Further delineation of Pitt-Hopkins syndrome: phenotypic and genotypic description of 16 novel patients
ABSTRACT Haploinsufficiency of the gene encoding for transcription factor 4 (TCF4) was recently identified as the underlying cause of Pitt-Hopkins syndrome (PTHS), an underdiagnosed mental-retardation syndrome characterised by a distinct facial gestalt, breathing anomalies and severe mental retardation.
TCF4 mutational analysis was performed in 117 patients with PTHS-like features.
In total, 16 novel mutations were identified. All of these proven patients were severely mentally retarded and showed a distinct facial gestalt. In addition, 56% had breathing anomalies, 56% had microcephaly, 38% had seizures and 44% had MRI anomalies.
This study provides further evidence of the mutational and clinical spectrum of PTHS and confirms its important role in the differential diagnosis of severe mental retardation.
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ABSTRACT: Mesoaxial synostotic syndactyly, Malik-Percin type (MSSD) (syndactyly type IX) is a rare autosomal-recessive nonsyndromic digit anomaly with only two affected families reported so far. We previously showed that the trait is genetically distinct from other syndactyly types, and through autozygosity mapping we had identified a locus on chromosome 17p13.3 for this unique limb malformation. Here, we extend the number of independent pedigrees from various geographic regions segregating MSSD to a total of six. We demonstrate that three neighboring missense mutations affecting the highly conserved DNA-binding region of the basic helix-loop-helix A9 transcription factor (BHLHA9) are associated with this phenotype. Recombinant BHLHA9 generated by transient gene expression is shown to be located in the cytoplasm and the cell nucleus. Transcription factors 3, 4, and 12, members of the E protein (class I) family of helix-loop-helix transcription factors, are highlighted in yeast two-hybrid analysis as potential dimerization partners for BHLHA9. In the presence of BHLHA9, the potential of these three proteins to activate expression of an E-box-regulated target gene is reduced considerably. BHLHA9 harboring one of the three substitutions detected in MSSD-affected individuals eliminates entirely the transcription activation by these class I bHLH proteins. We conclude that by dimerizing with other bHLH protein monomers, BHLHA9 could fine tune the expression of regulatory factors governing determination of central limb mesenchyme cells, a function made impossible by altering critical amino acids in the DNA binding domain. These findings identify BHLHA9 as an essential player in the regulatory network governing limb morphogenesis in humans. Copyright © 2014 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.The American Journal of Human Genetics 11/2014; 95(6):649-659. DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2014.10.012 · 10.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Angelman syndrome (AS) is caused by a lack of expression of the maternally inherited UBE3A gene in the brain. However, about 10% of individuals with a clinical diagnosis of AS do not have an identifiable molecular defect. It is likely that most of those individuals have an AS-like syndrome that is clinically and molecularly distinct from AS. These AS-like syndromes can be broadly classified into chromosomal microdeletion and microduplication syndromes, and single-gene disorders. The microdeletion/microduplication syndromes are now easily identified by chromosomal microarray analysis and include Phelan–McDermid syndrome (chromosome 22q13.3 deletion), MBD5 haploinsufficiency syndrome (chromosome 2q23.1 deletion), and KANSL1 haploinsufficiency syndrome (chromosome 17q21.31 deletion). The single-gene disorders include Pitt–Hopkins syndrome (TCF4), Christianson syndrome (SLC9A6), Mowat–Wilson syndrome (ZEB2), Kleefstra syndrome (EHMT1), and Rett (MECP2) syndrome. They also include disorders due to mutations in HERC2, adenylosuccinase lyase (ADSL), CDKL5, FOXG1, MECP2 (duplications), MEF2C, and ATRX. Although many of these single-gene disorders can be caused by chromosomal microdeletions resulting in haploinsufficiency of the critical gene, the individual disorders are often caused by intragenic mutations that cannot be detected by chromosomal microarray analysis. We provide an overview of the clinical features of these syndromes, comparing and contrasting them with AS, in the hope that it will help guide clinicians in the diagnostic work-up of individuals with AS-like syndromes.American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 04/2014; 164A(4):975-92. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.36416 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Several genetic disorders are characterized by normal head size at birth, followed by deceleration in head growth resulting in postnatal microcephaly. Among these are classic disorders such as Angelman syndrome and MECP2-related disorder (formerly Rett syndrome), as well as more recently described clinical entities associated with mutations in CASK, CDKL5, CREBBP, and EP300 (Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome), FOXG1, SLC9A6 (Christianson syndrome), and TCF4 (Pitt-Hopkins syndrome). These disorders can be identified clinically by phenotyping across multiple neurodevelopmental and neurobehavioral realms, and enough data are available to recognize these postnatal microcephaly disorders as separate diagnostic entities in their own right. A second diagnostic grouping, comprised of Warburg MICRO syndrome, Cockayne syndrome, and Cerebral-oculo-facial skeletal syndrome, share similar features of somatic growth failure, ophthalmologic, and dysmorphologic features. Many postnatal microcephaly syndromes are caused by mutations in genes important in the regulation of gene expression in the developing forebrain and hindbrain, although important synaptic structural genes also play a role. This is an emerging group of disorders with a fascinating combination of brain malformations, specific epilepsies, movement disorders, and other complex neurobehavioral abnormalities. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C Seminars in Medical Genetics 05/2014; 166(2). DOI:10.1002/ajmg.c.31400 · 3.54 Impact Factor