A genotype and phenotype analysis of SMAD6 mutant patients with radioulnar synostosis

Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2022 Jan;10(1):e1850. doi: 10.1002/mgg3.1850. Epub 2021 Dec 24.


Background: SMAD6 variants have been reported in patients with radioulnar synostosis (RUS). This study aimed to investigate the genotypes and phenotypes for a large cohort of patients with RUS having mutant SMAD6.

Methods: Genomic DNA samples were isolated from 251 RUS sporadic patients (with their parents) and 27 RUS pedigrees. Sanger sequencing was performed for the SMAD6 coding regions. For positive probands, co-segregation and parental-origin analysis of SMAD6 variants and phenotypic re-evaluation were performed for their family members.

Results: We identified 50 RUS probands with SMAD6 variants (13 co-segregated with RUS in pedigrees and 37 in RUS-sporadic patients). Based on the new and previous data, we identified SMAD6 mutated in 16/38 RUS pedigrees and 61/393 RUS sporadic patients, respectively. Overall, 93 SMAD6 mutant patients with RUS were identified, among which 29 patients had unilateral RUS, where the left side was more involved than the right side (left:right = 20:9). Female protective effects and non-full penetrance were observed, in which only 6.90% mothers (vs. ~50% fathers) of SMAD6 mutant RUS probands had RUS. Pleiotropy was observed as a re-evaluation of SMAD6 mutant families identified: (a) three families had axial skeletal malformations; (b) two families had polydactyly; and (c) eight families had other known malformations.

Conclusion: SMAD6 was mutated in 42.11% RUS pedigrees and 15.52% RUS sporadic patients. The RUS patients with SMAD6 variants exhibit both non-full-penetrance, variable expressivity, pleiotropy, female protective effects, and the left side is more susceptible than the right side.

Keywords: SMAD6 variants; axial skeletal malformations; penetrance; pleiotropy; polydactyly.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Radius / abnormalities
  • Smad6 Protein* / genetics
  • Synostosis* / genetics
  • Ulna / abnormalities


  • SMAD6 protein, human
  • Smad6 Protein

Supplementary concepts

  • Radioulnar Synostosis