First known microdeletion within the Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome critical region refines genotype-phenotype correlation

Am J Med Genet. 2001 Apr 1;99(4):338-42. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1203.


Deletions within HSA band 4p16.3 cause Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS), which comprises mental retardation and developmental defects. A WHS critical region (WHSCR) of approximately 165 kb has been defined on the basis of 2 atypical interstitial deletions; however, genotype-phenotype correlation remains controversial, due to the large size of deletion usually involving several megabases. We report on the first known patient with a small de novo interstitial deletion restricted to the WHSCR who presented with a partial WHS phenotype consisting only of low body weight for height, speech delay, and minor facial anomalies; shortness of stature, microcephaly, seizures and mental retardation were absent. The deletion was initially demonstrated by FISH analysis, and breakpoints were narrowed with a "mini-FISH" technique using 3-5 kb amplicons. A breakpoint-spanning PCR assay defined the distal breakpoint as disrupting the WHSC1 gene within intron 5, exactly after an AluJb repeat. The proximal breakpoint was not found to be associated with a repeated sequence or a known gene. The deletion encompasses 191.5 kb and includes WHSC2, but not LETM1. Thus, manifestations attributable to this deletion are reduced weight for height, minor facial anomalies, ADHD and some learning and fine motor deficiencies, while seizures may be associated with deletions of LETM1.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Body Weight
  • Carrier Proteins*
  • Child
  • Chromosome Deletion*
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities
  • Cytogenetic Analysis
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / genetics
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Language Development Disorders
  • Male
  • Physical Chromosome Mapping
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Repressor Proteins*
  • Syndrome
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors


  • Carrier Proteins
  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • NELFA protein, human
  • Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors
  • Histone-Lysine N-Methyltransferase
  • NSD2 protein, human