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Eur J Hum Genet. 2012 Jul;20(7):769-77. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2012.2. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

Gross deletions in TCOF1 are a cause of Treacher-Collins-Franceschetti syndrome.

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Clinical Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK.


Treacher-Collins-Franceschetti syndrome (TCS) is an autosomal dominant craniofacial disorder characterised by midface hypoplasia, micrognathia, downslanting palpebral fissures, eyelid colobomata, and ear deformities that often lead to conductive deafness. A total of 182 patients with signs consistent with a diagnosis of TCS were screened by DNA sequence and dosage analysis of the TCOF1 gene. In all, 92 cases were found to have a pathogenic mutation by sequencing and 5 to have a partial gene deletion. A further case had a novel in-frame deletion in the alternatively spliced exon 6A of uncertain pathogenicity. The majority of the pathogenic sequence changes were found to predict premature protein termination, however, four novel missense changes in the LIS1 homology motif at the 5' end of the gene were identified. The partial gene deletions of different sizes represent ~5.2% of all the pathogenic TCOF1 mutations identified, indicating that gene rearrangements account for a significant proportion of TCS cases. This is the first report of gene rearrangements resulting in TCS. These findings expand the TCOF1 mutation spectrum indicating that dosage analysis should be performed together with sequence analysis, a strategy that is predicted to have a sensitivity of 71% for patients in whom TCS is strongly suspected.

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