A recurrent 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome associated with mental retardation and seizures

Andrew J. Sharp, Heather C. Mefford, Kelly Li, Carl Baker, Cindy Skinner, Roger E. Stevenson, Richard J. Schroer, Francesca Novara, Manuela De Gregori, Roberto Ciccone, Adam Broomer, Iris Casuga, Yu Wang, Chunlin Xiao, Catalin Barbacioru, Giorgio Gimelli, Bernardo Dalla Bernardina, Claudia Torniero, Roberto Giorda, Regina ReganVictoria Murday, Sahar Mansour, Marco Fichera, Lucia Castiglia, Pinella Failla, Mario Ventura, Zhaoshi Jiang, Gregory M. Cooper, Samantha J L Knight, Corrado Romano, Orsetta Zuffardi, Caifu Chen, Charles E. Schwartz, Evan E. Eichler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report a recurrent microdeletion syndrome causing mental retardation, epilepsy and variable facial and digital dysmorphisms. We describe nine affected individuals, including six probands: two with de novo deletions, two who inherited the deletion from an affected parent and two with unknown inheritance. The proximal breakpoint of the largest deletion is contiguous with breakpoint 3 (BP3) of the Prader-Willi and Angelman syndrome region, extending 3.95 Mb distally to BP5. A smaller 1.5-Mb deletion has a proximal breakpoint within the larger deletion (BP4) and shares the same distal BP5. This recurrent 1.5-Mb deletion contains six genes, including a candidate gene for epilepsy (CHRNA7) that is probably responsible for the observed seizure phenotype. The BP4-BP5 region undergoes frequent inversion, suggesting a possible link between this inversion polymorphism and recurrent deletion. The frequency of these microdeletions in mental retardation cases is ∼0.3% (6/2,082 tested), a prevalence comparable to that of Williams, Angelman and Prader-Willi syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Genetics


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