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Circ Cardiovasc Genet. 2011 Dec;4(6):620-5. doi: 10.1161/CIRCGENETICS.111.960302. Epub 2011 Sep 20.

Cardiac defects are infrequent findings in individuals with 8p23.1 genomic duplications containing GATA4.

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Department of Pathology, Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO, USA.



The GATA4 gene is critical to regulating myocardial differentiation and function. Haploinsufficiency of GATA4 is strongly associated with congenital heart defects (CHD). However, it is inconclusive whether duplicated GATA4 causes CHD.


We evaluated 1645 consecutive pediatric patients with various developmental disorders by high-resolution microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization and found 8 probands and 2 relatives with pathogenic genomic imbalances containing GATA4. Four probands contain an ≈4.0-Mb interstitial duplication of 8p23.1 flanked by the 2 olfactory receptor gene clusters REPD and REPP, representing 0.24% (4/1645) of the patients analyzed. None of the 4 patients has CHD or any other heart diseases and 1 mother who transmitted the duplication to her child has a history of aortic stenosis. Two patients who carry multiple genomic abnormalities, including a duplication containing GATA4, have complex CHD. Only 1 of the 3 individuals carrying genomic deletion containing GATA4 has atrial septal and ventricular septal defects.


Cardiac defects are infrequent findings in individuals with 8p23.1 genomic duplications containing GATA4. A 0.24% detection rate of this duplication in this study is significantly higher than previously estimated. Observation in 2 patients with multiple genomic abnormalities and complex CHD is consistent with a 2-hit model that emphasizes accumulative effects of >1 insult to the genome, leading to a visible or more severe clinical manifestation. Haploinsufficient GATA4 may show variable expressivity with a wide spectrum of clinical findings, including CHD.

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