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Am J Med Genet A. 2006 Sep 15;140(18):1904-8.

SALL1 mutations in sporadic Townes-Brocks syndrome are of predominantly paternal origin without obvious paternal age effect.

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Institut für Humangenetik und Anthropologie, Universität Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


Autosomal dominant Townes-Brocks syndrome (TBS) is characterized by imperforate anus, triphalangeal and supernumerary thumbs, dysplastic ears and sensorineural hearing loss, and may also involve other organ systems. Strong inter- and intrafamiliar variability is known. Approximately 50% of TBS cases are sporadic and due to de novo mutations in the SALL1 gene. SALL1 encodes a zinc finger protein operating as a transcriptional repressor and localizing to pericentromeric heterochromatin. We traced the parental origin of SALL1 mutations in sporadic TBS by analysis of linkage between SALL1 mutations and exonic or intronic polymorphisms in 16 families with 10 different mutations. Mutations were of paternal origin in 14 of 16 cases (87.5%). Paternal origin was independent of the mutation type. The mean paternal age at conception was 29.9 and the mean maternal age 26.5 years. We conclude that de novo mutations in SALL1 mostly occur on the paternally derived chromosome 16 without an obvious age effect.

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