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Keywords:

  • split hand/foot malformation;
  • ectrodactyly;
  • somatic/gonadal mosaicism;
  • array-based comparative genomic hybridization;
  • eye abnormalities

Abstract

Split hand/foot malformation (SHFM) is characterized by underdeveloped or absent central digital rays, clefts of hands and feet, and variable syndactyly of the remaining digits. SHFM is a heterogeneous condition caused by abnormalities at one of multiple loci, including SHFM1 (SHFM1 at 7q21–q22), SHFM2 (Xq26), SHFM3 (FBXW4/DACTYLIN at 10q24), SHFM4 (TP63 at 3q27), and SHFM5 (DLX1 and DLX 2 at 2q31). SHFM3 is unique in that it is caused by submicroscopic tandem chromosome duplications of FBXW4/DACTYLIN. In order to show that array-based comparative genomic hybridization should be considered an essential aspect of the genetic analysis of patients with SHFM, we report on a family with two brothers who have ectrodactyly. Interestingly, both also have ocular abnormalities. Their sister and both parents are healthy. DNA of all five family members was analyzed using oligonucleotide-based DNA microarray and quantitative PCR. The two affected brothers were found to have a small duplication of approximately 539 kb at 10q24.32. The patients' sister and father do not have the microduplication, but qPCR showed that mother's DNA carries the duplication in 20% of blood lymphocytes. In this family, two children were affected with ectrodactyly having a duplication over the SHFM3 locus. The mother, who shows no clinical features of ectrodacytyly, is a mosaic for the same duplication. Therefore, we demonstrate that somatic/gonadal mosaicism is a mechanism that gives rise to SHFM. We also suggest that ocular abnormalities may be part of the clinical description of SHFM3. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.