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Excess of de novo variants in genes involved in chromatin remodelling in patients with marfanoid habitus and intellectual disability


Purpose Marfanoid habitus (MH) combined with intellectual disability (ID) (MHID) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous presentation. The combination of array CGH and targeted sequencing of genes responsible for Marfan or Lujan–Fryns syndrome explain no more than 20% of subjects.

Methods To further decipher the genetic basis of MHID, we performed exome sequencing on a combination of trio-based (33 subjects) or single probands (31 subjects), of which 61 were sporadic.

Results We identified eight genes with de novo variants (DNVs) in at least two unrelated individuals (ARID1B, ATP1A1, DLG4, EHMT1, NFIX, NSD1, NUP205 and ZEB2). Using simulation models, we showed that five genes (DLG4, NFIX, EHMT1, ZEB2 and ATP1A1) met conservative Bonferroni genomewide significance for an excess of the observed de novo point variants. Overall, at least one pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant was identified in 54.7% of subjects (35/64). These variants fell within 27 genes previously associated with Mendelian disorders, including NSD1 and NFIX, which are known to be mutated in overgrowth syndromes.

Conclusion We demonstrated that DNVs were enriched in chromatin remodelling (p=2×10−4) and genes regulated by the fragile X mental retardation protein (p=3×10−8), highlighting overlapping genetic mechanisms between MHID and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

  • marfanoid habitus
  • intellectual deficiency
  • exome sequencing
  • chromatin remodeling
  • de novo variants

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