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Am J Med Genet A. 2011 Feb;155A(2):403-8. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33798. Epub 2011 Jan 14.

A translocation between Xq21.33 and 22q13.33 causes an intragenic SHANK3 deletion in a woman with Phelan-McDermid syndrome and hypergonadotropic hypogonadism.

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Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Medical Genetics, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


Chromosome 22q13 monosomy has been described as a contiguous gene syndrome. Localized in the critical region, SHANK3 is likely to play a key role in the expression of the clinical phenotype. SHANK3 mutations have also been reported in autistic patients without a syndromic phenotype. We report on a 20-year-old woman with mental retardation carrying a de novo translocation between chromosome Xq21.33 and 22q13.33, associated with a duplication on Xq21.33 and deletion on 22q13.33. As a child her development was characterized by disturbed social interaction, stereotypic hand movements and ritualistic behavior and she was considered at one time to have autistic features. All these traits match the 22q13 deletion syndrome (Phelan-McDermid syndrome, OMIM 606232), likely due to the deletion overlapping the last two exons of the SHANK3 gene. Our patient harbors the smallest and most distal SHANK3 deletion described to date, yet resulting in the full spectrum of the Phelan-McDermid syndrome. In addition, she has hypergonadotropic hypogonadism with low estrogen level, high FSH level, and irregular menstruation. Intriguingly, chromosome translocations affecting the chromosome band Xq21 can result in premature ovarian failure.

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