El-Hattab-Alkuraya syndrome caused by biallelic WDR45B pathogenic variants: Further delineation of the phenotype and genotype

Clin Genet. 2022 May;101(5-6):530-540. doi: 10.1111/cge.14132. Epub 2022 Apr 12.


Homozygous pathogenic variants in WDR45B were first identified in six subjects from three unrelated families with global development delay, refractory seizures, spastic quadriplegia, and brain malformations. Since the initial report in 2018, no further cases have been described. In this report, we present 12 additional individuals from seven unrelated families and their clinical, radiological, and molecular findings. Six different variants in WDR45B were identified, five of which are novel. Microcephaly and global developmental delay were observed in all subjects, and seizures and spastic quadriplegia in most. Common findings on brain imaging include cerebral atrophy, ex vacuo ventricular dilatation, brainstem volume loss, and symmetric under-opercularization. El-Hattab-Alkuraya syndrome is associated with a consistent phenotype characterized by early onset cerebral atrophy resulting in microcephaly, developmental delay, spastic quadriplegia, and seizures. The phenotype appears to be more severe among individuals with loss-of-function variants whereas those with missense variants were less severely affected suggesting a potential genotype-phenotype correlation in this disorder. A brain imaging pattern emerges which is consistent among individuals with loss-of-function variants and could potentially alert the neuroradiologists or clinician to consider WDR45B-related El-Hattab-Alkuraya syndrome.

Keywords: WDR45B; autophagy; autosomal recessive (AR) trait; brain atrophy; neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic
  • Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Microcephaly* / diagnostic imaging
  • Microcephaly* / genetics
  • Microcephaly* / pathology
  • Nervous System Malformations*
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Quadriplegia / genetics
  • Seizures / diagnostic imaging
  • Seizures / genetics

Supplementary concepts

  • Congenital disorder of glycosylation type 2A