Lymphedema as first clinical presentation of Cantu Syndrome: reversed phenotyping after identification of gain-of-function variant in ABCC9

Jian Gao, Conor McClenaghan, Imke Christiaans, Marielle Alders, Kirsten van Duinen, Mieke M van Haelst, Gijs van Haaften, Colin G Nichols

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Cantu Syndrome (CS), [OMIM #239850] is characterized by hypertrichosis, osteochondrodysplasia, and cardiomegaly. CS is caused by gain-of-function (GOF) variants in the KCNJ8 or ABCC9 genes that encode pore-forming Kir6.1 and regulatory SUR2 subunits of ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels. Many subjects with CS also present with the complication of lymphedema. A previously uncharacterized, heterozygous ABCC9 variant, p.(Leu1055_Glu1058delinsPro), termed indel1055, was identified in an individual diagnosed with idiopathic lymphedema. The variant was introduced into the equivalent position of rat SUR2A, and inside-out patches were used to characterize the KATP channels formed by Kir6.2 and WT or mutant SUR2A subunits coexpressed in Cosm6 cells. The indel1055 variant causes gain-of-function of the channel, with an increase of the IC50 for ATP inhibition compared to WT. Retrospective consideration of this individual reveals clear features of Cantu Syndrome. An additional heterozygous ABCC9 variant, p.(Ile419Thr), was identified in a second individual diagnosed with lymphedema. In this case, there were no additional features consistent with CS, and the properties of p.(Ile416Thr) (the corresponding mutation in rat SUR2A)--containing channels were not different from WT. This proof-of-principle study shows that idiopathic lymphedema may actually be a first presentation of otherwise unrecognized Cantu Syndrome, but molecular phenotyping of identified variants is necessary to confirm relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean journal of human genetics
Issue number2
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Animals
  • Cardiomegaly/diagnosis
  • Gain of Function Mutation
  • Hypertrichosis/genetics
  • KATP Channels/genetics
  • Lymphedema
  • Osteochondrodysplasias/genetics
  • Rats
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sulfonylurea Receptors/genetics

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