Phenotypic variability in Waardenburg syndrome resulting from a 22q12.3-q13.1 microdeletion involvingSOX10

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Abstract

Waardenburg syndrome (WS) is a neurocristopathy characterized by pigmentation abnormalities of the skin, hair, and iris, as well as sensorineural hearing loss. Contiguous gene deletions encompassing SOX10 are rare, which limits conclusions about genotype–phenotype correlation regarding patient prognosis and management. This study adds to the existing body of knowledge by characterizing a 2.4 Mb deletion [arr[hg19] 22q12.3-q13.1 (36467502–38878207)x1] encompassing SOX10 and 53 additional RefSeq genes in a 15-year-old female with atypical WS. The patient presented with developmental delay, profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, heterochromia iridis, hypotonia, and bilateral finger contractures. Published genomic and phenotypic profiles of patients with SOX10-encompassing deletions point toward several plausible candidate gene that could account for the considerable clinical heterogeneity. These studies suggest the existence of modifiers among the co-deleted, dosage-sensitive genes (e.g., MYH9) and among genes whose effect may depend on the unmasking of recessive mutations (e.g., PLA2G6). Finally, we highlight evidence illustrating extensive interconnectivity of SOX10-hypothesizing that haploinsufficiency of SOX10 may “unmask” subtler effects on expression or epistasis associated with variants in SOX10 targets (e.g., DHH), in its partners (e.g., PAX3, EGR2), and in genes with functional overlap (e.g., SOX8, SOX9). © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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