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Homozygosity for the c.428delG variant in KIAA0586 in a healthy individual: implications for molecular testing in patients with Joubert syndrome
  1. Silke Pauli1,
  2. Janine Altmüller2,
  3. Simone Schröder3,
  4. Andreas Ohlenbusch4,
  5. Steffi Dreha-Kulaczewski4,
  6. Carsten Bergmann5,
  7. Peter Nürnberg2,
  8. Holger Thiele2,
  9. Yun Li1,
  10. Bernd Wollnik1,
  11. Knut Brockmann3
  1. 1 Institute of Human Genetics, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  2. 2 Cologne Center for Genomics, Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  3. 3 Interdisciplinary Pediatric Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities and Severe Chronic Disorders, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  4. 4 Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  5. 5 Center for Human Genetics, Bioscientia, Ingelheim, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor Knut Brockmann, Interdisciplinary Pediatric Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities and Severe Chronic Disorders, University Medical Center, Göttingen, 37075, Germany; kbrock{at}


Background Joubert syndrome (JBTS) is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder with marked phenotypic variability and genetic heterogeneity. Homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the KIAA0586 gene on chromosome 14q23 are known to be associated with JBTS-23. The frameshift variant c.428delG is the most frequent KIAA0586 variant reported in JBTS-23; yet, homozygosity of this variant was observed in two patients with JBTS-23. However, homozygosity of the c.428delG variant was recently reported as well in one healthy individual.

Objective To clarify whether the frameshift variant c.428delG in KIAA0586 is pathogenic in the homozygous state.

Methods Whole-exome sequencing as well as RNA analysis were performed.

Results We identified biallelic mutations, including the variant c.428delG and a splice site variant c.1413–1G>C, in KIAA0586 in two siblings with clinical and MRI features of JBTS. The c.1413–1G>C variant was inherited from the healthy father. The c.428delG variant was found in the healthy mother in a homozygous state in blood lymphocytes, hair root cells and buccal epithelial cells. RNA analysis revealed that the transcript harbouring the c.428delG variant was expressed in blood cells from the healthy mother, indicating that transcripts harbouring this variant elude the mechanism of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay.

Conclusion Considering this and the high allele frequency of 0.003117 in the gnomAD database, we conclude that c.428delG represents a JBTS disease-causing variant only if present in compound heterozygous state with a more severe KIAA0586 variant, but not in a homozygous situation.

  • clinical genetics
  • neurology
  • joubert syndrome
  • kiaa0586

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  • Contributors SP and KB provided clinical data and wrote the manuscript, JA, SS, AO, HT, CB, PN and YL provided molecular genetic data, SD-K provided neuroimaging data, SP, PN, BW and KB supervised the study.

  • Funding This work was supported by a grant from the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur, grant no.74ZN1284 (to KB).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Göttingen (file no. 19/5/14).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Additional unpublished data from the whole-exome sequencing of both patients and their parents are available.