Chromosome 17q21.31 microdeletion was one of the first genomic disorders identified by chromosome microarrays. We report here the clinical and molecular characterization of a new series of 14 French patients with this microdeletion syndrome. The most frequent clinical features were hypotonia, developmental delay and facial dysmorphism, but scaphocephaly, prenatal ischemic infarction and perception deafness were also described. Genotyping of the parents showed that the parent from which the abnormality was inherited carried the H2 inversion polymorphism, confirming that the H2 allele is necessary, but not sufficient to generate the 17q21.31 microdeletion. Previously reported molecular analyses of patients with 17q21.31 microdeletion syndrome defined a 493 kb genomic fragment that was deleted in most patients after taking into account frequent copy number variations in normal controls, but the deleted interval was significantly smaller (205 kb) in one of our patients, encompassing only the MAPT, STH and KIAA1267 genes. As this patient presents the classical phenotype of 17q21.31 syndrome, these data make it possible to define a new minimal critical region of 160.8 kb, strengthening the evidence for involvement of the MAPT gene in this syndrome.
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