Proven germline mosaicism in a father of two children with CHARGE syndrome


Dr med Silke Pauli, Institute of Human Genetics, University of Göttingen, Heinrich-Düker-Weg 12, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.
Tel.: +49 551 39 9016; fax: +49 551 39 7567;


CHARGE syndrome is an autosomal dominant malformation syndrome caused by mutations in the CHD7 gene. The majority of cases are sporadic and only few familial cases have been reported. In these families, mosaicism in one parent, as well as parent- to-child transmission of a CHD7 mutation, has been described. In some further cases, germline mosaicism has been suggested. Here, we report the first case in which germline mosaicism could be demonstrated in a father of two affected children with CHARGE syndrome. The truncating mutation c.7302dupA in exon 34 of the CHD7 gene was found in both affected children but was not detected in parental lymphocytes. However, in DNA extracted from the father’s spermatozoa, the c.7302dupA mutation could be identified. Furthermore, mutation analysis of DNA isolated from 59 single spermatozoa revealed that the c.7302dupA mutation occurs in 16 spermatozoa, confirming germline mosaicism in the father of the affected children. This result has a high impact for genetic counselling of the family and for their recurrence risk in further pregnancies.