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Am J Med Genet A. 2006 Nov 15;140(22):2482-7.

FISH and array-CGH analysis of a complex chromosome 3 aberration suggests that loss of CNTN4 and CRBN contributes to mental retardation in 3pter deletions.

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Department of Clinical Genetics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


Imbalances of 3p telomeric sequences cause 3p- and trisomy 3p syndrome, respectively, showing distinct, but also shared clinical features. No causative genes have been identified in trisomy 3p patients, but for the 3p- syndrome, there is growing evidence that monosomy for one or more of four genes at 3pter, CHL1, CNTN4, CRBN, and MEGAP/srGAP3, may play a causative role. We describe here an analysis of a complex chromosome 3p aberration in a severely mentally retarded patient that revealed two adjacent segments with different copy number gains and a distal deletion. The deletion in this patient included the loci for CHL1, CNTN4, and CRBN, and narrowed the critical segment associated with the 3p- syndrome to 1.5 Mb, including the loci for CNTN4 and CRBN. We speculate that the deletion contributes more to this patient's phenotype than the gains that were observed. We suggest that 3p- syndrome associated features are primarily caused by loss of CNTN4 and CRBN, with loss of CHL1 probably having an additional detrimental effect on the cognitive functioning of the present patient.

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