Whole genome sequencing identifies a de novo 2.1 Mb balanced paracentric inversion disrupting FOXP1 and leading to severe intellectual disability

Clin Chim Acta. 2018 Oct:485:218-223. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2018.06.048. Epub 2018 Jun 30.


The FOXP1 gene, located on chromosome 3p13, encodes the Forkhead-box protein P1, one of the four forkhead transcription factors which repress transcription by forming active homo- and heterodimers and regulate distinct patterns of gene expression crucial for embryogenesis and normal development. FOXP1 mutations, mostly truncating, have been described in patients with mild to moderate intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and speech and language impairment (MIM #613670). Here, we report a small de novo heterozygous balanced inversion of 2.1 Mb located at 3p14.1p13 identified by Whole Genomic Sequencing (WGS) and disrupting the genes FAM19A4 and FOXP1. This inversion was found in a patient with severe ID, ASD, seizures and very unusual vascular anomalies which were never described in the clinical spectrum of FOXP1 mutations. We show that the neurodevelopmental phenotype observed in the patient most likely results from FOXP1 haploinsufficiency as this heterozygous inversion leads to a 60 to 85% decrease of FOXP1 mRNA levels and to the complete absence of FOXP1 full-length protein. These findings, in addition to expanding the molecular spectrum of FOXP1 mutations, emphasize the emerging role of WGS in identifying small balanced chromosomal rearrangements responsible for neurodevelopmental disorders and not detected by conventional cytogenetics.

Keywords: Chromosome 3 paracentric inversion; FOXP1 haploinsufficiency; Severe intellectual disability; Whole genome sequencing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Female
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics*
  • Language Disorders
  • Mutation
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics*
  • Seizures
  • Whole Genome Sequencing*


  • FOXP1 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Repressor Proteins