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Mol Genet Genomics. 2016 Feb;291(1):1-15. doi: 10.1007/s00438-015-1110-y. Epub 2015 Sep 1.

Primordial dwarfism: overview of clinical and genetic aspects.

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Centre for Human Genetics, School of Health Sciences, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, Punjab, India.
Institute of Genetics and Hospital for Genetic Diseases, Osmania University, Begumpet, 500016, Hyderabad, India.
Genetic-Metabolic Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Advanced Pediatric Centre, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.
Centre for Human Genetics, School of Health Sciences, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, Punjab, India.


Primordial dwarfism is a group of genetic disorders which include Seckel Syndrome, Silver-Russell Syndrome, Microcephalic Osteodysplastic Primordial Dwarfism types I/III, II and Meier-Gorlin Syndrome. This genetic disorder group is characterized by intra-uterine growth retardation and post-natal growth abnormalities which occur as a result of disorganized molecular and genomic changes in embryonic stage and, thus, it represents a unique area to study growth and developmental abnormalities. Lot of research has been carried out on different aspects; however, a consolidated review that discusses an overall spectrum of this disorder is not accessible. Recent research in this area points toward important molecular and cellular mechanisms in human body that regulate the complexity of growth process. Studies have emerged that have clearly associated with a number of abnormal chromosomal, genetic and epigenetic alterations that can predispose an embryo to develop PD-associated developmental defects. Finding and associating such fundamental changes to its subtypes will help in re-examination of alleged functions at both cellular and developmental levels and thus reveal the intrinsic mechanism that leads to a balanced growth. Although such findings have unraveled a subtle understanding of growth process, we further require active research in terms of identification of reliable biomarkers for different subtypes as an immediate requirement for clinical utilization. It is hoped that further study will advance the understanding of basic mechanisms regulating growth relevant to human health. Therefore, this review has been written with an aim to present an overview of chromosomal, molecular and epigenetic modifications reported to be associated with different subtypes of this heterogenous disorder. Further, latest findings with respect to clinical and molecular genetics research have been summarized to aid the medical fraternity in their clinical utility, for diagnosing disorders where there are overlapping physical attributes and simultaneously inform about the latest developments in PD biology.


Clinical; Genetics; Primordial dwarfism; Subtypes

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