Anophthalmia-esophageal atresia syndrome caused by an SOX2 gene deletion in monozygotic twin brothers with markedly discordant phenotypes

Am J Med Genet A. 2006 Sep 15;140(18):1899-903. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.31384.


The clinical combination of anophthalmia/microphthalmia and esophageal atresia was first recognized in 1988 as a distinct variable multi-system malformation syndrome and since then at least 17 cases of the disease have been described, all of them sporadic in occurrence. We report a heterozygous SOX2 gene mutation underlying the syndrome of anophthalmia/microphthalmia-esophageal atresia and demonstrate that this entity can be associated to considerable clinical variability as shown by the discordant ocular phenotype observed in monozygotic twin brothers carrying an SOX2 deletion. This is the first report describing a strikingly discordant eye phenotype in monozygotic twins with the condition, with one of our patients being the first reported individual carrying an SOX2 lesion associated with unilateral eye defect. We discuss the probable sources for this remarkable phenotypic heterogeneity of the anophthalmia/microphthalmia syndrome in individuals with an identical genetic constitution.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Anophthalmos / diagnosis*
  • Anophthalmos / genetics*
  • Esophageal Atresia / diagnosis*
  • Esophageal Atresia / genetics*
  • Gene Deletion
  • HMGB Proteins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Syndrome
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Twins, Monozygotic


  • HMGB Proteins
  • SOX2 protein, human
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors