FREM1 Autosomal Recessive Disorders

In: GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993.
[updated ].


Clinical characteristics: FREM1 autosomal recessive disorders include Manitoba oculotrichoanal (MOTA) syndrome, bifid nose with or without anorectal and renal anomalies (BNAR syndrome), and isolated congenital anomalies of kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT).

  1. MOTA syndrome is characterized by an aberrant hairline (unilateral or bilateral wedge-shaped extension of the anterior hairline from the temple region to the ipsilateral eye) and anomalies of the eyes (widely spaced eyes, anophthalmia/microphthalmia and/or cryptophthalmos, colobomas of the upper eyelid, and corneopalpebral synechiae), nose (bifid or broad nasal tip), abdominal wall (omphalocele or umbilical hernia), and anus (stenosis and/or anterior displacement of the anal opening). The manifestations and degree of severity vary even among affected members of the same family. Growth and psychomotor development are normal.

  2. BNAR syndrome is characterized by a bifid or wide nasal tip, anorectal anomalies, and renal malformations (e.g., renal agenesis, renal dysplasia). Typically the eye manifestations of MOTA syndrome are absent.

  3. FREM1-CAKUT was identified in one individual with bilateral vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) and a second individual with VUR and renal hypodysplasia.

Diagnosis/testing: The diagnosis of a FREM1 autosomal recessive disorder is established in a proband by identification of biallelic pathogenic variants in FREM1 on molecular genetic testing.

Management: Treatment of manifestations:

  1. Intensive ocular lubrication to avoid exposure keratopathy before surgery is performed; release of synechiae between the eyelid and cornea; surgical intervention and/or prostheses for anophthalmia/microphthalmia and cryptophthalmos if warranted; supportive care for those with visual impairment

  2. Rhinoplasty for notched ala nasi or bifid nose

  3. Surgical closure of omphalocele; surgical or conservative management of umbilical hernia

  4. Dilation for anal stenosis

  5. Supportive treatment to preserve renal functions and electrolyte balance; dialysis and transplant if indicated in individuals with renal failure

  6. Psychosocial support

Genetic counseling: MOTA, BNAR syndrome, and FREM1-CAKUT are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. At conception, each full sib of an affected individual has a 25% chance of being affected, a 50% chance of being an asymptomatic carrier, and a 25% chance of being unaffected and not a carrier. Once the FREM1 pathogenic variants have been identified in an affected family member, prenatal testing for a pregnancy at increased risk and preimplantation genetic testing are possible.

Publication types

  • Review