Martsolf syndrome with novel mutation in the TBC1D20 gene in a family from Iran

Am J Med Genet A. 2020 May;182(5):957-961. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.61543. Epub 2020 Mar 12.


Warburg Micro syndrome and Martsolf syndrome are phenotypically overlapping autosomal recessive conditions characterized by multiple organ abnormalities involving the ocular, nervous, and endocrine systems. Warburg Micro syndrome, the more severe of the two conditions, is caused by loss of function mutations in RAB3GAP1, RAB3GAP2, RAB18, and TBC1D20 genes, whereas Martsolf syndrome has been attributed to less damaging mutations in RAB3GAP1 and RAB3GAP2 genes. We report the clinical description and molecular characterization of a consanguineous Iranian family with two siblings, a male and a female, with dysmorphic features, bilateral congenital cataracts, optic nerve atrophy, congenital glaucoma, mild to moderate intellectual disability, seizures, hypogonadism, and mild osteoporosis. Spastic quadriplegia with contractures was observed in the male patient, while the female patient showed only mild hyperreflexia. Magnetic resonance imaging scans performed in the male patient showed a normal brain structure. Both siblings had neither microcephaly nor postnatal growth retardation. Whole exome sequencing identified a novel homozygous nonsense mutation [c.1060C>T; p.(Arg354Ter)] in the TBC1D20 gene in both siblings and confirmed the heterozygous carrier status of both parents. This report describes a novel mutation in the TBC1D20 gene in two Iranian patients with Martsolf syndrome, further extending the allelic heterogeneity and phenotypic spectrum of this rare condition. The genotype and phenotype of the patients are compared with those of Martsolf syndrome and Warburg Micro syndrome patients reported in the literature.

Keywords: TBC1D20; Martsolf syndrome; Warburg micro syndrome; exome sequencing; mutation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / epidemiology
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / pathology
  • Adult
  • Cataract / congenital*
  • Cataract / epidemiology
  • Cataract / genetics
  • Cataract / pathology
  • Child
  • Cornea / abnormalities*
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Exome Sequencing
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / epidemiology
  • Hypogonadism / genetics*
  • Hypogonadism / pathology
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics*
  • Intellectual Disability / pathology
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Microcephaly / epidemiology
  • Microcephaly / genetics*
  • Microcephaly / pathology
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Optic Atrophy / epidemiology
  • Optic Atrophy / genetics*
  • Optic Atrophy / pathology
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • rab1 GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics*


  • TBC1D20 protein, human
  • rab1 GTP-Binding Proteins

Supplementary concepts

  • Martsolf syndrome
  • Warburg Sjo Fledelius syndrome