By array-CGH, we identified a cryptic deletion of about 3.4 Mb involving the chromosomal region 11q13.2q13.4 in a child with speech and developmental delay. Highly homologous segmental duplications related to the well-known olfactory receptor (OR)-containing clusters at 8p and 4p are located at the breakpoints of the imbalance and may be involved in its occurrence. Although these structural features are known to promote recurrent chromosomal rearrangements and previous studies had included the 11q13.2q13.4 deletion region among those considered potentially more unstable, neither deletions nor duplications of this region had been reported until now. Among the deleted genes, SHANK2 might play a role in the phenotype of the patient since it encodes a postsynaptic scaffolding protein similar to SHANK3, whose haploinsufficiency is a well-known cause of severe speech delay and autistic-like behavior, and recently deletions and mutations of SHANK2 have been described in patients with an autistic spectrum disorder or mental retardation.
- Olfactory receptor pseudogenes
- Segmental duplications
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