WDR73 missense mutation causes infantile onset intellectual disability and cerebellar hypoplasia in a consanguineous family

Clin Chim Acta. 2017 Jan:464:24-29. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2016.10.029. Epub 2016 Oct 28.


Galloway-Mowat syndrome (GMS) is a very rare autosomal-recessive disorder characterized by nephrotic syndrome associated with microcephaly, and various central nervous system abnormalities, mostly cerebral hypoplasia or cerebellar atrophy, intellectual disability and neural-migration defects. WDR73 is the only gene known to cause GMS, and has never been implicated in other disease. Here we present a Chinese consanguineous family with infantile onset intellectual disability and cerebellar hypoplasia but no microcephaly. Whole exome sequencing identified a WDR73 p.W371G missense mutation. The mutation is confirmed to be segregated in this family by Sanger sequencing according to a recessive inheritance pattern. It is predicted to be deleterious by multiple algorithms and affect highly conserved site. Structural modeling revealed conformational differences between the wild type protein and the p.W371G protein. Real-time PCR and Western blotting revealed altered mRNA and protein levels in mutated samples. Our study indicates the novel WDR73 p.W371G missense mutation causes infantile onset intellectual disability and cerebellar hypoplasia in recessive mode of inheritance. Our findings imply that microcephaly is a variable phenotype in WDR73-related disease, suggest WDR73 to be a candidate gene of severe intellectual disability and cerebellar hypoplasia, and expand the molecular spectrum of WDR73-related disease.

Keywords: Cerebellar hypoplasia; Galloway-Mowat syndrome; Intellectual disability; WDR73.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / abnormalities*
  • Consanguinity*
  • Developmental Disabilities / complications
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intellectual Disability / complications
  • Intellectual Disability / etiology
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics*
  • Male
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation, Missense*
  • Nervous System Malformations / complications
  • Nervous System Malformations / etiology
  • Nervous System Malformations / genetics*
  • Pedigree*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / genetics*


  • Proteins
  • WDR73 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Cerebellar Hypoplasia