Williams syndrome (WS) is a developmental disorder caused by haploinsufficiency of genes at 7q11.23. We have shown that hemizygosity of elastin is responsible for one feature of WS, supravalvular aortic stenosis. We have also implicated LIM-kinase 1 hemizygosity as a contributing factor to impaired visual-spatial constructive cognition in WS. Here we identify and characterize a novel gene, FKBP6, within the common WS deletion region. FKBP6 shows homology to the FK-506 binding protein (FKBP) class of immunophilins. FKBP6 has a putative N-terminal FK-506 binding and peptidylproyl isomerase (rotamase) domain and, like known high-molecular-weight FKBPs, an imperfect C-terminal tetratricopeptide repeat domain. FKBP6 is expressed in testis, heart, skeletal muscle, liver, and kidney. FKBP6 consists of nine exons and is completely contained within a 35-kb cosmid clone. Fluorescence in situ hybridization experiments show that FKBP6 gene is deleted in 40/40 WS individuals. Hemizygous deletion of FKBP6 may contribute to certain defects such as hypercalcemia and growth delay in WS.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.