Genetic and prenatal diagnosis of a Chinese pedigree with pathogenic TOE1 variants causing pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 7

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2023 Dec;36(2):2250895. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2023.2250895.


Objective: Biallelic pathogenic variants in TOE1 cause pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 7 (PCH7), a rare neurological condition characterized by psychomotor retardation, spastic paraplegia, seizures, gonadal abnormalities and brain anomalies. Currently, only 14 postnatally diagnosed PCH7 patients have been described. However, the prenatal clinical profile of PCH7 has not yet been reported.Method: Whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed to screen for causal variants.Results: We report the pedigree of a Chinese woman with two eventful pregnancies with fetuses that showed brain anomalies, including microcephaly, cerebral anomalies, enlarged ventricles, corpus callosum thinning, abnormal lateral fissure, underdeveloped insula and pons and brainstem hypoplasia. Interestingly, corpus callosum thinning was observed in fetus 1 but not in fetus 2. An abnormal lateral fissure and an underdeveloped insula were shown in fetus 2 but not fetus 1. Biallelic variants c.716T > C (p.Phe239Ser) and c.955C > T (p.His319Tyr) in TOE1 were identified in both fetuses.Conclusion: We first describe the prenatal features of a Chinese pedigree with PCH7 caused by biallelic pathogenic variants in TOE1, with phenotypic variability observed even within the same family. Novel phenotypes, an abnormal lateral fissure and an underdeveloped insula were observed in the fetus in our study. These findings will enrich our knowledge of the clinical characteristics, management and genetic counseling of PCH7.

Keywords: TOE1; genetic counseling; pontocerebellar hypoplasia type 7; prenatal diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases
  • Cerebellar Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Cerebellar Diseases* / genetics
  • East Asian People
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Pedigree
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*


  • Nuclear Proteins
  • TOE1 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia