Background: Waardenburg syndrome (WS) is one of the most common forms of syndromic deafness with heterogeneity of loci and alleles and variable expressivity of clinical features.
Methods: The technology of single-nucleotide variants (SNV) and copy number variation (CNV) detection was developed to investigate the genotype spectrum of WS in a Chinese population.
Results: Ninety WS patients and 24 additional family members were recruited for the study. Fourteen mutations had not been previously reported, including c.808C>G, c.117C>A, c.152T>G, c.803G>T, c.793-3T >G, and c.801delT on PAX3; c.642_650delAAG on MITF; c.122G>T and c.127C>T on SOX10; c.230C>G and c.365C>T on SNAI2; and c.481A>G, c.1018C>G, and c.1015C>T on EDNRB. Three CNVs were de novo and first reported in our study. Five EDNRB variants were associated with WS type 1 in the heterozygous state for the first time, with a detection rate of 22.2%. Freckles occur only in WS type 2. Yellow hair, amblyopia, congenital ptosis, narrow palpebral fissures, and pigmentation spots are rare and unique symptoms in WS patients from China.
Conclusions: EDNRB should be considered as another prevalent pathogenic gene in WS type 1. Our study expanded the genotype and phenotype spectrum of WS, and diagnostic next-generation sequencing is promising for WS.