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Truncating variants of the sterol recognition region of SHH cause hypertelorism phenotype rather than hypotelorism-holoprosencephaly.

Sonic hedgehog signaling molecule (SHH) is a key molecule in the cilia-mediated signaling pathway and a critical morphogen in embryogenesis. The association between loss-of-function variants of SHH and holoprosencephaly is well established. In mice experiments, reduced or increased signaling of SHH have been shown to be associated with narrowing or excessive expansion of the facial midline, respectively. Herein, we report two unrelated patients with de novo truncating variants of SHH presenting with hypertelorism rather than hypotelorism. The first patient was a 13-year-old girl. Her facial features included hypertelorism, strabismus, telecanthus, malocclusion, frontal bossing, and wide widow's peak. She had borderline developmental delay and agenesis of the corpus callosum. She had a nonsense variant of SHH: Chr7(GRCh38):g.155802987C > T, NM_000193.4:c.1302G > A, p.(Trp434*). The second patient was a 25-year-old girl. Her facial features included hypertelorism and wide widow's peak. She had developmental delay and agenesis of the corpus callosum. She had a frameshift variant of SHH: Chr7(GRCh38):g.155803072_155803074delCGGinsT, NM_000193.4:c.1215_1217delCCGinsA, p.(Asp405Glufs*92). The hypertelorism phenotype contrasts sharply with the prototypical hypotelorism-holoprosencephaly phenotype associated with loss-of-function of SHH. We concluded that a subset of truncating variants of SHH could be associated with hypertelorism rather than hypotelorism.

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