Molecular analysis of SALL1 mutations in Townes-Brocks syndrome

Am J Hum Genet. 1999 Feb;64(2):435-45. doi: 10.1086/302238.


Townes-Brocks syndrome (TBS) is an autosomal dominantly inherited malformation syndrome characterized by anal, renal, limb, and ear anomalies. Recently, we showed that mutations in the putative zinc finger transcription factor gene SALL1 cause TBS. To determine the spectrum of SALL1 mutations and to investigate the genotype-phenotype correlations in TBS, we examined 23 additional families with TBS or similar phenotypes for SALL1 mutations. In 9 of these families mutations were identified. None of the mutations has previously been described. Two of these mutations are nonsense mutations, one of which occurred in three unrelated families. Five of the mutations are short deletions. All of the mutations are located 5' of the first double zinc finger (DZF) encoding region and are therefore predicted to result in putative prematurely terminated proteins lacking all DZF domains. This suggests that only SALL1 mutations that remove the DZF domains result in TBS. We also present evidence that in rare cases SALL1 mutations can lead to phenotypes similar to Goldenhar syndrome. However, phenotypic differences in TBS do not seem to depend on the site of mutation.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / genetics*
  • Anus, Imperforate / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Frameshift Mutation
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Syndrome
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics*


  • SALL1 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X98833
  • GENBANK/Y18264
  • GENBANK/Y18265