Pettersson M, Vaz R, Hammarsjö A, Eisfeldt J, Carvalho CMB, Hofmeister W, Tham E, Horemuzova E, Voss U, Nishimura G, Klintberg B, Nordgren A, Nilsson D, Grigelioniene G, Lindstrand A
Hum. Mutat. 39 (10) 1456-1467 [2018-10-00; online 2018-08-22]
Skeletal dysplasias are a diverse group of rare Mendelian disorders with clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Here, we used targeted copy number variant (CNV) screening and identified intragenic exonic duplications, formed through Alu-Alu fusion events, in two individuals with skeletal dysplasia and negative exome sequencing results. First, we detected a homozygous tandem duplication of exon 9 and 10 in IFT81 in a boy with Jeune syndrome, or short-rib thoracic dysplasia (SRTD) (MIM# 208500). Western blot analysis did not detect any wild-type IFT81 protein in fibroblasts from the patient with the IFT81 duplication, but only a shorter isoform of IFT81 that was also present in the normal control samples. Complementary zebrafish studies suggested that loss of full-length IFT81 protein but expression of a shorter form of IFT81 protein affects the phenotype while being compatible with life. Second, a de novo tandem duplication of exons 2 to 5 in MATN3 was identified in a girl with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED) type 5 (MIM# 607078). Our data highlights the importance of detection and careful characterization of intragenic duplication CNVs, presenting them as a novel and very rare genetic mechanism in IFT81-related Jeune syndrome and MATN3-related MED.