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Original research
Paternal 132 bp deletion affecting KCNQ1OT1 in 11p15.5 is associated with growth retardation but does not affect imprinting
  1. Thomas Eggermann1,
  2. Florian Kraft1,
  3. Eva Lausberg1,
  4. Katrin Ergezinger2,
  5. Erdmute Kunstmann3
  1. 1 Institute of Human Genetics, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
  2. 2 Children’s Hospital, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
  3. 3 Institute of Human Genetics, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor Thomas Eggermann, Institute of Human Genetics, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen D-52074, Germany; teggermann{at}


Background The chromosomal region 11p15.5 harbours two imprinting centres (H19/IGF2:IG-DMR/IC1, KCNQ1OT1:TSS-DMR/IC2). Molecular alterations of the IC2 are associated with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS), whereas only single patients with growth retardation and Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS) features have been reported. CNVs in 11p15.5 account for less than 1% of patients with BWS and SRS, and they mainly consist of duplications of both ICs either affecting the maternal (SRS) or the paternal (BWS) allele. However, this correlation does not apply to smaller CNVs, which are associated with diverse clinical outcomes.

Methods and results We identified a family with a 132 bp deletion within the KCNQ1OT1 gene, associated with growth retardation in case of paternal transmission but a normal phenotype when maternally inherited. Comparison of molecular and clinical data with cases from the literature helped to delineate its functional relevance.

Conclusion Microdeletions within the paternal IC2 affecting the KCNQ1OT1 gene have been described in only five families, and they all include the differentially methylated region KCNQ1OT1:TSS-DMR/IC2 and parts of the KCNQ1 gene. However, these deletions have different impacts on the expression of both genes and the cell-cycle inhibitor CDKN1C. They thereby cause different phenotypes. The 132 bp deletion is the smallest deletion in the IC2 reported so far. It does not affect the IC2 methylation in general and the coding sequence of the KCNQ1 gene. Thus, the deletion is only associated with a growth retardation phenotype when paternally transmitted but not with other clinical features in case of maternal inheritance as observed for larger deletions.

  • imprinting
  • genetics
  • copy-number

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  • Contributors All authors have planned the study. TE prepared the manuscript and the other authors approved it. KE documented and evaluated the clinical data. FK and EL conducted the laboratory parts and performed the data interpretation. EK overviewed the study, and contributed to the clinical section and in the diagnosis of the family.

  • Funding The group is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, EG110/15-1).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the ethical committee of the Medical Faculty of the RWTH Aachen (EK159-08).

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

  • Data availability statement Data sharing not applicable as no data sets generated and/or analysed for this study. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. No data are available.