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Am J Med Genet A. 2004 Jul 1;128A(1):85-92.

Minimal clinical expression of the holoprosencephaly spectrum and of Currarino syndrome due to different cytogenetic rearrangements deleting the Sonic Hedgehog gene and the HLXB9 gene at 7q36.3.

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  • 1Institute of Human Genetics, Charité, Humboldt University Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, D-13353 Berlin, Germany. denise.horn@charite.de


We report clinical, cytogenetic, and molecular cytogenetic studies on four patients with subtle or submicroscopic 7q36 deletions either of de novo origin or resulting from a cryptic parental translocation. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) studies indicated that in all four patients, the Sonic Hedgehog gene (SHH) and the homeobox gene HLXB9, among others, are comprised in the deletions. Besides mental retardation and short stature, all patients showed only minimal manifestations of the holoprosencephaly (HPE) spectrum and only one displayed symptoms of the Currarino syndrome. Patient 1 had a de novo 7q36.1-qter deletion and showed microcephaly, ptosis, sacral agenesis, tethered cord, but no structural brain anomaly. Patient 2 had a submicroscopic de novo 7q36 deletion detected by FISH, and showed facial and cerebral microsigns of the HPE spectrum. Patient 3 had a 7q36 deletion found by subtelomere FISH testing that was the unbalanced product of a subtle maternal 7q;10q translocation. She presented facial and ocular microsigns, but no structural abnormality of the brain. Patient 4 showed no specific syndromal pattern and was found to have a cryptic unbalanced de novo translocation of the terminal parts of chromosomes 7q and 9p by subtelomere FISH. Patients 2, 3, and 4 represent the first report of a de novo submicroscopic 7q36 deletion, the second report of a familial subtle translocation of 7q36, and the first report of an unbalanced de novo submicroscopic translocation of 7q36, respectively. Our results stress the importance of 7q36 deletion studies by FISH in patients with microsigns of the HPE spectrum.

Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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