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Neurology. 1999 Jul 22;53(2):270-7.

Differences in the gyral pattern distinguish chromosome 17-linked and X-linked lissencephaly.

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Department of Human Genetics, The University of Chicago, IL 60637, USA.



Classical lissencephaly or "smooth brain" is a human brain malformation that consists of diffuse agyria and pachygyria. Two genes associated with classical lissencephaly have recently been cloned-LIS1 from chromosome 17p13.3 and XLIS (also called DCX) from Xq22.3-q23.


We performed genotype-phenotype analysis in children with lissencephaly associated with mutations of different genes.


We compared the phenotype, especially brain imaging studies, in a series of 48 children with lissencephaly, including 12 with Miller-Dieker syndrome (MDS), which is associated with large deletions of LIS1 and other genes in the region, 24 with isolated lissencephaly sequence caused by smaller LIS1 deletions or mutations, and 12 with isolated lissencephaly sequence caused by XLIS mutations.


We found consistent differences in the gyral patterns, with the malformation more severe posteriorly in individuals with LIS1 mutations and more severe anteriorly in individuals with XLIS mutations. Thus, mutations of LIS1 are associated with a posterior-to-anterior gradient of lissencephaly, whereas mutations of XLIS are associated with an anterior-to-posterior gradient. We also confirmed differences in severity between MDS and ILS17. Hypoplasia of the cerebellar vermis proved to be more common with XLIS mutations.


It is often possible to predict the gene mutation from careful review of brain imaging studies.

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