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. 2017 Jul;18(3):141-146.
doi: 10.1007/s10048-017-0516-6. Epub 2017 Jun 15.

Severe Growth Deficiency, Microcephaly, Intellectual Disability, and Characteristic Facial Features Are Due to a Homozygous QARS Mutation


Severe Growth Deficiency, Microcephaly, Intellectual Disability, and Characteristic Facial Features Are Due to a Homozygous QARS Mutation

Esther Leshinsky-Silver et al. Neurogenetics. .


Glutaminyl tRNA synthase is highly expressed in the developing fetal human brain. Mutations in the glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (QARS) gene have been reported in patients with progressive microcephaly, cerebral-cerebellar atrophy, and intractable seizures. We have previously reported a new recessive syndrome of severe linear growth retardation, poor weight gain, microcephaly, characteristic facial features, cutaneous syndactyly of the toes, high myopia, and intellectual disability in two sisters of Ashkenazi-Jewish origin (Eur J Med Genet 2014;57(6):288-92). Homozygosity mapping and whole exome sequencing revealed a homozygous missense (V476I) mutation in the QARS gene, located in the catalytic domain. The patient's fibroblasts demonstrated markedly reduced QARS amino acylation activity in vitro. Furthermore, the same homozygous mutation was found in an unrelated girl of Ashkenazi origin with the same phenotype. The clinical presentation of our patients differs from the original QARS-associated syndrome in the severe postnatal growth failure, absence of epilepsy, and minor MRI findings, thus further expanding the phenotypic spectrum of the glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase deficiency syndromes.

Keywords: Ashkenazi-Jewish; Growth failure; Intellectual disability; Microcephaly; QARS.

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