Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is an overgrowth disorder involving developmental anomalies, tissue and organ hyperplasia and an increased risk of embryonic tumours (most commonly Wilms' tumour). This multigenic disorder is caused by dysregulation of the expression of imprinted genes in the 11p15 chromosomal region. It may involve paternal uniparental disomy (UPD), loss of imprinting of the IGF2 gene, maternal inherited translocations and trisomy with paternal duplication. Recently, a small proportion of BWS patients has been shown to have a mutation in the paternal imprinted p57(KIP2) gene, which encodes a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor and negatively regulates cell proliferation. We screened for p57(KIP2) gene mutations in 21 BWS patients with no 11p15 UPD in leucocyte DNA. All patients had a phenotype typical of BWS. We analysed the entire coding sequence of p57(KIP2), including intron-exon boundaries, by direct sequencing of five PCR-amplified fragments. No mutation was found in the p57(KIP2) gene. Our results are consistent with those of previous studies showing that mutation of p57(KIP2) is infrequent in BWS. Thus, other mechanisms of p57(KIP2) silencing (imprinting errors) and/or other 11p15 genes are probably involved in the pathogenesis of BWS.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel