De novo microduplication of CHL1 in a patient with non-syndromic developmental phenotypes

Orazio Palumbo, Rita Fischetto, Pietro Palumbo, Francesco Nicastro, Francesco Papadia, Leopoldo Zelante, Massimo Carella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The CHL1 gene codes for a member of the L1 family of neural cell adhesion molecules. It is highly expressed in the central and peripheral nervous system playing an important role in the building and functioning on the brain. CHL1 proteins are also involved in axonal migration, synaptic formation and plasticity. In mice, functional studies showed that the haploinsufficiency of Chl1 gene in the developing brain results in cognitive deficits suggesting that the CHL1 gene at 3p26.3 is a candidate for an autosomal form of intellectual disability. Furthermore, in humans deletions of CHL1 have been described in patients with neurodevelopmental delay characterized by learning and language difficulties, seizures. Less is known about the potential effect of CHL1 overexpression, and microduplications of CHL1 have been rarely identified. Case presentation: In this report, we describe a male patient with a phenotype characterized by developmental delay, symptoms of hyperactivity, short attention span and speech delay. In addition, minor facial dysmorphic features have been observed. Chromosomal microarray analysis revealed a rare de novo 0.85 Mb microduplication on the short arm (p26.3) of chromosome 3, encompassing a single gene, CHL1. To the best of our knowledge, duplication of chromosome 3p26.3, including only the CHL1 gene, has been described in only one intellectually disabled girl with epilepsy. The duplication described here is the smallest reported so far. In addition, this is the first report describing a patient in which the CHL1 duplication is a de novo event. Conclusions: The clinical and molecular findings reported here are useful to provide further evidence that CHL1 is a dosage sensitive gene suggesting that not only the deletion but also its duplication can cause non-syndromic neurodevelopmental phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number66
JournalMolecular Cytogenetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 16 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, medical


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