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Cell. 1996 Jul 12;86(1):59-69.

LIM-kinase1 hemizygosity implicated in impaired visuospatial constructive cognition.

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Department of Human Genetics, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City 84112, USA.


To identify genes important for human cognitive development, we studied Williams syndrome (WS), a developmental disorder that includes poor visuospatial constructive cognition. Here we describe two families with a partial WS phenotype; affected members have the specific WS cognitive profile and vascular disease, but lack other WS features. Submicroscopic chromosome 7q11.23 deletions cosegregate with this phenotype in both families. DNA sequence analyses of the region affected by the smallest deletion (83.6 kb) revealed two genes, elastin (ELN) and LIM-kinase1 (LIMK1). The latter encodes a novel protein kinase with LIM domains and is strongly expressed in the brain. Because ELN mutations cause vascular disease but not cognitive abnormalities, these data implicate LIMK1 hemizygosity in imparied visuospatial constructive cognition.

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