Variants of the CFC1 gene in patients with laterality defects associated with congenital cardiac disease

Cardiol Young. 2007 Jun;17(3):268-74. doi: 10.1017/S1047951107000455. Epub 2007 Apr 20.


Objectives: This study was designed to assess the frequency and types of genetic variants in CFC1 in children with laterality disorders associated with cardiovascular involvement.

Background: Laterality syndromes are estimated to comprise 3% of neonates with congenital cardiac disease. Genetic predisposition in some cases of laterality defects has been suggested by associated chromosomal anomalies and familial aggregation, often within consanguineous families, suggesting autosomal recessive inheritance. Mice with induced homozygous mutations in cfc1, and heterozygous CFC1 mutations in humans, have been associated with laterality defects.

Methods: Direct sequence analysis of the coding sequence of CFC1 was performed in 42 subjects with laterality defects and congenital cardiac disease.

Results: We identified 3 synonymous coding variants, 3 non-synonymous coding variants (N21H, R47Q, and R78W), and 2 intronic variants in CFC1. The N21H variant was observed in 3 of 19 affected Caucasians, and the R47Q variant in another 2. Neither polymorphism was observed in Caucasian controls. Furthermore, all subjects with the N21H polymorphism had double outlet right ventricle. Transmission of both the N21H and R47Q polymorphisms from unaffected parents was demonstrated, and all three non-synonymous variants had significant allele frequencies in unaffected African-American subjects, suggesting that other factors must also contribute to laterality defects.

Conclusions: Three non-synonymous variants in CFC1 were identified, the N21H variant being associated with laterality defects in Caucasians, but not fully penetrant. One or more of these non-synonymous missense variants may act as a susceptibility allele in conjunction with other genes, and/or environmental factors, to cause laterality defects.

MeSH terms

  • Body Patterning / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • CFC1 protein, human
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins