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Eur J Hum Genet. 2014 Mar;22(3):369-73. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2013.141. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

An unusual clinical severity of 16p11.2 deletion syndrome caused by unmasked recessive mutation of CLN3.

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1] Cytogénétique Médicale, Univ Clermont1, UFR Médecine, CHU Estaing, Clermont-Ferrand, France [2] ERTICa, EA 4677, Univ Clermont1, UFR Médecine, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Génétique Médicale, CHU Estaing, Clermont-Ferrand, France.


With the introduction of array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) techniques in the diagnostic setting of patients with developmental delay and congenital malformations, many new microdeletion syndromes have been recognized. One of these recently recognized microdeletion syndromes is the 16p11.2 deletion syndrome, associated with variable clinical outcomes including developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, and obesity, but also apparently normal phenotype. We report on a 16-year-old patient with developmental delay, exhibiting retinis pigmentosa with progressive visual failure from the age of 9 years, ataxia, and peripheral neuropathy. Chromosomal microarray analysis identified a 1.7-Mb 16p11.2 deletion encompassing the 593-kb common deletion (∼29.5 to ∼30.1 Mb; Hg18) and the 220-kb distal deletion (∼28.74 to ∼28.95 Mb; Hg18) that partially included the CLN3 gene. As the patient's clinical findings were different from usual 16p11.2 microdeletion phenotypes and showed some features reminiscent of juvenile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (JNCL, Batten disease, OMIM 204200), we suspected and confirmed a mutation of the remaining CLN3 allele. This case further illustrates that unmasking of hemizygous recessive mutations by chromosomal deletion represents one explanation for the phenotypic variability observed in chromosomal deletion disorders.

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