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Am J Med Genet A. 2010 Aug;152A(8):2053-6. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33504.

Homozygous nonsense mutation in WNT10B and sporadic split-hand/foot malformation (SHFM) with autosomal recessive inheritance.

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Center of Laboratory Medicine, Cantonal Hospital, Aarau, Switzerland.


Split-hand/foot malformation (SHFM) is a limb malformation affecting the central rays of the hands and/or feet. Isolated SHFM occurs within families but more often sporadically. Since most families with more than one patient show dominant inheritance with reduced penetrance, sporadic SHFM is generally considered to be due to dominantly inherited new mutations. Recently, recessive inheritance of SHFM was proposed in a highly consanguineous family with a homozygous missense mutation in WNT10B. Nevertheless, the assumption of a second locus was necessary to explain the observed phenotypes in this family. To date, no other family and no case of sporadic SHFM with WNT10B mutations are known. By examining WNT10B in a patient with sporadic SHFM, we identified a homozygous 4-bp duplication resulting in a premature termination codon. Nine heterozygous relatives show no sign of SHFM. These findings have profound implications for genetic counseling. Obviously, sporadic SHFM may show recessive rather than dominant inheritance resulting in a 25% recurrence risk for sibs instead of a very low-recurrence risk as generally presumed. Likewise, there is a very low-recurrence risk for offspring of patients (unless there is consanguinity) instead of an estimated risk between 30% and 50%. It can be concluded that sporadic SHFM is not always a dominant trait. To determine the recurrence risk, patients affected with sporadic SHFM should be tested for mutations in WNT10B.

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