Two brothers with a microduplication including the MECP2 gene: rapid head growth in infancy and resolution of susceptibility to infection.
ABSTRACT Microduplications in chromosome Xq28, which include the methyl-CPG binding protein (MECP2) gene, cause severe X-linked mental retardation. Serious recurrent infections are a feature of this condition. Affected males are micro or normocephalic. We report two normocephalic brothers with an approximately 0.5 Mb duplication which includes MECP2 who had rapid head growth in infancy. The younger boy had chronic constipation until the age of 3 years. For both boys, the susceptibility to infection subsided in the second year of life. Whether or not rapid head growth in infancy and/or constipation are frequent features of the phenotype remains to be seen as more patients are described. Susceptibility to infection can remit after early childhood and could theoretically be related to overexpression of the interleukin 1 receptor-associated kinase IRAK1 gene.
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ABSTRACT: Loss-of-function mutations of the MECP2 gene at Xq28 are associated with Rett syndrome in females and with syndromic and nonsyndromic forms of mental retardation (MR) in males. By array comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH), we identified a small duplication at Xq28 in a large family with a severe form of MR associated with progressive spasticity. Screening by real-time quantitation of 17 additional patients with MR who have similar phenotypes revealed three more duplications. The duplications in the four patients vary in size from 0.4 to 0.8 Mb and harbor several genes, which, for each duplication, include the MR-related L1CAM and MECP2 genes. The proximal breakpoints are located within a 250-kb region centromeric of L1CAM, whereas the distal breakpoints are located in a 300-kb interval telomeric of MECP2. The precise size and location of each duplication is different in the four patients. The duplications segregate with the disease in the families, and asymptomatic carrier females show complete skewing of X inactivation. Comparison of the clinical features in these patients and in a previously reported patient enables refinement of the genotype-phenotype correlation and strongly suggests that increased dosage of MECP2 results in the MR phenotype. Our findings demonstrate that, in humans, not only impaired or abolished gene function but also increased MeCP2 dosage causes a distinct phenotype. Moreover, duplication of the MECP2 region occurs frequently in male patients with a severe form of MR, which justifies quantitative screening of MECP2 in this group of patients.The American Journal of Human Genetics 10/2005; 77(3):442-53. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in the X-linked methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2), encoding a transcriptional repressor, cause Rett syndrome and a variety of related neurodevelopmental disorders. The vast majority of mutations associated with human disease are loss-of-function mutations, but precisely what aspect of MeCP2 function is responsible for these phenotypes remains unknown. We overexpressed wild-type human protein in transgenic mice using a large genomic clone containing the entire human MECP2 locus. Detailed neurobehavioral and electrophysiological studies in transgenic line MeCP2(Tg1), which expresses MeCP2 at approximately 2-fold wild-type levels, demonstrated onset of phenotypes around 10 weeks of age. Surprisingly, these mice displayed enhanced motor and contextual learning and enhanced synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. After 20 weeks of age, however, these mice developed seizures, became hypoactive and approximately 30% of them died by 1 year of age. These data demonstrate that MeCP2 levels must be tightly regulated in vivo, and that even mild overexpression of this protein is detrimental. Furthermore, these results support the possibility that duplications or gain-of-function mutations in MECP2 might underlie some cases of X-linked delayed-onset neurobehavioral disorders.Human Molecular Genetics 12/2004; 13(21):2679-89. · 7.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We report on two patients, a boy and a girl, with an additional Xq28 chromosome segment translocated onto the long arm of an autosome. The karyotypes were 46,XY,der(10)t(X;10)(q28;qter) and 46,XX,der(4)t(X;4)(q28;q34), respectively. In both cases, the de novo cryptic unbalanced X-autosome translocation resulted in a Xq28 chromosome functional disomy. To our knowledge, at least 17 patients with a distal Xq chromosome functional disomy have been described in the literature. This is the third report of a girl with an unbalanced translocation yielding such a disomy. When the clinical features of both patients are compared to those observed in patients reported in the literature, a distinct phenotype emerges including severe mental retardation, facial dysmorphic features with a wide face, a small mouth and a thin pointed nose, major axial hypotonia, severe feeding problems and proneness to infections. A clinically oriented FISH study using subtelomeric probes is necessary to detect such a cryptic rearrangement.European Journal of HumanGenetics 06/2005; 13(5):579-85. · 4.32 Impact Factor