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Keywords:

  • Russell–Silver syndrome;
  • methylation;
  • imprinting;
  • IGF2;
  • H19;
  • 11p15.5

Abstract

Russell–Silver syndrome (RSS) is a heterogeneous disorder associated with pre- and post-natal growth restriction and relative macrocephaly. Involvement of imprinted genes on both chromosome 7 and 11p15.5 has been reported. To further characterize the role of epimutations in RSS we evaluated the methylation status at both 11p15.5 imprinting control regions (ICRs): ICR1 associated with H19/IGF2 expression and ICR2 (KvDMR1) associated with CDKN1C expression in a series of 35 patients with RSS. We also evaluated methylation at the promoter regions of other imprinted genes involved in growth such as PLAGL1 (6q24), GCE (7q21), and PEG10 (7q21) in this series of 35 patients with RSS. Thirteen of the 35 patient samples, but none of 22 controls, showed methylation levels at ICR1 that were more than 2 SD below the mean for controls. Three RSS patients were highly methylated at the SCGE promoter, all of which were diagnosed with upd(7)mat. To identify further potential global methylation changes in RSS patients, a subset of 22 patients were evaluated at 1505 CpG sites by the Illumina GoldenGate methylation array. Among the few CpG sites displaying a significant difference between RSS patients and controls, was a CpG associated with the H19 promoter. No other sites associated with known imprinted genes were identified as abnormally methylated in RSS patients by this approach. While the association of hypomethylation of the H19/IGF2 ICR1 is clear, the continuous distribution of methylation values among the patients and controls complicates the establishment of clear cut-offs for clinical diagnosis. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.