Highest accuracy of combined consensus clinical criteria and SNRPN gene molecular markers in diagnosis of Prader-Willi syndrome in Thai patients

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BackgroundPrader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a complex human genetic disease arising from a loss of paternal allele expression of imprinting genes on chromosome 15q11-q13. Normally the CpG islands at this site are heavily methylated in the maternal allele, but unmethylated in the paternal allele and therefore activated in gene expression. Only the methylated allele should present in PWS patients when methylation-specific PCR (MSP) is analyzed.MethodsThis paper reports an analysis of PWS in Thai patients using consensus diagnostic criteria based on a combination of clinical data, basic G-banding and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) cytogenetics, PCR-based methylation assay, and bisulfite sequencing of the CpG islands of SNRPN to confirm 15q deletion or the methylation pattern of the SNRPN promoter and exon 1. Lack of complete clinical reports or inadequacy of the minimum laboratory support required had made it difficult to diagnose PWS, Angelman syndrome and other microdeletion disorders.ResultsAccuracy of 100% was obtained for diagnosis of the PWS study patients using the minimum requirements necessary. A total of 20 patients were diagnosed as PWS based on clinical criteria and the scoring tool for PWS, and the same approach was applied to four separate patients with some unmatched criteria but phenotypic similarity to PWS. Findings showed that 70% of those clinically diagnosed as PWS patients (14/20) had a deletion at 15q11-q13 according to FISH, while all 20 patients showed MSP positive of SNRPN gene. Six cases (30%) without a paternal deletion were confirmed to have maternal uniparental disomy (mUPD) of PWS by MSP and methylation sequencing approaches. Noteworthy, two of the six cases with mUPD were 3.5 year-old twins. None of the five cases with scores lower than the reported consensus criteria showed positive G-band, FISH or MSP results.ConclusionsWe demonstrate here the high power of combining clinical findings, FISH and MSP in definitive diagnosis of PWS and in distinguishing between the two major different types of molecular mechanisms. No false positives or false negatives were observed in our analysis.

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