Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by microcephaly, psychomotor regression, seizures and stereotypical hand movements. Recently, deletions and inactivating mutations in FOXG1, encoding a brain-specific transcription factor that is critical for forebrain development, have been found to be associated with the congenital variant of RTT. Here we report the clinical features and molecular characteristics of two cases of the congenital variant of RTT. We conducted mutation screenings of FOXG1 in a cohort of 15 Japanese patients with a clinical diagnosis of atypical RTT but without MECP2 and CDKL5 mutations. Two unrelated female patients had heterozygous mutations (c.256dupC, p.Gln86ProfsX35 and c.689G>A, pArg230His). Both showed neurological symptoms from the neonatal period, including hypotonia, irritability and severe microcephaly. Further, their psychomotor development was severely impaired, as indicated by their inability to sit unaided or acquire speech sounds, and they had a hyperkinetic movement disorder, because both displayed hand stereotypies and jerky movements of the upper limbs. Brain magnetic resonance imaging scans revealed delayed myelination with hypoplasia of the corpus callosum and frontal lobe. These cases confirm the involvement of FOXG1 in the molecular etiology of the congenital variant of RTT and show the characteristic features of FOXG1-related disorder.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.