Two extraordinarily severe cases of Treacher Collins syndrome


  • How to Cite this Article: Bauer M, Saldarriaga W, Wolfe SA, Beckwith JB, Frias JL, Cohen Jr. MM. 2013. Two extraordinarily severe cases of treacher collins syndrome. Am J Med Genet Part A 161A: 445–452.

  • This article is dedicated to Angela E. Lin, MD, Genetics Unit, MassGeneral Hospital for Children.


Here, we report two extraordinarily severe cases of Teacher Collins syndrome. Initially, amniotic bands and plical fold disruption were considered, but downslanting eyes made us consider severe Treacher Collins syndrome. A TCOF1 mutation in exon 24 was identified in Patient 1 (c.4355_4356ins14, resulting in p.1456Thrfs*18). Patient 2, who expired on day 4, is so similar to Patient 1 that severe Treacher Collins syndrome may be inferred in this instance. Neither the TCOF1 mutation nor the well-known variability in the expression in affected families with Treacher Collins syndrome (∼40% of reported cases) can explain the severity of these cases; otherwise, we would be aware of such cases within families from time to time. We are unaware of any recent sporadic cases (∼60% of reported cases) exactly like ours either with a single exception in the case reported by Writzl et al. [2008] with a TCOF1 mutation. The case described by Otto in 1841 is spectacular. We propose several hypotheses to be considered in explaining this developmental amplification, including some promoter effect on the gene, some position effect on the gene, a polymorphism elsewhere in the gene, a point mutation elsewhere in the gene, a polymorphism in another gene, or a point mutation in another gene, such as POLR1C (which maps to 6p21.1) or POLR1D (which maps to13q12.2). We also review the etiology and pathogenesis of Treacher Collins syndrome, and discuss several other severe cases from the past. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.