Maternal repression of the human GRB10 gene in the developing central nervous system; evaluation of the role for GRB10 in Silver-Russell syndrome

Eur J Hum Genet. 2001 Feb;9(2):82-90. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejhg.5200583.


The GRB10 gene encodes a growth suppressor and maps to human chromosome 7p11.2-p13. Maternal duplication (matdup) of this region has recently been associated with Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS), which is characterised by pre- and postnatal growth restriction, craniofacial dysmorphism and lateral asymmetry. Maternal uniparental disomy for chromosome 7 (mUPD7) occurs in approximately 7% of SRS patients. Exposure of a recessive allele due to isodisomy has been ruled out in five mUPD7 cases, suggesting genomic imprinting as the basis for disease. Assuming SRS patients with matdup of 7p11.2-p13 and mUPD7 share a common aetiology, this would implicate a maternally expressed gene from this interval, which is involved in growth inhibition. Murine Grb10 was identified as a maternally expressed gene by subtractive hybridisation using normal and androgenetic mouse embryos. Grb10 maps to the homologous region of proximal mouse chromosome 11, for which mUPD incurs reduced birthweight. A role for GRB10 in SRS was evaluated by determining its imprinting status in multiple human foetal tissues using expressed polymorphisms, and by screening the coding region for mutations in 18 classic non-mUPD7 SRS patients. Maternal repression of GRB10 was observed specifically in the developing central nervous system including brain and spinal cord, with biallelic expression in peripheral tissues. This is in contrast to mouse Grb10, and represents the first example of opposite imprinting in human and mouse homologues. While a role for GRB10 in mUPD7 SRS cases can not be ruled out on the basis of imprinting status, no mutations were identified in the patients screened.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Alleles
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 7 / genetics*
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / genetics*
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • GRB10 Adaptor Protein
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genomic Imprinting
  • Growth Disorders / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Proteins / physiology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Syndrome


  • DNA Primers
  • Proteins
  • GRB10 Adaptor Protein