Brachytelephalangic dwarfism due to the loss of ARSE and SHOX genes resulting from an X;Y translocation


Corresponding author: Joerg Seidel, Department of Pediatrics, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Kochstraße 2, D-07740 Jena, Germany. Tel.: +49 3641 938427; fax: +49 3641 938205; e-mail:


Here we report an 8-year-old male patient who had mesomelic shortening of forearms and legs, brachytelephalangia and ichthyotic skin lesions. Chromosomal analysis showed an X;Y translocation involving the short arm of the X chromosome (Xp). Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and molecular studies localized the breakpoints on Xp22.3 in the immediate vicinity of the KAL gene demonstrating deletions of steroid sulfatase (STS), arylsulfatase E (ARSE), and short stature homeo box (SHOX) genes. It was suspected that the patient was suffering from chondrodysplasia punctata because of a loss of the arylsulfatase E (ARSE) gene. However, no stippled epiphyses were to be seen in the neonatal radiograph. Interestingly, this patient is the first case with a proven loss of the ARSE gene without chondrodysplasia punctata, assuming that chondrodysplasia punctata is not an obligatory sign of ARSE gene loss. Brachytelephalangia was the only result of ARSE gene deletion in this case.
The patient's mother also had dwarfism and showed Madelung deformity of the forearms. She was detected as a carrier of the same aberrant X chromosome. The male patient did not show Madelung deformity, demonstrating that Lerri–Weill syndrome phenotype may be still incomplete in children with SHOX gene deletion. The wide clinical spectrum in the male and the Leri–Weill phenotype in his mother are the results of both a deletion involving several sulfatase genes in Xp22.3 and the SHOX gene located in the pseudoautosomal region. Nevertheless, there is no explanation for the absence of chondrodysplasia punctata despite the total loss of the ARSE gene.
Further studies are necessary to investigate genotype/phenotype correlation in cases with translocations or microdeletions on Xp22.3, including the ARSE and the SHOX gene loci.