Two Novel Frameshift Mutations in the GLI3 Gene Underlie Non-Syndromic Polydactyly in Chinese Families.
Objective: Polydactyly is characterized by multiple distinct heterogeneous phenotypes, the etiologies of which involve several genes. This study aimed to explore the genetic defects and further clarify the molecular mechanism of polydactyly in several Chinese families. Methods: Three families with diverse phenotypes of non-syndromic polydactyly were analyzed: two were cases of familial disease, whereas one was sporadic. PCR and Sanger sequencing were used to screen for pathogenic mutations in two known disease-associated genes, GLI3 and HOXD13 , while bioinformatic analyses predicted the pathogenicity of the identified variants. Reverse transcription PCR was used to analyze the splicing effect of an intronic variant. Results: Two novel heterozygous frameshift mutations (c.4478delG/p.S1493Tfs*18; c.846_c.847insC/p.R283Qfs*21) were identified in the GLI3 gene from two of the pedigrees. Both c.4478delG and c.846_c.847insC were later confirmed in affected and unaffected members and normal controls, to truncate and disrupt the integrity of the GLI3 protein, reduce its level of expression, and disrupt its biological function through nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). In addition, a deep intron mutation (c.125-47 C>A) was detected in the GLI3 gene from the sporadic case, however, both bioinformatics analysis (HSF, splice AI, and CBS) and RT-PCR indicated that the variant c.125-47 C>A had minimal if any impact on splicing of the GLI3 gene. Conclusion: Two newly identified heterozygous frameshift mutations in the GLI3 gene were detected in two families with non-syndromic polydactyly, further extending the mutational spectrum of the GLI3 gene in non-syndromic polydactyly. Moreover, our study further expanded the phenotypic spectrum of non-syndromic polydactyly.
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