Holoprosencephaly (HPE) is the most common developmental defect affecting the forebrain and midface in humans. The aetiology of HPE is highly heterogeneous and includes both environmental and genetic factors. Here we report on a boy with mild mental retardation, lobar HPE, epilepsy, mild pyramidal syndrome of the legs, ventricular septal defect, vesicoureteral reflux, preaxial polydactyly, and facial dysmorphisms. Genome-wide tiling path resolution array based comparative genomic hybridisation (array CGH) revealed a de novo copy-number gain at 5q35.1 of 1.24 Mb. Additional multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification screening of a cohort of 31 patients with HPE for copy-number changes at the 5q35.1 locus did not reveal any additional genomic anomalies. This report defines a novel 1.24 Mb critical interval for HPE and preaxial polydactyly at 5q35.1. The duplicated region encompasses seven genes: RANBP17, TLX3, NPM1, FGF18, FBXW11, STK10, and DC-UbP. Since FBXW11 is relatively highly expressed in fetal brain and is directly involved in proteolytic processing of GLI3, we propose FBXW11 as the most likely candidate gene for the HPE and prexial polydactyly phenotype. Additional research is needed to further establish the role of genes from the 5q35.1 region in brain and limb development and to determine the prevalence of copy number gain in the 5q35.1 region among HPE patients.
- Array CGH