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1.  Clinical and molecular characterization of a patient with interstitial 6q21q22.1 deletion 
Interstitial 6q deletions, involving the 6q15q25 chromosomal region, are rare events characterized by variable phenotypes and no clear karyotype/phenotype correlation has been determined yet.
We present a child with a 6q21q22.1 deletion, characterized by array-CGH, associated with developmental delay, intellectual disability, microcephaly, facial dysmorphisms, skeletal, muscle, and brain anomalies.
In our patient, the 6q21q22.1 deleted region contains ten genes (TRAF3IP2, FYN, WISP3, TUBE1, LAMA4, MARCKS, HDAC2, HS3ST5, FRK, COL10A1) and two desert gene regions. We discuss here if these genes had some role in determining the phenotype of our patient in order to establish a possible karyotype/phenotype correlation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13039-015-0134-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4457201  PMID: 26052347
Interstitial deletion; 6q21q22.1; Array-CGH; Karyotype/phenotype correlation; Poland syndrome
2.  Clinico-radiological and molecular characterization of a child with ring chromosome 2 presenting growth failure, microcephaly, kidney and brain malformations 
Ring chromosome 2 is a rare constitutional abnormality that generally occurs de novo. About 14 cases have been described to date, but the vast majority of papers report exclusively conventional cytogenetic investigations and only two have been characterized by array-CGH.
Here we describe the clinical, neuroradiological, and molecular features of a 5-year-old boy harbouring a ring chromosome 2 presenting with severe growth failure, facial and bone dysmorphisms, microcephaly, and renal malformation. Brain MR with diffusion tensor imaging revealed simplified cortical gyration, pontine hypoplasia, and abnormally thick posterior corpus callosum, suggesting an underlying axonal guidance defect. Cytogenetic investigations showed a karyotype with a ring chromosome 2 and FISH analysis with subtelomeric probes revealed the absence of signals on both arms. These results were confirmed by array-CGH showing terminal deletions on 2p25.3 (~439 kb) and 2q37.3 (~3.4 Mb).
Our report describes a new patient with a ring chromosome 2 completely characterised by array-CGH providing additional information useful not only to study genotype-phenotype correlation but also to validate the role of already reported candidate genes and to suggest novel ones which could improve our understanding of the clinical features associated with ring chromosome 2.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13039-015-0121-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4359793  PMID: 25774222
Array-CGH; 2p25.3 deletion; 2q37.3 deletion; Ring chromosome 2; Brain MRI; Diffusion tensor imaging
3.  Concomitant deletion of chromosome 16p13.11 and triplication of chromosome 19p13.3 in a child with developmental disorders, intellectual disability, and epilepsy 
Rare copy number variations (CNVs) are today recognized as an important cause of various neurodevelopmental disorders, including mental retardation and epilepsy. In some cases, a second CNV may contribute to a more severe clinical presentation.
Here we describe a patient with epilepsy, mental retardation, developmental disorders, and dysmorphic features, who inherited a deletion of 16p13.11 and a triplication of 19p13.3 from his father and mother, respectively. The mother presented mild mental retardation and language delay too.
We discuss the phenotypic consequences of the two CNVs and suggest that their synergistic effect is likely responsible for the complicated clinical features observed in our patient.
PMCID: PMC4335438  PMID: 25705258
Deletion; 16p13.11; Triplication; 19p13.3; Array-CGH; Developmental disorders; Intellectual disability; Epilepsy
4.  Heterogeneous clinical presentation in ICF syndrome: correlation with underlying gene defects 
European Journal of Human Genetics  2013;21(11):1219-1225.
Immunodeficiency with centromeric instability and facial anomalies (ICF) syndrome is a primary immunodeficiency, predominantly characterized by agammaglobulinemia or hypoimmunoglobulinemia, centromere instability and facial anomalies. Mutations in two genes have been discovered to cause ICF syndrome: DNMT3B and ZBTB24. To characterize the clinical features of this syndrome, as well as genotype–phenotype correlations, we compared clinical and genetic data of 44 ICF patients. Of them, 23 had mutations in DNMT3B (ICF1), 13 patients had mutations in ZBTB24 (ICF2), whereas for 8 patients, the gene defect has not yet been identified (ICFX). While at first sight these patients share the same immunological, morphological and epigenetic hallmarks of the disease, systematic evaluation of all reported informative cases shows that: (1) the humoral immunodeficiency is generally more pronounced in ICF1 patients, (2) B- and T-cell compartments are both involved in ICF1 and ICF2, (3) ICF2 patients have a significantly higher incidence of intellectual disability and (4) congenital malformations can be observed in some ICF1 and ICF2 cases. It is expected that these observations on prevalence and clinical presentation will facilitate mutation-screening strategies and help in diagnostic counseling.
PMCID: PMC3798845  PMID: 23486536
ICF syndrome; DNMT3B; ZBTB24; genotype–phenotype
5.  Interstitial 7q31.1 copy number variations disrupting IMMP2L gene are associated with a wide spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders 
Since the introduction of the array-CGH technique in the diagnostic workup of mental retardation, new recurrent copy number variations and novel microdeletion/microduplication syndromes were identified. These findings suggest that some genomic disorders have high penetrance but a wide range of phenotypic severity.
We present the clinical and molecular description of four unrelated patients affected by neurodevelopmental disorders and overlapping 7q31.1 microdeletion/microduplication, identified by array-CGH and involving only part of the IMMP2L gene.
IMMP2L encodes an inner mitochondrial membrane protease-like protein, which is required for processing of cytochromes inside mitochondria. Numerous studies reported that this gene is implicated in behavioural disorders such as autistic spectrum disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, and Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. We discuss the functions of the gene suggesting that IMMP2L may act as risk factor for neurological disease.
PMCID: PMC4255718  PMID: 25478008
IMMP2L; Neurodevelopmental disorders; Copy number variation; Array-CGH
6.  Phenotypic and genetic characterization of a patient with a de novo interstitial 14q24.1q24.3 deletion 
Interstitial deletions of chromosome bands 14q24.1q24.3 are very rare with only three reported cases.
We describe a 7-year-old boy with a 5.345 Mb de novo interstitial deletion at 14q24.1q24.3 band detected by array-CGH who had a complex phenotype characterized by seizures, congenital heart defects, dysmorphisms, psychomotor delay, and bronchopulmonary, skeletal, and brain anomalies.
The deleted region contains numerous genes, but we focused our attention on three of them (C14orf169, NUMB, and PSEN1), which could account, at least partially, for the phenotype of the boy. We therefore discuss the involvement of these genes and the observed phenotype compared to that of previously described patients.
PMCID: PMC4115490  PMID: 25076984
Interstitial 14q24.1q24.3 deletion; De novo; Array-CGH; Genotype-phenotype correlation
7.  A rare 3q13.31 microdeletion including GAP43 and LSAMP genes 
Interstitial deletions affecting the proximal long arm of chromosome 3 have been rarely reported in the literature. The deleted segments vary in localization and size with different breakpoints making genotype-phenotype correlation very difficult. Until now, a girl with a 1.9-Mb interstitial deletion of 3q13.2q13.31 and 14 novel patients with deletions in 3q11q23 have been reported.
Here we report on a 7-year-old girl with neuropsychiatric disorders and renal, vascular and skeletal anomalies. Array-CGH analysis revealed a small rare inherited 3q13.31 deletion containing only two genes, GAP43 and LSAMP. The mutation analysis of the two genes was negative on the other non-deleted chromosome. GAP43 is considered a crucial component for an effective regenerative response in the nervous system and its mRNA is localized exclusively to nerve tissue where the protein is linked to the synaptosomal membrane. LSAMP is a 64- to 68-kD neuronal surface glycoprotein found in cortical and subcortical regions of the limbic system that acts as an adhesion molecule and guides the development of specific patterns of neuronal connection. The deleted region is adjacent to a “desert gene” region extending 2.099 Mb.
We discuss the effects of GAP43 and LSAMP haploinsufficiency, proposing that their deletion may be responsible for the main phenotype. Further cases with similar microdeletion are expected to be diagnosed and will help to better characterize the clinical spectrum of phenotypes associated with 3q13.31 microdeletion.
PMCID: PMC3906914  PMID: 24279697
3q31.31microdeletion; GAP43 gene; LSAMP gene; Genotype-phenotype correlation
8.  Genotype-Phenotype Correlation of 2q37 Deletions Including NPPC Gene Associated with Skeletal Malformations 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66048.
Coordinated bone growth is controlled by numerous mechanisms which are only partially understood because of the involvement of many hormones and local regulators. The C-type Natriuretic Peptide (CNP), encoded by NPPC gene located on chromosome 2q37.1, is a molecule that regulates endochondral ossification of the cartilaginous growth plate and influences longitudinal bone growth. Two independent studies have described three patients with a Marfan-like phenotype presenting a de novo balanced translocation involving the same chromosomal region 2q37.1 and overexpression of NPPC. We report on two partially overlapping interstitial 2q37 deletions identified by array CGH. The two patients showed opposite phenotypes characterized by short stature and skeletal overgrowth, respectively. The patient with short stature presented a 2q37 deletion causing the loss of one copy of the NPPC gene and the truncation of the DIS3L2 gene with normal CNP plasma concentration. The deletion identified in the patient with a Marfan-like phenotype interrupted the DIS3L2 gene without involving the NPPC gene. In addition, a strongly elevated CNP plasma concentration was found in this patient. A possible role of NPPC as causative of the two opposite phenotypes is discussed in this study.
PMCID: PMC3689787  PMID: 23805197
9.  Paradoxical worsening of seizure activity with pregabalin in an adult with isodicentric 15 (IDIC-15) syndrome involving duplications of the GABRB3, GABRA5 and GABRG3 genes 
BMC Neurology  2013;13:43.
Isodicentric 15 syndrome (IDIC-15) is due to partial duplications of chromosome 15 that may includes the q11–13 region that includes genes encoding the α5 (GABRA5) and β3 - γ3 (GABRB3) receptor subunits. The disease causes intellectual and physical developmental delay, seizures, intellectual disability and behavioral disorders that may be related to abnormal GABA receptor function and morphology. Seizures are often severe and may be refractory to treatment. There are however no specific guidelines for the treatment of the seizures and it is unknown whether drugs that affect the GABAergic system have a different effect in IDIC-15 seizures.
Case presentation
We report the case of an adult individual with IDIC-15 whose complex-partial seizures worsened dramatically after the introduction of pregabalin, with increased seizure frequency, frequent generalization, and appearance of new seizure pattern. Her cognitive function and verbal skills also worsened during treatment with pregabalin. Her seizures and cognitive skills quickly improved after pregabalin was discontinued and treatment with lacosamide started.
As her genetic testing confirmed that her region of duplication included GABA receptor encoding genes, it is plausible that the worsening of seizures were due to induction of an abnormal GABAergic response to pregabalin.
As her genetic testing confirmed that her region of duplication included GABA receptor encoding genes, it is plausible that the worsening of seizures were due to induction of an abnormal GABAergic response to pregabalin.This case may help define proper therapeutic strategies for the treatment of IDIC-15 associated seizures.
PMCID: PMC3660219  PMID: 23663378
IDIC-15; GABA receptors; Pregabalin; Seizures; Lacosamide
10.  Identification of an Interstitial 18p11.32-p11.31 Duplication Including the EMILIN2 Gene in a Family with Porokeratosis of Mibelli 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61311.
Porokeratosis is a rare disease of epidermal keratinization characterized by the histopathological feature of the cornoid lamella, a column of tightly fitted parakeratocytic cells, whose etiology is still unclear. Porokeratosis of Mibelli is a subtype of porokeratosis presenting a single plaque or a small number of plaques of variable size located unilaterally on limbs. It frequently appears in childhood and occurs with a higher incidence in males. Cytogenetic analyses were performed in all members of the family on lesioned and uninvolved skin. An array-CGH analysis was also performed utilizing the Human Genome CGH Microarray Kit G3 400 with 5.3 KB overall median probe spacing. Gene expression was performed on skin fibroblasts. In this study, we describe a Caucasian healthy 4-year-old child and his father showing features of porokeratosis of Mibelli. Array-CGH analysis revealed an interstitial 429.5 Kb duplication of chromosome 18p11.32-p11.3 containing four genes, namely: SMCHD1, EMILIN2, LPIN2, and MYOM1 both in patient and his father. EMILIN2 resulted overexpressed on skin fibroblasts. Also other members of this family, without evident signs of porokeratosis, carried the same duplication. Among these genes, we focused our attention on elastin microfibril interfacer 2 (EMILIN2) gene. Apoptosis plays a fundamental role in maintaining epidermal homeostasis, balancing keratinocytes proliferation, and forming the stratum corneum. EMILIN2 is known to trigger the apoptosis of different cell lines negatively affecting cell survival. It is expressed in the skin. We could speculate that the duplication and overexpression of EMILIN2 cause an abnormal apoptosis of epidermal keratinocytes and alter the process of keratinization, even if other epigenetic and genetic factors could also be involved. Our results could contribute to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of porokeratosis of Mibelli.
PMCID: PMC3622678  PMID: 23593459
11.  Parental Imbalances Involving Chromosomes 15q and 22q May Predispose to the Formation of De Novo Pathogenic Microdeletions and Microduplications in the Offspring 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e57910.
Microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH) led to the discovery of genetic abnormalities among patients with complex phenotype and normal karyotype. Also several apparently normal individuals have been found to be carriers of cryptic imbalances, hence the importance to perform parental investigations after the identification of a deletion/duplication in a proband. Here, we report the molecular cytogenetic characterization of two individuals in which the microdeletions/duplications present in their parents could have predisposed and facilitated the formation of de novo pathogenic different copy number variations (CNVs). In family 1, a 4-year-old girl had a de novo pathogenic 10.5 Mb duplication at 15q21.2q22.2, while her mother showed a 2.262 Mb deletion at 15q13.2q13.3; in family 2, a 9-year-old boy had a de novo 1.417 Mb deletion at 22q11.21 and a second paternal deletion of 247 Kb at 22q11.23 on the same chromosome 22. Chromosome 22 at band q11.2 and chromosome 15 at band q11q13 are considered unstable regions. We could hypothesize that 15q13.2q13.3 and 22q11.21 deletions in the two respective parents might have increased the risk of rearrangements in their children. This study highlights the difficulty to make genetic counseling and predict the phenotypic consequences in these situations.
PMCID: PMC3590287  PMID: 23483941
12.  Identification of a rare 17p13.3 duplication including the BHLHA9 and YWHAE genes in a family with developmental delay and behavioural problems 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:93.
Deletions and duplications of the PAFAH1B1 and YWHAE genes in 17p13.3 are associated with different clinical phenotypes. In particular, deletion of PAFAH1B1 causes isolated lissencephaly while deletions involving both PAFAH1B1 and YWHAE cause Miller-Dieker syndrome. Isolated duplications of PAFAH1B1 have been associated with mild developmental delay and hypotonia, while isolated duplications of YWHAE have been associated with autism. In particular, different dysmorphic features associated with PAFAH1B1 or YWHAE duplication have suggested the need to classify the patient clinical features in two groups according to which gene is involved in the chromosomal duplication.
We analyze the proband and his family by classical cytogenetic and array-CGH analyses. The putative rearrangement was confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization.
We have identified a family segregating a 17p13.3 duplication extending 329.5 kilobases by FISH and array-CGH involving the YWHAE gene, but not PAFAH1B1, affected by a mild dysmorphic phenotype with associated autism and mental retardation. We propose that BHLHA9, YWHAE, and CRK genes contribute to the phenotype of our patient. The small chromosomal duplication was inherited from his mother who was affected by a bipolar and borderline disorder and was alcohol addicted.
We report an additional familial case of small 17p13.3 chromosomal duplication including only BHLHA9, YWHAE, and CRK genes. Our observation and further cases with similar microduplications are expected to be diagnosed, and will help better characterise the clinical spectrum of phenotypes associated with 17p13.3 microduplications.
PMCID: PMC3495055  PMID: 23035971
Familial 17p13.3 duplication syndrome; PAFAH1B1 and YWHAE genes; Array-CGH
13.  Microarray based analysis of an inherited terminal 3p26.3 deletion, containing only the CHL1 gene, from a normal father to his two affected children 
terminal deletions of the distal portion of the short arm of chromosome 3 cause a rare contiguous gene disorder characterized by growth retardation, developmental delay, mental retardation, dysmorphisms, microcephaly and ptosis. The phenotype of individuals with deletions varies from normal to severe. It was suggested that a 1,5 Mb minimal terminal deletion including the two genes CRBN and CNTN4 is sufficient to cause the syndrome.
In addition the CHL1 gene, mapping at 3p26.3 distally to CRBN and CNTN4, was proposed as candidate gene for a non specific mental retardation because of its high level of expression in the brain.
Methods and Results
we describe two affected siblings in which array-CGH analysis disclosed an identical discontinuous terminal 3p26.3 deletion spanning less than 1 Mb. The deletion was transmitted from their normal father and included only the CHL1 gene. The two brothers present microcephaly, light mental retardation, learning and language difficulties but not the typical phenotype manifestations described in 3p- syndrome.
a terminal 3p26.3 deletion including only the CHL1 gene is a very rare finding previously reported only in one family. The phenotype of the affected individuals in the two families is very similar and the deletion has been inherited from an apparently normal parent. As already described for others recurrent syndromes with variable phenotype, these findings are challenging in genetic counselling because of an evident variable penetrance.
PMCID: PMC3090742  PMID: 21457564
14.  Altered Intra-Nuclear Organisation of Heterochromatin and Genes in ICF Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11364.
The ICF syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive disorder, the most common symptoms of which are immunodeficiency, facial anomalies and cytogenetic defects involving decondensation and instability of chromosome 1, 9 and 16 centromeric regions. ICF is also characterised by significant hypomethylation of the classical satellite DNA, the major constituent of the juxtacentromeric heterochromatin. Here we report the first attempt at analysing some of the defining genetic and epigenetic changes of this syndrome from a nuclear architecture perspective. In particular, we have compared in ICF (Type 1 and Type 2) and controls the large-scale organisation of chromosome 1 and 16 juxtacentromeric heterochromatic regions, their intra-nuclear positioning, and co-localisation with five specific genes (BTG2, CNN3, ID3, RGS1, F13A1), on which we have concurrently conducted expression and methylation analysis. Our investigations, carried out by a combination of molecular and cytological techniques, demonstrate the existence of specific and quantifiable differences in the genomic and nuclear organisation of the juxtacentromeric heterochromatin in ICF. DNA hypomethylation, previously reported to correlate with the decondensation of centromeric regions in metaphase described in these patients, appears also to correlate with the heterochromatin spatial configuration in interphase. Finally, our findings on the relative positioning of hypomethylated satellite sequences and abnormally expressed genes suggest a connection between disruption of long-range gene-heterochromatin associations and some of the changes in gene expression in ICF. Beyond its relevance to the ICF syndrome, by addressing fundamental principles of chromosome functional organisation within the cell nucleus, this work aims to contribute to the current debate on the epigenetic impact of nuclear architecture in development and disease.
PMCID: PMC2894064  PMID: 20613881
15.  The tumor suppressor gene TRC8/RNF139 is disrupted by a constitutional balanced translocation t(8;22)(q24.13;q11.21) in a young girl with dysgerminoma 
Molecular Cancer  2009;8:52.
RNF139/TRC8 is a potential tumor suppressor gene with similarity to PTCH, a tumor suppressor implicated in basal cell carcinomas and glioblastomas. TRC8 has the potential to act in a novel regulatory relationship linking the cholesterol/lipid biosynthetic pathway with cellular growth control and has been identified in families with hereditary renal (RCC) and thyroid cancers. Haploinsufficiency of TRC8 may facilitate development of clear cell-RCC in association with VHL mutations, and may increase risk for other tumor types. We report a paternally inherited balanced translocation t(8;22) in a proposita with dysgerminoma.
The translocation was characterized by FISH and the breakpoints cloned, sequenced, and compared. DNA isolated from normal and tumor cells was checked for abnormalities by array-CGH. Expression of genes TRC8 and TSN was tested both on dysgerminoma and in the proposita and her father.
The breakpoints of the translocation are located within the LCR-B low copy repeat on chromosome 22q11.21, containing the palindromic AT-rich repeat (PATRR) involved in recurrent and non-recurrent translocations, and in an AT-rich sequence inside intron 1 of the TRC8 tumor-suppressor gene at 8q24.13. TRC8 was strongly underexpressed in the dysgerminoma. Translin is underexpressed in the dysgerminoma compared to normal ovary.
TRC8 is a target of Translin (TSN), a posttranscriptional regulator of genes transcribed by the transcription factor CREM-tau in postmeiotic male germ cells.
A role for TRC8 in dysgerminoma may relate to its interaction with Translin. We propose a model in which one copy of TRC8 is disrupted by a palindrome-mediated translocation followed by complete loss of expression through suppression, possibly mediated by miRNA.
PMCID: PMC2727492  PMID: 19642973
16.  Recurrent Rearrangements of Chromosome 1q21.1 and Variable Pediatric Phenotypes 
Mefford, Heather C. | Sharp, Andrew J. | Baker, Carl | Itsara, Andy | Jiang, Zhaoshi | Buysse, Karen | Huang, Shuwen | Maloney, Viv K. | Crolla, John A. | Baralle, Diana | Collins, Amanda | Mercer, Catherine | Norga, Koen | de Ravel, Thomy | Devriendt, Koen | Bongers, Ernie M.H.F. | de Leeuw, Nicole | Reardon, William | Gimelli, Stefania | Bena, Frederique | Hennekam, Raoul C. | Male, Alison | Gaunt, Lorraine | Clayton-Smith, Jill | Simonic, Ingrid | Park, Soo Mi | Mehta, Sarju G. | Nik-Zainal, Serena | Woods, C. Geoffrey | Firth, Helen V. | Parkin, Georgina | Fichera, Marco | Reitano, Santina | Giudice, Mariangela Lo | Li, Kelly E. | Casuga, Iris | Broomer, Adam | Conrad, Bernard | Schwerzmann, Markus | Räber, Lorenz | Gallati, Sabina | Striano, Pasquale | Coppola, Antonietta | Tolmie, John L. | Tobias, Edward S. | Lilley, Chris | Armengol, Lluis | Spysschaert, Yves | Verloo, Patrick | De Coene, Anja | Goossens, Linde | Mortier, Geert | Speleman, Frank | van Binsbergen, Ellen | Nelen, Marcel R. | Hochstenbach, Ron | Poot, Martin | Gallagher, Louise | Gill, Michael | McClellan, Jon | King, Mary-Claire | Regan, Regina | Skinner, Cindy | Stevenson, Roger E. | Antonarakis, Stylianos E. | Chen, Caifu | Estivill, Xavier | Menten, Björn | Gimelli, Giorgio | Gribble, Susan | Schwartz, Stuart | Sutcliffe, James S. | Walsh, Tom | Knight, Samantha J.L. | Sebat, Jonathan | Romano, Corrado | Schwartz, Charles E. | Veltman, Joris A. | de Vries, Bert B.A. | Vermeesch, Joris R. | Barber, John C.K. | Willatt, Lionel | Tassabehji, May | Eichler, Evan E.
The New England journal of medicine  2008;359(16):1685-1699.
Duplications and deletions in the human genome can cause disease or predispose persons to disease. Advances in technologies to detect these changes allow for the routine identification of submicroscopic imbalances in large numbers of patients.
We tested for the presence of microdeletions and microduplications at a specific region of chromosome 1q21.1 in two groups of patients with unexplained mental retardation, autism, or congenital anomalies and in unaffected persons.
We identified 25 persons with a recurrent 1.35-Mb deletion within 1q21.1 from screening 5218 patients. The microdeletions had arisen de novo in eight patients, were inherited from a mildly affected parent in three patients, were inherited from an apparently unaffected parent in six patients, and were of unknown inheritance in eight patients. The deletion was absent in a series of 4737 control persons (P = 1.1×10−7). We found considerable variability in the level of phenotypic expression of the microdeletion; phenotypes included mild-to-moderate mental retardation, microcephaly, cardiac abnormalities, and cataracts. The reciprocal duplication was enriched in the nine children with mental retardation or autism spectrum disorder and other variable features (P = 0.02). We identified three deletions and three duplications of the 1q21.1 region in an independent sample of 788 patients with mental retardation and congenital anomalies.
We have identified recurrent molecular lesions that elude syndromic classification and whose disease manifestations must be considered in a broader context of development as opposed to being assigned to a specific disease. Clinical diagnosis in patients with these lesions may be most readily achieved on the basis of genotype rather than phenotype.
PMCID: PMC2703742  PMID: 18784092
17.  Complex pathogenesis of Hirschsprung's disease in a patient with hydrocephalus, vesico-ureteral reflux and a balanced translocation t(3;17)(p12;q11) 
Hirschsprung's disease (HSCR), a congenital complex disorder of intestinal innervation, is often associated with other inherited syndromes. Identifying genes involved in syndromic HSCR cases will not only help understanding the specific underlying diseases, but it will also give an insight into the development of the most frequent isolated HSCR. The association between hydrocephalus and HSCR is not surprising as a large number of patients have been reported to show the same clinical association, most of them showing mutations in the L1CAM gene, encoding a neural adhesion molecule often involved in isolated X-linked hydrocephalus. L1 defects are believed to be necessary but not sufficient for the occurrence of the intestinal phenotype in syndromic cases. In this paper, we have carried out the molecular characterization of a patient affected with Hirschsprung's disease and X-linked hydrocephalus, with a de novo reciprocal balanced translocation t(3;17)(p12;q21). In particular, we have taken advantage of this chromosomal defect to gain access to the predisposing background possibly leading to Hirschsprung's disease. Detailed analysis of the RET and L1CAM genes, and molecular characterization of MYO18A and TIAF1, the genes involved in the balanced translocation, allowed us to identify, besides the L1 mutation c.2265delC, different additional factors related to RET-dependent and -independent pathways which may have contributed to the genesis of enteric phenotype in the present patient.
PMCID: PMC2986215  PMID: 19300444
Hirschsprung's disease; Hydrocephalus; RET; L1CAM; TIAF1
18.  A recurrent 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome associated with mental retardation and seizures 
Nature genetics  2008;40(3):322-328.
We report a recurrent microdeletion syndrome causing mental retardation, epilepsy and variable facial and digital dysmorphisms. We describe nine patients, including six probands; two with de novo deletions, two who inherited the deletion from an affected parent, and two with unknown inheritance. The proximal breakpoint of the largest deletion is contiguous with breakpoint 3 (BP3) of the Prader-Willi and Angelman syndrome region extending 3.95 Mb distally to BP5. A smaller 1.5 Mb deletion has proximal breakpoint within the larger deletion (BP4) and shares the same distal BP5. This recurrent 1.5 Mb deletion contains six genes, including a candidate gene for epilepsy (CHRNA7) that is likely responsible for the observed seizure phenotype. The BP4-BP5 region undergoes frequent inversion, suggesting a possible link between this inversion polymorphism and recurrent deletion. The frequency of these microdeletions in mental retardation cases is ~0.3% (6/2082 tested), a prevalence comparable to that of the Williams, Angelman, and Prader-Willi syndromes.
PMCID: PMC2365467  PMID: 18278044
genomic disorder; array CGH; epilepsy; segmental duplication; CHRNA7
19.  Endovascular Treatment of a Noninfected Anastomotic Juxtarenal Aortic Aneurysm 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2000;27(4):408-411.
An 82-year-old man underwent an endovascular procedure with a commercially available endovascular graft for an anastomotic juxtarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm. The anastomotic aneurysm, which showed no sign of infection, developed 4 years after implantation of an aortic end-to-end graft for an infrarenal aortic aneurysm.
The aneurysm was diagnosed during routine ultrasonographic follow-up; there was no apparent infection of the graft. Aortography confirmed the diagnosis and also revealed a small pseudoaneurysm at the level of the distal aortic anastomosis. Endovascular surgery was performed in the operating room with the guidance of C-arm fluoroscopy and intravascular ultrasound. Two Vanguard™ Straight Endovascular Aortic Graft Cuffs (26 × 50 mm and 24 × 50 mm) were implanted, successfully excluding both the anastomotic juxtarenal aortic aneurysm and the distal pseudoaneurysm. The renal arteries were preserved and no early or late endoleaks were observed.
The patient was discharged 2 days after the procedure. Sixteen months later, he was alive and well, with no endovascular leakage, no enlargement of the aortic aneurysms, and no sign of infection.
In our opinion, this experience shows that commercially available endovascular grafts may be used successfully to treat anastomotic aortic aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms.
PMCID: PMC101114  PMID: 11198318
Anastomosis, surgical/adverse effects; aortic aneurysm, abdominal/surgery; blood vessel prosthesis; postoperative complications/surgery; reoperation; vascular surgical procedures/methods
20.  Mutations in SOX17 are Associated with Congenital Anomalies of the Kidney and the Urinary Tract 
Human Mutation  2010;31(12):1352-1359.
Congenital anomalies of the kidney and the urinary tract (CAKUT) represent a major source of morbidity and mortality in children. Several factors (PAX, SOX,WNT, RET, GDFN, and others) play critical roles during the differentiation process that leads to the formation of nephron epithelia. We have identified mutations in SOX17, an HMG-box transcription factor and Wnt signaling antagonist, in eight patients with CAKUT (seven vesico-ureteric reflux, one pelvic obstruction). One mutation, c.775T>A (p.Y259N), recurred in six patients. Four cases derived from two small families; renal scars with urinary infection represented the main symptom at presentation in all but two patients. Transfection studies indicated a 5–10-fold increase in the levels of the mutant protein relative to wild-type SOX17 in transfected kidney cells. Moreover we observed a corresponding increase in the ability of SOX17 p.Y259N to inhibit Wnt/β-catenin transcriptional activity, which is known to regulate multiple stages of kidney and urinary tract development. In conclusion, SOX17 p.Y259N mutation is recurrent in patients with CAKUT. Our data shows that this mutation correlates with an inappropriate accumulation of SOX17-p.Y259N protein and inhibition of the β-catenin/Wnt signaling pathway. These data indicate a role of SOX17 in human kidney and urinary tract development and implicate the SOX17–p.Y259N mutation as a causative factor in CAKUT.
Hum Mutat 31:1352–1359, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
PMCID: PMC3056145  PMID: 20960469
congenital anomalies of the kidney; CAKUT; SOX17; Wnt

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