de novo in seven of the probands, not maternally inherited in one proband and inherited from an apparently affected mother in one proband. Molecular mapping of the 19 individuals reported in this study has identified two genes, ZMYND11 (OMIM# 608668) and DIP2C (OMIM# 611380) (UCSC Genome Browser), mapping within 10p15.3 which are most commonly deleted. Although no single gene has been identified which is deleted in all 19 individuals studied, the deleted region in all but one individual includes ZMYND11 and the deleted region in all but one other individual includes DIP2C. There is not a clearly identifiable phenotypic difference between these two individuals and the size of the deleted region does not generally predict clinical features. Little is currently known about these genes complicating a direct genotype/phenotype correlation at this time. These data however, suggest that ZMYND11 and/or DIP2C haploinsufficiency contributes to the clinical features associated with 10p15 deletions in probands described in this study.
chromosomal microarray (CMA); 10p15.3; deletion; ZMYND11; DIP2C
In this study, we investigated whether the two TYMS functional variants (28bp VNTR and 1494del6) (275 cases and 653 controls) and six selected SNPs (265 case infants, 535 control infants; 169 case mothers and 276 control mothers) were associated with risks of conotruncal heart defects. Further, we evaluated interaction effects between these gene variants and maternal folate intake for risk of CTD. Cases with diagnosis of single gene disorders or chromosomal aneusomies were excluded. Controls were randomly selected from area hospitals in proportion to their contribution to the total population of live-born infants. DNA samples were collected using buccal brushes or drawn from the repository of newborn screening blood specimens when available. Genetic variants were treated as categorical variables (homozygous referent, heterozygote, homozygous variant). Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed to estimate risks among all subjects, Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites, respectively using logistic regression. Gene-folate interactions were assessed for these variants by adding an interaction term to the logistic model. A dichotomized composite variable, “combined folate intake”, was created by combining maternal peri-conceptional use of folic acid-containing vitamin supplements with daily dietary intake of folate. In general, the results do not show strong gene-only effects on risk of CTD. We did, however, observe a 3.6-fold increase in CTD risk (95%CI:1.1 – 11.9) among infants who were homozygotes for the 6bp deletion in the 3’-untranslated region (UTR) (1694del6) and whose mothers had low folate intake during the peri-conceptional period.
thymidylate synthase; TYMS; congenital heart defects; conotruncal defects; folate
MYO15A is located at the DFNB3 locus on chromosome 17p11.2, and encodes myosin-XV, an unconventional myosin critical for the formation of stereocilia in hair cells of cochlea. Recessive mutations in this gene lead to profound autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss (ARNSHL) in humans and the shaker2 (sh2) phenotype in mice. Here, we performed a study on 140 Iranian families in order to determine mutations causing ARNSHL. The families, who were negative for mutations in GJB2, were subjected to linkage analysis. Eight of these families showed linkage to the DFNB3 locus, suggesting a MYO15A mutation frequency of 5.71% in our cohort of Iranian population. Subsequent sequencing of the MYO15A gene led to identification of 7 previously unreported mutations, including 4 missense mutations, 1 nonsense mutation, and 2 deletions in different regions of the myosin-XV protein.
autosomal recessive nonsyndromic hearing loss; DFNB3; Myo15A; Iran
Genetic variation in the transcription factor Interferon Regulatory Factor 6 (IRF6) causes and contributes risk for oral clefting disorders. We hypothesized that genes regulated by IRF6 are also involved in oral clefting disorders. We used five criteria to identify potential IRF6 target genes; differential gene expression in skin taken from wild type and Irf6-deficient murine embryos, localization to the Van der Woude syndrome 2 (VWS2) locus at 1p36–1p32, overlapping expression with Irf6, presence of a conserved predicted binding site in the promoter region, and a mutant murine phenotype that was similar to the Irf6 mutant mouse. Previously, we observed altered expression for 573 genes; 13 were located in the murine region syntenic to the VWS2 locus. Two of these genes, Wdr65 and Stratifin, met four of five criteria. Wdr65 was a novel gene that encoded a predicted protein of 1250 amino acids with two WD domains. As potential targets for Irf6 regulation, we hypothesized that disease-causing mutations will be found in WDR65 and Stratifin in individuals with VWS or VWS-like syndromes. We identified a potentially etiologic missense mutation in WDR65 in a person with VWS who does not have an exonic mutation in IRF6. The expression and mutation data were consistent with the hypothesis that WDR65 was a novel gene involved in oral clefting.
cleft lip and palate; mutation; gene expression; syndrome; genomic; microvilli; WD domain; transcription factor
Detection of chromosomal structural abnormalities using conventional cytogenetic methods poses a challenge for prenatal genetic counseling due to unpredictable clinical outcomes and risk of recurrence. Of the 1,726 prenatal cases in a 3-year period, we performed oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) analysis on 11 cases detected with various structural chromosomal abnormalities. In nine cases, genomic aberrations and gene contents involving a 3p distal deletion, a marker chromosome from chromosome 4, a derivative chromosome 5 from a 5p/7q translocation, a de novo distal 6q deletion, a recombinant chromosome 8 comprised of an 8p duplication and an 8q deletion, an extra derivative chromosome 9 from an 8p/9q translocation, mosaicism for chromosome 12q with added material of initially unknown origin, an unbalanced 13q/15q rearrangement, and a distal 18q duplication and deletion were delineated. An absence of pathogenic copy number changes was noted in one case with a de novo 11q/14q translocation and in another with a familial insertion of 21q into a 19q. Genomic characterization of the structural abnormalities aided in the prediction of clinical outcomes. These results demonstrated the value of aCGH analysis in prenatal cases with subtle or complex chromosomal rearrangements. Furthermore, a retrospective analysis of clinical indications of our prenatal cases showed that approximately 20% of them had abnormal ultrasound findings and should be considered as high risk pregnancies for a combined chromosome and aCGH analysis.
prenatal diagnosis; chromosomal structural abnormalities; genomic imbalances; array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH)
This study asks people with Down syndrome, ages 12 and older, about their self-perception so that their information could be shared with new and expectant parents of children with Down syndrome. We analyzed valid and reliable survey instruments from 284 people with Down syndrome on the mailing lists of six non-profit Down syndrome organizations around the country. Among those surveyed, nearly 99% of people with Down syndrome indicated that they were happy with their lives; 97% liked who they are; and 96% liked how they look. Nearly 99% people with Down syndrome expressed love for their families, and 97% liked their brothers and sisters. While 86% of people with Down syndrome felt they could make friends easily, those with difficulties mostly had isolating living situations. A small percentage expressed sadness about their life. In our qualitative analysis, people with Down syndrome encouraged parents to love their babies with Down syndrome, mentioning that their own lives were good. They further encouraged healthcare professionals to value them, emphasizing that they share similar hopes and dreams as people without Down syndrome. Overall, the overwhelming majority of people with Down syndrome surveyed indicate they live happy and fulfilling lives.
Down syndrome; prenatal diagnosis; attitudes; self-esteem; trisomy 21
A genetic predisposition for thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections (TAAD) can be inherited in an autosomal dominant manner with decreased penetrance and variable expression. Four genes identified to date for familial TAAD account for approximately 20% of the heritable predisposition. In a cohort of 514 families with two or more members with presumed autosomal dominant TAAD, 48 (9.3%) families have one or more members who were at 50% risk to inherit the presumptive gene causing TAAD had an intracranial vascular event. In these families, gender is significantly associated with disease presentation (p <0.001), with intracranial events being more common in women (65.4%) while TAAD events occurred more in men (64.2%,). Twenty-nine of these families had intracranial aneurysms (ICA) that could not be designated as saccular or fusiform due to incomplete data. TGFBR1, TGFBR2, and ACTA2 mutations were found in 4 families with TAAD and predominantly fusiform ICAs. In 15 families, of which 14 tested negative for 3 known TAAD genes, 17 family members who were at risk for inheriting TAAD had saccular ICAs. In 2 families, women who harbored the genetic mutation causing TAAD had ICAs. In 2 additional families, intracranial, thoracic and abdominal aortic aneurysms were observed. This study documents the autosomal dominant inheritance of TAADs with saccular ICAs, a previously recognized association that has not been adequately characterized as heritable.I these families, routine cerebral and aortic imaging for at risk members could prove beneficial for timely medical and surgical management to prevent a cerebral hemorrhage or aortic dissection.
thoracic aortic aneurysm; aortic dissection; fusiform intracranial aneurysms; saccular intracranial aneurysms; abdominal aortic aneurysm; genetic counseling
The treatment of epilepsy in women of reproductive age remains a clinical challenge. While most women with epilepsy require anticonvulsant drugs for adequate control of their seizures, the teratogenicity associated with some antiepileptic drugs is a risk that needs to be carefully addressed. Antiepileptic medications are also used to treat an ever broadening range of medical conditions such as bipolar disorder, migraine prophylaxis, cancer and neuropathic pain. Despite the fact that the majority of pregnancies of women with epilepsy who are receiving pharmacological treatment are normal, studies have demonstrated that the risk of having a pregnancy complicated by a major congenital malformation is doubled when comparing the risk of untreated pregnancies. Furthermore, when antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are used in polytherapy regimens, the risk is tripled, especially when valproic acid (VPA) is included. However, it should be noted that the risks are specific for each anticonvulsant drug. Some investigations have suggested that the risk of teratogenicity is increased in a dose-dependent manner. More recent studies have reported that in utero exposure to AEDs can have detrimental effects on the cognitive functions and language skills in later stages of life. In fact, the FDA just issued a safety announcement on the impact of VPA on cognition (Safety Announcement 6-30-2011). The purpose of this document is to review the most commonly used compounds in the treatment of women with epilepsy, and to provide information on the latest experimental and human epidemiological studies of the effects of antiepileptic drugs in the exposed embryos.
antiepileptic drugs; teratogenicity; pregnancy; birth defects; epilepsy
Limb malformations are one of the most common types of human congenital malformations. Mutations in the ZRS enhancer of Sonic Hedgehog are thought to be responsible for preaxial polydactyly in multiple independent families. Here, we describe a large Balochi tribal family from Southern Punjab, Pakistan, with a variable set of limb malformations and a novel ZRS mutation. The family has a limb phenotype characterized by triphalangeal thumb, preaxial polydactyly and postaxial polydactyly. There is also a high degree of phenotypic heterogeneity with less common clinical findings in the affected family members that include osseous syndactyly of forth-fifth fingers, clinodactyly, hypoplasia of mesoaxial fingers, and bifid halluces. The presentation in most of the affected patients was bilateral and symmetrical. A heterozygous C>A mutation at position 287 of the ZRS enhancer (chr7:156,584,283; hg19) was detected in all affected subjects and is absent from four unaffected family members, 42 unrelated samples and multiple databases of human variation. Combined, these results identify a novel ZRS287 C>A mutation which leads to a variable spectrum of limb phenotypes.
Polydactyly; triphalangeal thumb; syndactyly; ZRS
Coffin-Siris syndrome (CSS) is a rare, clinically heterogeneous disorder often considered in the setting of cognitive/developmental delay and 5th finger/nail hypoplasia. Due to the clinical variability of facial and other features, this diagnosis is often difficult to confirm clinically and the existence of this disorder as a specific diagnosis has been at times an issue of debate.
In an effort to further delineate the spectrum and key phenotypic features, we reviewed 80 previously reported cases to define features in patients that most closely correlated with a convincing diagnosis. There appear to be two subtypes of CSS, one which displays the “classic” coarse facial features previously described; another displays “variant” facial features which are less striking. Using these features, we defined an algorithm to rank the confidence of diagnosis and applied it to fifteen additional patients who had been previously characterized by chromosome microarray. This approach will also facilitate uniform categorization for whole-exome analysis.
Coffin-Siris syndrome; fifth digit hypoplasia; developmental delay; cognitive delay; algorithm
Individuals with cystinosis exhibit specific cognitive deficits in visual spatial function. The purpose of the current study was to examine if obligate heterozygotes of the CTNS mutation have the same pattern of cognitive functioning seen in homozygotes, namely aberrant visual-spatial functioning against a background of relatively intact visual-perceptual functioning and overall cognitive ability. Study participants were 254 adults (100 heterozygotes and 154 controls), ages 17 years 10 months through 74 years 9 months. Tests of intelligence, visual perceptual, and visual spatial functioning were administered. Our results showed that cystinosis heterozygotes demonstrated intelligence within the normal range, and performed similarly to controls on tests of visual-perceptual ability. In contrast, the heterozygotes performed significantly more poorly on each of the visual-spatial tests when compared to controls. Obligate heterozygotes for the CTNS mutation display a similar pattern of visual processing decrements as do individuals with cystinosis. Namely, carriers demonstrate relative weaknesses in visual-spatial processing, while maintaining normal visual perceptual ability and intelligence in the normal range. The visual spatial decrements in heterozygotes were not as marked as those found in individuals with cystinosis, suggesting a gene dosing effect. This study provides an impetus for other studies of gene-behavior relationships in recessive disorders, and may stimulate further interest in the role of aberrant genes on “individual differences” in behavior.
Cystinosis; heterozygotes; visual spatial function
Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) is a multisystem developmental disorder characterized by growth retardation, cognitive impairment, external and internal structural malformations, and characteristic facial features. Currently, there are no definitive prenatal screening measures that lead to the diagnosis of CdLS. In this study, documented prenatal findings in CdLS syndrome were analyzed towards the development of a prenatal profile predictive of CdLS. We reviewed 53 cases of CdLS (29 previously reported and 24 unreported) in which prenatal observations/findings were available. The review of these cases revealed a pattern of sonographic findings, including obvious associated structural defects, growth restriction, as well as a more subtle, but strikingly characteristic, facial profile, suggestive of a recognizable prenatal ultrasonographic profile for CdLS. In addition the maternal serum marker, PAPP-A, may be reduced and fetal nuchal translucency may be increased in some pregnancies when measured at an appropriate gestational age. In conclusion, CdLS can be prenatally diagnosed or readily ruled out in a family with a known mutation in a CdLS gene. The characteristic ultrasonographic profile may allow for prenatal diagnosis of CdLS in 1) subsequent pregnancies to a couple with a prior child with CdLS in whom a mutation has not been identified or 2) when there are unexplained pregnancy signs of fetal abnormality such as oligo- or polyhydramnios, a low maternal serum PAPP-A level and/or increased nuchal translucency, fetal growth retardation, or structural anomalies consistent with CdLS.
PAPP-A; IUGR; Cornelia de Lange Syndrome; CdLS; Prenatal screening
The Immunodeficiency, Centromeric instability, Facial anomalies (ICF) syndrome is an autosomal recessive disease presenting with immunodeficiency secondary to hypo- or agammaglobulinemia, developmental delay, and facial anomalies. Centromeric instability is the cytogenetic hallmark of the disorder which results from targeted chromosomal rearrangements related to a genomic methylation defect. We describe a patient carrying a homozygous mutation of the ZBTB24 gene, which has been recently shown to be responsible for ICF syndrome type 2. Our patient presented with intellectual disability, multiple café-au-lait spots, and a large cerebral arachnoidal cyst. Although laboratory signs of impaired immune function, such as reduced serum IgM were detected, our patient did not present clinical manifestations of immunodeficiency. Brain malformations have not been reported so far in ICF syndrome and it can be speculated that ZBTB24 mutations may alter cerebral development. Nevertheless, we cannot rule out that the presence of the cerebral cyst in the patient is coincidental.
In summary, our patient illustrates that clinical evidence of immunodeficiency is not a universal feature of ICF2 syndrome type 2 and suggests that brain malformations may be present in other ICF cases.
Immunodeficiency; Centromeric instability; Facial anomalies syndrome; ICF syndrome; ZBTB24
Uncertainty is a pervasive characteristic of illness. Yet little is known about the individual or situational factors that contribute to perceptions of uncertainty. The present study aims to examine the factors that contribute to perceived uncertainty among parents of a child with an undiagnosed condition. Two hundred sixty-six parents of a child, or children, affected by an undiagnosed medical condition for at least two years completed an electronically administered mixed-methods survey assessing theoretical predictors of perceived uncertainty. Multivariate linear regression analyses were used to identify the relationship of key variables to perceived uncertainty. Parents' perceived control and optimism were negatively associated with uncertainty (B = −4.044, p ≤ 0.001, B = −0.477, p ≤ 0.05). Subjective disease severity was positively associated with perceived uncertainty (B = 1.797, p ≤ 0.05). Our findings suggest that parents who experience greater uncertainty feel less control over their child's medical condition, which may lead to less effective coping and poorer adaptation. Parents who are less optimistic or who perceive their child's disease as more severe may benefit most from interventions that target situations where parents perceive the least control, thereby enhancing coping and ultimately, adaptation.
uncertainty; rare diseases; perceived control; parents; undiagnosed
congenital heart defects; atrioventricular septal defect; genetic etiology; heterotaxy syndrome; complex genetic disease; laterality defects