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Am J Med Genet. 2002 Apr 1;108(4):319-21.

Molecular characterization of 22q11 deletion in a three-generation family with maternal transmission.

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  • 1Molecular Genetics Laboratory, UO Anatomia Patologica, Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy.


Haploinsufficiency of chromosome 22q11.2 is a well-established cause of both the DiGeorge anomaly and the velocardiofacial syndrome. This condition shows a continuous spectrum of phenotypic manifestations with a considerable inter- and intrafamilial variability. We report on a three-generation family with four members sharing the same 3 Mb long deletion but showing different phenotypic expression. In the first generation, the deleted patient has hypernasal speech and suffers from recurrent psychotic episodes. Two of her offspring inherited the deletion. One of these, a male, has hypernasal speech, low-set ears, hypocalcemia, severe development delay, and tetralogy of Fallot. The other, a female, has hypernasal speech, minor facial anomalies, and very mild mental retardation. Her daughter has tetralogy of Fallot, velopharyngeal insufficiency, and mild facial anomalies. This family is an example of the widely variable phenotypic expressivity of the 22q11.2 deletion. There is no correlation between the size of the deletion and the phenotypic manifestations. Genetic background and/or environmental factors could explain the different phenotypes observed in the affected members of the family.

Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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