Delimiting the Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome critical region to 750 kilobase pairs

Am J Med Genet. 1997 Jul 11;71(1):47-53. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8628(19970711)71:1<47::aid-ajmg9>;2-n.


Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) is a multiple anomaly condition characterized by mental and developmental defects, resulting from the absence of the distal segment of one chromosome 4 short arm (4p16.3). Owing to the complex and variable expression of this disorder, it is thought that the WHS is a contiguous gene syndrome with an undefined number of genes contributing to the phenotype. The 2.2 Mbp genomic segment previously defined as the critical region by the analyses of patients with terminal or interstitial deletions is extremely gene dense and an intensive investigation of the developmental role of all the genes contained within it would be daunting and expensive. Further refinement in the definition of the critical region would be valuable but depends on available patient material and accurate clinical evaluation. In this study, we have utilized fluorescence in situ hybridization to further characterize a WHS patient previously demonstrated to have an interstitial deletion and demonstrate that the distal breakpoint occurs between the loci FGFR3 and D4S168. This reduces the critical region for this syndrome to less than 750 kbp. This has the effect of eliminating several genes previously proposed as contributing to this syndrome and allows further research to focus on a more restricted region of the genome and a limited set of genes for their role in the WHS syndrome.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Cell Line
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 4*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Growth Disorders / genetics
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics
  • Microcephaly / genetics
  • Syndrome