Expanding the phenotype for the recurrent p.Ala391Glu variant in FGFR3: Beyond crouzon syndrome and acanthosis nigricans

Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2019 Jun;7(6):e656. doi: 10.1002/mgg3.656. Epub 2019 Apr 23.


Background: Craniosynostosis, or premature fusion of the skull sutures, is a group of disorders that can present in isolation (nonsyndromic) or be associated with other anomalies (syndromic). Delineation of syndromic craniosynostosis is confounded due to phenotypic overlap, variable expression as well as molecular heterogeneity. We report on an infant who presented at birth with multisuture synostosis, turribrachycephaly, midface hypoplasia, beaked nose, low set ears, a high palate and short squat appearing thumbs, and great toes without deviation. The additional MRI findings of choanal stenosis and a Chiari I malformation suggested a diagnosis of Pfeiffer syndrome. First tier molecular testing did not reveal a pathogenic variant.

Methods: Whole exome sequencing on DNA samples from the proband and her unaffected parents was utilized to delineate the variant causative for the Pfeiffer syndrome diagnosis.

Results: On whole exome sequencing, a de novo NM_000142.4:c.1428C>A missense variant causing a p.Ala391Glu amino acid change in FGFR3 has been identified. The p.Ala391Glu change has been predominantly identified in patients with Crouzon syndrome with acanthosis nigricans.

Conclusions: This finding illustrates the first reported case of a child with an overlap with Pfeiffer syndrome to have the p.Ala391Glu variant.

Keywords: FGFR3; Crouzon; Pfeiffer; craniosynostosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthosis Nigricans / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Craniofacial Dysostosis / genetics*
  • Craniosynostoses / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 3 / genetics*
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 3 / metabolism


  • FGFR3 protein, human
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 3