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Absent expression of the osteoblast-specific maternally imprinted genes, DLX5 and DLX6, causes split hand/split foot malformation type I
  1. Sawitree Rattanasopha1,
  2. Siraprapa Tongkobpetch2,3,
  3. Chalurmpon Srichomthong2,3,
  4. Pravit Kitidumrongsook4,
  5. Kanya Suphapeetiporn2,3,
  6. Vorasuk Shotelersuk2,3
  1. 1Doctor of Philosophy Program in Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, Center of Excellence for Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
  3. 3Excellence Center for Medical Genetics, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, The Thai Red Cross Society, Bangkok, Thailand
  4. 4Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kanya Suphapeetiporn, Division of Medical Genetics and Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, Sor Kor Building 11th floor, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok 10330, Thailand; kanya.su{at}chula.ac.th

Abstract

Background Split hand/split foot malformation (SHFM) type 1 is characterised by missing central digital rays with clefts of the hands and/or feet, which was linked to chromosome 7q21.3. While double knockout of Dlx5 and Dlx6 resulted in limb defects in mice, the majority of patients with SHFM1 had only heterozygous chromosomal abnormalities.

Objective To investigate the clinical and molecular features of a large family with SHFM1.

Methods Blood samples of family members were investigated by linkage analysis, array comparative genomic hybridisation, exome sequencing and PCR-Sanger sequencing. Cultures from bone specimens obtained from the proband and an unrelated unaffected individual were established and subjected to quantitative real-time PCR, reverse-transcribed PCR, Western blot and imprinting analysis.

Results We report a large pedigree of SHFM1 with 10 members having a heterozygous 103 kb deletion, the smallest one ever reported to be associated with SHFM1. Of these 10, two had no limb anomalies, making a penetrance of 80%. The deletion encompassed exons 15 and 17 of DYNC1I1, which are known enhancers of two downstream genes, DLX5 and DLX6. Surprisingly, DLX5 and DLX6 RNA and proteins in our proband's cultured osteoblasts, instead of 50% decrease, were absent. Allelic expression studies in cultured osteoblasts of the unaffected individual showed that DSS1, DLX6 and DLX5 expressed only paternal alleles. These lines of evidence indicate that DSS1, DLX6 and DLX5 were maternally imprinted in osteoblasts.

Conclusions SHFM1 in our family is caused by a heterozygous paternal deletion of enhancers of the osteoblast-specific maternally imprinted DLX6 and DLX5 genes, leading to the absence of their proteins.

  • Imprinting
  • Molecular genetics
  • Developmental

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