[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Some copy-number variants are associated with genomic disorders with extreme phenotypic heterogeneity. The cause of this variation is unknown, which presents challenges in genetic diagnosis, counseling, and management.
We analyzed the genomes of 2312 children known to carry a copy-number variant associated with intellectual disability and congenital abnormalities, using array comparative genomic hybridization.
Among the affected children, 10.1% carried a second large copy-number variant in addition to the primary genetic lesion. We identified seven genomic disorders, each defined by a specific copy-number variant, in which the affected children were more likely to carry multiple copy-number variants than were controls. We found that syndromic disorders could be distinguished from those with extreme phenotypic heterogeneity on the basis of the total number of copy-number variants and whether the variants are inherited or de novo. Children who carried two large copy-number variants of unknown clinical significance were eight times as likely to have developmental delay as were controls (odds ratio, 8.16; 95% confidence interval, 5.33 to 13.07; P=2.11×10(-38)). Among affected children, inherited copy-number variants tended to co-occur with a second-site large copy-number variant (Spearman correlation coefficient, 0.66; P<0.001). Boys were more likely than girls to have disorders of phenotypic heterogeneity (P<0.001), and mothers were more likely than fathers to transmit second-site copy-number variants to their offspring (P=0.02).
Multiple, large copy-number variants, including those of unknown pathogenic significance, compound to result in a severe clinical presentation, and secondary copy-number variants are preferentially transmitted from maternal carriers. (Funded by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative and the National Institutes of Health.).
New England Journal of Medicine 09/2012; 367(14):1321-31. · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand the genetic heterogeneity underlying developmental delay, we compared copy number variants (CNVs) in 15,767 children with intellectual disability and various congenital defects (cases) to CNVs in 8,329 unaffected adult controls. We estimate that ∼14.2% of disease in these children is caused by CNVs >400 kb. We observed a greater enrichment of CNVs in individuals with craniofacial anomalies and cardiovascular defects compared to those with epilepsy or autism. We identified 59 pathogenic CNVs, including 14 new or previously weakly supported candidates, refined the critical interval for several genomic disorders, such as the 17q21.31 microdeletion syndrome, and identified 940 candidate dosage-sensitive genes. We also developed methods to opportunistically discover small, disruptive CNVs within the large and growing diagnostic array datasets. This evolving CNV morbidity map, combined with exome and genome sequencing, will be critical for deciphering the genetic basis of developmental delay, intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microdeletions of 1q43q44 result in a recognizable clinical disorder characterized by moderate to severe intellectual disability (ID) with limited or no expressive speech, characteristic facial features, hand and foot anomalies, microcephaly (MIC), abnormalities (agenesis/hypogenesis) of the corpus callosum (ACC), and seizures (SZR). Critical regions have been proposed for some of the more prominent features of this disorder such as MIC and ACC, yet conflicting data have prevented precise determination of the causative genes. In this study, the largest of pure interstitial and terminal deletions of 1q43q44 to date, we characterized 22 individuals by high-resolution oligonucleotide microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization. We propose critical regions and candidate genes for the MIC, ACC, and SZR phenotypes associated with this microdeletion syndrome. Three cases with MIC had small overlapping or intragenic deletions of AKT3, an isoform of the protein kinase B family. The deletion of only AKT3 in two cases implicates haploinsufficiency of this gene in the MIC phenotype. Likewise, based on the smallest region of overlap among the affected individuals, we suggest a critical region for ACC that contains ZNF238, a transcriptional and chromatin regulator highly expressed in the developing and adult brain. Finally, we describe a critical region for the SZR phenotype which contains three genes (FAM36A, C1ORF199, and HNRNPU). Although ~90% of cases in this study and in the literature fit these proposed models, the existence of phenotypic variability suggests other mechanisms such as variable expressivity, incomplete penetrance, position effects, or multigenic factors could account for additional complexity in some cases.
Human Genetics 07/2011; 131(1):145-56. · 4.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reports of individuals with deletions of 1q24→q25 share common features of prenatal onset growth deficiency, microcephaly, small hands and feet, dysmorphic face and severe cognitive deficits. We report nine individuals with 1q24q25 deletions, who show distinctive features of a clinically recognizable 1q24q25 microdeletion syndrome: prenatal-onset microcephaly and proportionate growth deficiency, severe cognitive disability, small hands and feet with distinctive brachydactyly, single transverse palmar flexion creases, fifth finger clinodactyly and distinctive facial features: upper eyelid fullness, small ears, short nose with bulbous nasal tip, tented upper lip, and micrognathia. Radiographs demonstrate disharmonic osseous maturation with markedly delayed bone age. Occasional features include cleft lip and/or palate, cryptorchidism, brain and spinal cord defects, and seizures. Using oligonucleotide-based array comparative genomic hybridization, we defined the critical deletion region as 1.9 Mb at 1q24.3q25.1 (chr1: 170,135,865-172,099,327, hg18 coordinates), containing 13 genes and including CENPL, which encodes centromeric protein L, a protein essential for proper kinetochore function and mitotic progression. The growth deficiency in this syndrome is similar to what is seen in other types of primordial short stature with microcephaly, such as Majewski osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism, type II (MOPD2) and Seckel syndrome, which result from loss-of-function mutations in genes coding for centrosomal proteins. DNM3 is also in the deleted region and expressed in the brain, where it participates in the Shank-Homer complex and increases synaptic strength. Therefore, DNM3 is a candidate for the cognitive disability, and CENPL is a candidate for growth deficiency in this 1q24q25 microdeletion syndrome.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 06/2011; 155A(6):1336-51. · 2.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The oral-facial-digital syndromes (OFDS) comprise a group of disorders involving malformations of the mouth, face, and digits. There are 13 subtypes of the OFDS, and much overlap exists among OFDS patients. Distinct syndromes such as Joubert and Pallister-Hall display many of the same features. This report describes an infant with abnormalities including a hypoplastic/absent cerebellar vermis and forked third metacarpals, consistent with a diagnosis of OFDS type VI (Váradi-Papp). The girl's abnormalities also included malformations of the larynx and trachea, findings never before described in type VI but described in other OFDS subtypes and similar syndromes. Our patient represents a transitional OFDS type, further supporting evidence of a common molecular pathway among these disorders. This report highlights the importance of the radiologist's role in diagnosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Subtelomeric imbalances have been implicated in developmental delay and mental retardation (MR) and described for most chromosomes. This study reports the first detailed description of two individuals with de novo 12q subtelomere deletions and high-resolution mapping of their deletion size with oligonucleotide array CGH for genotype/phenotype comparisons. Patient 1 is an 8-year-old male with borderline mild MR, food-seeking behavior, obesity, no significant dysmorphic facial features, abnormal hair whorl pattern, brachydactyly and mild clinodactyly. Patient 2 is a 12-year-old male with mild MR, food-seeking behavior, obesity, short stature, mild dysmorphic facial features, multicystic kidney and unilateral cryptorchidism. Both patients share a deleted region of approximately 1.6 Mb, including 14 known genes, which perhaps contributed to their similar phenotypes. However, Patient 2 has more severe MR and organ system involvement, possibly due to the larger deletion size ( approximately 4.5 Mb) including an additional eight genes, although it is difficult to make phenotype/genotype correlations based on only two patients. Due to the relatively mild presentation of both of our patients, we propose that a proportion of individuals with subtelomeric imbalances may go undetected and therefore, recommend subtelomeric studies be carried out for cases of unexplained mild MR or isolated learning disability (LD) with behavioral problems in the absence of major dysmorphic features or birth defects. In addition, 12q subtelomeric deletions should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with food-seeking behavior and resultant obesity, as well as those referred to rule out Prader-Willi syndrome.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 12/2007; 143A(22):2700-5. · 2.30 Impact Factor