Clinical spectrum and molecular diagnosis of Angelman and Prader-Willi syndrome patients with an imprinting mutation

Am J Med Genet. 1997 Jan 20;68(2):195-206.


Recent studies have identified a new class of Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and Angelman syndrome (AS) patients who have biparental inheritance, but neither the typical deletion nor uniparental disomy (UPD) or translocation. However, these patients have uniparental DNA methylation throughout 15q11-q13, and thus appear to have a mutation in the imprinting process for this region. Here we describe detailed clinical findings of five AS imprinting mutation patients (three families) and two PWS imprinting mutation patients (one new family). All these patients have essentially the classical clinical phenotype for the respective syndrome, except that the incidence of microcephaly is lower in imprinting mutation AS patients than in deletion AS patients. Furthermore, imprinting mutation AS and PWS patients do not typically have hypopigmentation, which is commonly found in patients with the usual large deletion. Molecular diagnosis of these cases is initially achieved by DNA methylation analyses of the DN34/ZNF127, PW71 (D15S63), and SNRPN loci. The latter two probes have clear advantages in the simple molecular diagnostic analysis of PWS and AS patients with an imprinting mutation, as has been found for typical deletion or UPD PWS and AS cases. With the recent finding of inherited microdeletions in PWS and AS imprinting mutation families, our studies define a new class of these two syndromes. The clinical and molecular identification of these PWS and AS patients has important genetic counseling consequences.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angelman Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Angelman Syndrome / genetics*
  • Autoantigens / genetics
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 15
  • DNA / analysis
  • DNA Methylation
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypopigmentation / diagnosis
  • Hypopigmentation / genetics
  • Leukocytes
  • Male
  • Microcephaly / diagnosis
  • Microcephaly / genetics
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Mutation*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / genetics*
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear*
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics
  • snRNP Core Proteins


  • Autoantigens
  • Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear
  • SNRPN protein, human
  • snRNP Core Proteins
  • DNA