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BMC Med Genomics. 2015;8 Suppl 1:S4. doi: 10.1186/1755-8794-8-S1-S4. Epub 2015 Jan 15.

Molecular genetics of human primary microcephaly: an overview.

Abstract

Autosomal recessive primary microcephaly (MCPH) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterised by microcephaly present at birth and non-progressive mental retardation. Microcephaly is the outcome of a smaller but architecturally normal brain; the cerebral cortex exhibits a significant decrease in size. MCPH is a neurogenic mitotic disorder, though affected patients demonstrate normal neuronal migration, neuronal apoptosis and neural function. Twelve MCPH loci (MCPH1-MCPH12) have been mapped to date from various populations around the world and contain the following genes: Microcephalin, WDR62, CDK5RAP2, CASC5, ASPM, CENPJ, STIL, CEP135, CEP152, ZNF335, PHC1 and CDK6. It is predicted that MCPH gene mutations may lead to the disease phenotype due to a disturbed mitotic spindle orientation, premature chromosomal condensation, signalling response as a result of damaged DNA, microtubule dynamics, transcriptional control or a few other hidden centrosomal mechanisms that can regulate the number of neurons produced by neuronal precursor cells. Additional findings have further elucidated the microcephaly aetiology and pathophysiology, which has informed the clinical management of families suffering from MCPH. The provision of molecular diagnosis and genetic counselling may help to decrease the frequency of this disorder.

PMID:
25951892
PMCID:
PMC4315316
DOI:
10.1186/1755-8794-8-S1-S4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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