Short-rib polydactyly (SRP) syndrome type III, or Verma-Naumoff syndrome, is an autosomal-recessive chondrodysplasia characterized by short ribs, a narrow thorax, short long bones, an abnormal acetabulum, and numerous extraskeletal malformations and is lethal in the perinatal period. Presently, mutations in two genes, IFT80 and DYNC2H1, have been identified as being responsible for SRP type III. Via homozygosity mapping in three affected siblings, a locus for the disease was identified on chromosome 9q34.11, and homozygosity for three missense mutations in WDR34 were found in three independent families, as well as compound heterozygosity for mutations in one family. WDR34 encodes a member of the WD repeat protein family with five WD40 domains, which acts as a TAK1-associated suppressor of the IL-1R/TLR3/TLR4-induced NF-κB activation pathway. We showed, through structural modeling, that two of the three mutations altered specific structural domains of WDR34. We found that primary cilia in WDR34 mutant fibroblasts were significantly shorter than normal and had a bulbous tip. This report expands on the pathogenesis of SRP type III and demonstrates that a regulator of the NF-κB activation pathway is involved in the pathogenesis of the skeletal ciliopathies.
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