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Am J Med Genet A. 2010 Feb;152A(2):441-6. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33215.

Terminal 3p deletions in two families--correlation between molecular karyotype and phenotype.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Genetics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.


The 3p deletion syndrome is a rare disorder caused by deletions of different sizes in the 3p25-pter region. It is characterized by growth retardation, developmental delay, mental retardation, dysmorphism, microcephaly, and ptosis. The phenotype of individuals with deletions varies from normal to severe. Most cases occur de novo, but a few familial cases have been reported. We describe two families with terminal 3p deletions and extremely variable clinical features. In family A, the mother and daughter were extremely mildly affected whereas the son had more severe clinical features. In family B, the mother was normal and her son was affected, having some symptoms that had not been described in the 3p deletion syndrome before. The deletions were characterized by genome-wide SNP array analysis and were 9 and 1.1 Mb in size. Sequencing analysis of the CHL1, CNTN4, and CRBN genes did not reveal any masked recessive alleles that might explain the more severe phenotypes in the probands. In family A, the 9 Mb deletion can be considered causal for the 3p deletion syndrome in the proband, but the extremely mild phenotype in the other family members remains unexplained. In family B, the 1.1 Mb terminal deletion encompasses only the CHL1 gene, which is insufficient to cause 3p deletion symptoms; thus the clinical features observed in this family may have a different cause. The variable penetrance of 3p deletions creates challenges in genetic counseling, as the phenotype of the offspring cannot be predicted based on chromosomal and/or genome-wide array analytical findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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