Eur J Hum Genet 2014 Jun 6;22(6):844-6. Epub 2013 Nov 6.
Department of Human Genetics, Institute for Genetic and Metabolic Disease, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
The phenotype of patients with a chromosome 1q43q44 microdeletion (OMIM; 612337) is characterized by intellectual disability with no or very limited speech, microcephaly, growth retardation, a recognizable facial phenotype, seizures, and agenesis of the corpus callosum. Comparison of patients with different microdeletions has previously identified ZBTB18 (ZNF238) as a candidate gene for the 1q43q44 microdeletion syndrome. Mutations in this gene have not yet been described. We performed exome sequencing in a patient with features of the 1q43q44 microdeletion syndrome that included short stature, microcephaly, global developmental delay, pronounced speech delay, and dysmorphic facial features. A single de novo non-sense mutation was detected, which was located in ZBTB18. This finding is consistent with an important role for haploinsufficiency of ZBTB18 in the phenotype of chromosome 1q43q44 microdeletions. The corpus callosum is abnormal in mice with a brain-specific knock-out of ZBTB18. Similarly, most (but not all) patients with the 1q43q44 microdeletion syndrome have agenesis or hypoplasia of the corpus callosum. In contrast, the patient with a ZBTB18 point mutation reported here had a structurally normal corpus callosum on brain MRI. Incomplete penetrance or haploinsufficiency of other genes from the critical region may explain the absence of corpus callosum agenesis in this patient with a ZBTB18 point mutation. The findings in this patient with a mutation in ZBTB18 will contribute to our understanding of the 1q43q44 microdeletion syndrome.