Vertical transmission of a frontonasal phenotype caused by a novel ALX4 mutation


  • Conflict of interest: None.

  • How to Cite this Article: Bertola DR, Rodrigues MG, Quaio CRDC, Kim CA, Passos-Bueno MR. 2013. Vertical transmission of a frontonasal phenotype caused by a novel ALX4 mutation. Am J Med Genet Part A 161A: 600–604.


Frontonasal dysplasias (FND) comprise a spectrum of disorders caused by abnormal median facial development. Its etiology is still poorly understood but recently frontonasal dysplasia phenotypes were linked to loss-of-function mutations in the ALX homeobox gene family, which comprises the ALX1, ALX3, and ALX4 genes. All ALX-related frontonasal phenotypes till date had been compatible with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. In contrast, heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in ALX4 had been only associated with isolated symmetrical parietal ossification defects at the intersection of the sagittal and lambdoid sutures, known as enlarged parietal foramina. We report a family with vertical transmission from mother to son of mild frontonasal dysplasia phenotype caused by a novel ALX4 gene mutation (c.1080-1089_delGACCCGGTGCinsCTAAGATCTCAACAGAGATGGCAACT, p.Asp326fsX21).This is the first report of a frontonasal phenotype related to a heterozygous mutation in ALX4. This mutation is predicted to cause the loss of the aristaless domain in the C-terminal region of the protein and preserves the homeodomain. We speculate that a different mechanism, a dominant-negative effect, is responsible for the distinct phenotype in this family. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.