Expressivity of Holt-Oram syndrome is not predicted by TBX5 genotype

Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Jul;73(1):74-85. doi: 10.1086/376436. Epub 2003 Jun 3.


Mutations in TBX5, a T-box-containing transcription factor, cause cardiac and limb malformations in individuals with Holt-Oram syndrome (HOS). Mutations that result in haploinsufficiency of TBX5 are purported to cause cardiac and limb defects of similar severity, whereas missense mutations, depending on their location in the T box, are thought to cause either more severe heart or more severe limb abnormalities. These inferences are, however, based on the analysis of a relatively small number of independent cases of HOS. To better understand the relationship between mutations in TBX5 and the variable expressivity of HOS, we screened the coding and noncoding regions of TBX5 and SALL4 for mutations in 55 probands with HOS. Seventeen mutations, including six missense mutations in TBX5 and two mutations in SALL4, were found in 19 kindreds with HOS. Fewer than 50% of individuals with nonsense or frameshift mutations in TBX5 had heart and limb defects of similar severity, and only 2 of 20 individuals had heart or limb malformations of the severity predicted by the location of their mutations in the T box. These results suggest that neither the type of mutation in TBX5 nor the location of a mutation in the T box is predictive of the expressivity of malformations in individuals with HOS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Syndrome
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / genetics*


  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • T-box transcription factor 5