DISP1 deficiency: Monoallelic and biallelic variants cause a spectrum of midline craniofacial malformations

Genet Med. 2024 Jul;26(7):101126. doi: 10.1016/j.gim.2024.101126. Epub 2024 Mar 24.


Purpose: DISP1 encodes a transmembrane protein that regulates the secretion of the morphogen, Sonic hedgehog, a deficiency of which is a major cause of holoprosencephaly (HPE). This disorder covers a spectrum of brain and midline craniofacial malformations. The objective of the present study was to better delineate the clinical phenotypes associated with division transporter dispatched-1 (DISP1) variants.

Methods: This study was based on the identification of at least 1 pathogenic variant of the DISP1 gene in individuals for whom detailed clinical data were available.

Results: A total of 23 DISP1 variants were identified in heterozygous, compound heterozygous or homozygous states in 25 individuals with midline craniofacial defects. Most cases were minor forms of HPE, with craniofacial features such as orofacial cleft, solitary median maxillary central incisor, and congenital nasal pyriform aperture stenosis. These individuals had either monoallelic loss-of-function variants or biallelic missense variants in DISP1. In individuals with severe HPE, the DISP1 variants were commonly found associated with a variant in another HPE-linked gene (ie, oligogenic inheritance).

Conclusion: The genetic findings we have acquired demonstrate a significant involvement of DISP1 variants in the phenotypic spectrum of midline defects. This underlines its importance as a crucial element in the efficient secretion of Sonic hedgehog. We also demonstrated that the very rare solitary median maxillary central incisor and congenital nasal pyriform aperture stenosis combination is part of the DISP1-related phenotype. The present study highlights the clinical risks to be flagged up during genetic counseling after the discovery of a pathogenic DISP1 variant.

Keywords: Congenital nasal piriform aperture stenosis; Holoprosencephaly; Midline defects; SHH; Solitary median maxillary central incisor.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alleles*
  • Anodontia
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cleft Lip / genetics
  • Cleft Lip / pathology
  • Cleft Palate / genetics
  • Cleft Palate / pathology
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / genetics
  • Craniofacial Abnormalities / pathology
  • Female
  • Heterozygote
  • Holoprosencephaly* / genetics
  • Holoprosencephaly* / pathology
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Incisor / abnormalities
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Mutation, Missense / genetics
  • Phenotype*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • DISP1 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Single upper central incisor