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Am J Med Genet. 1998 Jun 16;78(1):82-9.

Delineation of the common critical region in Williams syndrome and clinical correlation of growth, heart defects, ethnicity, and parental origin.

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Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Williams syndrome (WS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a variable phenotype. Molecular genetic studies have indicated that hemizygosity at the elastin locus (ELN) may account for the cardiac abnormalities seen in WS, but that mental retardation and hypercalcemia are likely caused by other genes flanking ELN. In this study, we defined the minimal critical deletion region in 63 patients using 10 microsatellite markers and 5 fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes on chromosome 7q, flanking ELN. The haplotype analyses showed the deleted cases to have deletions of consistent size, as did the FISH analyses using genomic probes for the known ends of the commonly deleted region defined by the satellite markers. In all informative cases deleted at ELN, the deletion extends from D7S489U to D7S1870. The genetic distance between these two markers is about 2 cM. Of the 51 informative patients with deletions, 29 were maternal and 22 were paternal in origin. There was no evidence for effects on stature by examining gender, ethnicity, cardiac status, or parental origin of the deletion. Heteroduplex analysis for LIMK1, a candidate gene previously implicated in the WS phenotype, did not show any mutations in our WS patients not deleted for ELN. LIMK1 deletions were found in all elastin-deletion cases who had WS. One case, who has isolated, supravalvular aortic stenosis and an elastin deletion, was not deleted for LIMK1. It remains to be determined if haploinsufficiency of LIMK1 is responsible in part for the WS phenotype or is simply deleted due to its close proximity to the elastin locus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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