Background: The C749G (Pro250Arg) mutation in the gene for fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) has been found in patients with various types of craniosynostosis. We aimed to find out the proportion of cases of apparently non-syndromic coronal craniosynostosis attributable to this mutation.
Methods: We studied 26 patients with coronal craniosynostosis but no syndromic diagnosis, who were referred to a supra-regional specialist centre. Genomic DNA was analysed by PCR and restriction-enzyme digestion to identify the C749G mutation in FGFR3. Family members of patients found to have the mutation were also tested.
Findings: Eight (31%) of the 26 probands were heterozygous for the C749G mutation. In two cases, the mutation showed autosomal dominant transmission with evidence of variable expressivity; the remaining six cases were sporadic. We demonstrated in six families that the mutation had arisen de novo from clinically unaffected parents.
Interpretation: The C749G mutation in FGFR3 is a frequent cause of apparently non-syndromic coronal craniosynostosis. Our finding will aid genetic counselling and prenatal diagnosis. The mutation rate at this nucleotide is one of the highest described in the human genome.