• duplication 6p22.2;
  • SSADH;
  • mild mental retardation


We present a family with mild developmental delay and a duplication (6)(p22.2). Array CGH analyses revealed this 0.7 Mb duplication in all three patients, spanning candidate genes ALDH5A1, DCDC2, and KIAA0319. Results were confirmed by MLPA analysis of the dyslexia genes DCDC2 and KIAA0319. Of interest, ALDH5A1 encodes succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH), an enzyme responsible for γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) degradation. Inherited deficiency of SSADH results in accumulation of the neuromodulator γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), which likely contributes to some aspects of the neurological phenotype of SSADH deficiency (MIM #271980). Based on autosomal-recessive inheritance, we sequenced ALDH5A1 in all patients, which revealed no pathogenic mutations. SSADH enzyme studies in cultured white cells confirmed elevated SSADH activity, consistent with the duplication, whereas concentrations of SSA were slightly elevated in urine, suggesting oxidant stress. We speculate that the duplication (6)(p22.2) and corresponding hyperactive level of SSADH activity may have negative consequences for GABA metabolism and the role of SSADH in other metabolic sequences. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.