DSE associated musculocontractural EDS, a milder phenotype or phenotypic variability

Eur J Med Genet. 2020 Apr;63(4):103798. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2019.103798. Epub 2019 Oct 23.


Musculocontractural Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (mcEDS) is an autosomal recessive condition characterized by distinct craniofacial features, multisystem congenital malformations and progressive fragility of connective tissues. It is caused by pathogenic variants in CHST14 and DSE genes. There are three reports of pathogenic variants in DSE in four mcEDS patients. In this study we provide clinical and molecular presentation of two new patients with DSE related mcEDS. Analysing clinical exome data, a homozygous pathogenic DSE variant, c.1150_1157del p.(Pro384Trpfs*9), was identified in a 32 year old man with bilateral congenital talipes equinovarus, characteristic facial features, myopia, hyperextensible skin at the elbows, significant palmar wrinkling, bilateral inguinal hernias and chronic leg, back and joint pain. Electron microscopical examination of skin biopsy showed changes consistent with mild compensatory elastic fibre hypertrophy and mildly loose collagen bundles. The variant is predicted to result in a frameshift and introduction of a premature termination codon in the final exon of the DSE gene, anticipated to lead to the loss of approximately 60% of the normal reading frame. The second patient has a phenotype consistent with previously reported cases of DSE associated musculocontractural EDS. A novel homozygous missense DSE variant of uncertain clinical significance was detected. This case study further delineates the DSE associated mcEDS phenotype and illustrates absence of major cutaneous, cardiovascular, renal and respiratory features, which supports previous suggestions that patients with DSE associated mcEDS present with a milder phenotype compared to those with CHST14 mutations.

Keywords: Adducted thumb-clubfoot syndrome; CHST14; DSE; EDS; Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; Ehlers-Danlos syndrome kosho type; Musculocontractural; Proteoglycans; mcEDS.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Biological Variation, Population
  • Contracture / genetics
  • Contracture / pathology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / genetics*
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Phenotype


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • DSE protein, human