A molecular pathway revealing a genetic basis for human cardiac and craniofacial defects.
Microdeletions of chromosome 22q11 are the most common genetic defects associated with cardiac and craniofacial anomalies in humans. A screen for mouse genes dependent on dHAND, a transcription factor implicated in neural crest development, identified Ufd1, which maps to human 22q11 and encodes a protein involved in degradation of ubiquitinated proteins. Mouse Ufd1 was specifically expressed in most tissues affected in patients with 22q11 deletion syndrome. The human UFD1L gene was deleted in all 182 patients studied with 22q11 deletion, and a smaller deletion of approximately 20 kilobases that removed exons 1 to 3 of UFD1L was found in one individual with features typical of 22q11 deletion syndrome. These data suggest that UFD1L haploinsufficiency contributes to the congenital heart and craniofacial defects seen in 22q11 deletion. (+info)
2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin alters cardiovascular and craniofacial development and function in sac fry of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
Hallmark signs of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) toxicity in rainbow trout sac fry, are yolk sac edema, hemorrhage, craniofacial malformation, and growth retardation culminating in mortality. Our objective was to determine the role of cardiovascular dysfunction in the development of this toxicity. An embryotoxic TCDD dose (385 pg/g egg) caused a progressive reduction in blood flow in rainbow trout sac fry manifested first and most dramatically in the 1st and 2nd branchial arches and vessels perfusing the lower jaw. Blood flow was reduced later in the infraorbital artery and occipital vein of the head as well as segmental vessels and caudal vein of the trunk. Reduced perfusion occurred last in gill branchial arteries involved with oxygen uptake and the subintestinal vein and vitelline vein involved with nutrient uptake. Although heart rate throughout sac fry development was not affected, heart size at 50 days post-fertilization (dpf) was reduced far more than body weight or length, suggesting that the progressive circulatory failure caused by TCDD is associated with reduced cardiac output. Craniofacial development was arrested near hatch, giving rise to craniofacial malformations in which the jaws and anterior nasal structures were underdeveloped. Unlike the medaka embryo, in which TCDD causes apoptosis in the medial yolk vein, endothelial cell death was not observed in rainbow trout sac fry. These findings suggest a primary role for arrested heart development and reduced perfusion of tissues with blood in the early-life stage toxicity of TCDD in trout. (+info)
Smad5 knockout mice die at mid-gestation due to multiple embryonic and extraembryonic defects.
Smad5 has been implicated as a downstream signal mediator for several bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). To understand the in vivo function of Smad5, we generated mice deficient in Smad5 using embryonic stem (ES) cell technology. Homozygous mutant embryos die between E9.5 and E11.5, and display variable phenotypes. Morphological defects are first detected at E8.0 in the developing amnion, gut and heart (the latter defect being similar to BMP-2 knockout mice). At later stages, mutant embryos fail to undergo proper turning, have craniofacial and neural tube abnormalities, and are edematous. In addition, several extraembryonic lesions are observed. After E9.0, the yolk sacs of the mutants contain red blood cells but lack a well-organized vasculature, which is reminiscent of BMP-4, TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta type II receptor knockout mice. In addition, the allantois of many Smad5 mutants is fused to the chorion, but is not well-elongated. A unique feature of the Smad5 mutant embryos is that ectopic vasculogenesis and hematopoiesis is observed in the amnion, likely due to mislocation of allantois tissue. Despite the expression of Smad5 from gastrulation onwards, and in contrast to knockouts of Smad2 and Smad4, Smad5 only becomes essential later in extraembryonic and embryonic development. (+info)
Fetal craniofacial structure and intracranial morphology in a case of Apert syndrome.
Apert syndrome is characterized by craniosynostosis, midfacial hypoplasia and bilateral syndactyly. We document in detail the intrauterine natural history of Apert syndrome by serial sonographic examination. Ultrasound examination of a 19-week fetus revealed an abnormal appearance of the skull. The subsequent examination including transvaginal brain scanning demonstrated a deformed occipital part of the cerebrum and lateral ventricles, frontal bossing, a low nasal bridge and an abnormal appearance of the fetal hands and feet. The distortion of the fetal profile became progressively worse with advancing gestation. Towards the end of pregnancy, anterior prominence of the cerebrum, ventricles and corpus callosum was demonstrated and mild non-progressive ventriculomegaly was seen. The female 3152-g newborn with the typical facial appearance of Apert syndrome, bilateral syndactyly of the fingers and toes and isolated cleft palate was delivered at 37 weeks. Postnatal three-dimensional computed tomography scan demonstrated the fusion of the coronal suture and a wide mid-line calvarial defect, and cranial magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the prenatal sonographic findings. Although the karyotype was normal, genomic DNA analysis of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 revealed Ser252Trp, which is specified in the mutational basis of Apert syndrome. The time course of the prenatal findings in this case may help increase understanding of the intrauterine natural history of Apert syndrome. (+info)
Phenotypic findings of Cowden syndrome and Bannayan-Zonana syndrome in a family associated with a single germline mutation in PTEN.
Cowden syndrome (CS) and Bannayan-Zonana syndrome (BZS) are two hamartoma syndromes with distinct phenotypic features. Although partial clinical overlap exists between CS and BZS, they are considered to be separate entities. PTEN has been identified as the susceptibility gene for both disorders, suggesting allelism. We have identified a germline mutation, R335X, in PTEN in a family consisting of two female members with the phenotypic findings of CS and two male members with the phenotypic findings of BZS. To our knowledge, this is the first report that shows the presence of separate subjects with CS and with BZS in a single family associated with a single germline PTEN mutation. (+info)
The face of Smith-Magenis syndrome: a subjective and objective study.
We report a study of 55 subjects with Smith-Magenis syndrome, aged 9 months to 35 years. Each person has been evaluated with an assessment of "gestalt" and detailed facial measurement, using previously published methodology, with compilation of Z score pattern profiles. The facial phenotype of SMS is quite distinctive, even in the young child. The overall face shape is broad and square. The brows are heavy, with excessive lateral extension of the eyebrows. The eyes slant upwards and appear close set and deep set. The nose has a depressed root and, in the young child, a scooped bridge. With time, the bridge becomes more ski jump shaped. The height of the nose is markedly reduced while the nasal base is broad and the tip of the nose is full. The shape of the mouth and upper lip are most distinctive. The mouth is wide with full upper and lower lips. The central portion of the upper lip is fleshy and everted with bulky philtral pillars, producing a tented appearance that, in profile, is striking. With age, mandibular growth is greater than average and exceeds that of the maxilla. This leads to increased jaw width and protrusion and marked midface hypoplasia. Craniofacial pattern analysis supports these subjective impressions. After mid-childhood, mandibular dimensions consistently exceed their maxillary counterparts. Craniofacial widths are greater than corresponding depths and heights. Nasal height is reduced while nasal width is increased. There is mild brachycephaly. The most marked age related changes are increased width of the nose and lower face (mandibular width) with reduction in nasal height and midfacial depth. (+info)
PTEN mutation spectrum and genotype-phenotype correlations in Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome suggest a single entity with Cowden syndrome.
Germline mutations in the tumour suppressor gene PTEN have been implicated in two hamartoma syndromes that exhibit some clinical overlap, Cowden syndrome (CS) and Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome (BRR). PTEN maps to 10q23 and encodes a dual specificity phosphatase, a substrate of which is phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate, a phospholipid in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway. CS is characterized by multiple hamartomas and an increased risk of benign and malignant disease of the breast, thyroid and central nervous system, whilst the presence of cancer has not been formally documented in BRR. The partial clinical overlap in these two syndromes is exemplified by the hallmark features of BRR: macrocephaly and multiple lipomas, the latter of which occur in a minority of individuals with CS. Additional features observed in BRR, which may also occur in a minority of CS patients, include Hashimoto's thyroiditis, vascular malformations and mental retardation. Pigmented macules of the glans penis, delayed motor development and neonatal or infant onset are noted only in BRR. In this study, constitutive DNA samples from 43 BRR individuals comprising 16 sporadic and 27 familial cases, 11 of which were families with both CS and BRR, were screened for PTEN mutations. Mutations were identified in 26 of 43 (60%) BRR cases. Genotype-phenotype analyses within the BRR group suggested a number of correlations, including the association of PTEN mutation and cancer or breast fibroadenoma in any given CS, BRR or BRR/CS overlap family ( P = 0.014), and, in particular, truncating mutations were associated with the presence of cancer and breast fibroadenoma in a given family ( P = 0.024). Additionally, the presence of lipomas was correlated with the presence of PTEN mutation in BRR patients ( P = 0.028). In contrast to a prior report, no significant difference in mutation status was found in familial versus sporadic cases of BRR ( P = 0.113). Comparisons between BRR and a previously studied group of 37 CS families suggested an increased likelihood of identifying a germline PTEN mutation in families with either CS alone or both CS and BRR when compared with BRR alone ( P = 0.002). Among CS, BRR and BRR/CS overlap families that are PTEN mutation positive, the mutation spectra appear similar. Thus, PTEN mutation-positive CS and BRR may be different presentations of a single syndrome and, hence, both should receive equal attention with respect to cancer surveillance. (+info)
Differential responses to parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) deficiency in the various craniofacial cartilages.
PTHrP null mutant mice exhibit skeletal abnormalities both in the craniofacial region and limbs. In the growth plate cartilage of the null mutant, a diminished number of proliferating chondrocytes and accelerated chondrocytic differentiation are observed. In order to examine the effect of PTHrP deficiency on the craniofacial morphology and highlight the differential feature of the composing cartilages, we examined the various cartilages in the craniofacial region of neonatal PTHrP deficient mice. The major part of the cartilaginous anterior cranial base appeared to be normal in the homozygous PTHrP deficient mice. However, acceleration of chondrocytic differentiation and endochondral bone formation was observed in the posterior part of the anterior cranial base and in the cranial base synchondroses. Ectopic bone formation was observed in the soft tissue-running mid-portion of the Meckel's cartilage, where the cartilage degenerates and converts to ligament in the course of normal development. The zonal structure of the mandibular condylar cartilage was scarcely affected, but the whole condyle was reduced in size. These results suggest the effect of PTHrP deficiency varies widely between the craniofacial cartilages, according to the differential features of each cartilage. (+info)