Am J Hum Genet 2017 Dec 30;101(6):995-1005. Epub 2017 Nov 30.
School of Medicine, The Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, North Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia; Healthy Mothers and Babies, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Electronic address:
A recurrent de novo missense variant within the C-terminal Sin3-like domain of ZSWIM6 was previously reported to cause acromelic frontonasal dysostosis (AFND), an autosomal-dominant severe frontonasal and limb malformation syndrome, associated with neurocognitive and motor delay, via a proposed gain-of-function effect. We present detailed phenotypic information on seven unrelated individuals with a recurrent de novo nonsense variant (c.2737C>T [p.Arg913Ter]) in the penultimate exon of ZSWIM6 who have severe-profound intellectual disability and additional central and peripheral nervous system symptoms but an absence of frontonasal or limb malformations. We show that the c.2737C>T variant does not trigger nonsense-mediated decay of the ZSWIM6 mRNA in affected individual-derived cells. This finding supports the existence of a truncated ZSWIM6 protein lacking the Sin3-like domain, which could have a dominant-negative effect. This study builds support for a key role for ZSWIM6 in neuronal development and function, in addition to its putative roles in limb and craniofacial development, and provides a striking example of different variants in the same gene leading to distinct phenotypes.