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Evidence for a susceptibility locus on chromosome 6q influencing phonological coding dyslexia



A linkage study of 96 dyslexia families containing at least two affected siblings (totaling 877 individuals) has found evidence for a dyslexia susceptibility gene on chromosome 6q11.2–q12 (assigned the name DYX4). Using a qualitative phonological coding dyslexia (PCD) phenotype (affected, unaffected, or uncertain diagnoses), two-point parametric analyses found highly suggestive evidence for linkage between PCD and markers D6S254, D6S965, D6S280, and D6S251 (LODmax scores = 2.4 to 2.8) across an 11 cM region. Multipoint parametric analysis supported linkage of PCD to this region (peak HLOD = 1.6), as did multipoint nonparametric linkage analysis (P = 0.012). Quantitative trait linkage analyses of four reading measures (phonological awareness, phonological coding, spelling, and rapid automatized naming speed) also provided evidence for a dyslexia susceptibility locus on chromosome 6q. Using a variance-component approach, analysis of phonological coding and spelling measures resulted in peak LOD scores at D6S965 of 2.1 and 3.3, respectively, under 2 degrees of freedom. Furthermore, multipoint nonparametric quantitative trait sibpair analyses suggested linkage between the 6q region and phonological awareness, phonological coding, and spelling (P = 0.018, 0.017, 0.0005, respectively, for unweighted sibpairs < 18 years of age). Although conventional significance thresholds were not reached in the linkage analyses, the chromosome 6q11.2–q12 region clearly warrants investigation in other dyslexia family samples to attempt replication and confirmation of a dyslexia susceptibility gene in this region. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.