Deletions in HOXD13 segregate with an identical, novel foot malformation in two unrelated families

Am J Hum Genet. 1998 Oct;63(4):992-1000. doi: 10.1086/302070.


Synpolydactyly (SPD) is a dominantly inherited congenital limb malformation consisting of 3/4 syndactyly in the hands and 4/5 syndactyly in the feet, with digit duplication in the syndactylous web. The condition recently has been found to result from different-sized expansions of an amino-terminal polyalanine tract in HOXD13. We report a novel type of mutation in HOXD13, associated in some cases with features of classic SPD and in all cases with a novel foot phenotype. In two unrelated families, each with a different intragenic deletion in HOXD13, all mutation carriers have a rudimentary extra digit between the first and second metatarsals and often between the fourth and fifth metatarsals as well. This phenotype has not been reported in any mice with genetic modifications of the HoxD gene cluster. The two different deletions affect the first exon and the homeobox, respectively, in each case producing frameshifts followed by a long stretch of novel sequence and a premature stop codon. Although the affected genes may encode proteins that exert a dominant negative or novel effect, they are most likely to act as null alleles. Either possibility has interesting implications for the role of HOXD13 in human autopod development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Female
  • Fingers / abnormalities*
  • Heterozygote
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metatarsal Bones / abnormalities
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Pedigree
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Syndactyly / genetics*
  • Toes / abnormalities*
  • Transcription Factors*


  • HOXD13 protein, human
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF005219
  • GENBANK/AF005220