Autosomal recessive POLR1D mutation with decrease of TCOF1 mRNA is responsible for Treacher Collins syndrome

Genet Med. 2014 Sep;16(9):720-4. doi: 10.1038/gim.2014.12. Epub 2014 Mar 6.


Purpose: Treacher Collins syndrome is a mandibulofacial dysostosis caused by mutations in genes involved in ribosome biogenesis and synthesis. TCOF1 mutations are observed in ~80% of the patients and are inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Recently, two other genes have been reported in <2% of patients--POLR1D in patients with autosomal dominant inheritance, and POLR1C in patients with autosomal recessive inheritance.

Methods: We performed direct sequencing of TCOF1, POLR1C, and POLR1D in two unrelated consanguineous families.

Results: The four affected children shared the same homozygous mutation in POLR1D (c.163C>G, p.Leu55Val). This mutation is localized in a region encoding the dimerization domain of the RNA polymerase. It is supposed that this mutation impairs RNA polymerase, resulting in a lower amount of mature dimeric ribosomes. A functional analysis of the transcripts of TCOF1 by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was performed in the first family, demonstrating a 50% reduction in the index case, compatible with this hypothesis.

Conclusion: This is the first report of POLR1D mutation being responsible for an autosomal recessive inherited Treacher Collins syndrome. These results reinforce the concept of genetic heterogeneity of Treacher Collins syndrome and underline the importance of combining clinical expertise and familial molecular analyses for appropriate genetic counseling.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / genetics*
  • Facies
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Recessive*
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Loci
  • Haplotypes
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Mandibulofacial Dysostosis / diagnosis*
  • Mandibulofacial Dysostosis / genetics*
  • Mutation*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • TCOF1 protein, human
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases
  • POLR1D protein, human