[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Down syndrome (DS), or trisomy 21, is a common disorder associated with several complex clinical phenotypes. Although several hypotheses have been put forward, it is unclear as to whether particular gene loci on chromosome 21 (HSA21) are sufficient to cause DS and its associated features. Here we present a high-resolution genetic map of DS phenotypes based on an analysis of 30 subjects carrying rare segmental trisomies of various regions of HSA21. By using state-of-the-art genomics technologies we mapped segmental trisomies at exon-level resolution and identified discrete regions of 1.8-16.3 Mb likely to be involved in the development of 8 DS phenotypes, 4 of which are congenital malformations, including acute megakaryocytic leukemia, transient myeloproliferative disorder, Hirschsprung disease, duodenal stenosis, imperforate anus, severe mental retardation, DS-Alzheimer Disease, and DS-specific congenital heart disease (DSCHD). Our DS-phenotypic maps located DSCHD to a <2-Mb interval. Furthermore, the map enabled us to present evidence against the necessary involvement of other loci as well as specific hypotheses that have been put forward in relation to the etiology of DS-i.e., the presence of a single DS consensus region and the sufficiency of DSCR1 and DYRK1A, or APP, in causing several severe DS phenotypes. Our study demonstrates the value of combining advanced genomics with cohorts of rare patients for studying DS, a prototype for the role of copy-number variation in complex disease.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2009; 106(29):12031-6. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0813248106 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic contributions to human cognition and behavior are clear but difficult to define. Williams syndrome (WS) provides a unique model for relating single genes to visual-spatial cognition and social behavior. We defined a approximately 1.5 Mb region of approximately 25 genes deleted in >98% of typical WS and then rare small deletions, showing that visual-spatial construction (VSC) in WS was associated with the genes GTF2IRD1 and GTF2I. To distinguish the roles of GTF2IRD1 and GTF2I in VSC and social behavior, we utilized multiple genomic methods (custom high resolution oligonucleotide microarray, multicolor FISH and somatic cell hybrids analyzed by PCR) to identify individuals deleted for either gene but not both. We analyzed genetic, cognitive and social behavior in a unique individual with WS features (heart defects, small size, facies), but with an atypical deletion of a set of genes that includes GTF2IRD1, but not GTF2I. The centromeric breakpoint localized to the region 72.32-72.38 Mb and the telomeric breakpoint to 72.66 Mb, 10 kb downstream of GTF2IRD1. Cognitive testing (WPPSI-R, K-BIT, and PLS-3) demonstrated striking deficits in VSC (Block Design, Object Assembly) but overall performance 1.5-3 SD above WS means. We have now integrated the genetic, clinical and cognitive data with previous reports of social behavior in this subject. These results combine with previous data from small deletions to suggest the gene GTF2IRD1 is associated with WS facies and VSC, and that GTF2I may contribute to WS social behaviors including increased gaze and attention to strangers.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 03/2009; 149A(3):302-14. DOI:10.1002/ajmg.a.32652 · 2.16 Impact Factor