New insights and advances in CHARGE syndrome: Diagnosis, etiologies, treatments, and research discoveries

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CHARGE syndrome is a multiple congenital anomaly condition caused, in a majority of individuals, by loss of function pathogenic variants in the gene CHD7. In this special issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics part C, authors of eleven manuscripts describe specific organ system features of CHARGE syndrome, with a focus on recent developments in diagnosis, etiologies, and treatments. Since 2004, when CHD7 was identified as the major causative gene in CHARGE, several animal models (mice, zebrafish, flies, and frog) and cell-based systems have been developed to explore the underlying pathophysiology of this condition. In this article, we summarize those advances, highlight opportunities for new discoveries, and encourage readers to explore specific organ systems in more detail in each individual article. We hope the excitement around innovative research and development in CHARGE syndrome will encourage others to join this effort, and will stimulate other investigators and professionals to engage with individuals diagnosed as having CHARGE syndrome, their families, and their care providers.

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