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Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 2015;55(8):640-6. doi: 10.2176/nmc.ra.2015-0075. Epub 2015 Jul 31.

Molecular Biology of Pediatric Hydrocephalus and Hydrocephalus-related Diseases.

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Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Takatsuki General Hospital.


We are beginning to understand the molecular biology of hydrocephalus and its related diseases. X-linked hydrocephalus (XLH), holoprosencephaly (HPE), Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM), and neural tube defect (NTD) can all be discussed with respect to their available molecular genetics knowledge base and its clinical applications. XLH is single gene disorder caused by mutations in the neural cell adhesion molecule-encoding L1CAM (L1) gene. Our knowledge of the molecular basis of XLH is already being applied clinically in disease diagnosis, disease classification, and prenatal diagnosis. However, the molecular mechanism underlying XLH-related hydrocephalus still needs to be clarified. Sixteen causative genes for HPE have been identified, of which mutations are most often found in SHH, ZIC2, SIX3, and TGIF. Genetic interactions, gene complexity, and the wide variety of HPE phenotypes and genotypes are topics for future study. For DWM, two important loci, 3q24, which includes the FOXC1 gene, and 6q25.3, which includes the ZIC1 and ZIC4 genes, were recently identified as causative areas. The planar cell polarity (PCP) genes CELSR1, CELSR2, VANGL1, and VANGL2 have been implicated in NTD; these genes have roles in neural tube closure and ependymal ciliary movement.

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