Bardet-Biedl Syndrome-Multiple Kaleidoscope Images: Insight into Mechanisms of Genotype-Phenotype Correlations

Genes (Basel). 2021 Aug 29;12(9):1353. doi: 10.3390/genes12091353.


Bardet-Biedl Syndrome is a rare non-motile primary ciliopathy with multisystem involvement and autosomal recessive inheritance. The clinical picture is extremely polymorphic. The main clinical features are retinal cone-rod dystrophy, central obesity, postaxial polydactyly, cognitive impairment, hypogonadism and genitourinary abnormalities, and kidney disease. It is caused by various types of mutations, mainly in genes encoding BBSome proteins, chaperonins, and IFT complex. Variable expressivity and pleiotropy are correlated with the existence of multiple genes and variants modifiers. This review is focused on the phenomena of heterogeneity (locus, allelic, mutational, and clinical) in Bardet-Biedl Syndrome, its mechanisms, and importance in early diagnosis and proper management.

Keywords: Bardet–Biedl Syndrome; ciliopathy; heterogeneity; pleiotropy; variable expressivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bardet-Biedl Syndrome / etiology*
  • Bardet-Biedl Syndrome / genetics
  • Fingers / abnormalities
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Pleiotropy
  • Humans
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Mutation*
  • Polydactyly / etiology
  • Polydactyly / genetics
  • Protein Interaction Maps / genetics*
  • Toes / abnormalities


  • Bbs1 protein, human
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins

Supplementary concepts

  • Polydactyly, Postaxial